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View Full Version : How do you know if your hair needs protein?



Eastbound&Down
September 2nd, 2014, 10:30 AM
I noticed yesterday when I was brushing my hair (BBB) that my ends are starting to get pretty crispy and crunchy but after a thorough search, I couldn't find any damage. I've been CO washing for a little over a year, clarify once/twice a month and use a leave in and oil. I've never done a protein treatment because I'm scared it will hurt my hair. What do you guys think? What protein treatments do you use and how often?

brickworld13
September 2nd, 2014, 10:33 AM
First thing I would check out of utter paranoia is if the BBB is 100% natural bristles. I had one once that was labeled as such, but had nylon bristles hidden in it. I was really irritated and had to deal with a lot of resulting damage.

Zesty
September 2nd, 2014, 11:18 AM
I'm not a huge expert on protein, but to me it sounds like you might just need to clarify and then moisturize. Nothing about what you described screams "needs protein" to me. IIRC, usually hair that needs protein is "mushy/gummy" when wet (if you pull on a wet strand it just stretches and doesn't bounce back to its original length).

Anje
September 2nd, 2014, 12:33 PM
I'm not a huge expert on protein, but to me it sounds like you might just need to clarify and then moisturize. Nothing about what you described screams "needs protein" to me. IIRC, usually hair that needs protein is "mushy/gummy" when wet (if you pull on a wet strand it just stretches and doesn't bounce back to its original length).
This is my impression too. People who REALLY need protein tend to describe mushy wet hair. "Feels like wet paper" is one I've seen several times. It's stretchy. When they just need some, they tend to describe hair that feels lank, looks almost greasy when it isn't, and typically lacks volume. It might feel dry, strangely enough, but moisture treatments don't help.

My usual advice for anyone complaining about their ends is "clarify, then SMT". If that doesn't fix it, "protein treatment, then another SMT." (You can tell I'm stuck on this SMT thing, huh? :lol:) In my probably-skewed experience, hair that hasn't gotten lots of dye damage, perms, or TONS of heat damage usually doesn't seem to get particularly protein-deficient. It might benefit from a little protein once in a while, but getting to the gummy-stretchy phase is rare, and more often hair that isn't over-processed benefits for a good soak in a moisturizing conditioner.

Now I tend to get protein-overloaded if I use a conditioner that contains it more than a few times. What I then experience is ends that feel sort of hard and have unusual kinks and unformed curls at the end that hook other hairs. It feels squeaky-rough when I run my fingers down a section and tangles even during the detangling process. Thankfully, the solution to this is easy enough: clarify, rotate out the protein-containing conditioner, and do some moisture treatments (more SMTs!).

Panth
September 2nd, 2014, 12:42 PM
You say you oil. How much oil, what type and how do you apply it (and is it to wet/damp/dry hair)?

Ditto for leave-ins.

Eastbound&Down
September 2nd, 2014, 02:06 PM
You say you oil. How much oil, what type and how do you apply it (and is it to wet/damp/dry hair)?

Ditto for leave-ins.

I use EVOO. I tried coconut and my hair did not like it at all. I put it on my ends after a put my leave in on when my hair is damp. I just clarified on sunday morning, so should I do a deep conditioning treatment?

battles
September 2nd, 2014, 02:12 PM
If I use too many moisturizing products without using protein my hair gets really dry, rough and snaps easily. Kind of the opposite of what everyone says. :p I'm a low porosity F/M. With protein my hair feels silky and moisturized and my crispy ends aren't nearly as bad.

meteor
September 2nd, 2014, 02:16 PM
It's not clear to me that your hair necessarily needs protein, but it does sound that it may have quite a bit of build-up. I'd say: clarify and (if you have mineral build-up from hard water) chelate. And then you can use an SMT + protein. My favorite hair treatment is a modified SMT: I add a bit of oil and gelatin (protein) to it. Hair comes out feeling both strong and silky.

For some good information on protein, I highly recommend reading this: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2013/09/more-about-protein.html and this: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/04/gelatin-protein-treatment-recipe-update.html

gthlvrmx
September 2nd, 2014, 03:31 PM
What conditioner do use on your hair? Maybe you got some buildup from it. Sometimes when people have protein build up, their hair becomes stiff like straw and crunchy. That's what happens to my hair when protein touches it. I can't use the Mane n Tail because of that my hair hates protein.

blace
September 2nd, 2014, 04:43 PM
I would recommend clarifying and then making a judgement call.