View Full Version : How can I tell if my hair needs (or wants) more - or less - protein, please?

September 17th, 2010, 09:57 AM
How do I know, how can I tell, if my hair needs more protein? Or maybe less protein?

I looked for threads on this, but didn't see any... and general info on protein and hair is splattered all over LHC... not in one place.


September 17th, 2010, 10:43 AM
I found this while searching online. It helped me a great deal and hopefully it'll help you too. I have type 4 hair though, but hopefully it'll be of some use to you as well.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278612/the_fine_art_of_protein_and_moisture.html?singlepa ge=true&cat=69

September 17th, 2010, 10:49 AM
My hair becomes brittle and snappy with too much protein. The opposite of elastic, like hardened rubber almost. In fact I can't use it very often all. I only use a protien pack right after I touch up my blonde streak.
As yet, I have not been able to give it too much moisutre, thank goodness!

September 17th, 2010, 10:56 AM
My hair becomes brittle and crunchy with too much protein (it resembles very dry hair). Too little protein I'm told makes hair soft and mushy (like overly moisturized hair).

I don't think I could overly moisturize my hair, but it sure doesn't like too much protein.

September 17th, 2010, 11:57 AM
This article here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=44) is fantastic. It will help you find out just what your hair needs. :)

September 17th, 2010, 01:06 PM
I read both articles, but I'm still clueless.

I air dry or plop... most often just let it hang to air dry...
Once every 6 weeks or so, I see my hairdresser/neighbor for a burgundy rinse and she blow-dries it reasonably gently and then puts a bit of butter balm ix on it, and uses a flat ironn oin it reasonably gently.
BUT even before this spring - before she began using her burgundy rinses and before I let her use a blow fryer and straight iron once every 6 weeks - my hair was the same. In other words, nothing mary does to it seems to have changed it any - other than, of course, the color, temporarily...

My hair - when wet - feels noticeably 'rougher' to my hand than when it's dry. Especially the ends feel cry and crunchy.

My hair, once fully dry - feels a whole lot softer to my hand... even though I don't put any leave-in products in it. The ends are still drier than most of the length, and my roots tend towards being oily no matter what I do or don't do or use or don't use.

I bit of Nightshade's Panacea (either version) and/or a bit of shea butter and/or a bit of wheat germ or vocado or coconut oil tames the frizzies that I tend to get, especially in high humidity (I live in the great swamp known as New Jersey :rolleyes:)... and also makes the crunchy ends nice and soft.

My hair grows sooo slooooooooooooooly... but I have Ehlers-Danlos sydrome - a connective tissue disorder that affects hair and skin and nails.

My fair is thin, very baby-fine, disgustingly slippery-silky as compared with the hair of everyone else I've ever met, and is fragile and breaks very easily (again, probably due to Ehlers-Danolos syndrome). One single strand of my dark-dark brunette hair (or, now, my very fiery burgundy hair) - when held up to light, is virtually invisible. When pulled, a sneeze will stretch it a strand a little and then -SNAP!- it breaks. You can see the recoil of the stretch/break... so it doesn't just tear... it breaks much like an old rubber band when overstretched one time too many.
Don't even ask how I know this much detail... [WARNING! do not highlight the following seemingly blank space between the warnings if you might have problems with reading raw discussion of self-mutilation or mental illness] proceed if you wish to by using your cursor to highlight between < I'm obsessive-compulsive with severe chronic clinical depression (meaning, essentially, that I spend most of my time - awake and asleep - thinking about, planning, and carrying out severely self-destructive things, such as self-mutilation and suicide attempts) and I've learned, since growing my hair long for the past few years, to deal with the overwhelming stress of self-mutiliation desires by destroying one strand of my hair at a time... it takes a lot longer than tearing up the skin of my arms, and it's less dangerously destructive to me overall... so I don't worry too much about it, considering all of the potential consequences. and > [WARNING! end of the possible danger zone]

So... since I seem to feel non-destructive today, I'm asking about whether my hair appears to need protein, or to have to much protein, or be just fine as it is.
It's okay to tell me to leave it the hell alone, if you think my hair is protein-balanced.

That's ^ an acceptable response, in my estimation (if it's true). I won't get offended.

September 17th, 2010, 10:08 PM
As a general rule, I'd say that when hair really needs protein, it feels kinda mushy when it's wet, like wet paper. It stretches a lot and doesn't rebound much, and is generally rather fragile. Hair tends to be more in need of protein if you've permed/relaxed it or bleached it, though some hair likes protein in general to help it hold moisture. (Mine sure doesn't, though!)

This is a great article (http://uftoolbox.info/indirectotron/indirectotron.php?u=aHR0cDovL2JsYWNrYmVhdXR5YmxhY2 toYWlyODY5MTEueXVrdS5jb20vdG9waWMvNTExL3QvSGFpci1C cmVha2FnZS1hbmQtU2hlZGRpbmctMTAxLmh0bWw&#37;3D&hs=0&hv=0&hx=0&hc=1&hn=0&hp=0&ho=0&w=For+some+reason%2C+the+LHC+server+doesn%27t+like +me+linking+this+directly.++Great+article%2C+thoug h.) on assessing whether hair needs protein or moisture. (Mods: In the past, I've found that I can't link directly to that page, and I don't really understand why. Therefore, the link has been "indirected". Hope that's OK.)

September 17th, 2010, 10:15 PM
I don't have the least clue how to figure that out, and all the articles seem kind of vague without actually feeling what they're talking about.

I'd probably section my hair off, protein one small area, moisturize another, and see which area is doing the best.

September 17th, 2010, 11:21 PM
You can always try to add some protein and see what happens. My hair, despite being colored, instantly reacts badly to protein. It gets crispy feeling on the ends and turns into velcro. I cannot run a comb or a brush through it all the way to the end. If I do a clarifying wash and moisturize like mad for a while, I can avoid having to trim the ends when I get protein overload. However, I had to try it a few times to make sure that it was the protein that was the culprit and I am glad I now know what to look for and avoid.