How To Know if Your Hair Needs Protein or Moisture?
The topic of whether our hair needs protein or moisture is commonly had within the natural hair care industry. We often hear naturals describe their beautiful hair as protein-sensitive because their hair feels dry, brittle, and is prone to breakage. This made us wonder how those conclusions were developed as dryness and brittleness can occur for several other reasons.
Here, we’re getting into the difference between hair that is in need of protein and hair that is dehydrated and in need of moisture.
First, it is essential to know that although it is quite rare, it is possible for your hair to lack protein. When this happens, your hair will feel brittle and more susceptible to breakage. Anabel Kingsley, Brand President and Consulting Trichologist at Philip Kingsley says, “Lack of protein can result in hair loss and the growth of weak and brittle strands.” This deficiency is typically related to your diet, so products promoting restorative protein benefits will seldom reverse the issue. You’ll have to either cut off the damaged hair or grow it out after getting to the root of the issue.
Moisture loss feels a lot like protein deficiency. A few vital signs your hair is lacking moisture are:
- Split ends
- Hard to detangle
- Weak hair
If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above, your hair may be dehydrated and in need of moisture. And this lack of moisture can be attributed to the use of chemical treatments like bleaching, relaxers, hair coloring, or using direct heat styling tools like flat irons or curling which cause damage.
If this is indeed the case, much like damage from protein deficiencies, you will need to cut off the damaged hair and ensure that you proceed with a healthy hair care regimen that nourishes and nurtures your hair.
If you are still having a hard time deciphering between whether your hair is in need of protein or moisture, you can take a strand test at home.
How to perform a strand test
If your hair easily snaps when stretched while wet or dry, then your hair is lacking protein.
If your hair feels dense dry, won’t curl and breaks often, then it lacks moisture.
If your hair stretches easily and does not break often, then your hair is balanced.
How Re-Balance Moisture
When our hair is out of balance and low on moisture, water is the key!
And to ensure water can even do its job and restore moisture levels, it has to be able to penetrate the hair strand which requires your hair to be thoroughly cleansed.
For this we recommend the use of a clarifying shampoo to gently remove build up and grime that may have deposited on the hair.
Once you have thoroughly washed your hair, treating your luscious curls to a deep conditioning treatment will help drench your curls with intense moisture!
This process will help your hair's elasticity and bounce because we know, hair that springs back or shrinks is healthy hair, so look for shrinkage as a sign of excellent hair health!
Also, be sure to apply a hydrating leave in conditioner to your regimen that it is water based to help seal in the moisture you achieve from water.
How Re-Balance Protein
Rebalancing protein isn’t as simple a process as buying a treatment and washing your hair with it.
Although there are a ton of brands offering products promising that they have the ability to restore protein to your hair, the truth is the only way to really balance your hair's protein is through your diet.
Ultimately, if you find that you are experiencing protein deficiency, there is really nothing you can add to your hair to change this. We recommend consulting with a trichologist or dermatologist to find out healthy ways to add protein to your diet if you need to.
Getting to the root cause of any long-lasting hair concerns is crucial and a professional can help you determine the best course of action to rebuild and strengthen your hair.
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