Protein - Why Our Hair Needs It, And The Right Way to use it.





Hello Everyone!!!

No excuses for my loooong absence yet again so I shall just go straight to the point of today's post!

I will be switching things up a little bit in my posts from now on - using incidents from the salon as a backdrop for addressing what I see as issues people still struggle with, don't understand and are doing wrongly.

SCENRARIO
A lady came into the salon and was being attended to by one of the stylists. I was in the back doing other things and the stylists came to up to me visibly confused and wanted to clarify somethings with me. She said her client had asked for a 'dry protein treatment' and when she tried to explain to her that she had no idea what a 'dry protein treatment' was but what we have are different strengths of protein:
Light
Medium
Heavy/Reconstructors

the client was adamant and said she had done it in the salon before and that was what she wanted. I went over to the client to speak with her and try and explain things. I explained that I have never heard of a dry protein but there are different strengths of protein to which she said she had one she used but couldn't find it to buy so we should use ours.

So I asked the stylist to wash her hair so we can determine what exactly the hair needs. Client shakes her head emphatically - nope she doesn't wash her hair before using the protein treatment. She will apply the treatment to unwashed hair, then shampoo the hair, then do a moisturising deep conditioning treatment.

I'm like - so how will we know exactly what the hair needs if we don't assess it free of product? She goes 'okay my hair is breaking so I need a treatment'

I could see I was getting no where so I asked the stylist to do what she requested to satisfy her.




So here are a few things I need to explain when it comes to protein and why/how it is used:

1. The Hair is made up Keratin which is a type of protein.

2. Overtime with manipulation, heat styling, coloring and relaxer services, over exposure to sun; the protein structure of the hair strands get compromised/degraded and needs to be 'topped up' - think of your mobile phone and how you need to top up credit now and again.

3. Your hair needs both protein and moisture to thrive - moisture for elasticity and protein for strength and reinforcement.

4. You can get breakage from a lack of Moisture AND a lack of protein in your hair regimen.

5. NOT ALL BREAKAGE NEEDS PROTEIN TO REMEDY IT.

6. If your breakage is caused by a lack of moisture and you use a protein treatment you will end up making the issue worse and vice versa.

7. Everyone's hair is at different points at every point in time so you may need different strengths of protein at different times depending on what you have been doing to your hair and how bad your lack of protein induced breakage is.

8. For protein treatments to be truly effective and their results long lasting, they have to be Hydrolyzed which means, broken down into smaller molecules so they actually bind to the hair's fibers (eggs and mayonnaise cannot do this)

9. Your hair needs to have a Moisture/Protein balance at all times.

10. Protein overload is much more difficult to overcome than a moisture overload so when in doubt, err on the side of a moisture treatment or one that has very little protein contained in it.


HOW PROTEIN WORKS




So when the hair's cuticles are slightly raised or really damaged, what happens is that the hydrolyzed protein penetrates and 'patches' up these openings, temporarily repairing the hair (that's why the treatments are done often as they get washed out over time as you cleanse)


HOW TO USE A PROTEIN TREATMENT
The best way to assess your hair is when your hair is freshly washed and free of product. You can pull a strand and determine what's really happening - too elastic? Needs Protein. Brittle? Needs Moisture.
If you haven't assessed and are using a treatment you run the risk of using the wrong thing and letting your hair remain in its bad state or worse, exacerbating the issue.

Now if you haven't washed your hair - you will have products coating your strands (the conditioner, leave in, moisturizers, butters, oils, stylers, gels etc) that you have used prior to this wash day. Imagine then using a protein treatment on unwashed hair, (taking into consideration the diagram above and how the hydrolyzed molecules go in and patch up the hair) it means the molecules WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PENETRATE AND PATCH UP THE STRANDS AS YOU STILL HAVE PRODUCT ON THE HAIR.

I hope that was loud enough loll.

Apart from not penetrating - its just sitting on your strands then you go and shampoo the hair which means you are just going to wash off the treatment (remember its temporary and the more you wash, the more it is washed out)

So in summary:
- Everyone needs protein in varying degrees, some more than others depending on what you have been doing to your hair.
- The best protein products to use are those that have hydrolyzed proteins which will be small enough to penetrate and actually patch up the hair fiber.
- You always need a moisture and protein balance in your hair.
- Not all breakage is cured by using protein products. Find out first why your hair is breaking or you run the risk of using protein when your hair really needs moisture!
-  Protein should be used on clean hair free of product so it can actually penetrate the strands and fill up the patches along the fiber.


Have an amazing day !!

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