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The Best Guide To Protein Moisture Balance in Hair

In the previous blog, we dealt with hair regimens and determining which was best for your hair. In this blog we’ll deal with hair protein moisture issues. Hair moisture is an issue that should be taken seriously. In the past, I have heard and read about the topic and neglected it. I had the hair length after all. I would use some protein from my DIY hair products thinking that that was enough, but I ignored the other detrimental warning signs of my hair. Disclaimer I’m not discrediting DIY protein treatments, but I just needed more than that. My hair had length and it looked generally healthy. As a result, Persons often asked me how I kept my hair so lush and healthy, however my hair was very frizzy and didn’t hold a style for too long. I thought it was just how my hair was but on my own research I was the importance of balance. Today’s topic is protein moisture balance. Please pay attention to your hair and its signs. However, I am low porosity and only plan to use protein moisture once a month. Someone with color-treated hair or high porosity might want to use it more often, however it depends on your hair. 

Protein Moisture

Hair Moisture

Moisture is the solution to dryness, brittleness, and dullness of the hair. In other words, hydrated hair is happy hair, and it is a start to your hair looking healthier. Moisture is needed in all hair types especially curly/coily/kinky textures since these textures are not straight. It takes a little time for the natural oils that our scalp normally produces to get to our entire strands. Therefore, these textures tend to need more moisture than others. The best moisturizer is water. It is also important to pick products that predominantly contain water in its ingredients. Other good ingredients include but not limited to aloe vera, glycerin, sorbitol, and other sugars. These can attract moisture from the air, further helping to retain moisture.  Water helps with the elasticity, softness, natural shine, and strength of your hair. Water as great as it is, needs to be sealed into the hair. This is where the LCO (liquid, cream, oil) and LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method comes in. These methods are an effective way to moisturize. If you have never heard about these methods, try both at separate times to see if your hair would be tolerate the LOC or the LCO. If you must pick a liquid, I suggest just water but there are other options like some leave-in conditioners, aloe Vera water, rose water, etc. The cream will depend on your hair. For example shea butter for tighter curls. The oil used is also up to you. An example of a great oil to use would be jojoba oil.

Signs of Too Much Moisture in The Hair

  • Hair is frizzy and feels dry
  • Hair is very elastic and stretches
  • Strands break but always stretches first before breaking
  • Hair feels soft, limp, or mushy especially when wet
  •  Hair doesn’t hold its curl or style well


  • Incorporate protein into your regime. You need structure and strength

Signs of Deficiency of Moisture

  • If experiencing a lot of breakage do a deeper protein treatment. You may just need one to re balance your hair
  • If hair is stretching but not actually breaking do a light treatment- add structure before it gets to the point where it starts to break
  •  If you’re unsure start with a lighter treatment

Hair Protein 

Proteins are the building blocks to tissue cells which include the cells of your hair, skin, and nails. Our hair is a complex fiber composed of dead cells, proteins, water, lipids, pigments, and trace elements. Our hair is made up substantially of proteins. In fact, our hair has 80-85% of protein called keratin.  These proteins we get from our diet and are made up of amino acids which your hair uses as building blocks to make our hair healthier and stronger.  We can get protein from our diet by eating such things as fish, eggs, red meat, poultry, cheese, beans, quinoa, tofu, seitan, legumes, and nuts. Do note, cheese may exacerbate eczema and dandruff in some persons. Though we do get protein in our diet, according to Ava Shamban MD, hair naturally loses moisture and nourishment the farther away it is from the root. “As we lose moisture and nourishment, the keratinized protein begins to unravel and break down. It loses strength, and elasticity, and the bonds weaken. Rebuilding, supporting, and boosting this protein matrix is key to healthy hair and scalp. This can be done chemically in the salon or more naturally and botanically at home.”

Signs of Too Much Protein in The Hair

Protein Moisture
  • Hair breaks and snaps very easily
  • Feels rough, brittle, straw like or tough
  • Stretches very little or not at all- just snaps
  • Hair breaks easily whether wet or dry


  • Start a moisturizing regime to bring back some elasticity to your hair

Signs of Deficiency of Protein

  • Clarify your hair to remove protein build up
  • Avoid proteins until hair is more balanced
  • Use water-based products; thick creamy conditioners and seal in moisture with oils/leave in conditioners
  • Incorporate weekly deep treatments into your routine
Protein Moisture

Protein Moisture Balance

Finding a balance can be tricky at times. Hopefully the information found in this blog can help you because striking a balance between moisture and protein is essential in having bouncy, defined curls. Too much moisture can leave your hair limp, mushy, and lifeless while too much protein can cause it to be brittle and straw-like.

Signs of a Well Balance Between Hair Moisture & Protein

  • Hair stretches slightly but returns to its original length without breaking
  • Holds style very well
  • Little or no breakage
  • Maintain the balance using a combination of protein and moisture
  • Observe how your hair acts and feels. Choose protein or moisture products accordingly
Protein Moisture

The Stretch Test

Another way to determine if you need protein or moisture is the stretch test. This test checks the elasticity of your hair to determine whether the hair needs protein or moisture.

First, take a single strand of hair between both thumbs and forefingers and stretch the hair. Then observe. Healthy hair will stretch roughly an extra 1/3 its length and return to its original size. Damaged hair may not return fully to its original size, whilst dry or brittle hair may break when put under tension.

If you find your hair snaps quickly, it needs moisture. If it stretches a lot, it needs more protein.

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