Exclusive: Virtue Labs Founder Melisse Shaban Explains the Science Behind Her Magical New Hair Care Line

virtue labs shampoo

Ok, I’m officially a believer.

Recently, I wrote about my skepticism of the new Virtue Labs haircare line, which boasts a new form of keratin called Alpha Keratin 60ku™. Perhaps I’ve just seen way too many beauty advertisements but I wasn’t sure what to believe when I heard the shampoos, conditioners, and styling products had the latest science on their side.

And apparently, Founder and CEO of Virtue Labs Melisse Shaban was quite the skeptic herself when she first learned about the ingredient. She told us,

“I’m maybe a little jaded, so my first thought was, oh, here we go again.”

But after a ton of testing and rave reviews, Virtue Labs has more than proven itself as one of the best natural hair products. The Recovery Conditioner landed a Best Beauty Award of 2017 from Allure and their other products have been featured on Into the GlossInStyleByrdie, and more.

So I sat down with Melisse herself to find out precisely how her products work.

Can you explain exactly what Alpha Keratin 60ku™ is and how it affects your hair?

Alpha Keratin 60ku™ is a patented form of the human protein keratin that was developed in the study of regenerative medicine to help severely wounded military soldiers – with beneficial applications for bone, tissue, and nerve regeneration.  By chance, it was also found to have enormous benefit for repairing hair.

virtue labs shampoo conditioner
Credit: Virtue Labs/ Instagram
Why is Alpha Keratin 60ku™ significantly superior to other forms of Keratin, which are frequently used in other shampoos?

Contrary to other “keratins” you might have heard of, which are highly processed animal by-product, this is a unique protein that is derived from human hair and carefully extracted to remain whole and fully functional. Because it is essentially hair, it “sees” cracks of damage, and goes where it’s needed to repave and heal the damage, giving you your best hair possible. It was seeing the amazing, transformational results this technology has on damaged hair that made me want to share it with the world.  And we hold the exclusive rights to this technology for cosmetic uses.

How did you first come across Alpha Keratin 60ku™?

It was a series of crazy coincidences.  But essentially, an investment banker friend asked me to take a look at what he thought was a pretty amazing piece of biotechnology to help evaluate its potential for beauty product applications.  I’ve been in the cosmetics industry a long time and I’m maybe a little jaded, so my first thought was, “oh, here we go again.”  But the more I looked into it, and the more testing that we did, the more I became not only intrigued but super excited for what this new technology can do. It was seeing the amazing, transformative results this technology has on damaged hair that made me want to share it with the world.

virtue labs shampoo conditioner
Credit: Virtue Labs/ Instagram
Alpha Keratin 60ku™ is pretty far down on the list of ingredients. Can you explain why?

Our exclusive Alpha Keratin 60ku™ protein is a highly active ingredient.  It is included in each Virtue formulation at the most efficacious level based on our dosage response research.

The stories featured on the site include women with all types of hair. Is it safe to say that Virtue Labs products are ok to use on everything from fine hair to thick, natural hair?

Yes absolutely, Virtue products are great for all hair types.  The Alpha Keratin 60ku™ protein doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t “see” hair by texture or ethnicity.  It just sees hair – specifically damaged hair – and goes where it’s needed to rebuild and repair.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.