So when i started my natural hair journey I heard alot about how our hair needed loads of moisture and how good moisture was..bla bla bla..Anywho then I started reading and watching videos about protein and how our hair needs protein if its moisture logged...so then I went huh..I thought moisture was good?? So after some research this what I've learnt and I'm trying to get the balance my hair needs cause I've noticed some shedding and breakage lately..
Hair needs water to maintain its elasticity, or ability to stretch. Since water is the ultimate moisturiser, water-based products are best for really getting the greatest moisture benefit. Moisturisers are simply products that are water-based and nourish your hair deep within the strand. Products with moisturising properties tend to be your conditioners and other specific moisturiser sprays or creams. Moisturisers may also contain large amounts of protein, but these protein based moisturisers do not have the moisturising benefit that moisture-based moisturisers have. Good moisturisers will not contain cheap, filler ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, or lanolin. Avoid products that claim moisturising benefits and contain these ingredients. There is nothing moisturising about them! Petrolatum and mineral oils seal out the precious moisture our hair needs.
Protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure. Hair is about 70% keratin protein by nature. There are a wide variety of proteins that serve different functions and roles in hair care. Some enhance elasticity, while others reduce it. These proteins bind to the hair cuticle and help temporarily rebuild any weakened areas. Protein-based products reinforce the hair shaft, and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage. Some proteins are stronger than others, but daily or even weekly use of even the milder protein treatments may result in an imbalance between the protein and moisture levels within the hair strands in some people. Keeping the hair balanced between these two entities is very important. Protein loss from chemical treatments is almost always followed by a moisture loss of some degree. Hair that is properly proteinated absorbs moisture more efficiently because water molecules bind easily to a sound protein structure within the hair. Achieving the proper balance involves using the right combinations of protein and moisture based products for your hair type.
When the hair has too much protein, it can feel very dry, rough, crunchy, and brittle. It can also break off very easily. The hair does not have enough elasticity, so it breaks with the slightest pull.
When the hair has too much moisture, it can feel gummy, limp, mushy and very stretchy when wet. The hair is very weak due to the lack of structure, so it can stretch and stretch until it finally snaps off.
Hair that is shifted too far on the protein side will break easier, both wet and dry, because it lacks elasticity. Elasticity is what allows us to style, stretch, and manipulate our hair without breakage. Hair that breaks with very little tension or stretching is a sign of an overabundance of protein, and a deficiency of moisture. Too much structure makes the hair rigid, and decreases its elasticity.To treat over-proteinized hair, you will need to go into a simple deep conditioning and moisturising regimen. To treat over-moisturised hair, you will need some kind of protein to give the hair structure again.
So this is the balance I'm trying to maintain and hopefully I can tell when my hair needs what.. hope this was helpful for you as it was for me.
Be blessed all!!