Healthy Hair Balance between Moisture and Protein

When either protein or moisture are out of balance, your hair is at risk.

When either protein or moisture are out of balance, your hair is at risk.

If you're trying to get your tresses happy and make healthy hair, you'll want to learn about the balance between protein and moisture.  It may sound like getting the most of all good things will make you hair it can be, but when it comes to your locks, too much of a good thing can actually backfire.

Before you understand over- or under-use of moisturizers or protein-packed products, you'll want to get a grasp on what each of these mean for your hair in the first place.

  • Protein is used in your hair, just as your body, as a means of giving strength and structure.  You're not likely to see any beautiful body in the gym that doesn't understand the importance of protein, and it's just as unlikely that beautiful hair isn't packed with the perfect amount of protein, too (even if simply by nature!)
  • Moisture is proteins counterpart that allows the strong locks to become flexible and elastic.

When either protein or moisture are out of balance, your hair is at risk for snapping, breaking, being unfriendly to hairbrushes, or having curls made of frizz.

If you have ethnic or textured hair, you have tresses that naturally drink tons of moisture.  If you use tons of products and styling tools, you are also susceptible to having the moisture zapped from the follicles of your hair.  Keep in mind that "unbalanced" can mean too little OR too much.  If you're seeing quick and snappy breakage, you probably don't have enough moisture in your hair.  Conversely, hair that's experiencing breakage but is super stretchy and limp is likely too full of moisture.

Happy hair should be able to stretch a little and peacefully go back into place without breaking or drooping along the way.  If this describes your hair, you might be well-balanced in the moisture department.

How do you know the right ratio of protein and moisture for your hair?  If you like to cook, think of buying your hair products the same way you would buy protein for your body.  You're probably not going to buy ground beef that's 50/50, and you don't want a protein to moisture ratio that's perfectly half and half, either.  Rather, you're probably looking for an 80/20, 70/30, or 60/40 ratio, depending on the amount of styling products and tools you use, your natural hair type, and the type and frequency that you apply chemical products to your tresses.

Figuring out your own configuration may take a little patience while you go through trial-and-error.  As you're in the testing phases, keep an eye on the way your hair behaves when it's wet.  This will allow you to see how limp, fragile, and inflexible your hair is going to be so you can diagnose the problem and get on your way to lovelier locks.

If you're looking for a little help with determining the state of your strands, contact the folks at Shaggin' Salon, and get let the professionals get a look at your locks.