Does our hair NEED protein? Of course! Protein in products improve the hair’s elasticity and strength properties. Just as our bodies need this, our hair does as well so taking heed to what it is and how to incorporate it into your hair care is important.
Now, how much and how often depends on what you are doing to your hair. Let’s first talk about the different types of protein that can be used on our hair:
Animal – Repairs damage to the outer layers of the hair.
Collagen – Increases the elasticity of the hair.
Silk – Tends to soften the hair.
Vegetable – Can absorb more easily without leaving a build-up on the hair shaft and can attract moisture.
Wheat – A moisturizing as well as strengthening protein. Also aids in maintaining moisture levels.
Milder applications of proteins would be in the shampoos and conditioners and can be used weekly. Where you would find stronger amounts would be in Protein treatments and shouldn’t be used as often. They should state on the products to be used every six to eight weeks. So, now let’s see who needs just a regular weekly treatment or who may need a more intense six to eight week treatment. If you do any of these things to your hair:
You may need to have the more intense treatments. All the above mentioned can be damaging to your hair but it doesn’t mean you can’t do them. It just means you need to understand using or doing those things to your tresses requires more work in keeping the hair healthy. Now, having Natural hair doesn’t mean your hair is healthier than a relaxed woman’s if you don’t properly take care of it. You may not be adding harmful chemicals but you may be exposing it to cotton towels, pillow cases instead of wearing a satin bonnet, or even yanking it out with brushes and combs.
Our hair also needs lots of moisture because that keeps our hair pliable and hydrated. Without that moisture, our hair becomes dry and brittle. When the hair is being moisturized, water molecules bind with the protein present in the strands. It is this way that they are able to absorb and perform their hydrating duties.
If your hair care includes just moisturizing, the balance will be disturbed and your hair will not be in its healthiest state. Lack of this balance is the cause of many hair issues we spend hundreds of dollars trying to fix. Your hair care routines should be focused on keeping an equal balance between the moisture and protein content of your hair.
(Moisture + Protein = Healthy Hair)
If your hair is hard and can’t be managed, it may mean there’s an overabundance of protein and too little moisture. If the hair hardly stretches and breaks off, you need to boost your moisture game. Hair like this is usually rough, tangled and brittle when dry. Start a moisturizing routine that includes a weekly moisturizing deep conditioner treatment.
The bottom line is we need to be good to our hair and adding some sort of protein into your routine is a good idea. I’m afraid it’s really trial and error to find which protein may work better for your hair. In some upcoming posts I’ll discuss some products I’ve used as well as others to help in finding the right one for you.
Stay smart Naturals,