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kelseyxface
September 15th, 2014, 05:15 PM
So I've been searching around high and low for threads on when hair needs protein (or symptoms that hair is in need of it) and surprisingly cannot find many. The threads that I do find are super vague on when hair needs to have a protein treatment. The only thing I've gathered is that hair goes dry and crunchy if it didn't need protein.

Also, along with signs that hair needs protein what can I use for treatments that are home made? Any links to other threads or your own advice is much appreciated. (:

meteor
September 15th, 2014, 05:36 PM
Usually, if hair is very stretchy, dull when wet, but brittle and breaks quickly when dry, it's a good sign that protein treatment is in order.
Some people do this test: stretch a hair, and if it stretches a lot and doesn't spring back to its original shape, you need protein. If it doesn't stretch much at all, but snaps right away, you need moisture (humectants and emollients).
Generally, bleached, relaxed or otherwise damaged hair likes protein treatments. Protein is great for temporary patch-repair, it reduces porosity and can increase elasticity, since it works like a mild humectant. However, strong protein treatments can be drying, so following up with a moisturizing conditioner is important.

Only hydrolyzed (broken up) proteins are small enough to adsorb to hair, so for example, egg proteins are too large, but fermented proteins in beer or yogurt *might* work. Gelatin is probably your best bet for easy DIY natural hydrolyzed protein treatments. Just dilute 1 Knox packet in half-a-cup of hot water and add some moisturizing conditioner to it + honey/aloe/oils/ACV or whatever else you like in your at-home treatments. Here is a great recipe: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/04/gelatin-protein-treatment-recipe-update.html
Other than that, there are lots of excellent commercial products, like Aphogee 2 Step treatment. Look for protein in top 5-7 ingredients on the ingredients list for a strong treatment. And if proteins are listed after fragrance, the amount is probably too small for an effective treatment.

Different proteins have different sizes (check out protein sizes here (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6sUkULijJ1g/Un1uSLvjWzI/AAAAAAAAArI/mPnfHAo0N8g/s640/amino_acids_table.jpg)), some might be too large to penetrate, others too small, so they won't stick to hair for too long. Some of the smallest that can work for most people are hydrolyzed keratin and hydrolyzed silk.
I highly recommend reading Science-y Hair Blog on Protein: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2013/09/more-about-protein.html

dottodot
September 15th, 2014, 05:41 PM
While I lurking awhile back, I found a thread that linked to the Science-y Hair Blog and there is a lot of good information on everything hair, including some recipes for protein treatments! I still consider myself a newbie so I can't say much about the signs of hair needing protein but I'm sure one of these lovely hair veterans will come along soon and give you the low down or at least a link to a good thread.

Here is the link for the Science-y Blog anyway: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/p/how-to-and.html

Hope it helps!

kelseyxface
September 15th, 2014, 05:54 PM
Thank you! While my hair is super damaged from bleach, I don't think I'm exhibiting signs of needing protein (yet!). So keep up with routine moisturizing treatments until I exhibit these signs?

meteor
September 15th, 2014, 06:07 PM
Thank you! While my hair is super damaged from bleach, I don't think I'm exhibiting signs of needing protein (yet!). So keep up with routine moisturizing treatments until I exhibit these signs?

I would do a protein treatment without waiting for it to get worse! :) The gumminess, stretchiness I described is a pretty extreme case. It's really good practice to do a hydrolyzed protein treatment before and right after a damaging treatment like bleach.
(Another thing that helps with damage is coconut oil (or other penetrating oils)!)
Check out Aphogee 2-step treatment (http://aphogee.com/two-step-protein-treatment-for-professional-use/) and you can do a DIY gelatin treatment in a similar way (letting it dry on your hair and not touching it much till you wash it off). If you used too strong a treatment, just use a lot of moisturizing conditioner and lay off protein for a while, and the balance will be restored. You don't need to do these treatments frequently at all - from every week to every few months, it's pretty individual.

