Is your hair more brittle than usual? Are you thinking of buying a new product to help strengthen it? Before you go to a cosmetics shop, make sure you know what your hair really needs. Here is a guide to help you find out if your hair need proteins or moisture.
Does brittle hair mean that it needs proteins?
You could be inclined to think that your hair is brittle because it needs proteins to strengthen it. However, that is not always true!
Very often, brittle hair lacks moisture. You may not be hydrating it as often as needed.
Because afro textured hair is naturally more dry to begin with, it needs regular, substantial moisture. Whenever it lacks moisture, it becomes less elastic and prone to breaking.
So, if your hair is brittle, before you apply a protein treatment, make sure that it is well moisturized.
Generally speaking, afro textured hair that is breaking lacks hydration.
Brittle hair that is colored, highlighted, relaxed, highly porous, regularly straightened, or fine, needs proteins. Proteins will help correct porosity and strengthen the hair.
What happens when you add too much protein to your hair?
The result is a protein-moisture imbalance. The hair becomes even more dry and brittle.
How to tell if your hair needs protein or hydration?
Do an elasticity test
When your hair is wet and product-free, pull lightly on one of a hair strand:
- You need protein if your hair stretches a lot without returning to its original position, if it breaks, is mushy, its texture is unusual or your curls have lost their definition.
- You need moisture if your hair stretches only slightly and breaks easily, or if it is dry and hard.
How often should protein treatments be used?
If your hair is natural, thick, and not very porous, you can do a protein treatment every 4 to 6 weeks. Your other routine products should not contain proteins.
The finer and more porous the hair, the more frequently you should use a protein product.
To learn more about fine afro textured hair maintenance, click here.
Start by increasing the frequency of protein treatments and notice how your hair reacts. If needed, add a protein rich moisturizing product to your routine. Slowly increase its usage frequency. However, do not use a protein rich moisturizing cream daily without testing your hair tolerance first.
How to tell if a hair product contains proteins?
Look for terms like “Hydrolysed/Hydrolyzed” and “Protein”. For example, “Olivoyl Hydrolysed Wheat Protein”.
How to tell if a hair product contains amino acids?
Amino acids are protein units. They strengthen the hair by deeply penetrating the cortex.
Look for the source of the amino acid (silk, rice …) + the term “amino acid”. For example, “silk amino acid”.
Is your hair still brittle?
Have you tested your hair sensibility to coconut oil or other oils? Is the water you are using hard? When did you last do a detox?
Would you like more advice on how to care for dry, damaged or brittle hair? Click here to download my FREE GUIDE “7 steps to healthy hair”.