What Are the Functions of Keratin?


Keratin is a tough fibrous protein that strengthens skin, hair and nails with its tight strands and intertwined structures. There are two types of keratin, according to Bio-Medicine.org: alpha-keratin, which is abundant in humans and mammals, and beta-keratin that is primarily in birds and reptiles.

Strengthens hair

  • Keratin is a major component responsible for strengthening the hair, making it less likely to break.

Coats and repairs damaged hair

  • Keratin helps to smooth and coat frizzy and frayed hair shafts, resulting in smoother and straighter hair. It repairs damaged hair by smoothing and coating the hair shafts and helps to keep in moisture.

Maintains healthy skin

  • Keratin is also contained in the outer epidermis and creates the tough skin in calluses. It helps skin maintain its elasticity and firmness. Keratin controls cell growth and renewal, which helps to soften and control wrinkles.

Skin pigmentation and protection

  • Keratin has an influence on melanin and skin pigmentation. The protein plays a part in waterproofing skin, according to NaturalSkinHealth.com. It also creates a slight barrier against bacteria and other organisms.

Toughens nails and bony structures

  • Nails are made up of keratin, which causes them to become less prone to chipping and breaking. Keratin is a major part of hardened structures of animals such as horns, hoofs, beaks and even feathers.

Fun fact

  • Keratin is such a good coating that pharmacies use this same protein for the smooth coating on pills.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Functions of the Skin

    The skin is the largest organ in the integumentary system of the body. The integumentary system is composed of skin, hair and...

  • What Is Keratin & Where Is it Located in the Skin?

    Keratin is a tough protein that is found in the hair, nails and skin. Keratin protects cells from damage and provides flexibility...

  • What Does Human Hair Consist of?

    Human hair is composed of various functional elements and chemicals, including protein, amino acids, keratin, melanin and lipids. These components act in...

  • What Causes Keratin Buildup?

    Keratin—a strong protein—is a major component of skin, hair and nails. Keratosis results when excess protein buildup causes various types of growths...

  • Treatment of Keratinization Disorders

    Keratinization is a skin condition in which healthy skin cells dry out and become horny, nail-like tissue. It is often present in...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of an Ex-Pat in China

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!