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Protein Moisture Balance – 3 Words You Need To Understand

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You may not have realised it yet but it is so important for your hair to have a good protein moisture balance.  

When you think about getting soft curls you may just think that it is down to how well you simply moisturise your hair but that is not necessarily the case.  In order to get really healthy luscious curls, you have to make sure that you have a balance of both moisture and protein.

Look at it this way, one cannot be fully effective without the other and neither one should outshine the other.

Getting the protein moisture balance right can seem difficult at first but with a few tips from me, you should have a much clear understanding of how to make sure that your hair is getting the best of both worlds.

There are so many elements to learn about when it comes to curly or kinky hair but there are a few fundamental things that you must know if you want your hair journey to be successful and getting the perfect protein moisture balance is one of those things that will make or break you.


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What Is The Protein Moisture Balance & Why Is It Important?

Most curly girls know about moisturising hair which is great but that alone does not provide for a fully healthy hair journey.  In order for your hair to flourish you need to have a constant balance of moisture and protein.

Moisture is what gives your hair life and helps it to stay bouncy and hydrated but did you know that your hair is made up of protein?

In fact, your hair is made up of mostly protein (keratin) which is why it is so important to make sure your hair is getting enough protein.

The protein your hair is made up of gives it strength and shape.  Without this, the condition of your hair may not be very good.

In the same way that we look after our bodies and give it all the right nutrients, we also need to give our hair the same treatment.  You can’t expect your hair to just have water alone and to be fully functional.  You need to also give it sustenance too which is protein.

As mentioned before its really important you get the balance of the two things right in order to see the huge rewards in your hair.


How Do You Know If Your Hair Has Too Much Protein?

There are a few clear signs of protein overload that you should be on the lookout for.

If your hair feels very stiff and dry even after you think you have moisturised it that could be a sign of protein overload.

Hair that is overloaded with protein will be very brittle and break easily.

No amount of leave-in conditioner added to protein overloaded hair will make a difference.  It’s really important to remember that.

There are steps that you need to take in order to restore balance which I will go through in a little bit.


Protein for hair


What Causes Protein Overload?

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to add protein to your hair all the time to give your hair strength.

If you heavily use products that contain too much protein such as deep conditioners and such you can end up overdoing the protein. Even homemade conditioners that use protein-rich products such as eggs, avocado and yoghurt you can end up causing too much protein in your hair. You have to know what to be on the lookout for.

Make sure you check out your products to make sure they are not too protein-rich and if they are, be sure to use them only when needed and not simply out of habit. 

Get familiar with reading ingredients on your products.  The more you understand ingredients the better judgment calls you can make as to whether to use them or not.


What to do if your hair has too much protein

Thankfully if you do have too much protein there are a few things that you can do to help rectify the problem.

Use these steps to help you:


1. Clarify Your Hair

When you clarify your hair you almost start again from scratch because you get rid of product build-up which can prevent your hair from soaking up what you want it too.  There are a few clarifying shampoos that you can use such as the Cantu clarifying shampoo or the As I Am JCBO shampoo.


2. Deep Condition

If you have now established that your hair is suffering from protein overload you need to try to balance that out with more moisture.  In essence, if you are going too far left on a tight rope you need to balance it out by going more right.

Deep conditioning is a really great way to do this.  Try an intensive deep conditioner like this one. You can also use a steaming cap also to make sure that the conditioner is well penetrated into the strands of the hair.


3. Consistently Moisturise Your Hair

This means that you need to stay on top of your moisturising techniques.  Make sure you use a good leave-in conditioner and regularly check on your hair to make sure it is, in fact, staying moisturised.  Make sure you don’t overdo it!


4. Check Your Products

Make sure that you check the products that you are using in your hair to make sure you don’t get to the point of having too much protein again.

Some great protein-free products are:

Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Hydrating Conditioner

As I Am leave-in conditioner

Kinky Curly come clean


How To Know If Your Hair Has Too Much Moisture?

There are simple telltale signs of over moisturised hair and I myself have fallen prey to a few of these in the past.

Over moisturised hair can lead to hygral fatigue which is basically where the hair swells and shrinks excessively.  When this happens it can cause an unusual amount of breakage.

Some of the signs of over moisturised hair are as follows:

Soft mushy hair when wet

Hair that seems to stretch and stretch before it snaps

Limp hair that won’t do very much

Hair that doesn’t hold its curl pattern very well.


What Causes Over Moisturised Hair?

There are many things that can cause over moisturised hair. 

As curly naturals, we are taught to focus a lot on keeping our hair moisturised.  We get familiar with techniques such as the greenhouse effect, baggy method, overnight conditioning and a whole host of other things.

These methods become ineffective once we start doing them overnight because unless you have a very good reason for doing so you are more likely doing harm rather than good.

The more we neglect the fact that our hair also needs protein the more likely we are to suffer from over moisturised hair.


How to restore the protein moisture balance


How To Correct Over Moisturised Hair

Correcting hair that has been over moisturised is fairly straight forward to do.

1. Clarify Your Hair

Always start with clarifying your hair first to get rid of build-up and all the other things in your hair that you don’t need such as sweat and dirt.


2. Use A Protein Treatment

Using a protein treatment such as Aphogee is a really good way to give your hair what it needs which is protein.

You can read more about protein treatments here.


How To Get The Perfect Protein Moisture Balance

This is the difficult part because not everything works for everyone.  You really have to experiment with your hair to see what works best for you.  You might find that you need to deep condition less or that you need to incorporate more protein into your hair regimen.

If you find that the Aphogee treatment doesn’t work well for you you can also get ideas of homemade protein treatments in this post.


Final Thoughts On The Protein Moisture Balance

I know that the protein moisture balance can seem like a lot to take in but once you wrap your head around it it’s not actually too bad.

It’s a very good idea to stay on top of it because it does make a difference to how well your hair grows and also the health of it too.

Let me know about your own experiences of getting the perfect protein moisture balance!


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How to tell if your hair is damaged

Conditioner vs deep conditioner which is best?

5 Low porosity hair care tips you need to know


The best protein moisture balance