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View Full Version : Moisture vs. Protein - HELP!



MrsDay
July 17th, 2017, 09:42 AM
Sort of a Newbie here... and my ends are feeling so dry and are splitting like crazy. I am scheduled for a trim, but I don't know what's causing the issue! Below is some info on my routine, and then my overall question:

Routine: Wash every 3rd day, CWC, Argan Oil on the ends while hair is still damp as a "leave in" moisturizer. Once per week prior to my shower I do an Olaplex No.3 hair mask to help strengthen my ends as I'm growing out bleach/highlights.

Question: My ends are dry so I assume they need moisture - using oils (argan or coconut) seems to make them greasy but then once the oil soaks in/rubs off the ends still feel dry. I am experiencing a fast occurrence of splits as well as some breakage. Do I need protein? How do you put protein into your hair other than through your diet?

If there are any threads or resources you can link me to it would be much appreciated, otherwise I am thankful for any of your advice.

diddiedaisy
July 17th, 2017, 09:52 AM
Sort of a Newbie here... and my ends are feeling so dry and are splitting like crazy. I am scheduled for a trim, but I don't know what's causing the issue! Below is some info on my routine, and then my overall question:

Routine: Wash every 3rd day, CWC, Argan Oil on the ends while hair is still damp as a "leave in" moisturizer. Once per week prior to my shower I do an Olaplex No.3 hair mask to help strengthen my ends as I'm growing out bleach/highlights.

Question: My ends are dry so I assume they need moisture - using oils (argan or coconut) seems to make them greasy but then once the oil soaks in/rubs off the ends still feel dry. I am experiencing a fast occurrence of splits as well as some breakage. Do I need protein? How do you put protein into your hair other than through your diet?

If there are any threads or resources you can link me to it would be much appreciated, otherwise I am thankful for any of your advice.

I can never work that one myself, so I do both. A heavy duty protein treatment is aphogee 2 step, it dries crispy on your hair so you have to leave it alone. Follow this up straight away with a deep moisturising conditioner.

Also, the coconut may not be working for you. I've recently swapped over to sunflower oil which penetrates very well mixed with olive oil. I've got much better results from this. The olive oil is great for dry ends. Do some overnight soaks and wash out with your normal routine. If you need to use extra conditioner do so but never extra shampoo.

I have bleached hair and only occasionally to I get dry hair. When it is I do the above and it soon sorts it out. I'm a daily washer and my hair is super soft, but I'm in the habit of doing a lot of overnight treatments.

Good luck :)

MrsDay
July 17th, 2017, 10:04 AM
diddiedaisy That's excellent advice, thank you - I've always heard olive oil is great for the hair but never tried it. For some reason I felt weird putting olive oil on my hair, but not coconut oil. Weird, right? I'm going to try swapping my Olaplex out for Olive Oil for the next couple weeks and see if that helps. I've never heard of aphogee 2 step, but I'll look it up!

diddiedaisy
July 17th, 2017, 10:19 AM
diddiedaisy That's excellent advice, thank you - I've always heard olive oil is great for the hair but never tried it. For some reason I felt weird putting olive oil on my hair, but not coconut oil. Weird, right? I'm going to try swapping my Olaplex out for Olive Oil for the next couple weeks and see if that helps. I've never heard of aphogee 2 step, but I'll look it up!

For best results mix the sunflower with the olive oil. That way it protects your hair within and can add elasticity to your hair which will help keep it flexible and less prone to breakage. I'm dropping the coconut oil now, I never really got visible results from it, but with these two oils I can see a difference. :)

Henrietta
July 17th, 2017, 10:19 AM
Oils do not moisturise hair. They can lock moisture in your hair (if it's there), which makes your hair moisturised as a result, but an oil will not bring moisture to your hair. Oils are emollients, they make hair smoother, heavier, nourished (because of fatty acids) and they help to lock moisture in, but you want moisturisers/humectants to add moisture ;) Look for: honey, aloe vera, glycerin, urea, flax seed gel either in INCI lists of your products or, even better, in your kitchen ;)

As far as I remember its INCI, Olaplex is a protein treatment, but I'm not sure. The trick with proteins is to figure out which size works best for you, small proteins (anyting hydrolysed in the INCI list, so hydrolysed keratin, hydrolysed silk, hydrolysed corn etc., or big particles - like gelatine or milk. Gelatine is rare in products, but you can make a gelatine treatment at home, mixing it with a conditioner. Be careful, though. Dry, high-porosity hair might react badly to gelatine. If you want to try milk protein, you can go for a yoghurt treatment :) Cheap and easy.

Hair that lacks protein is prone to static, feels thin and weak, and is too soft so soft that it's stretchy and it feels like rubber, especially when it's wet. Protein makes hair stiffer, filling (temporarily) damaged spots. Hair that has too much protein is stiff, matte, rough and dry.

