OUR HAIR’S HIDDEN SECRET: PROTEIN
ELAINE VEGA on MAY 10, 2020
‘That’s why her hair is so big,’ Damian whispered to Ali not-so-quietly. ‘It’s full of secrets.’
Who else remembers that scene in the iconic 2000s Mean Girls movie? If you know every line by heart, we’re instant friends. In all seriousness though, Regina George’s hair is big not because of her dirty little secrets, but probably because she takes care of it with treatment products. She does live in a mansion, remember? I’m sure her family’s budget could afford specific product treatments from time to time.
My aspirations to be either worshipped or feared by like Regina George are thankfully non-existent; however, achieving healthy hair has been a long-term ambition of mine. For the first time ever I experimented with simple hair treatment products comprised of protein-enriched formulas. In one month’s time I washed, lathered, and applied four curated products all from the Korean line CP-1:
Manufactured under the company Esthetic House based in South Korea, CP-1 is an acronym for ‘Creative Performance’. ‘1’ assuringly promoting that they’re the best aka number one. This brand advertises its salon-grade hair products with high-performance results. The secret? Their premium formula uses and combines ceramide and protein. CP-1’s products are developed by professional hairstylists and experts whose insights from their past experiences hone-in on these two qualities for achieving excellent hair care. CP-1’s best-sellers are the Premium Silk Ampoule and Premium Hair Treatment.
CP-1 Bright Complex Intense Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner
Both products contain ingredients necessary for hair rejuvenation and growth like low-molecular protein, amino acids that are similar to the hair’s own acids, and vegetable oils. Together these ingredients maintain the balance of the pH level 5.5, which is arguably the healthiest state possible for the hair. In addition, the shampoo cleanses blocked pores in the scalp that come from accumulated dandruff of wear and misused products.
CP-1 KERATIN CONCENTRATE AMPOULE
Despite the small packaging size, this ampoule’s lightweight formula contains an abundance of benefits targeting hair oils. This concentrated, watery-oil formula improves the standard hair oil’s heaviness and oiliness by containing a double solution with keratin and collagen. With fast and non-sticky absorption, when applied it will also create protection for dry and damaged hair.
Marketed to have 7 proteins that ‘recharge’ nearly ‘every strand of hair’, which initially is hard to believe but after consistent use of small doses a couple of times a week the recharged description is best described from my experience as stronger hydration with a softer, lasting touch. The company customized the ampoule from long-term research regarding the combination of both low-molecular protein hydrolyzed keratin and high-molecular protein hydrolyzed collagen. This means the formula is absorbed on both the inner and outer layers of damaged hair that supports two overall needs:
Provides Overall Nourishment
The four ingredients below all support the formula:
Baobab Tree Leaf Extract: replicates the actual plant’s ability to store water
Elastin: provides greater elasticity and deeper moisture
Keratin Amino Acid: penetrates deeply into the damaged hair ends to prevent further damage
Hydrolyzed Keratin: a low molecular protein with a low molecular weight that penetrates the layers of damaged hair to provide concentrated nourishment
The many usages for this treatment oil or essence are very unique and highly beneficial because the differences in application cater to different situations:
Apply after shampoo while hair is either still wet or entirely dry, place a small amount with focus on the drier hair tips and ends.
As a night ampoule, apply a small amount on the ends of the damaged hair areas and in the morning shampoo thoroughly.
If the hair has been dyed or will have a dying touch-up, pour a small amount between 3-5ml in the dye, combine and apply on the drier parts of the hair before shampoo.
CP-1 PREMIUM HAIR TREATMENT 25ML (THE CONCENTRATED PROTEIN MASK)
Known as the concentrated protein mask, the formula is marketed as a ‘powerful triple action protein care system’ with the below primary functions:
Coats the outer hair layers with plant-based oil and ceramide compounds to specific areas more prone to damage.
Repairs the inner layers of the hair with 17 amino acids and 11 proteins identical in nature to the hair’s own chemical make up naturally supplied in those layers.
