Hair

Why your natural hair needs a protein-moisture balance?

black woman afro hair

Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well. As the title indicates, this article will be about the protein-moisture balance in hair. I mentioned this quickly in my last article, but I think additional information is needed. I’ll explain to you the roles of proteins and moisture in natural hair and why it is important to reach a good protein-moisture balance.

Hair moisture

It’s not a secret anymore that water plays an essential role in your hair. It’s the key element for good hair moisture. Water maintains your hair’s elasticity and brings suppleness to it. So, it helps your hair to be more manageable. This is the reason why you always need your moisturisers to be water-based.

Proteins in your hair

Even though hair is naturally made of proteins (like Keratin), the supplementary addition of proteins remains necessary. Proteins help strengthen and restructure your hair. However, keep in mind that there are different types of proteins and the need for them is different for each person.

Why is it important to have a good protein-moisture balance?

Reaching the perfect balance between proteins and moisture in your hair is necessary because it will give you a better understanding of the types of hair cares your hair needs. This is also what will help you promote the optimal growth of your hair. Indeed, if you regularly take care of your hair, but you still experience hair breakage, there is a good chance that this is due to a protein-moisture imbalance in your hair. When I say “imbalance,” I mean that you have too many proteins and not enough moisture in your hair or vice versa.

What can cause an imbalance between proteins and moisture in your hair?

Protein-moisture imbalance is often caused by two major reasons: aggressive hair treatments and any kind of excess.

Aggressive hair treatments

Aggressive treatments are any kind of treatments that can be damaging for your hair and its texture: hair relaxer, hair dyes and special hair straightening (Brazilian, Japanese, Keratin).

Any kind of excess

It is well known that “too much is too much.” It’s the same case when you apply too many products in your hair or make too many hair care; you won’t necessarily have positive results. If you use too much protein products, your hair will become difficult to manage. Too many proteins tend to make your hair dry, stiff, harsh, and causes hair breakage. On the other side, too much moisture makes your hair too elastic and causes hair breakage as well. Too much moisture can be caused by too many hair moisturising masks (especially if you keep them the whole night), co-washes and hair sprays.

How do you know if you have a good protein-moisture balance?

protein moisture balance
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Just like for finding out your level of hair porosity, there is also a test to find out if you have a good protein-moisture balance. To do this, you will simply need a wet hair and stretch it to the maximum:

  • If your hair stretches too much without breaking, your hair needs more proteins.
  • If your hair breaks when you stretch it, your hair needs more moisture
  • If your hair extends a little bit before returning to its normal length, you have a good protein-moisture balance

If you are still in doubt after doing the test, rely on your hair porosity and the current state of health of your hair:

  • If your hair is dry, still, and difficult to manage, you have too many proteins in your hair (usually the case of people with low porosity hair). Take a break with protein products/treatments and be more focused on your hair moisture.
  • If your hair feels weak, limp, too elastic, and easily breaks, you definitely have too much moisture in your hair (usually the case of people with high porosity hair). Reduce the frequency of moisturising and apply one or two protein treatments per month.
  • If your hair is easily manageable, remains properly moisturised and have good elasticity, you are on the right path and don’t change anything (usually the case of people with normal hair porosity).

Obviously, keep in mind that this is not an exact science, so the results may vary depending on the person.

Protein products

There are plenty of protein products, so it’s definitely your choice. Protein products can easily be recognised because they have mentioned like “protein treatment”, “repairing treatment” or “strengthening treatment” on the packaging. There are three types of proteins: light, medium, and high.

Light protein products

They are usually found in some conditioners. The amount of protein is light, and you can sometimes observe it in the ingredients. You can use it weekly if needed.

Example product: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen/Grow and Restore Leave-In Conditioner

Medium protein products

They are the protein treatment products, like strengthening treatments and some repairing treatments too. On those products, you will always find the mention of “protein treatments” on the packaging. Use once or twice per month, depending on your hair health.

Example product: Vitale Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise

High protein products

They are special products that you need to use after an aggressive hair treatment.

Example product: Aphogee Two-step Protein Treatment

You can also opt for a 100% natural homemade protein treatment. There are plenty of natural protein ingredients like eggs, mayonnaise, low-fat yoghurt, avocado, etc. The advantage is that you can add any other ingredients of your choice, like oil or honey.

Moisturising products

A product is considered as moisturising when it is water-based. If water doesn’t appear first in the ingredients list, the product is clearly not a water-based product. Moisturising products always have the mention of “moisturising cream” or “moisturising hair mask” on the packaging. Use a moisturising cream once every two/three days and moisturising masks once every two/three weeks.

Example products: As I Am DoubleButter Cream Rich Daily MoisturizerAfrica’s Best Organics Olive Oil Extra Virgin Conditioner Deep

So, girls, do you have balanced or imbalanced hair? Let me know in the comments section.

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