View Full Version : Moisture, Protein, or both?

June 14th, 2008, 08:19 PM

Riot Crrl
June 14th, 2008, 08:26 PM
I have learned a lot about my protein/moisture balance from doing the stretch test on shed hairs. Get a shed hair, grasp ends firmly and pull. It is supposed to have more telling results on a wet hair I think, but I can tell some from the dry ones too.

If it breaks without stretching far at all, it is probably good on protein and needs more moisture.

If it stretches something like 20% of its length, then returns to some semblance of its previous length upon letting go, perfect.

If it stretches way far and/or doesn't shrink back at all when letting go, needs protein.

I have not been adding any protein to my hair, but I have been adding henna. Right afterwards it's the same as the first above. (Henna is not protein, but the tannins seem to have some weird symbiotic relationship with protein.) After I get it more moisturized, it can get to the second result above, which sometimes takes a little time.

June 14th, 2008, 08:27 PM
I wonder if moisturizing and then oiling would help seal in some of the moisture. I don't really know anything about protein treatments/symptoms of needing them, hopefully someone else will chime in that'll be more helpful :)


June 14th, 2008, 08:49 PM

Riot Crrl
June 14th, 2008, 08:56 PM
I don't know what the rubbing it together thing means. But if it is stretching that far (and especially if it doesn't shrink back at all when let go) then it would appear to be indicated that further protein might be helpful.

June 15th, 2008, 09:24 PM
I also henna, but I haven't in some time, so I'm discounting henna as a factor for now. Of the 3 options you noted, I'm not really sure which applies the most... I will see and then report back in "edit" with further information.

Well, I just tested and weirdly, my hair seems to stretch and break simultaneously... also, if I don't stretch, but rub together between my thumb and finger - then it sort of curls up, gets fuzzy and eventually breaks off...hrm?

Since you can't really tell what your hair needs, I would do both protein and moisture. I would do one protein treatment a week and be sure to follow it up with a cone-free very moisturizing conditioner. Also maybe do a couple of moisture deep treatments a week. You might want to try a cholesterol treatment as that seemed to help my hair when it was in about the same state as yours (due to overbleaching). Best thing though was cutting off the damage, so you might just want to trim more often. I literally had to have my hair cut off to my ears in order to get rid of the damage. Not saying for you to do that though, but it was best for my hair since it was so fried.

Silver & Gold
June 17th, 2008, 10:14 AM
My guess is that your hair is doing the best it can with the treatments you are using. I suspect that the problem is the damage on the ends. The damaged ends cannot hold in the moisture for very long and need continual rehydration. I would consider misting the ends and applying whatever oil your ends respond the best to at bedtime to keep the moisture in as much as possible.

June 17th, 2008, 10:30 AM

Ohio Sky
June 17th, 2008, 10:38 AM
Note: I know absolutely nothing about protein, so disregard my advice if it doesnt seem right:

From what little I know about protein, there are different kinds and just like everything, different things work better for some people than for others. So, I would say if this specific type of treatment isnt giving long-lasting enough results for your liking, maybe try a differenet kind of protein treatment?

Somebody correct me if that sounds completely retarded :D

June 17th, 2008, 11:42 AM
It sounds like the routine you're using is working, but it needs a little something extra. My ends were very damaged from repeated chemical processing and I found that a daily leave-in and a little coconut oil on the ends works wonders for keeping them soft. Coconut oil is fairly light (you only need to use a little), rinses out with CO and has really strengthened my hair like nothing else. I would give it a try on your wet hair after a moisture treatment.

June 17th, 2008, 12:23 PM
I am not sure of your daily routine for your hair, if you daily shampoo or not. if you do, i'd recommend cutting out the "repeat" of the lather, and do two conditioning stints after shampooing. So shampoo, condition, condition. Or cut out shampoo all together for a long time, and just CO.

Its pretty possible your ends are so pourous they aren't holding onto anything you are putting on there. You will only get temporary relief if the ends are beyond the capacity to hold onto the moisture.

Protein is tricky. Protein can be especially drying, it could be that the protein treats are sort of cancelling out the moisture so you are basically back where you started. I would recommend trying moisture first, alone, and avoid protein for several days, and see if that gives improvement.

June 17th, 2008, 12:32 PM
My hair was like that before, and Kirin is right it just doesnt hold the moisture. You have to constantly condition it. You can do this by misting when it starts feeling that way or just wetting and condition it. I also found that applying a little oil over a leave in conditioner seemed to help some, but mine still dried out. I would continue with the protein and moisture routine and maybe condition more often or mist several times a day.