We include Extensin® in our hair conditioner treatment for dry weak hair to add to the luster, shine as well as body and bounce of your hair. The introduction of vegetal proteins in cosmetic treatments has been promoted during the last few years, in order to replace the more commonly used animal proteins (such as elastin, collagen, keratin and reticulum). To read more about our herbal hair conditioner treatment for dry and weak hair please click here.
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Their good moisturizing and film forming qualities for hair and skin, mainly make them suitable in treatment products for weak and dry hair and for dry skin treatments.
It helps to strengthen hair and also helps to add luster, shine, body and bounce to even the driest limpest hair. They are also an interesting source of peptides and amino acids for the skin. We use Extensin Vegetal Protein in our Herbal Hair Treatment Conditioner.
However, from a chemical point of view, old type plant proteins did not resemble human skin proteins and for this reason, their use as regenerative products and against skin ageing was not completely effective.
The amino acid composition of the old plant proteins differed a lot from human skin proteins, mainly the collagen and elastin. Concretely, animal or human collagen has approximately 10% hydroxy-proline in its molecule, which makes it a unique protein in the animal kingdom.
However, there is now a plant protein that has hydroxy-proline in it – making it almost the same as that of human collagen and also has several structural similarities – this protein is called Extensin – manufactured by PROVITAL in Barcelona, Spain.
Another important point to note in Extensin’s chemical structure is that it contains amino acids. It is unusually rich in serine (about 16%) and this amino acid plays an important role in the structure of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor. Its high saccharide content is an important promoter of its moisturizing action.
For these reasons, Extensin is effective in all applications where collagen is traditionally used, and even provides better moisturizing. This means that it can be used in nutritive creams; skin regeneration treatments for aged and wrinkled skins, as well as premium hair care products.
PROVITAL has developed an exclusive procedure for the extraction of Extensin contained in carrot cellular walls. Extensin thus obtained is presented as a transparent solution, containing approximately 10% of pure hydrolyzed protein.
The efficacy of Extensin has been clinically proven in various test to which they subjected the compound.
Extensin was discovered at the beginning of the sixties. More exactly in 1960, Derek T. A. Lamport published a work in “Nature” proving that hydroxy-proline was the main component of the vegetal primary cell walls. At the same time, Dougall and Shimbayaishi also published a work to this effect.
The fact that this wall protein was so rich in hydroxy-proline, an amino acid which normally does not appear in proteins, but almost exclusively in animal collagen, made Lamport compare it initially to the structure and functionality of animal collagen and elastin, relating it to the cellular growth, and so it was called Extensin. However later data have modified this idea about the Extensin functionality in plant cells, although its exact role has not been determined, there are several opinions regarding this that will be commented on later.
Concerning the possible role of Extensin in the vegetal cell, Lamport advanced the theory that Extensin participated in the process to stop cell wall growth by forming covalent bonds with cellulose fibers of the wall and preventing it from enlarging. He observed a significant increment of the production and accumulation of Extensin when the elongation of the stem of several species stopped.
However, though different works of some investigators later presented new data confirming this hypothesis, a more recent work published contradicts this line of work, by proving that under specific environmental conditions, such relation between cells growth and Extensin gathering did not occur.
Another growing hypothesis presents Extensin as a reply of the vegetal tissue to external aggressions and several factors confirm it: a glycoprotein of very similar structure to Extensin is synthesized in a potato tuber as a reply to infectious "Cucumis melo L." and accumulates a great amount of Extensin in its tissues when contaminated by this fungal infection.
Finally, all the vegetal systems used for the Extensin study are based on histological cuts, i.e. aggressed tissues. These cuts motivate a reply, different physiological and metabolic changes in the tissue. Among these we could find an increment in Extensin production.
Extensin function in plant metabolism is not clear. Neither is the system of Extensin union to other macromolecules of the cell wall, since contradictory results have been obtained according to the kind of plant studied.
Thus, in some species, the difficulty to extract Extensin from the isolated and purified cell walls seems to indicate that covalent bonds occur. Anyway, in the Cyanophyceae and other species studied such extraction is made without great difficulty and it seems that there are no covalent attachments between Extensin and the rest of macromolecules. Should such linkages exist, it has not been determined in which part of the molecule this occurs, though probably it may be by means of the Extensin glycoside chains.
When studying the structural differences between an animal cell and a vegetable cell, there are two absolutely basic and determining factors in the differences between the animal and vegetable kingdoms: the capacity of the vegetal cell to fix CO2 by photosynthesis and the existence in vegetal of a rigid cell wall, formed by extra-cellular matrix closely attached to the external surface of the plasmatic membrane.
An animal cell also has some elements of extra-cellular matrix at its surface, forming what is called "glycocalyx", but in the vegetal cell such wrapping is thicker and more resistant, organized and rigid.
During the growing period, the cellular walls of the vegetal cells are thinner and less rigid than those of developed cells, enabling the elongation and growth of the cellular size; they are called "primary cell walls". When the cell is completely developed, the thickness of the wall increases with some new layers, forming the "secondary cell wall".
The rigidity of the cellular wall is motivated by its chemical composition. Long cellulose fibers, highly resistant, compose it, linked by a matrix of polysaccharides and protein. The polysaccharides of this matrix are basically hemicelluloses and pectines attached by ionic and covalent bonds.
Cellulose is a linear molecule composed of several thousands of D-glucose units attached by linkages b(1-4). For this reasons the chain has a flat form, like a ribbon. This structure is stabilized intra-molecularly by means of hydrogen bonds. Intermolecular hydrogen bonds are also formed and this way there are groups of parallel cellulose molecules (usually between 60 and 70) extremely ordered, which are called cellulose micro-fibrils (fig.1).