Q: Is Quinoa good for your hair?

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A: Yes, the nine essential amino acids that quinoa contains act as natural strengtheners and protect the hair shaft. They also repair damaged hair and promote hair growth.

Protein is a key factor in your own hair’s strength. Your strands are made out of keratin, which is a protein (in case you missed that in science class) so reinforcing it with another protein helps keep it strong.

“Quinoa is strengthening and moisturizing due to the amino acids content,” says Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist. “Amino acids are the building blocks of cells, so it’s essential for both skin and hair to function. It’s like nutritional supplements.”

Dr. Clark discovered it’s beneficial for hair once he saw how well it smoothed his daughter’s hair. “What I learned is that hair frizzes because moisture absorbs into the strands and then they swell,” he says. So, he zeroed in on the power duo of quinoa and glycolic acid (the latter prevents your keratin from being able to absorb water and stave off the swell).

“Quinoa proteins add strength and protection to your hair,” says Dr. Clark. “Since the grain has the highest concentration of protein than any other grain, and it has [some of the] essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. When you walk around and
let sunlight and oxygen interact with your strands, the outer layer of your hair becomes damaged—and the amino
acids of quinoa match the natural keratin and fill in the gaps from that damage.”

He adds that the quinoa in his products are hydrolyzed, which means they’ve been chemically cut into smaller pieces via enzymes. “The quinoa’s chopped up to the point where it matches perfectly with the keratin in your hair,” Dr. Clark explains. “So, it’s really efficient when it comes to repair.”

Not only is it a superstar strengthener and smoothing VIP, but it’s good for your color as well. “Quinoa’s an anti- oxidant, which could help prevent your color from fading,” says King. Well, I don’t know about you, but the grain is no longer going to only be found in my lunch.

By the way, it’s not your imagination—you do shed more this time of year. But these two healthy home devices could save your hair.