That's the general outline. I know it sounds a bit complicated, but it's not. I have nearly failed my high school chemistry and this knowledge is 20 minutes of reading good blogs, that's it. The only thing you need to know is that there are 3 main types of ingredients: emollients (oils, silicones to make hair smother and more elastic. Oils are divided into groups according to fatty acids they contain, and each group has a hair porosity type that matches.), humectants (moisturisers) and protein (in hair product they are mostly hydrolysed, so small particle ones; and easy to find, because the name will very often include hydrolysed xxx protein).
Too much moisture- limp hair, use protein to balance.
Too little moisture - easy:) Dry hair.
Too little protein what I wrote above, hair that feels weak and soft and fragile even though it's healthy and shouldn't feel so.
Too much protein stiff, dry hair. Balance with moisturisers.

ETA: I realise this post might be messy, but I'm in a hurry and I did my best there :) Wait, let me add some info about oils, too.

Monounsaturated (with omega 9 prevailing) - good for high porosity hair. This group includes
Polyunsaturated: with mostly omega 6 and 3: good for medium porosity hair.
Saturated: mostly butters and solid oils. Good for low porosity hair. (This is why coconut oils causes frizz on high-porosity hair.)

Info about fatty acids in oils can be found easily online. I don't know all this by heart, I just found a list made by someone else who figured it all out and I go back to it whenever I feel like trying a new oil :) Don't go by vague sayings like "coconut oil is good for long hair". Length doesn't matter at all. It's porosity that matters. (And yes, with long hair it might be different at the ends, since they are older and might be more porous. But, again, it's about porosity not length itself.)

leayellena
July 17th, 2017, 10:19 AM
Also, the coconut may not be working for you. I've recently swapped over to sunflower oil which penetrates very well mixed with olive oil. I've got much better results from this. The olive oil is great for dry ends. Do some overnight soaks and wash out with your normal routine. If you need to use extra conditioner do so but never extra shampoo.

I'm NOT a daily washer and my hair is super soft, but I'm in the habit of doing a lot of overnight treatments.

Good luck :)

Where do you buy sunflower oil please? I am not a daily washer, I just wash my hair whenever it clearly needs a wash. My hair hates summers: it gets oily on scalp and dry ends.

Not so much breakage for my hair anymore thank God. I wear my hair up for a year (challenge), use a (conney but goody) conditioner.

diddiedaisy
July 17th, 2017, 12:14 PM
Where do you buy sunflower oil please? I am not a daily washer, I just wash my hair whenever it clearly needs a wash. My hair hates summers: it gets oily on scalp and dry ends.

Not so much breakage for my hair anymore thank God. I wear my hair up for a year (challenge), use a (conney but goody) conditioner.

I buy it from the supermarket, its with all the vegetable oils used for cooking!!!

Anje
July 17th, 2017, 05:38 PM
There are several different things that you can do for hair that tend to get lumped as "moisturizing", but they don't all have the same effects. Often one will work and another will not, depending on what your hair needs. Such is the case for oils -- I tend to use the words "emollient" and "occlusive" instead of "moisturizing" to describe what they do. Certainly, hair can need emollients added to it to replace lost natural oils, but if that's not the source of the problem then oils probably won't be what fix it.

Moisturizing is generally a water-based thing, with the goal being to help water to absorb into the hair shaft. Some people get enough of that effect from bunning their damp hair, but it never worked well for me. My preference is for soaking for a short time (30 minutes is usually good, I wouldn't advise over 60) in a humectant-rich conditioner, then rinsing it out. I really like SMTs, but any combination of warm conditioner and sugary solution (honey, pancake syrup, molasses, agave, whatever...) seems to work pretty well. Let it soak, covered in a plastic cap or plastic shopping bag, then rinse well.

Some people, but not all, don't get much moisture absorption to their hair without applying protein with it. (This generally hasn't applied to me. My hair has more of a tendency to get too much protein and become dry, but it's a pretty individual thing.) One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to mix a bit of unflavored gelatin with hot water, then add this to the above conditioner-sugar syrup mix. (I made this recipe up off the top of my head, and apparently it worked. Consider it a jumping-off point. (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128&page=56&p=3403117&viewfull=1#post3403117))More intensively, you can two-step it with protein like gelatin in a first step, then follow it with a moisturizing step to keep the hair from getting overly dry and stiff from the protein.

After these treatments, I'd let the hair dry at least most of the way, to see how it's doing. If once it's mostly dry you want to put a dab of oil over the ends, it may help further. Oil is great for slowing moisture loss from hair that has been moisturized. Even oils that don't absorb like mineral oil are good for this. (Also, I second the vote for getting plant oils from the grocery store among the cooking oils.)

