Amino Acid Hair Treatments: What they are and why you need one.

Your hair is your crowning glory, but it can take a beating from the environment, styling tools, and all the hair products we love to use. If you’re ready to give your hair a break, then amino acid hair treatments might be just what you need!

They’re the latest and greatest in hair care technology and they just might be the ticket to getting that gorgeous, glossy mane you’ve always dreamed of. Amino acids are protein-building blocks that help to fortify your hair from the inside out.

If you have frizzy, brittle hair, flaky scalp and/or dull color, poor you! Read on for a look at why you should give them a try! 

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Amino acid hair streatments explainer infographic - Title: "Amino Acids: Your Hair's Superhero"

Ingredient Type: Protein
Key Benefits:
Strengthens hair
Fights frizz
Prevents breakage
Ideal For:
Anyone seeking stronger hair
Taming frizz
Enhancing porous hair
Usage Frequency:
Daily (as part of formulated products)
Pairs Well With:
Shampoos
Conditioners
Leave-in treatments
Compatibility:
Friendly with all ingredients
No known negative interactions

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are small, organic molecules that make up keratin, the protein found in nails, hair and skin.

These organic compounds play a key role in all kinds of body functions and processes, from metabolism and digestion to forming certain cells, tissues, and organs. So they’re essential for human health in a lot of ways.

Found in all types of food from meats to nuts, amino acids break down into their own unique components which the body then uses to grow and repair itself.

So basically, it’s like these little guys are adventurers who explore every corner of our bodies so we can stay healthy!

What is an Amino Acid Hair Treatment?

Amino acid hair treatments work by infusing your strands with essential nutrients that promote healthy hair growth and improve shine, texture, and manageability.

They’re a new type of deep conditioning treatment that uses natural ingredients, and no chemicals like formaldehyde or sodium hydroxides, to nourish and restore the natural health of your hair.

These treatments help amino acids penetrate deep into the follicles, providing intense hydration and nourishment to each strand of hair.

The keratin-based nutrients can help repair split ends and damage caused by over-styling and chemical treatments.

As a result, your hair will become stronger, shinier, softer, and more manageable after regular use. 

Plus, they may even help to protect against color fading so your salon visits will last longer! 

Amino Acid Hair Treatment Before and After

Why Amino Acids Are Good for Hair

Amino acids are vital tiny protein molecules that play a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair. They’re packed with properties that promote hair growth, repair, and overall health.

Moisturizing Properties

These molecules are rich in moisturizing qualities, ensuring your scalp stays hydrated. This hydration is key in preventing issues like dryness or dandruff.

Antioxidant Protection

Amino acids come loaded with antioxidants. These help shield your hair from environmental aggressors such as pollution and UV rays, preserving its health and vitality.

Strengthening and Nourishing

Using amino acids in hair treatments can significantly fortify and nourish your hair from within, enhancing its strength and appearance.

Benefits of Amino Acid Treatments

Repair and Protection: Amino acid treatments are excellent for mending hair damage caused by heat styling, chemical processes, and environmental factors. They form a protective layer around each hair strand, retaining moisture and keeping pollutants at bay.

Color Preservation: These treatments are particularly beneficial for color-treated hair, helping to maintain the color for a longer duration.

How to Get an Amino Acid Hair Treatment.

If you want to upgrade your hair-care routine with a keratin-infused amino acid treatment, you’re in luck.

Part folicle spa, part science experiment, amino acid treatments are the new way to pamper yourself and your hair.

All you need is an appointment at the salon and you’ll be on your way to a healthy yet fabulous ‘do!

Once there, your dedicated hair stylist will customize an amino acid treatment specifically for you and provide deep nourishment for severely dry or aged hair.

The process works by applying amino acid infused keratin to strands of your hair which are then sealed by heat — leaving you with softer, smoother locks and an afterglow that no other salon treatment can match.

The whole process takes about 2-3 hours and costs upwards of $100+ depending on the length and condition of your hair.

Pros and Cons of Amino Acid Hair Treatments.

Can I Do an Amino Acid Treatment at Home?

It is possible to achieve a keratin-enriched amino acid treatment right in the comfort of your own home. But it’s not easy!

While nothing quite replaces the expertise and care of a professional hairdresser, there are amino acid and keratin treatments available for at-home use that can boost smoothness, strength, elasticity, and hydration from the comfort of your own bathroom or kitchen.

Like a keratin treatment or Brazilian blow out, it takes a lot of patience! So it can be hard to do by yourself. Follow these four steps for the best results at home, first time:

Step 1: Shampooing 

The first step in any good hair care routine is shampooing. To get the most out of your amino acid treatment, use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo that won’t strip away essential oils or damage your hair.

Focus on massaging the product into your scalp – not just your lengths – to ensure that all of your strands are fully cleansed.  

