The Art Of Protein And Moisture Balancing

5:24 PM

I'm always on the hunt to find ways properly care for my hair. While doing so I stumbled upon this article written by Audrey Sivasothy a beauty contributor to AssociatedContent.com. She really broke this issue down for me and I highly recommend that you guys read it, because you can never know too much. Here are some of the articles highlights...

Do you find random hairs in your comb, on your shirt, on your sinks and on your bathroom floors? Are you finding hair everywhere but securely upon your head? What is going on? You may have a problem with hair breakage. For black hair in particular, hair breakage is typically a result of an imbalance of important forces within the hair strand: moisture and protein levels.


MOISTURE
Hair needs water to maintain its elasticity, or ability to stretch. Since water is the ultimate moisturizer, water-based products are best for really getting the greatest moisture benefit.

Moisturizers are simply products that are water-based and nourish your hair deep within the strand. Products with moisturizing properties tend to be your conditioners and other specific moisturizer sprays or creams. Moisturizers may also contain large amounts of protein, but these protein based moisturizers do not have the moisturizing benefit that moisture-based moisturizers have. Check labels to gauge protein content. Good moisturizers will not contain cheap, filler ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, or lanolin. Avoid products that claim moisturizing benefits and contain these ingredients. There is nothing moisturizing about them! Petrolatum and mineral oil are sealants that seal out the precious moisture our hair needs.

SEALING IN YOUR MOISTURIZERS
Our hair naturally contains moisture, but because our hair is also naturally porous, keeping the moisture inside is a difficult task. Providing additional sources of outside moisture, or external moisture supplementation, is a must for black hair care. Water molecules and moisture from these supplemental moisturizing products easily pass into the hair shaft, but they pass out just as easily. The moisture you apply needs to held in by something. Oil. Natural oils like jojoba, olive, carrot, or coconut oil seem to work best.

HAIR BREAKAGE SOLUTIONS
A light coating of oil after your daily moisturizer will help seal the moisture inside. Oils are made of large molecules. These molecules are too large to absorbed by the hair strand. Applying oils to the hair and scalp will coat them and trap the moisture that is inside on the inside and the moisture that is outside on the outside. The key is to use the oil to "lock in the moisture." If you use oils without a moisturizer or before one, the oil will seal the moisture out of the hair strand and lead to a coated feel and eventual dryness. This technique of moisturizing and sealing has really been helpful to me and is a resonating hallmark of my regimen. Fighting hair breakage and achieving moisturizing success is all in the order in which you apply your products.

OILS DO NOT MOISTURIZE!
Perhaps a words like "nourish" would be better than moisturize. Oil alone will not and cannot moisturize within the hair shaft. An oil (grease) can only coat the outside of the strand, and give it shine- the illusion of moisture. Oil molecules are hydrophobic which means they repel and do not readily mix with water. Remember, if you apply an oil product to your hair before you have added a moisturizing product, you have created a seal on your hair strand that water and moisture cannot penetrate.

PROTEIN
Protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure. Hair is about 70% keratin protein by nature. There are a wide variety of proteins that serve different functions and roles in hair care. Some enhance elasticity, while others reduce it. These proteins bind to the hair cuticle and help temporarily rebuild any weakened areas. Protein-based products reinforce the hair shaft, and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage.


Some proteins are stronger than others, but daily or even weekly use of even the milder protein treatments may result in an imbalance between the protein and moisture levels within the hair strands in some people. This is where product percent composition really plays an important role. For example, every product that contains keratin protein is not going to feel the same way across the board, and every product that contains glycerin or water is not going to feel the same either! The protein in question could make up 30% of the product or 0.3%! Who knows! You have to play around with different products to know how strong they are on your particular hair. Your hair protein tolerance will vary from product to product, not necessarily protein to protein.

Protein is found most prevalently in products like instant conditioners (bargain brands like Suave and V05), leave-in conditioners, protein re-constructor conditioner treatments, and even some moisturizers.

To read more of this very informative article please click the link!
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278612/the_fine_art_of_protein_and_moisture.html?cat=69

Take The Strand Test!! (Found at BearFruitHair.com)
Take one of your dry strands which has naturally fallen loose today (from your hairbrush, etc.) and gently pull both ends to stretch it. If it breaks easily, you have enough, or too much, protein, but not enough water in your hair. We recommend using a daily moisturizer to counteract its dryness – and don’t use products that contain protein in them until your next strand test shows that your hair is maintaining a good balance of water in it.

Soak a naturally fallen strand in water, then pull both ends to stretch it. If it’s super stretchy (or if you’ve noticed that your hair stretches when you wet comb it), you have enough water in your strands, but not enough protein to support their structure. We recommend using a light protein conditioner. It’s hard to tell the right amount of protein needed for each individual’s hair, so experiment slowly and determine how much your hair needs.

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