Frequently Asked Questions on Silk Proteins

Welcome to our FAQs on Silk Protein! Silk protein, derived from the natural fibers produced by silkworms, has gained significant attention for its various applications in industries such as cosmetics, textiles, and medical research. Whether you’re curious about its unique properties, potential benefits, or its sustainability, this collection of frequently asked questions is here to provide you with insightful answers about silk protein and its diverse uses.

Silk proteins are glycoprotein extracted from raw silk. The silkworm spins a thread of raw silk composed of two types of proteins, fibroin and sericin. Fibroin, which makes up 70-80% of the silk, provides the structural integrity, while sericin, making up 20-30%, acts as a bonding agent to hold the filaments together.

Silk proteins are made up on Amino acids. The composition of amino acids can vary slightly depending on the source of the silk, but the following are approximate percentages of the major amino acids found in silk fibroin:

  1. Glycine: Around 40-45%
  2. Alanine: Approximately 25-30%
  3. Serine: Roughly 12-15%
  4. Tyrosine: About 5-8%
  5. Valine: Around 4-6%
  6. Leucine: Approximately 4-6%
  7. Isoleucine: Roughly 3-4%
  8. Asparagine: About 2-3%
  9. Threonine: Approximately 2-3%
  10. Phenylalanine: Roughly 1-2%
  11. Proline: Around 1-2%
  12. Methionine: Approximately 0.5-1%
  13. Lysine: Roughly 0.5-1%
  14. Histidine: About 0.5-1%
  15. Arginine: Approximately 0.5-1%

Keep in mind that these percentages are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific species of silkworm and the conditions under which the silk is produced.

Silk protein is generally not considered vegan, as it is derived from silkworms, which are animals. The process of obtaining silk involves the cultivation of silkworms, harvesting their cocoons, and processing the fibers to create silk fabric or silk protein extracts. Since this process involves animal origin, silk protein is often excluded from a vegan lifestyle, which seeks to avoid any products derived from animals.

For individuals who adhere to a strict vegan philosophy, there are alternative materials available that mimic the properties of silk without using animal-derived sources. These alternatives are often referred to as “vegan silk” or “peace silk” and are created using plant-based fibers or synthetic materials.

Yes. Silk Proteins are Natural. Given that silk protein originates from a natural biological process involving silkworms and their silk glands, it is considered a natural material. However, it’s important to note that the ethical considerations surrounding silk production can vary. At Serione, we extract Silk Proteins from the Silk, after we gently remove the live worm from its cocoon.

Yes, silk protein can be beneficial for low porosity hair. It helps to strengthen the hair, improve its elasticity, and form a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss. This can be particularly beneficial for low porosity hair, which tends to have a tightly bound cuticle layer with overlapping scales that lay flat. This type of hair is often quite resistant to water and products, which means it can be more challenging to moisturize and nourish.

Yes, silk protein is excellent for curly hair. It helps to strengthen the hair, improve its elasticity, and form a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss. This can be particularly beneficial for curly hair, which tends to be more prone to dryness and breakage.

Silk protein doesn’t straighten hair in the way that a chemical relaxer or straightening treatment would. However, it can help to smooth the hair cuticle, reducing frizz and giving the hair a smoother appearance.

While silk protein itself doesn’t stimulate hair growth, it does help create a healthier environment for hair to grow. By strengthening the hair, improving its elasticity, and forming a protective barrier, silk protein can help prevent breakage and damage, which can indirectly support hair growth.