We stress the need for moisture, moisture, moisture on our natural hair, but you also need to balance it out with protein treatments or else your hair will become too weak. The protein and moisture content of the hair are interdependent, one without the other will lead to breakage.
There has to be a balance of both; if your hair is lacking in protein, it will drastically reduce its ability to retain moisture – a balanced hair is a healthy hair.
Protein treatments are very essential in maintaining the strength of your hair, as well as its health. Because of the tender nature of natural hair, it benefits tremendously from protein treatments.
Here’s why your hair needs protein treatments –
Protein treatment basically means using a protein-based product or ingredient(s) to make your hair stronger and restore protein back to it. In order for protein treatments to be effective, the protein needs to be hydrolyzed – what this simply means is that the protein treatment must contain only small proteins that would be able bind to the hair cuticles.
This will fill in any gaps that may be on the hair shaft as a result of too much manipulation, washing, too much heat, hair combing, etc and also your type of diet (lacking in dietary proteins).
The main component of hair is made up of protein (70% keratin protein to be precise). It is stored in the medulla, which is the innermost layer of the hair, from there, the protein binds to the hydrogen molecules of water, keeping it moisturised.
This bond ensures that your hair tightly holds on to water, so as to keep your hair moisturised. This is where your hair gets its strength, structure and elasticity.
Protein treatments are used to replace the protein that your hair has lost due to daily styling, colouring, washing, frequent use of heat, too much manipulation, etc; which will weaken it over time, thus leading to split ends and “wear and tear” breakage.
As the effects of protein treatments are only temporary, you have to incorporate it into your natural hair regimen often enough to maintain the repair. It’s also good to note that too much of protein treatments is not good for your hair, so you have to find that balance.
Protein treatment frequency
So what’s a proper balance, you ask? Well, doing a protein treatment every 4 to 6 weeks seems just about right. (But you also need to ensure that you do you weekly deep conditioning treatment to maintain that protein-moisture balance).
Some of the ingredients, found in your kitchen, that you can use for your homemade protein treatments are avocado, eggs, coconut milk (not coconut oil, don’t get confused), mayonnaise, lemon juice, beer (hehe), honey, natural unsweetened yoghurt, olive oil, almond oil, banana, beetroot juice, baking soda, corn meal etc.
There are so much more of them, but these are the ones I can remember for now.
I will be writing about each one of them (how to prepare and use) in the coming days or weeks, so look out for the posts on them.
Do you get regular protein treatments in your haircare regimen?
Which products or remedies do you use for protein treatments?
Let me know in the comment box below.