Keratin shampoos should be high up your to-buy list this holiday season if you’re going to deck the halls with fabulously coloured and styled tresses.

We’ve dyed, permed, and straightened our hair more than a few times this year to chase the latest hair colour fads like “milk tea” hair, but our locks are under total distress and need some tender love and care.

This is where keratin shampoos step into play. Keratin is a type of protective protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. Since it’s the structural building block of your hair, keratin helps strengthen it and makes it smoother and easier to manage.

We’re going to teach you how keratin shampoos work, where keratin comes from as well as give you a list of the best keratin shampoos, so you can make your next hair care purchase.

(And by the way, if you’ve got a hijab-wearing friend, try recommending them our hijab hair care cheat sheet!)

How keratin shampoo works

When you check the ingredient list on the back of the bottle, you should be able to find the words “hydrolysed keratin” or “keratin amino acids”. As long as keratin is in the ingredients list, it is a keratin shampoo.

While hair is usually made up of 89% keratin, Asian hair actually contains 94% keratin, which is almost 100%. It’s no surprise that keratin is responsible for your hair’s strength and resilience.

When some keratin is removed from your hair, the structure becomes unstable and your hair weaker, hence becoming damaged. Keratin shampoos help fill up the “holes” of your hair, stabilize the structure, and undo some of the damage.

This means your hair is stronger and smoother again and there is less chance of breakage. Keratin shampoos also help to reduce frizz.

There’s also no such thing as too much keratin for the hair, as your hair can only absorb a certain amount. Once the hair is ‘full’, keratin cannot be accepted anymore.

Compared to vegetable ingredients, keratin can fill up holes in the structure while vegetable ingredients plaster the surface, which is less stable.

Where keratin comes from

Keratin for hair repair used to come from human hair, but now is derived from animals. Hooves, feathers, animal hair, and horns are made from keratin.

It cannot be derived from plants and flowers as the keratin is not identical to the keratin in human hair. There is no such thing as synthetic keratin, which can be problematic if you’re going vegan or cruelty-free.

One example of animal keratin is sourcing it from wool, which has mostly the same amino acid composition as the keratin in human hair, so it can potentially repair your hair.

Keratin shampoo recommendations

1. TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo

1. TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo

TRESemmé is a trusted hair care brand and this keratin shampoo does not fail to deliver. Sourced from sheep wool, it promises 10 salon benefits in just one wash including soft and smooth hair, anti-frizz, and detangling.

It is designed to protect against seven different types of hair damage such as brushing, blow-drying, bleaching, colouring, curling, flat-ironing, and braiding.

It retails for RM35.50.

Watsons

2. OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo

2. OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo

Formulated with a blend of coconut oil, keratin proteins, avocado oil, and cocoa butter, this shampoo strengthens and softens the hair while giving it a brilliant shine.

Supposedly this product smells richly of coconut oil and cocoa butter due to the ingredients, so you’ll be left with pleasant smelling hair too.

It retails for RM38.

Watsons

3. Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo

3. Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo

This shampoo is formulated with Virtue Labs’ Alpha Keratin 60ku which is apparently sourced from pure human hair and not animal products, which means the protein binds seamlessly to hair.

Ideal for all hair types, it works hard to fill in the cracks in the cuticle to heal strands and repair damage from heat, chemicals, and colour treatment.

It retails for RM162.

Sephora

4. Keratin Complex Colour Care Smoothing Shampoo

4. Keratin Complex Colour Care Smoothing Shampoo

This keratin shampoo gently cleanses the hair without stripping colour or causing dryness. It also conditions the hair while minimizing frizz and fly aways.

Perfect for all hair types, including dry, damaged, and color-treated hair, this shampoo leaves the hair sleek, shiny, and healthy looking.

It retails for RM107.

Zalora

5. It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin

5. It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin

This is a sulfate-free shampoo which means that it won’t strip your hair of moisture and colour. Formulated with Chinese Tea Leaf Extract, it boosts overall hair health with antioxidants and nutrients.

It also has Sunflower Seed Extract which is a natural sunscreen to protect your hair even further.  What we like about the product is that it’s animal friendly according to Zalora, which means it’s made using non-animal alternative materials or methods associated with good animal welfare.

It retails for RM101.

