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Protein & Moisture


When I first started my hair journey, I just assumed that I would need both of these for my terribly damaged hair. I had never used a protein/ strengthening conditioner so I just alternated between the two.

Your Hair Needs both for healthy hair!
Protein and Moisture work together to produce healthy hair. They cannot work without each other. Keeping the hair balanced between these two is very important. Hair that has been properly treated with protein absorbs moisture more efficiently and effectively as the water molecules bind easily to a solid protein structure within the hair.

Too much of a Good Thing
I now know that there is a time to use a particular type of conditioner and also that you can have too much of a good thing. The key to protein and moisture is balance. You can use too much protein and not enough moisture and vice a versa. It is important to know when your hair has had enough or not enough moisture or protein.


  • Too much protein - I encountered this scenario often in the beginning of my hair journey. Once I discovered protein, I just ran with it. However I hadn't been using an effective moisture conditioner during the week. My hair started breaking again and was rough, coarse even, not quite like a scouring brush but I was using a lot of leave in conditioner every day. The more my hair broke the more protein I used. Seems sensible right? Wrong. All I was doing was overloading my hair with protein and not treating it with moisture at all. In this case your hair will become super stretchy but will break as it lacks solid protein structure.


  • Too much Moisture - This happened to me recently when I ran out of my strengthening conditioner and just carried on without that balance. Thus is probably more common as we buy conditioners in the Tesco or Sainsbury's with their snazzy titles Super Replenishing Moisturising Conditioner for Ultra Dry Hair. After a while Your hair looks dull, and is very weak. It feels extra stretchy when wet but is just limp and has no life. In this case Your hair will break easily whether wet or dry. Your hair needs elasticity or it becomes difficult to style hair and it will just break.


When to Use a Particular Type of Conditioner

OK! So how do I know when I need to use a particular conditioner.

Your hair is balanced if your hair stretches slightly and returns to its original length without breaking.

However add protein to your hair diet:

  • If your hair stretches a little more than normal then breaks.
  • Stretches quite a bit with no significant breakage yet
  • When your hair is wet it feels weak, gummy, mushy, or limp.


Add Moisture to your hair diet if:

  • Your hair doesn't stretch or stretches very little and simply snaps or breaks.
  • When dry your hair feels rough, tough, hard, dry, tangly, brittle, or any combination.


Are you still not sure?
Start with adding more moisture and see how you get on with your breakage from there.

I also know it take a lot of trial and error to get this right but you see your hair every day and know what it looks like so after a while you will get to know it better and hopefully treat it right.

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
Leilu

References:
The Science of Black Hair; http://blackhairscience.com/hair_breakage.html

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