Protein + Moisture – What Does Your Hair Need?

When establishing your hair routine and learning  your hair’s love language, there are a handful of things to pay attention to. If you don’t know how to interpret the signs  your hair is communicating to you, it can be pretty frustrating and lead to damage. Determining whether or not your hair needs protein or moisture is one of them. There are other important components to your hair that play a role as well like density, porosity, strand thickness, etc, but we’ll get into those in a separate post to follow. If you didn’t know that your hair needed both protein and moisture for balance, then you probably have reached a point in your hair journey where NOTHING seemed to be working. So let’s break down protein and moisture and how to tell what you’re hair is saying it needs.

First things first, your hair is made up of keratin, which is a protein. This is where the strength of your hair is derived from. Signs that your hair is in need of protein are stringy, stiff, sticky hair, even after cleansing. Although your hair may need protein, it’s important to know your hair density before applying any protein treatment as you may be protein sensitive and can overload your hair causing it to snap. When you do apply a protein treatment, always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner or product SILICONE FREE , as protein treatments tend to dry the hair out and your hair needs the replenishment of moisture. Some products are dual acting and double as a protein and moisture treatment, (eg. Mielle Organics Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner).

Your hair NEEDS moisture, as I’m sure most of you know. This prevents your hair from becoming dry and brittle, especially natural hair. Signs that your hair are lacking moisture are dry, brittle, weak, matted, tangled or rough strands. Reminder, silicone based products/ products with silicones do not restore moisture in your hair. It’s best to use cg friendly, water based products when moisturizing your hair as water is one of the most hydrating things you can feed your hair. You can keep your hair hydrated by sealing with an oil after applying products, deep conditioning weekly, sleeping with a satin pillow case, and not going too far between washes.

Although your hair does need moisture, it is very possible to have over moisturized hair. This is why having a balance of protein and moisture is so important. Protein balances moisture in your hair to keep it strong without it being soggy and limp.

If you’re unsure of what your hair needs try the protein test below. Once you determine what your hair needs, pay attention to how your hair responds. Some hair types like protein and can handle frequent treatments, while others are protein sensitive and only require protein treatments once a month or even less frequent. Learning your hair is a process and it’s part of the journey. This is just one step closer to learning your hair’s love language.

Protein Strand Test:

Take a strand of hair + wet it. Gently stretch hair to its full length, of your hair:

  1. If hair stretches to length and returns to normal it’s balanced

  2. If hair stretches beyond normal length and snaps – needs protein

  3. If hair does not stretch much/snaps – needs moisture

I hope this helps and make sure you’re subscribed so you can catch the next post breaking down hair density, porosity, and strand thickness.

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