Monday, October 24, 2011

Hair Theory: Protein-Moisture Balance

Hey ladies,

I'm sure you have heard these words being thrown around but do you really understand what it means? Understanding how protein and moisture interact with our hair is vital in healthy hair care as our strands cannot survive without either. This post is going to take a look how protein and moisture impacts our hair, how we can determine what our hair needs and the different ways we can effectively infuse the same into our strands.


We all know that our strands are made from a protein called keratin. This gives our hair its structure and strength. Our hair experiences wear and tear as we go about our day and its exposed to the elements. We need to continually treat our strands with protein to rebuild and reinforce them.

Signs that your hair needs protein: Your hair feels mushy, not just soft but overly soft when wet. Combing wet hair results in alot of breakage. You feel like its better for you to manipulate your hair when its dry because its just too weak and stretchy when its wet. Think of over-cooked spaghetti... you get the picture right.

Key Ingredients to look for: Keratin, wheat protein, silk protein, amino acids, egg, placenta

Conditioners: Motions CPR (hard), ORS Hair Mayonnaise(Medium), ORS Replenishing pack (light). These are just a few examples. But the general rule for finding protein conditioners is looking out for key words like repair, strengthen, stop breakage.


Moisture is responsible for our hairs elasticity. This is the hairs ability to stretch then recoil back to its original length. This is important because as we manipulate our strands, our hair needs to be able to stretch and recoil. All moisture comes from water!!
Signs that your hair needs moisture: Think of dry uncooked spaghetti as your hair, now picture trying to comb your hair into a pony tail...yes major breakage... hear the spaghetti breaking as you attempt to wrap the ponytail holder around it. This is what hair that needs moisture/ has too much protein is like. It is hard and rigid, breaks by just touching it...You  feel like its better to manipulate your hair when is wet because it breaks easily... leaving little pieces everywhere if you comb it when its dry.

Key Ingredients to look for: WATER...while water is only source of moisture their are certain substances called humectants that help draw water into the hair strand... glycerine, honey, aloe vera are all humectants.

Conditioners: Motions moisture plus, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Mask. Look for words like moisturize, soften/soft, bouncy.

How to effectively infuse protein and moisture into our strands??

I believe that the most effective way of doing this is deep conditioning with heat for about 30 minutes. Our hair's cuticles act like little doors that allow substances in and out of our strands... we need to open these doors using heat (heat raises the cuticle) to allow for deep penetration. Some have also been successful with baggying (deep conditioning in a ponytail)overnight or throughout the day allowing their body heat to aid with penetration.

So at the end off all of this, hair that has a proper protein/moisture balance is like al dente spaghetti...  done just right!! It is good to have all this information but each of us must get to know our hair. It takes time and alot of trial and error but if you stick with it.. you would know exactly what your hair needs just by touching it.

Hope thus information is useful... Happy hair growing to all!!



  1. hey!

    clicked on your blog from LHCF...always wondered about the diff btwn protein and moisture issue.

    My hair is really dry...what do you think I need to do to it?

  2. Hi Christy,

    Its hard to say off the bat.. I need to know what your current regimen is... but you can try deeep conditioning with a moisturising conditioner (mix in some glycerine).... and using a leave in that contains aloe vera juice... this help seal in moisture... also, how often do you shampoo? your hair need to be clarified... when silicones build up on your hair... it from a barrier that doesnt let any moisture in ...a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse may do your hair well.