Protein treatments are used to help repair damaged hair by filling in the hair shaft and giving it added strength. When you use a protein hair treatment, you can expect hair that is healthier and breaks less than before.
Chemically treated hair requires such treatments as the controlled damage of a relaxer breaks down the protein particles that naturally build the hair’s strength. 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.
Types of Protein Treatment
Protein treatments are classified by intensity. Most of the treatments that we can buy off the shelf at a hair salon or hair shop would be termed mild as they have a moisturizing component within them. There are also different types of protein that exist to build strength to your hair in different ways. AfricanHairBlog covers different protein types very succinctly.
Mild They are infused with both protein based ingredients like mayonnaise or keratin, but will also have moisturizing components within them. These are usually known as Cholesterol Treatments.
Products that I would place in the mild category include:
- Organic Root Stimulator: Hair Mayonnaise
- Lustrasilk Cholesterol Olive Oil
- Dark n Lovely Ultra Cholesterol Conditioning Treatment
The higher the strength of the treatments, the more protein based ingredients that are included in the product itself. Treatments with the highest intensity are those that have no moisture component within them at all.
Medium to High When applied on your hair, they actually harden it, making it brittle and crunchy. These come with strict instructions for use, as misuse of them could actually tangle and add to hair damage through breakage.
I was introduced to these treatments through Hairlistas in the US. The product of choice in all the hair forums is ApHogee. The ApHogee product range deals with hair that is damaged through the use of chemicals, heat or dyes and is need of repair. It truly does transform your hair after use.
After you treat your hair with protein that’s this intense, an added moisturising deep conditioner is required to get your hair to be more manageable softer and supple. After you finish this treatment, your hair will feel stronger and be soft too.
Should I treat my hair before a retouch?
I say yes! I’ve seen such a difference since I’ve started. About a week before I retouch my hair, I use the use ApHogee’s 2-Step Protein Treatment. The protein treatment prepares my hair for the relaxing process by strengthening the hair.
Check out ‘ApHogee Product Use Guide’ which will take you through when to use their products.
Dark N Lovely has a mild protein reconstructor in their latest relaxer kit. It’s simply called ‘Silk Keratin Serum’. In between the relaxer and the neutralizing shampoo, this serum is used in the relaxing process. It helps restore the protein that was lost during the relaxing stage. I could actually tell the difference after using this relaxer as opposed to the previous ones, my hair felt stronger.
1 if you’re not big on protein treatments start out slow. Start with the cholesterol treatments that combine protein with moisture.
2 if you decide to use medium to high intensity protein treatments add moisture because protein alone doesn’t replenish moisture.
3 If you have weak damaged hair, certainly look into building a protein treatment before you retouch your hair.
4 Make sure you balance protein treatment with moisture treatment because there is such a thing as too much protein. Excess protein leaves no room for moisture in hair, rendering it dry. Dry hair is an invitation for it to break.
5 ‘Women with relaxed or color treated hair need more protein than others. If you are relaxed or color treated, those processes have compromised the protein structure of your hair. Relaxing and coloring breaks protein bonds, and depending on the type and strength of the relaxer, and level of bond breakage you incur, you will need more or less protein than someone else. There are also some people whose hair is more protein deficient by nature (genetics, low protein dietary intake), so they require more regular protein than others to keep the balance intact.’ The Fine Art of Protein and Moisture Balancing for Black Hair Care
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