If you’ve read The Science of Black Hair, you know that we speak at length about the protein/moisture balance (Chapter 6, pg. 93). It’s just so important!
For those of you who are like: the protein/moisture what? Here’s a quick video (well six minutes is not exactly quick, but you know what I mean!), that shows how pasta can help us understand the protein/moisture balance a little better. Enjoy!
Our hair is made up of both protein and moisture components ( + some binding materials to hold it all together.) In order to keep your hair healthy, and to prevent breakage and splitting, you’ll need to maintain adequate levels of both in your hair. Fortunately, our hair products are formulated to meet either our hair’s moisture or protein needs.
There are lots of things that affect our hair’s protein/moisture balance:
The protein balance is affected by:
heat styling (heat denatures our hair’s natural protein)
chemical treatments (relaxing and coloring)
our diet/health (poor nutrition in, equals poor quality hair coming out)
The moisture balance is affected by:
pretty much, everything.
The air around us has a 24/7 ongoing moisture trade with our hair. Day and night. Add to that, the fact that nearly everything mentioned above in the protein section also kills your moisture chances — you can see why moisture is such a fickle hair property. But it’s definitely the most important.
Everyone needs moisture above all else– relaxed or natural. But those with relaxed and/or color-treated hair really need to get good doses of both. If your hair is natural, you’ll find that you can go quite a long time without ever really needing much supplemental protein. That’s because most of your protein structure is still intact. You’ll still need some protein here and there, especially if you spend time in the sun or use heat regularly. That’s true for everyone!
Now . . . The problem with most new hair care regimens is that they look like this:
It may not even be that you’re using too many protein products per se’– it’s just that your hair care practices in general aren’t contributing to a healthy moisture balance. Your “moisturizers” may not be moisturizing enough, you might be using too much heat too close together, or your water may be hard. You may also still be one of those people who uses oils, waxes and butters to moisturize your hair instead of a real water-based hydrator.
In any case, staying on top of your moisture balance is everything! It’ll truly make or break your regimen. =D