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A beginners guide to protein and natural hair

Hi there,
      If you are a protein lover like me then you'll know that nothing beats the taste of eggs, beef, chicken and beans...yum!  We need protein in our hair just like we also need it in our bodies.
Our hair is made up of a kind of protein called keratin, this is what gives hair structure and strength. To get healthy hair we have to get some protein into our hair strands. Why is that? The daily rigors of life(combing, shampooing, touching etc. ) tend to wear down the cuticle or outer layer of our hair strands. As those layers wear off the hair loses strength and becomes brittle. Next comes breakage. Protein tends to build up those missing spots of protein in your hair shaft leaving hair stronger and less likely to break. Hair that lacks protein finds it difficult to retain moisture and as you know moisture makes the strand elastic and less likely to break. Women who dye, heat style or relax their hair need lots of protein treatments because the protein bonds of their hair has already been compromised by those chemicals. Naturals like myself need less protein because our protein bonds have not been compromised. Natural or relaxed , Protein treatments should be a regular part of your healthy hair routine.
     As wonderful as protein is for healthy hair you have to know that too much protein can stiffen your hair strands leaving them hard and brittle. What you need is balance , enough moisture and just enough protein. Mastering the balance is not easy, you need to really listen to your hair ad know what it wants at any time.


How do I know if  my hair needs protein?
  • Is your hair breaking? Do you find broken strands of hair on your comb, bathroom floor ,clothes etc.?

  • Is your hair loosing its strength and elasticity? Pull  a strand of your hair between your two hands like this:





(wikihow picture)

  • If the strand stretches slightly and returns to its original length without breaking your hair is fine. If you stretch it and it breaks easily, you need to increase the protein in your hair. If it stretches more than usual but  doesn't break easily you need a bit more protein in your hair.

  •  Is your hair dull and lifeless? Does it feel like straw even when it is wet?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions then the answer is yes, you  need protein.

 Giving your hair the protein it needs
Assess your hair and determine its condition as this will determine the right protein treatment for you.

If your hair is normal and you just want to maintain it you could do a light protein treatment.
 This could either be with a deep conditioner or a regular conditioner that has some protein. Look for words like Hydrolysed wheat protein, cholesterol, collagen, keratin, hydrolysed silk protein, glycoprotein, hydrolysed soy protein, Keratin Protein etc. in the ingredient list. Some leave in conditioners like Cantu Shea butter leave in repair cream has hydrolysed wheat protein in it. Doing a weekly or semi monthly deep conditioning with a protein based deep conditioner will ensure that your hair gets protein on the regular. Just keep testing your hair to ensure you are not doing too much



Contains Hydrolysed Wheat protein

 
 

contains hydrolysed oat protein and soybean protein
 


People with severely damaged hair will benefit from using a reconstructor like Aphogee keratin 2 minute reconstructor. Any product with the word reconstructor is a good deal.  It  is best to follow the manufactures instructions to the T or get a professional to do these treatments for you to avoid irreparable damage.
Moderately damaged hair will benefit from deep penetrating treatments like Organic Root Stimulator hair mayonnaise, My honey child Honey Hair Mask etc.

How often should I use a protein treatment?
For maintenance of normal hair  use a light protein pack at least once every month.

For slightly damaged hair use  a deep penetrating treatment once a week or once in two weeks.

For severely damaged hair use a reconstructor or heavy protein pack at least twice  a month until improvement is seen.

(This is just a guide as there are opposing views in the natural hair community about it. I feel that this is where listening to your hair comes in. Assess your hair and know what it needs and fill that need. Do not buy heavy treatments for your hair when you have little or no damage and vice versa. Use exactly what you need)
 
Natural protein treatment for natural hair
 Many naturals swear by eggs and mayonnaise. Although some naturals argue that the protein molecules in eggs are too large to penetrate the hair strand, results show that eggs on natural hair has a strengthening effect. Mayonnaise has soybean oil and eggs and is most recommended for DIY protein treatment. I haven't used eggs on my hair before but last week I deep conditioned with mayonnaise mixed with some honey and olive oil. My hair was soft yet strong and I loved it!



 Yoghurt is also great for infusing protein into those strands as is milk. Yeah you heard it! Milk is great for hair. To use combine it with other good stuff like olive oil, avocados, bananas ,coconut milk etc. 

Please  note that its best to do a protein treatment on freshly shampooed hair to get the best results and  do a  moisturising treatment afterwards to avoid stiff hair.

For me I did the hair assessment test and my hair seems to be doing ok. Still, I deep condition once in two weeks with my organics olive oil deep conditioner which has some protein in it. My leave in (Cantu Shea butter) also has some protein in it so I am ok protein wise. I do my best to balance it up with moisture and I'm pleased with the results. Seems like I'm on my way to healthy hair at last :-)

Have a great weekend






KimB




 

Comments

  1. yes our hair sure loves protein.
    very detailed
    ezechimereuchenna.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never knew about these indicators for protein treatment. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And I washed my hair this weekend and literally cried my eyes out. My hair was all over on d bathroom floor. Plz which should I use fast to reconstruct it. I will prefere diy natural products. Thank u

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! Sorry doll. It depends on what caused the lost hair in the first place. Are you shedding(long strands of hair still attached to the whitish bulb) or is your hair breaking(hair of varying lengths without any bulb attached)? If you are shedding its a normal process but once its excessive and over a long period of time it may be something to worry about. If just normal shedding science says you have to wait it out. However many naturals swear by tea rinses esp black tea rinses. Garlic is also a home remedy. Blend a bulb of garlic and add it to your conditioner. Apply to your scalp and cover with a shower cap. Leave it on for about an hour. On the other hand if you are experiencing breakage kindly refer to my post on beating hair breakage. I hope this helps

      Delete
  4. Thank you. It sure did.I guess it should be shedding and not breaking. What a relieve.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your detailed blog is very good. Keep doing this work. Natural Protein

    ReplyDelete
  6. First of all let me tell you, you have got a great blog .I am interested in looking for more of such topics and would like to have further information. Hope to see the next blog soon.
    supplements edmonton

    ReplyDelete

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