02/03/2012 at 22:28
So, my question is how do you know if your doesn’t like protein, my hair feels a bit fragile and I’m thinking it needs moisture and protein but I’m not sure if my hair actually likes protein.
If after using protein, your hair becomes drier, feels straw like, breaks easily, mats and tangles, then I think its safe to say that your hair doesn’t like protein. At least not that ‘type’ of protein. But isn’t all proteins the same you may ask? and why do we need protein? Well lets look at the different types of proteins and what they do.
So why do we need protein? Well, hair is protein, a couple of layers of intertwined keratin that “grows” from hair follicles.
Externally, protein helps coat the hair, filling in your hair shaft, adding strength to your tresses. Think of your hair like shingles on a roof. After years of heavy rain, snow, damaging sunlight, those shingles become brittle, they break, they lift and they tear. As a result, maintenance and upkeep is required. Likewise hair, with all that we do to it (blow drying, hot plates, relaxers, washing) does the same thing. Think of it as external protein being the replacement shingles for your old roof.
Lets look at some of the more popular proteins:
Oat protein tends to be a higher molecular weight, meaning it is better for film forming and conditioning. Being higher molecular means it’s not going to be as penetrative as something like silk, which is a lower molecular weight.
The molecular weight is important because the lower the molecular weight, the more likely the protein will actually penetrate the hair and act as a humectant in the stratum corneum or cortex.
Silk Protein as we’ve just previously mentioned tends to be low molecular.This means it is good for drawing water internally for dry hair.
Wheat Protein is also low molecular weight so it easily penetrates the hair shaft, thereby increasing the hair’s ability to retain moisture and impart shine and gloss to damaged and dull hair. Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein builds body, reduces porosity, improves hair manageability, improves luster and smoothness.
So you need to look at what your hair likes, high molecular or low molecular?, penetrative or film forming?. Bear in mind that lower molecular penetrates and draws water internally so this may not be ideal for your hair if you already have frizzy hair, for obvious reasons. You may require something that coats rather than penetrates, like Oat protein.
The good thing is, so called ‘protein damage’ isnt really damage, it’s just a symptom of protein overload or sensitivity. Initially you may want to return to a non protein regime, just adding in more moisture until your hairs back to its soft self. This most likely won’t be immediate but rather may take a few washes to correct the problem. Start with a clarifying wash to help rid the hair of any excess product buildup. Deep condition for 30-45 minutes with heat once or twice a week with a thick, creamy moisturizing deep conditioner. But remember the unique relationship that exists between the protein and moisture balance within the hair strand and that neither can work well without the other. Keeping the hair balanced between these two is very important to the overall health of your hair.
I suggest you try two separate products which contain two different types of protein and see how your hair responds to the product. I also think it’s a good idea to use a light protein followed by a deep conditioner every time you wash your hair. You can try adding coconut milk in your conditioner or mayonaise for a dose of light protein. If your hair requires something a bit more hard core, then maybe try a heavy duty treatment like the ApHogee 2-Step which is recommended for severe breakage. I find that using henna monthly, ensures that I don’t require hard core protein treatments. Although henna isn’t a protein, I personally feel its acts like a protein in the strength it affords my strands so this might be something you may want to try.
I hope this helps.
- Protein & Moisture – A Balancing Act (fortheloveofkinks.wordpress.com)