Step 2: Strengthening 

Once you’ve finished shampooing, it’s time for strengthening. You can do this by applying a protein-rich amino acid hair conditioner or deep conditioning mask to help repair any damage caused by things like heat styling or sun exposure.

Leave this product in for around 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cool water. 

Step 3: Treatment   

Now comes the actual treatment! Start by sectioning off your hair so that you can easily apply the product evenly throughout each strand.

Use small amounts at a time and focus on getting those ends – they need all of that extra TLC!

When you’re done applying, leave the product in for 15 minutes (or as the instructions direct) before rinsing out with cool water once more. 

Step 4: Sealing with Flat Irons

To seal in all of those amazing benefits from your amino acid treatment, use flat irons or straightening tools on low heat settings (around 180°F).

This will not only help lock in moisture but also give you sleek and shiny locks that last for days!  

With an at-home keratin treatment, you can enjoy a spa-like experience from the convenience of your own home. Keep in mind that results may vary compared to what a professional can provide you but with consistent maintenance it certainly sounds like a great way to maintain those luscious locks!

Watch and learn: How to do an amino acid treatment

Here’s a great video that shows you how an amino acid treatment is done by a professional to repair breakage, dryness, reduce humidity frizz and smooth out tangles in natural hair.

Best amino acid treatments at a glance.

Keratin ProductLooks likeBest forRatingBuy now
K18 Leave-In Repair Hair Mask Treatment to Repair Dry or Damaged Hair K18 Mini Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask Treatment to Repair Damaged Hair - 4 Minutes to Reverse Damage from Bleach + Color, Chemical Services, Heat 15 ml
Coarse, thick, frizzy hair. four star icon Edited
Vitamins Keratin Protein Hair Serum Vitamins Keratin Protein Hair Serum - Biotin Anti Frizz Control Repair Treatment with Castor Oil for Frizzy Dry Damaged Hair - Straight or Curly Hair Products - Heat Protectant for Shine and Gloss
Every day quick fix. three star icon Edited 1
Hairfinity Hair Strengthening Amino Treatment Masque - Hydrating Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner Hairfinity Hair Strengthening Amino Treatment Masque - Hydrating Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner Cream for Dry Damaged Hair with Hydrolyzed Collagen, Keratin, Vegetable Protein for Growth, 8 oz
Great value for money and results. five star icon Edited 1
Keratin Hair Serum Capsules Treatment with Amino Acids, Silk Protein & Vitamin B5 Keratin Protein Hair Serum for Curly Frizzy Hair - Anti Frizz Control Nourishes & Repair Hair with Castor Oil for Frizzy Dry Damaged Hair Curly Hair Productsheat Protectant for ShinePrevent Hair Burns
Dry, damaged hair. four star icon Edited
Aminotouch Natural PURE PROTEIN TREATMENT Aminotouch Natural PURE PROTEIN TREATMENT Instant Rescue Shot Grow Long Hair Repair Damage Split Ends, Strengthen Weak Hair, Collagen Filler Keratin Repair that Works From the Core
Hard to tame, colored locks. five star icon Edited 1
Kiehl's Amino Acid Conditioner with pure coconut and Jojoba oil Kiehl's Amino Acid Conditioner with pure coconut and Jojoba oil 33.8
Restoring and nourishing. five star icon Edited 1

TOP PICK! Best amino acid hair treatment.

Kiehl's Amino Acid Conditioner 2.5oz (75ml)

If you’re looking for a conditioner that will give you all the impressive results of salon-grade products but without the hefty price tag, Kiehl’s Amino Acid Conditioner is just what you need.

Packed with powerful amino acids, this conditioner cleanses your hair thoroughly while also delivering a surge of moisture to leave your locks feeling soft, hydrated and healthy.

Better yet, it won’t weigh down your hair as it quickly absorbs into strands – no matter your hair type.

What sets this conditioner apart is its blend of fairly-traded coconut oil and jojoba oil, which promotes impressive silky-softness and enviable gloss.

We tried it on frizzy, curly hair and got silky smooth results with little effort. Team it with the shampoo for long-lasting results.

A Friendly Heads-Up About Amino Acid Hair Treatments

Just a quick note from our resident hair stylist Enza Piazza on amino acid treatments, she says –”They’re usually fantastic, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Sensitive Scalps: If you’ve got a sensitive scalp, just be cautious. Sometimes, certain ingredients might not agree with you, leading to a bit of itching or irritation. It’s like trying a new skincare product – a little patch test can go a long way.

Balance is Key: Our hair loves protein, but just like our diets, balance is important. Too much protein can make your hair feel a bit tough and less flexible. It’s all about finding that sweet spot.

Budget and Hair Type: These treatments can be a bit on the pricier side and might not work the same magic on every hair type. If you’ve got fine hair, you might find it a tad heavy, while those with thicker locks might need something a bit more robust.

Playing Nice with Others: If you’re a fan of coloring or other chemical treatments, just chat with your stylist to make sure everything mixes well together. It’s like making sure your shampoo and conditioner are a good pair.”