Zalora

6. Revlon Professional Be Fabulous Hair Recovery C.R.E.A.M. Keratin Shampoo (& Ends Repair Serum)

6. Revlon Professional Be Fabulous Hair Recovery C.R.E.A.M. Keratin Shampoo (& Ends Repair Serum)

Okay, we know this isn’t strictly just a shampoo as it comes with a hair serum, but trust us, this keratin shampoo is great for damaged hair.

Specially formulated for very dry and damaged hair, it helps to repair hair and provide anti breakage efficacy. The serum also helps to recover and repair split ends.

It retails for RM252.

Zalora

7. Vitalcare Keratin Oil Shampoo

7. Vitalcare Keratin Oil Shampoo

This Italian branded shampoo gently cleanses fragile and stressed hair. It removes dust and dirt that causes breakage and flakiness.

Formulated with keratin, arginine, and wheat proteins, this product reinforces hair fibres from the roots to the ends. The result is stronger, healthier, protected, and shinier hair for longer.

It retails for RM62.

Zalora

8. OUAI Medium Hair Shampoo

8. OUAI Medium Hair Shampoo

Ideal for all hair types, this keratin shampoo hydrates and nourishes your hair with babassu and coconut oils and adds shine with kumquat extract.

In the end, your dry and dull hair is left shiny and silky. What’s nice is that this shampoo has a lovely floral scent which reminds you of walking in a flower garden.

It retails for RM124.

Sephora

9. Flor De Man Keratin Silkprotein Hair Shampoo

9. Flor De Man Keratin Silkprotein Hair Shampoo

Recommended for damaged and or color-treated hair, the keratin and silkprotein complex in this product supplies nourishment to the damaged cuticle layer of the hair.

Enhanced with seven floral extracts, this shampoo will nourish and condition your hair and keep your tresses healthy and vibrant.

It retails for RM35.15.

Shopee

10. Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte

10. Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte

This keratin shampoo is combined with ceramide to strengthen the hair fibre from the inside and rebuild the hair, so the hair is soft and shiny and doesn’t break easily.

It also has Sève de Résurrection or “Resurrection Sap” which is taken from the leaves via high-temperature water-based extraction and mixed with tamarind gum to stimulate regeneration in the hair.

It retails for RM107.

Zalora

11. Lanza Healing Smooth Glossifying Shampoo

11. Lanza Healing Smooth Glossifying Shampoo

This keratin shampoo gently cleanses hair while reducing frizz to leave you with a glossy shine. It lathers richly and transforms rough and unruly hair into smooth and shiny hair.

Amino acids extracted from coix seed are used to increase the hair’s flexibility without breakage and mangosteen fruit extract is used to leave a gorgeous sheen.

It retails for RM283.

Zalora

12. Percy & Reed Give Me Strength Strengthening Shampoo

12. Percy & Reed Give Me Strength Strengthening Shampoo

This keratin shampoo reduces hair breakage, improves strength, and promotes new hair growth. It contains nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, wheat proteins, and Sweet White Lupine.

What’s great is that this product is also sulfate free, paraben free, and silicone free, so it won’t strip your hair of its moisture and colour.

It retails for RM115.

Sephora

13. Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Peptide Repair Rescue Micellar Shampoo

13. Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Peptide Repair Rescue Micellar Shampoo

For damaged, fine to normal hair, this gentle yet effective shampoo removes dirt, impurities, and oil build up.

Containing a blend of peptides, proteolipids, amino acids, and keratin, it nourishes, rebuilds, and strengthens hair to prevent further damage, leaving hair silky soft and healthy.

Zalora

14. Wella Elements Renewing Shampoo

14. Wella Elements Renewing Shampoo

This is a repairing and renewing shampoo that gently cleanses hair while caring for it. It protects hair fromm keratin regeneration and renews moisture as well.

A plus is that this keratin shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, and aritifical colorants.

Zalora

15. The Olive Tree Rosemary & MMint Shampoo

15. The Olive Tree Rosemary & MMint Shampoo

Suitable for normal, itachy, and flaky scalps, this shampoo targets hair growth and hair loss. It adds volume to fine hair, giving it a glossy look and stimulating blood flow to the scalp.

Containing Australian natural herbal blends, it does not contain palm oil, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, harsh petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, and artificial colours, which is always good.

Zalora

Featured image credit: Glow with Nishi