MrsDay
July 18th, 2017, 09:52 PM
Wow this is amazing information. My hair is a strange mixture of some of the symptoms listed.
The ends are rough and dry, and my hair is generally limp and static prone in the winter. So, I'll have to do a little reading and trial and error to see what protein/moisture combo works for me.

Corvana
July 18th, 2017, 10:25 PM
Wow this is amazing information. My hair is a strange mixture of some of the symptoms listed.
The ends are rough and dry, and my hair is generally limp and static prone in the winter. So, I'll have to do a little reading and trial and error to see what protein/moisture combo works for me.

And it's totally normal to need different routines for different seasons! I need to cleanse more thoroughly in the summer (it easily gets to be in the hundreds fahrenheit, so I get sweaty and my hair gets more gross), while in the winter I only need my regular shampoo that's a bit more gentle.

lapushka
July 19th, 2017, 05:29 AM
Moisture vs. protein has me puzzled. I think when buying conditioners I don't usually pay that much attention to the ingredients, but I think they're pretty much balanced on that part.

I have a packet of "hair mayonnaise" in my possession that I might try once my Garnier Ultra Doux mask (camomile) is gone and we'll see what true protein will do to my hair. I think I will mix it in with a regular conditioner, though, because let's face it, a foil packet isn't gonna cover my hair. ;)

I never otherwise do "true" protein treatments. I just don't see the point on virgin hair, for me personally.

MrsDay
July 19th, 2017, 08:37 AM
And it's totally normal to need different routines for different seasons! I need to cleanse more thoroughly in the summer (it easily gets to be in the hundreds fahrenheit, so I get sweaty and my hair gets more gross), while in the winter I only need my regular shampoo that's a bit more gentle.

I notice this in my hair products. I know for sure I need significantly more moisture in the winter otherwise my static is out of control, and the dryness is crazy. Since I'm in a cold climate it gets so dry but the summer is really humid (which it is now) so I experience that sweaty yucky hair thing too. :(

Larki
July 19th, 2017, 10:43 AM
I like to make my regular-use masks mostly moisture heavy, but with protein at the end of the ingredient list so that I kill two birds with one stone and don't overload on either moisture or protein. And oils don't moisturize on their own, but they do lock in moisture so you can use them over a leave in conditioner or hair mask, or even just on wet hair.

Anje
July 19th, 2017, 03:01 PM
Moisture vs. protein has me puzzled. I think when buying conditioners I don't usually pay that much attention to the ingredients, but I think they're pretty much balanced on that part.

I have a packet of "hair mayonnaise" in my possession that I might try once my Garnier Ultra Doux mask (camomile) is gone and we'll see what true protein will do to my hair. I think I will mix it in with a regular conditioner, though, because let's face it, a foil packet isn't gonna cover my hair. ;)

I never otherwise do "true" protein treatments. I just don't see the point on virgin hair, for me personally.
Honestly, I think most people with hair that hasn't had chemical treatments, don't have much of an issue either way. If you perm or relax hair, or do a bunch of bleaching, or maybe use heat tools WAY too much, you might be more sensitive to it. It seems like hennaheads struggle more with getting overproteined than folks who don't use henna, but my set of examples is super limited. There definitely is a subset who benefit from additional protein, moisture, and/or oil even on virgin hair, and lots of folks have trouble with dryness if they wear their long hair loose a lot, but maybe it's not necessary for the bulk of people with virgin hair who protect it?

lapushka
July 19th, 2017, 04:32 PM
Honestly, I think most people with hair that hasn't had chemical treatments, don't have much of an issue either way. If you perm or relax hair, or do a bunch of bleaching, or maybe use heat tools WAY too much, you might be more sensitive to it. It seems like hennaheads struggle more with getting overproteined than folks who don't use henna, but my set of examples is super limited. There definitely is a subset who benefit from additional protein, moisture, and/or oil even on virgin hair, and lots of folks have trouble with dryness if they wear their long hair loose a lot, but maybe it's not necessary for the bulk of people with virgin hair who protect it?

Hmm, I'm not sure. I did get "mushy" hair when my hair was overly bleached, and could have probably used it then, but other than that, yes, I do think that when you have virgin hair, at least that's MMHO, it isn't *as* necessary to pay attention to this.

diddiedaisy
July 19th, 2017, 04:39 PM
There is a blog called science-y hair blog. It has fantastic information on protein and moisture as well as loads of other useful information. I really recommend it. :)

Ps sorry I don't know how to do links

Jo Ann
July 19th, 2017, 08:34 PM
Here's a video that explains how one's hair (usually) acts when it needs moisture or protein:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdviRNXajPo