Protein treatments are said to be great for damaged hair, but is there anything like applying too much protein? Let’s find out!
A lot has been said about the benefits of protein for strengthening and restoring hair –especially hair that has been exposed to chemical treatments and styling. Whenever you get a reparative treatment, even if it hasn’t been marketed as a protein treatment, it is highly possible that it contains proteins.
Hair is basically a type of protein, called keratin, so if you are trying to repair damaged hair previously treated with relaxers or color application, protein treatments are possibly the best choice. Right?
How protein works
The protein contained in such treatments helps strengthen the bonds in our hair strands and makes our hair withstand mechanical damage. The kind of protein you may find in hair products is hydrolyzed wheat protein, keratin and hydrolyzed keratin protein. The fact that the protein is hydrolyzed makes the particles smaller, thus they are water-soluble and this makes it easier for protein to penetrate into the fibers –instead of coating the hair strand, it repairs the cuticle from within. So far there seems to be a disadvantage in using this product. But, have you ever started a protein treatment and noticed a big change the first week, but then hair becomes fragile again? The chances are that you have applied too much protein. If your hair is in good condition, proteins will coat the strand and actually make your hair stiff, making it more likely to become dry and break.
How to detect when you are applying too much protein
If your hair looks weighted-down or coated, there is a good chance you’ve applied too much protein. Curly and textured hair tend to be more protein-sensitive than straight hair, to determine if what type of treatment you need, first you have to test the porosity of your hair.
Find the right treatment for your hair
- Low porosity hair cannot absorb too much protein and if you apply it, it is likely for it to dry and break.
- High porosity hair calls for protein-based treatments; they will help your hair retain the nutrients.
The bottom line is if your hair is fragile because of chemical treatments or styling with hot tools proteins are great for restoring the fibers. If your hair is naturally dry, too much protein could actually make it worse, you might give moisturizing and humectant ingredients –glycerin, honey, aloe vera and panthenol– a try.
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