What is our hair made of?

illustration of girl with long bangs and sunglasses

Our hair is a very strong and interesting composition! We talked in our last blog about the cuticle, cortex and the medulla of the hair. Now let’s dive in a little deeper into the components of the thing we all share as humans called “hair”.

Let’s begin with what gives our hair its strength and structure. Protein. This is a non-living fiberous appendage quite like your fingernails. It accounts for 75-90% of our hair strength. This is where product marketers go crazy and things get confused. Protein is a good thing and not since the 70’s have we used animal protein. Most are plant based products or phyto-proteins like pea peptide. Ceracin is another and that is silk protein and soy and wheat are also used.

girl looking at hair through magnifying glass

Next we have moisture šŸ˜Š our love /hate relationship if you have frizzy hair Iā€™m talking to you!!!! We need moisture in our hair ! Especially if we have anything but straight hair. Even though this accounts for only 5-10% of our hair without it it’s Rosanne Rosanna Danna all day long ! Modern science has been able to create good moisturizers with technology! I recommend products made with resurrection plant šŸŒ± it has an incredible ability to hold moisture in! Without moisture our hair would have no flexibility!

Lipids are our next loving child. Only 3-5% of our hair but sooooo important! This is the “secret thing” that most companies are trying to imitate! The layer of our hair called the 18 MEA is produced by our own bodies!!!! That’s right!!!! But the problem is this is what we are depleting daily with our styling and chemical services. Without this our hair feels like it never dries and may feel gummy ( in bad situations) Tamarind is an excellent source of this lipid layer!!!!

So here’s a kicker – pigment – only 1% of our hair! Crazy right! The most visible thing and it’s only a small ,small portion. It is actually included in the protein structure. We will cover pigment in upcoming blogs more in detail as it pertains to Haircolor! Can’t wait for that!

Lastly we have minerals in our hair! These minerals help bind the proteins together! They are ESSENTIAL for us and the health of our hair – 5% in fact!


  • Carbon -49.6%
  • Oxygen-23.2%
  • Nitrogen-16.8%
  • Sulfur-4.0%

The good news is we are organic!! Yippie hippie!!!!

We try to bring you scientific evidence and knowledge of hair in an entertaining fun way! Remember, always try to stay beautiful inside and out! – Kristin Green

"As always a very positive experience. On time friendly and professional. Nothing needs to be changed. You can't get any better. Thanks!"

Barbara M.

"I always leave tangles so happy with hair color and cut that is the very best in Lancaster. She is not only talented but the nicest person in the business!"

Jayne F.

"I've been coming to Tangles for roughly 5 years. Bri has always been able to make me walk out with exactly the color and cut I've wanted. I recommend Tangles to anyone looking for a great salon, with a warm staff and tons of creativity under the same roof."

Le Ann P

View All Customer Reviews