Why does our hair need protein? Our hair is about 70% protein. Protein-based products help strength hair and prevent breakage by reinforcing the hair shaft and weakened areas.
What heads of hair require more protein? Relaxed and color treated because chemical services degrade the protein structure of hair. Relaxers break the protein bonds in hair, permanently straightening hair. The amount of protein hair will require depends on the strength of the relaxer, how much the hair is processed,
Not all protein-based products are created equal; some are stronger than others and offer different levels of repair. Even with mild protein-based products, daily or weekly use can tip the moisture/protein balance of our hair. Each head of hair has its own level of protein that it can tolerate without adverse effects. I've always read or watched in wonder at women who report using hard protein products (like ApHogee Two Step) every few months because that would just be far too much protein for my hair. The key is to test out different products to determine how strong they are and how they react to your hair.
How to spot protein overload: Wet or dry assess a few strands. When either wet or dry, take a strand of hair and gently stretch it. If the strand barely stretches and snaps, more moisture is needed. If while dry, your hair feels brittle, hard, rough, more moisture is needed. Protein overload robs our hair of its elasticity. Because elasticity is what allows us to manipulate our hair without causing breakage because hair is able to stretch, hair that breaks easily when manipulated is a sign of protein overload. Lack of elasticity also leaves hair feeling rough and brittle
How to correct protein overload:
- Focus your regimen on moisture, moisture, moisture for a few weeks. This will give your hair the chance to balance out its moisture/protein levels.
- Shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo like: Kenra Moisturizing Shampoo; Creme of Nature Kiwi & Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo; Silk Dreams Hair Care Whip My Hair, or any other moisturizing shampoo you may have.
- Deep condition with a moisturizing deep conditioner bi-weekly, if possible, with heat. Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner; Nexxus Humectress or the GVP version; Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask; Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm; KeraPRO Restorative Intense Treatment for Dry to Very Dry Hair, or any others you may have.
- Use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner.
- Moisturize and seal every night, paying close attention to the ends of your hair.