Amino Acids Treatments vs. Keratin Treatments

In the eternal pursuit for smooth and healthy looking hair, what’s better: keratin or amino acid treatments?

Well, keratin treatments can help you to achieve your desired sleek look, but don’t always come without potential down sides.

Keratin treatments typically involve harsher chemicals such as formaldehyde that can be damaging over time and irritating to the scalp.

So they’re stronger and better at straightening or relaxing curly and natural hair, but they can be more damaging too.

Amino acid treatments on the other hand have no dangerous ingredients and don’t release any harmful toxins into the air when applied.

But that does mean they might not always work on your type of hair.

It’s important to read up on what you’re planning to put in your hair before deciding on the right product for you.

keratin hair treatments vs amino acid treatments infographic

Amino Acid for Hair FAQS

Are amino acid treatments good for natural hair?

Yes, amino acids are a great choice for those with natural hair! With keratin as the primary ingredient, these treatments are capable of rebuilding broken bonds within your natural hair strands.

Thanks to their small size, these nutrients can penetrate deep into your hair shaft giving you moisture and strength all in one step.

The result? Hair that looks and feels smoother than ever before! No matter what type of texture you have, amino acid treatments are here to help keep your natural hair looking its absolute best.

Are amino acid treatments good for curly hair?

If you have curly hair, amino acid treatments may just be the keratin-infused answer to your frizzy, unruly curly mane.

These treatments are known to improve shine and condition while living up to the fond expression – they CAN tame even the wildest of curly locks!

Amino acids help repair damaged cuticles and strengthen hair strands. Not only do they help define curls better but also hydrate even coarse textures, ultimately giving any type of curly mane the fullness and lushness it deserves.

Are amino acid treatments good for colored hair?

Amino acid treatments offer a great solution for keeping colored hair looking vibrant and healthy.

With keratin proteins that bond to the cuticles, amino acid treatments help lock in the color, so your salon-perfect hue will stay bright and beautiful for months.

Plus, keratin is a powerful protective ingredient that acts as a barrier against harmful UV rays and other environmental aggressors that can quickly fade color.

So in addition to being maintenance-free and having long-lasting color protection, you’ll enjoy an extra boost of natural volume with each treatment!

How long does an amino acid hair treatment last?

An amino acid keratin hair treatment can provide your hair with incredible softness and shine that will last for up to four months.

While it definitely does depend on your hair type, lifestyle and styling expectations, most keratin treatments tend to last for about 3–4 months.

With regular maintenance and proper care, that could even extend a little longer.

Is an amino acid hair treatment safe?

With a pH level of 1.5 and containing no harsh chemicals that can damage your hair, amino acid treatments are perfectly safe for your locks. Hurrah!

A keratin-infused amino acid hair treatment is the perfect way to give your hair an extra boost of shine and strength.

It not only re-strengthens keratin bonds in your hair and helps to lock in your hair color, but also nourishes it while restoring length, body and natural health — all without causing damage that other treatments like coloring or relaxing typically can.

Parting words

There’s no denying that amino acid treatments offer numerous benefits for those looking for healthier-looking locks.

But just because something is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for everyone—it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding whether or not an amino acid treatment is the right choice for you!

Of course, consulting with a professional stylist always helps ensure that any product used on your mane is both safe and effective! Good luck!

Had an amino acid hair treatment? We’d love to see the results! Tag us on Instagram @colouredhaircare or Facebook and share your hair success stories. Looking for more hair care tips? Check out How to Look After Colored Hair: 11 Expert Secrets For Long-Lasting Color.

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Our Research & Review Process

To ensure our recommendations are as comprehensive and reliable as possible, we’ve undertaken an extensive research effort.

We cite scientific evidence and journals, collect real user reviews and gather impartial perspectives from hair stylists, users, and experts in the field.

Additionally, we conduct hands-on testing by using products and applying hair dyes not only on our own locks but also on real human hair extensions and hair pieces of different hair type, textures and lengths.

This rigorous approach allows us to provide you with insights into which products genuinely live up to their promises.

As always – please consult with a professional hair colorist or stylist for advice on how to color your own hair at home. It’s different for everyone!

hair dye icon

Our Research & Review Process

To ensure our recommendations are as comprehensive and reliable as possible, we’ve undertaken an extensive research effort.

We cite scientific evidence and journals, collect real user reviews and gather impartial perspectives from hair stylists, users, and experts in the field.

Additionally, we conduct hands-on testing by using products and applying hair dyes not only on our own locks but also on real human hair extensions and hair pieces of different hair type, textures and lengths.

This rigorous approach allows us to provide you with insights into which products genuinely live up to their promises.

As always – please consult with a professional hair colorist or stylist for advice on how to color your own hair at home. It’s different for everyone!

This article was written and reviewed by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
    Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.