Are Amino Acids Protein?

Amino acids aren’t just a popular hair, skin, and nail care trend—they’re the roots of longer, stronger, shinier, healthier hair. All hair types and textures can benefit from amino acids and there’s no limit to the number of ways that amino acids help maintain gorgeous strands- yet there’s still so much confusion around what amino acids are and how they differ from protein. There’s a common misconception that amino acids are equivalent to proteins, but there are a few distinctions that separate amino acids from proteins.

There’s a delicate balance when it comes to amino acids vs. proteins, so let’s start with the question on everyone’s mind: Are amino acids protein? 

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins (keratin) that make up 88-95% of our hair structure. Your hair consists of 18 amino acids that are vital to the health of your hair. A string of amino acids- or polypeptides- linked together, creates proteins. Simply put: amino acids are individual molecules and protein is a chain of amino acids. Think of amino acids as individual links on a chain. When the links are connected they create a chain link necklace.

If amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, what’s the difference between amino acids and proteins?

Amino acids and proteins are partners that work side by side to help your hair thrive, however, they also have their own individual attributes. Here’s a simple breakdown of how amino acids differ from protein:

 ✨ Amino acids help your body identify when there’s a shortage of essential nutrients for hair growth, strength, and moisture.

✨ Amino acids do more than build proteins- they’re also working hard to determine if your hair cuticles need moisture, strength, collagen, and more.

✨ Amino acids support protein to give your hair shine, gloss, and enhanced curl definition for waves, curls, and coils.

✨ Protein retains moisture in your hair, but its main function is to strengthen the structure of your hair. 

Why should you choose products with amino acids vs. protein?

Sometimes your hair needs protein and sometimes your hair craves amino acids. It can be tricky to know when to choose protein treatments or when a protein-free treatment is best since they’re so tightly linked. Opt for protein-free hair treatments when you’re looking to:

✨ Enhance and define your natural curl pattern.

✨ Boost hydration and moisture.

✨ Promote elasticity and shine.

✨ Reduce frizz and lock out humidity.

✨ Soften your strands and repair damage.

✨ Implement hair care for protein-sensitive curls.

✨ Protect your hair and the environment with naturally-derived, clean, and sustainable ingredients.


Curl Charisma Collection


How can you add amino acids to your hair care regimen?

We’re so excited to share one of our favorite protein-free, ultra-nourishing, and moisturizing masks! Our new Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating & Defining Hair Mask is a great way to start experiencing the magic of amino acids in our Curl Complex™. This unique blend of Tomato Fruit Ferment and Amino Acids seals your hair cuticles, protects against damage, and enhances your vibrant curl pattern.

Try adding the power of amino acids to your hair care routine today! Our protein-free products are perfect for all hair types and needs. We know you’ll love mixing and matching each product for a customized hair care experience.

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