You may be overwhelmed with all the products in today’s world and you must be asking yourself ” Do I know if my hair needs protein or moisture?” But if you just listen to your hair it will tell you exactly what it needs and luckily, you can figure this out easily enough at home, without having to go to the salon and consult a stylist. Determining when our hair wants moisture and/or protein is vital to its overall health and condition.
It is important to note that not all protein and moisture treatments are the same and as the saying goes ” too much a one ting nuh good fi nutn”. Giving your hair too much of one can actually hurt it, so don’t just think you can buy one and poof it will magically fix your hair, all hair treatments are different you have to find one that works for you. But before even choosing a deep conditioner, you need to find out what your hair needs.
Breakage- Does it mean lack of moisture or protein?
Sometimes you see your hair break and you the first question that pops into your hair is “Do I need more moisture?” and while sometimes this may be the case, other times it’s actually your hair lacking protein not moisture and finding the cause can be a problem sometimes. We may feel that we can’t over-moisturize our hair and that is simply not true. Excessive moisture in the hair causes major breakage. We can over-moisturize our hair by always leaving it wet or not letting it dry between washes (if you co wash).
Quick Story: Back in 2015 I had just graduated from high school and didn’t know much about my hair and what it needed. I thought the only way to keep my hair curly was to keep it wet. I started Community College that September and Everyday for the entire term, I’d come to school with my hair wet and curly and when it started to dry my hair would frizz out, so I would run to the bathroom and re-wet it. By the end of the year half of my hair was gone and I didn’t realize it until it was too late.
My hair became short, thin and stringy, I didn’t like my hair for a while. So I gave up curling (Until Summer 2017 of course) and started twisting and plaiting and cornrowing my hair. And of course, my hair was stringy so when I did all those hairstyles my hair looked like you could count the amount of twists or plaits on my hair and you could.
So you see I have been through it, so when I tell you over-moisturizing it real, IT’S REAL. Thankfully, a simple protein treatment usually fixes the damage (wish I had known that back in 2015) . Just be sure to use a moisturizing conditioner to restore a little moisture post protein treatment.
Protein vs. Moisture- Balancing your Hair
What is a protein treatment?
Protein treatments is one way to boost the hair with a variety of nutrients and proteins to help reconstruct and strengthen hair strands. Having protein-packed strands is an amazing way to maintain your overall hair health and keep it in the best possible shape. These treatments are also great for those who are planning on coloring, lightening or chemically texturizing their hair.
What is a moisture treatment?
Simply put a moisture treatment is deep conditioning. Deep conditioning is the best way to add much-needed moisture to your hair. They help to restore strength and replenish moisture from normal, everyday stressors; for example humidity. When deep conditioning focus on your hair ends as they are usually the driest part of your hair.
The Strand Test
Performing the strand test if one of the easiest ways to find out what your hair needs, whether it’s protein or moisture.
Take a strand of hair and emerge in it water and then stretch it as far as it can go. If it stretches more than it should and breaks you need protein, if it returns to its original length without breaking, you have properly balanced moisture/protein levels. Yippee! If it doesn’t stretch much it needs moisture.
Note: Protein treatments shouldn’t be left in your hair for more than 20 minutes, now overnight treatments or 30 minute treatments as this will further damage your hair.
What to do if the strand test doesn’t work?
If the strand test doesn’t work for you, go by the feel of your hair. Does it feel rough, tangled or weak and dry? Or does it feel stringy, limp or sticky?
If you felt your hair and answered the first question, then your hair needs more moisture than protein. But if you answered the second question then your hair needs a protein treatment stat.
Let’s wrap it up
To sum it off, protein and moisture treatments go hand in hand when it comes to balancing your hair but sometimes your hair may needs one more than the other. Fixing the imbalance of protein and moisture in your hair can be a challenge, just pay close attention to your hair and regimen, then finding and correcting any issues becomes much easier. Stringy, limp hair needs more protein while dry, tangled and weak hair needs more moisture, but be careful now to over-moisturize your hair. And for those who think that it is either your hair needs more protein or more moisture that’s not the case.
Sometimes on those rare occasions or if your like me, you hair needs both and its okay to mix your protein treatments and deep conditioners together maybe once or twice, just don’t over do it and be ensure to follow the no more than 20 minutes rule if your adding a protein treatment or to your routine.
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