Strengthens the hair cuticles with low molecular protein and quinoa extracts, which are then absorbed into the cuticle layer of the damaged hairs.
The four ingredients comprise this triple-fortified formula:
Both low-molecular and high-molecular proteins of hydrolyzed collagen and elastin, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and keratin amino acids.
Quinoa seed extract to combine these proteins, which help overall absorption.
An amino acid complex containing 17 different components.
Six varying plant-based oils of argan kernel oil, camellia seed oil, sweet almond oil, coconut palm oil, sunflower seed oil, and drumstick seed oil.
When used, this hair treatment overrides the conditioner. It’s considered to be more powerful than a typical one-time treatment and longer-lasting than an ampoule. CP-1 markets this treatment as a solution for weak or thin hair suffering from chemical treatments like perming or dyeing. The balance between the proteins, the oils, and the produced moisture create healthy hair that receives the benefits evenly throughout the layers, ultimately achieving an optimal balance that is seen in shine and felt in softness.
CP-1 Bright Complex Intense Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner
When testing out these products for a month’s time, I washed my hair typically between 2 to 4 days. (Don’t judge me on the 4 day-wash, quarantine’s in-home persistence is to blame.) My hair began at a mid-bra length and by then end it drastically grew past the bra.
Immediate 1-Month Results:
Unexpected Hair Growth
Stronger Hydration & Shine
Firmer Grasp & Hold When Styling
Understanding what healthy hair is
Confidence in achieving that without expensive treatments at the salon
When using the shampoo, I would typically squeeze out and use roughly the size of half a finger to fully lather and clean my hair. I diligently massaged for each and every wash my full scalp to help my roots absorb the formula, and this took a few minutes longer than the normal shampooing. My arms adjusted to the strain initially felt and by the end of the month that habit became second nature. I’m glad to have put in the effort as the results I feel now are surreal, yet an effect of such diligent absorption.
The conditioner impressed me immediately because of the drastic healing and hydrating effects. After two or three washes, my hair remained noticeably stronger and healthier. I’m surprised that the price point is affordable, and am tempted to make this small bottle a staple for regular washing. The fragrance suits my tastes and has a mild perfume refreshing quality.
CP-1 Keratin Concentrate Ampoule
With strong effects, this ampoule is not to be taken lightly! I tested this ampoule in three manners at different times of post-shampoo application while wet and dried as well as the night ampoule before going to bed. I felt the strongest influence of strength, vivacity, and softness when applied a little after shampooing and conditioning while my hair was wet and as a night ampoule. When used at night, I applied a little more to cover all my dry ends and tips, and in the morning could instantly feel an impressive replenished feeling. I’ve never used a night ampoule before so this experiment proved to me that this formula truly works within all time-ranges and for different stages of the hair.
CP-1 Premium Hair Treatment 25ml (The Concentrated Protein Mask)
Definitely for short-term invested days, like for special outings or celebrations. I wouldn’t use this as an everyday treatment and prefer using the conditioner. To apply, I followed the picture examples online from other beauty testers like myself. The process took some time to learn and the product lasted only 2-3 washes. I was not generous in dispensing the formula in my hair, mainly because I wanted to see how long I could use the product. However when used, there was a noticeable effect and I think for immediate short-term necessities, this product would do well in.
Honestly, I’ve seen and felt incredible growth that exceeded any expectations I had. While the size of the shampoo and conditioner favor for a special one-month or select a few uses for the long-term, I would purchase again to heal and quickly grow my hair. I appreciate the versatility of the ampoule and would purchase again to give flexibility in treating my hair when necessary. The treatment syringe is an item that I would need great motivation to purchase solely because it is not long-lasting, pragmatical, or versatile in application. It is a one-time-only product and my preference for those products is not strong.
Favorite Product? Conditioner.
Most Versatile? Ampoule.
Would they become my instant to-go item for daily use? No.
Have they become my favorite item for immediate treatment? Absolutely.
Would I purchase CP-1 products again? In a heartbeat.