Dryness, breakage, frizz — it all comes with the natural-hair territory. But striking the right protein-moisture balance can give your mane the strength and suppleness it needs to thrive. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Too much of anything isn’t good
Moisture is essential to natural hair. But believe it or not, it’s possible to get too much. You’ll know you’re experiencing moisture overload if your strands are limp and mushy. If your tresses are brittle and breaking, you might have too much protein — or not enough. Deep conditioning with products that contain a combination of moisturizing ingredients (water, aloe vera, shea butter) and common proteins (hydrolyzed wheat, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed keratin) can be an easy fix. How often you use this combo depends on your hair’s specific needs, but protein treatments are typically safe to use about once a month, while additional moisturizing should be done more frequently. You may want to talk with your hairstylist to determine the best routine for your hair.
As we age, our tresses may become thinner and brittle. Maintaining the correct protein-moisture balance can help restore your hair’s strength, elasticity and softness.
2. A good protein-moisture balance could benefit aging strands
Natural hair is already more prone to breakage. And as we age, our tresses may become thinner and brittle. Maintaining the correct protein-moisture balance can help restore your hair’s strength, elasticity and softness. The result? Less breakage and more length retention.
3. Not all hair requires an intense protein treatment
While our strands are made up of protein — keratin, to be exact — incorporating a concentrated protein treatment may not be necessary unless your hair is chemically treated or damaged. If you do need an intense protein treatment, be sure to follow up with a hydrating conditioner to replenish moisture. Just don’t overdo it.
You’ll know you’re experiencing moisture overload if your strands are limp and mushy. If your tresses are brittle and breaking, you might have too much protein — or not enough.
4. Balancing your hair’s protein and moisture may help prevent heat damage
If you’re a natural who frequently enjoys rocking straight styles, maintaining a good protein-moisture balance is key. After all, excessive heat can damage your hair’s protein while stripping it of moisture. Getting enough protein and moisture helps strengthen and soften the cuticle, allowing your hair to bounce back to its naturally beautiful state.
Three deep conditioners to try: Design Essentials Milk & Honey 6N1 Reconstructive Conditioner ($32, Amazon), Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner ($16, Target) and Ouidad Coil Infusion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner ($38, Ulta)