Protein treatments can be a bit confusing at first, there is a whole lot of information out there about what it does and how it works for hair. Also, moisture sometimes is forgotten and overlooked as an important part of hair care when protein treatments are used. They both are equally important and play a large role in having and keeping healthy hair. Protein is the primary building block of hair. Protein provides hairs’ width and strength; this equates to how you hair appears and how easily it breaks when handled. When hair is equally balanced between moisture and protein it performs at its optimum level. It is soft, strong, and resists breakage which makes both styling and achieving length easier. When hair is not in balance, meaning either too much protein or moisture, adverse effects are seen. The hair becomes limp and dull from too much moisture or brittle and hard from too much protein. Both have to be used correctly to get to that optimum level, but it’s not as hard as one might think.
Protein treatments should be used frequently for those with hair that is considered fine, damaged, or hair that is chemically treated. Fine hair tends to break very easily regardless of styling practices due to the fact the hair strands tend to be weaker. Protein treatments fill gaps in the hair that lack protein, thus making the hair stronger. Stronger hair doesn’t break as easily and allows the hair to grown longer and fuller. The actual hair strand doesn’t get fuller, but since the hair is stronger a greater number of strands reach longer lengths which makes the entire head of hair look fuller. The process of chemically treating the hair (i.e. relaxing and coloring) changes the actual physical and chemical makeup of the hair strands which can weaken the hair shaft. Adding regular protein treatments can help greatly reduce damage to the hair and help provide more uniform results from the chemical treatments applied. Consistency is essential when using protein products to achieve full benefits, individual hair needs should determine how often protein products are applied to the hair. If the hair is very weak or damage it my be beneficial to use a protein based shampoo and/or conditioner daily. For those who currently don’t have issues with breakage it may be sufficient to use protein treatments only on a monthly basis. A professional level protein treatment applied every 1-3 months would provide substantial protection against damage to the hair.
Equally important is moisture which is sometimes neglected. It needs to be understood that without the correct amount of moisture African American hair is very fragile and cannot withstand most styling practices without some form of breakage. Over time this will cause the appearance of rough, uneven ends, and stunted growth due to breakage at the ends of the hair stands. Hair is always growing, but if the ends are not retained the growth is not noticeable. Care should be taken to use a moisturizing product on the hair every day to help prevent breakage and damage to hair ends. Hair not only receives moisture from products applied to it, but also from the water we drink. Therefore sufficient water consumption is very important and the simplest way to help ensure hair growth. Water based hair products have been found to be most effective for providing penetrating moisture to hair strands. This allows the hair to be supple and soft which adds to any style. Regular deep conditioning is also a beneficial method for keeping the hair moisturized and healthy. Once again consistency with these practices will achieve the best results.
Together moisture and protein make a great team, if used correctly beautiful healthy hair is guaranteed.