Why Your Natural Hair Needs a Protein-Moisture Balance

Hey there TKN Beauty,

Have you ever wondered why there are times your hair is moody? Ever woken up with a head of hair that just doesn’t look like your own? Maybe your curls are looking dull, lifeless, and lacking elasticity or the texture feels dry and flaky… Something’s not right, but what’s going on!? Beautiful, you might have a protein-moisture imbalance on your hair.

So how do you know if your hair needs protein or moisture? Keep reading to find out the optimal balance for your curls.

 

Why Your Natural Hair Needs a Protein-Moisture Balance

Many naturals think of moisture and protein as contradicting forces when in reality, they are more like the two sides of one coin. There is a unique relationship between moisture and protein within the hair and the hair needs both to be healthy. Finding and maintaining the balance between these two is critical for achieving and maintaining healthy hair.

For curly and textured hair, you’ll know by now that moisture is key to keeping it healthy. This means you’ll need to make sure your curls are also getting enough protein for your hair to hold onto all that moisture. But you also have to remember that kinky, coily and textured hair is more susceptible to breakage than other hair types. This is due to the fine hair follicles, which need a bit of reinforcing and strengthening to prevent breakage.

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HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOUR HAIR NEEDS PROTEIN OR MOISTURE

  • Balanced hair: when stretched, wet or dry hair will extend a bit before returning to its original length without breaking.

  • Too much protein: when stretched, wet or dry hair will extend a little more than usual then break.

  • Too much moisture: wet or dry hair will stretch and stretch without breaking. Hair feels limp, weak, gummy or mushy. Hair is in need of light protein.

  • When in doubt, add moisture: if your hair, wet or dry stretches very little or not at all before breaking you need moisture

 

WE OFTEN THINK THAT BREAKAGE RESULTS WHEN HAIR IS DRY OR HAS ABSENCE OF MOISTURE

While this is true, breakage can also result from a lack of protein, in which case, finding the actual cause can sometimes pose a challenge. To find out the problem you need to thoroughly look into your regimen to see what may be lacking or excessive. We often think it is impossible for our natural hair to be over-moisturized, but it can and does happen.

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HAIR THAT IS OVERLOADED WITH MOISTURE AND CONDITIONER WILL BE EXTREMELY ELASTIC.

Thankfully, it is easily repairable-- a single protein treatment is usually able to correct the issue and restore balance. Should be followed with a moisturizing conditioner to assure that hair regains a right amount of elasticity post protein treatment.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR HAIR HAS TOO MUCH PROTEIN?

Keratin strengthens the bonds between the molecules in your hair strands, which is why a lot of protein treatments use it to coat your strands. But you need to use these treatments in moderateness. Overuse can lead to a build up of protein on your hair cuticle, which can weaken the hair shaft as it makes your hair heavier. This can lead to split ends and brittle, breakage-prone hair – exactly the reason why you wanted to use protein in the first place, to strengthen your strands against breakage. See why it’s a tricky balance to strike?

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IF YOUR HAIR HAS TOO MUCH PROTEIN, TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

1. Clarify your hair, wash your hair with Clarifying Shampoo

2. Deep condition with heat once or twice a week (depending on the severity of your particular issues).

3. Moisturize your hair daily, focusing on your ends.

4. Avoid using products that provide excess protein to the hair (such as hair gels). You don’t need to swear off protein completely, but be aware of the products you’re using and whether or not they contain protein in order to help correct the problem.

 

HOW CAN YOU ADD PROTEIN TO YOUR HAIR ROUTINE?

To make sure you’re getting enough protein without the risk of overloading, use products with light protein more regularly to support the strength of your strands (once a week or less). If your hair is extremely damaged, you’ll need to use a deeper protein remedy to repair and revive your curls. Always remember to follow up intense protein products with a deep conditioner to boost moisture and prevent your hair from becoming breakable.

Look for products that use words like repairing, restoring, strengthening or rebuilding – these are the products that will contain some protein. Our Yes Moisture Conditioner and Nora's Replenishing Conditioner contain a mixture of hydrolyzed wheat proteins and keratin that simulate the amino acids in the hair, supporting the strength of the strand. It also has a moisture-boosting formula made with nutrient-rich and conditioning olive oil and shea butter – one of nature’s most effective moisturizers.

 

Conclusion

If your hair is rough, flaky, hard or if you are unsure what your hair needs, give it moisture. Remember that your hair  is made up primarily of protein and a proper protein structure is required for water molecules to bind with and to also help keep water locked inside the strands.

It can be a challenge to correct an imbalance between protein and moisture, however, as long as close attention is paid to your hair and regimen, finding and correcting any issues becomes much easier.

 

You may consult Kenyatta Nicole for your hair concerns. Click here to book your appointment with her. 

 

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