Please check out Science-y Hair Blog's posts that I've linked above to understand what protein can do for your hair. :)
More on protein: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2009/06/size-matters-protein-conditioning-part.html
And more on ingredients that help damaged hair, just in case: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2012/10/deep-conditioning-what-ingredients-in.html

kelseyxface
September 15th, 2014, 06:22 PM
I do use coconut oil twice a week - I sleep with iy in my hair. Would coconut oil count as a protein treatment or just a moisturizer?

meteor
September 15th, 2014, 06:36 PM
No, coconut oil is 100% fats, 0% protein. All pure oils are 100% oils (unless they were contaminated). Coconut oil is an emollient and occlusive (anti-humectant), it helps reduce porosity and increase elasticity. For details on how to make oils work for your hair, you can check out this article: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/03/oil-pre-shampoo-or-pre-wash.html

I think there is a common misconception that coconut oil is a protein treatment: coconut oil prevents protein loss from hair (to a degree), when hair is cleansed, bleached, or otherwise undergoes some potentially damaging treatments. So it penetrates hair and binds to keratin of your hair. It doesn't add new protein.

When we are talking about hydrolyzed protein treatments, we mean the kinds of treatments that add broken up small proteins to patch-repair hair temporarily.

Of course, since hair is dead, it's better not to lose hair keratin (which is why coconut oil and other treatments are helpful) than to later temporarily patch-repair by adding some hydrolyzed keratin (or other proteins)... that will be washed away pretty soon anyway. Hair as like fine silk - any damage will be permanent, but it's possible to mask it and baby it... and you can certainly try to prevent it! :D

Larki
September 15th, 2014, 07:46 PM
You know, this would be a good idea for a sticky thread! How to know when your hair needs protein/moisture/clarified/chelated!

kelseyxface
September 15th, 2014, 10:58 PM
Sorry to keep bothering you with questions - between you and the website and how coconut oil protects the hair in the shower (makes total sense) would it be frowned upon to just throw coconut oil in every time I wash my hair? At one point I was basically doing that - I think out of the three hair washes I did in a week only one didn't get coconut oil. It didn't seem to upset my scalp and on cowash days it still came out. In fact I think that's when my hair was happiest.

And Larki my thoughts exactly! I'm a new member, so I felt bad trying to suggest it, but I think it would be a good idea to have a sticky thread about this stuff. It's not as widely talked about/thought about but it's just as important to hair health!

meteor
September 15th, 2014, 11:07 PM
Sorry to keep bothering you with questions - between you and the website and how coconut oil protects the hair in the shower (makes total sense) would it be frowned upon to just throw coconut oil in every time I wash my hair? At one point I was basically doing that - I think out of the three hair washes I did in a week only one didn't get coconut oil. It didn't seem to upset my scalp and on cowash days it still came out. In fact I think that's when my hair was happiest.

Please don't apologize for asking questions - that's what the LHC is there for! ;)
And yes, you can use coconut oil as often as you like! :D Especially bleached hair (and, more generally, porous hair) likes more coconut oil than virgin hair.
The only downside to using too much oil is that oil attracts dirt, lint, dust, so it might get harder to keep hair clean and stretch washes.

I recommend applying as much as your hair absorbs without looking greasy - for leave-ins. If it's for pre-poo, then you can get it oily to a degree where it looks super-greasy, but not dripping (that would be hard to wash off and would be a waste anyway).

Amounts are very individual, and damaged, very long or highly textured hair absorbs and needs more oil.


ETA: If at some point you notice that your hair is feeling dull and greasy, you might have over-oiled your hair and you can lay off oils for a while. The same way as with protein, the balance will be restored if you just stop using it for some time.

Also, my favorite hair treatment combines coconut oil and protein treatment in a modified SMT:
1) pre-poo coconut oil overnight
2) wash with shampoo
3) gelatin + conditioner + honey + a bit of oils under a plastic cap for 20-30 min
4) vinegar rinse
5) a drop or two of leave-in oil

I think it's a pretty good treatment to do on damaged hair from time to time. It gives excellent shine. :)

kelseyxface
September 15th, 2014, 11:30 PM
I don't know why I'm so nervous to use gelatin - I've mixed banana's and avocados for masks but gelatin masks sounds like a task. :laugh: I think I might test strand my hair with the protein before I apply it, I have a fear that my hair will dislike it. (even though it seems my hair clearly needs it. ) I'm trying the SMT method this week, so maybe I'll follow up with trying the gelatin mask next week?

Also if things such as eggs can't penetrate hair as well, should I give up on making food masks? Or is it food masks or more for moisturizing treatments than protein?

Quasiquixotic
September 15th, 2014, 11:45 PM
Interesting, I had not thought to put gelatin on my hair as a mask. I have started stirring some into my coffee in the morning.

YvetteVarie
September 16th, 2014, 01:51 AM
I don't know why I'm so nervous to use gelatin - I've mixed banana's and avocados for masks but gelatin masks sounds like a task. :laugh: I think I might test strand my hair with the protein before I apply it, I have a fear that my hair will dislike it. (even though it seems my hair clearly needs it. ) I'm trying the SMT method this week, so maybe I'll follow up with trying the gelatin mask next week?

Also if things such as eggs can't penetrate hair as well, should I give up on making food masks? Or is it food masks or more for moisturizing treatments than protein?

My suggestion would be to start with the gelatin treatment and then follow up with the SMT. That's the best way to ensure your hair remains in optimum condition after doing a protein treatment.

I personally don't do food masks. I really don't see their effects on hair, and the few I have tried (like honey or aloe vera) made my hair rebel into a dry, crunchy mess. I prefer commercial formulations (and I read through all the ingredients on the package before because I am that obsessed :laugh:)

meteor
September 16th, 2014, 11:01 AM
Don't get me wrong: I prefer commercial formulations, too! :lol: It's just that the original post asked for home-made protein treatments, and gelatin is the best I can think of.

I've never tried banana and avocado and I don't know if I would, because they have too many fibers that will be hard to wash out, and it looks like the benefit would come from fats and sugars... which is easy to replicate with a mix of simple oils and syrup/glycerine/honey... but maybe I'm missing something there. Their proteins are too large to penetrate hair.

My favorite commercial protein treatments are Aphogee 2-step and Mega-Tek/Ovation (both have protein listed as the first ingredient after water). I recommend following instructions very closely for best results.
Also, when commercial formulations state "hydrolyzed collagen" or "hydrolyzed animal protein", it's likely to be pretty close to gelatin. It's hard to know how well a specific commercial product will work without trying it, because they rarely state the size of hydrolyzed proteins, so they might be loo large or too small for your hair. And for protein treatments, size matters (read here (http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2009/06/size-matters-protein-conditioning-part.html)and here (http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2013/09/more-about-protein.html)).

Oh, and this is a bit unrelated, but kind of entertaining: "knoxing hair" is a popular way of holding hair together for synchronized swimming competitions.
In this video they use 6 (!) knox packets and just a little bit of water. (That's way too intense for a protein treatment, of course - 1 packet per cup is enough.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hojtnnw3iZQ

kelseyxface
September 16th, 2014, 11:04 PM
I was debating on doing a protein treatment followed by the SMT. Would I just do the gelatin protein, wash it out, and immediately apply SMT for 30+ mins?

Meteor- As difficult as it's made things for my beauty routine, I've been trying to phase out a lot of commercial stuff, too many chemicals for my liking. :( I've also just personally loved what at homes treatments/organic products have done for my hair (and face!). I've tried the banana and avocado before (had some coconut oil in there, too!) made my hair super soft, but I was under the impression I was getting protein as well. So I think I answered my own question, home made is really only for moisturizing.

Also that girls hair in your vid! I can only imagine what her hair must be like between the gelatin, chlorine, and rough brushing :bigeyes:

sarahthegemini
September 17th, 2014, 10:13 AM
I don't know why I'm so nervous to use gelatin - I've mixed banana's and avocados for masks but gelatin masks sounds like a task. :laugh: I think I might test strand my hair with the protein before I apply it, I have a fear that my hair will dislike it. (even though it seems my hair clearly needs it. ) I'm trying the SMT method this week, so maybe I'll follow up with trying the gelatin mask next week?

Also if things such as eggs can't penetrate hair as well, should I give up on making food masks? Or is it food masks or more for moisturizing treatments than protein?

I'f you don't want to do a full-on treatment, what about using a conditioner with protein in? I use Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Volume as a leave-in and it works great (my hair isn't damaged but responds well to protein)