We run hair stories and interviews for a number of reasons; it feels great to share if you are the individual who is sharing, and it is just plain interesting to see what another person is doing with her hair, not to mention getting inspired and learning a thing or two.
Well we have a confession. Someone taught us something and we thought it was just brilliant and worth reiterating! Remember Yahya?
She was the girl sporting hip length relaxed hair and had a ton of knowledge about how her hair worked, and a not so typical approach to caring for it.
There was a portion of her interview that created all kinds of flashing light bulbs in our heads but it was kind of genius. Read it again.
You have mentioned before about applying protein in layers after starting Japanese straightening, what does that mean?
I treat my hair like a hierarchy. My new growth is the protein rich, under that is middle, then lower class, and my ends are in poverty. To turn this natural hierarchy into an equality, I have to give more proteins to the ends and less to my new growth. I believe this also helps my line of demarcation. One can do this layering in many different ways but I do it simply by doing protein co-washes. Between real washes I might co-wash the bottom half of my hair, rinse that out, and do another co-wash on my ends. Sometimes I do this layering by applying protein leave-ins more on my ends and less as I go up
Brilliant right!? Well guess what? She is right, our hair is like a class system with the richest or healthiest portions at the very top while the poorest protein deficient portions are at the ends. Whether your hair is relaxed or natural it is pretty much the same thing.
On relaxed hair or natural hair, your new growth will represent the strongest portion of your strand and the quality of the strand diminishes as you get close to the end, which isn’t a bad thing; it just is what it is.
As we have said before protein is the building block of the hair strand and using it effectively during your regimen is what will be the key to length retention and overall hair health. We wanted to explore Yahya’s protein shot idea in further detail and maybe suggest ways you can also incorporate it in your own regimen.
Typically our regimens will include a strict schedule of moisturizing our strands whether it is through deep conditioning* weekly or co washing mid week, and then a full blown protein treatment once every month or every two months.
Doing just that is absolutely fine, and as we always say, if it aint broke, then don’t try to fix it. However, if you want to figure out an easier or different way of doing things, we are open to suggesting a few.
Weekly Protein Shots For Your Ends
Most of us on healthy hair journeys have a weekly regimen of adding moisture to our hair, so that we do not experience any dryness and ultimately any breakage. Our suggestion is that you add protein to that mix using a water based leave in conditioner*.
There are leave in conditioners that are heavy on the protein that you can actually spray on your ends every other night or so to keep them strong and breakage free. A great product that can be used for just that is the It’s a 10 Leave In Conditioner with Keratin or Redken Extreme Anti Snap Leave In. Though they are a bit on the pricey side for leave in conditioners, these products have great reviews and have been known to be very effective.
Layer Your Deep Conditioners
For relaxed women who stretch for weeks at a time, managing your new growth along with the relaxed ends can be very difficult.
A great solution would be to do a moisture based treatment geared towards detangling on your new growth above your line of demarcation, and then a protein based treatment on the second half of your hair below the line of demarcation.
I can see where you might think, “ehh that’s too much work,” and in that case this might not be a great idea for you; however, if you do not mind doing a little something extra for your hair then give that suggestion a shot and see how your hair does with it.
Even a natural who styles her hair often including flat ironing can benefit from this layering technique. Think about it, those ends that keep being pulled and prodded into shape in your perm rods* for a braid and curl will need more attention than the hair closer to the roots.
Natural Hair Suffering From Heat Damage Or Color Damage
Before we even get into our suggestion, your number one point for managing any damaged hair is to remove it completely with a good trim. There are no miracle cures for heat damage or color damage but if the damage is not that bad you can try to help yourself if you think there is a chance your curls might come back.
Instead of doing a full blown protein treatment on your whole head focus on those areas that need protein using a hard protein treatment. This way you have a more focused approach on the damaged areas.
Alter Your Co-washes
Most of us have 2 or 3 conditioners waiting for us in the shower just to add a little spice to midweek wash day. Instead of focusing on which one smells the best or the consistency of the product, why not tailor your conditioner to your hair’s needs.
If they do not already contain what you need or need a little bolstering, add the ingredients that enhance moisture where needed and protein where needed. In this case the layering technique can come in very handy.
Start off your co-wash with something that is moisture based because that is pretty much the point of the mid week wash. Once you have done that, end your process with protein conditioner applied just to the ends or bottom half of your hair, leaving it on for a couple minutes before rinsing it.
Let us know if you agree that layering protein might be something worth trying, we certainly think so!
Sarah Juchemich says
Just be careful not to over use protein! The protein can work so well it seals the hair cuticle so well allowing no moisture in -resulting in brittle hair that breaks. The opposite of what all curly girls want. A little bit is awesome especially on those protein depleted ends- but too much of a good thing can work against you. Don’t go crazy thinking more is better.
I couldn’t agree more. Before my regimen now, I was scared of using protein because of how it made my hair feel, but after playing with different products and trying different methods I’ve learned that my hair loves protein in moderation so I don’t think I need to layer but to continue in to be persistent with my protein treatments…
Lisa Dennis Carter says
I never needed all this type of sh*t to grow hair and I thank god for that
ShuReyrah Pln says
Says a person who’s up on every post! #smdh
Not everyone is as lucky as you are Lisa. Most of us have to work hard for our length.
Tamiko Beckwith says
It’s good to do a protein pack every other month with eggs and mayo for 15 minutes
Leandra Mauricio says
this thing not work for mi, i dont need this things thank god i have **very good “4c hair”**. this protain cose mi breakage noooo i just do this 2 and my hair hates it…so.. i back to hod school (dax pomade and olive oil) and mi hair is happy again growing like crazy and strong and healthy as always was <3 it 🙂
R Brown says
This article was exactly the type of info I needed right now. I have been transitioning for 7 months and my relaxed ends are thinning out at the line of demarcation. I am willing to try this out to stretch my transition before I chop off the relaxed ends.. Thanks for this article. Brilliant!
Your welcome love, good luck on your transition
Sheila Gaylon Barnett says
Protein is a great tool for strengthen the hair, however it shouldn’t be over used because of it’s chemical structure tendency to cause the hair to become dry and brittle. Using a quality moisturizer that has more aqua and essential oils will help. Be careful if you try it at home, always consult a professional hair stylist for the best product line for your hair.
baby cake says
When I had a professional color service done to my hair; I experienced a lot of sheading even bald spots. I did an Aphogee Protein treatment every 6 weeks; it stopped the sheading and did protective styling for one year. My hair grew back. I do a henna treatment every 4-6 weeks with much success.
Valerie Wilson says
This works great for me. Most professional stylist have no clue what they are doing. If they did we all would not be on a hair journey. Smh
Pamela Hernandez-Jones says
I agree Valerie Wilson. I have been transitioning since December, 2012 and I have visited with 3 different professional stylists and left the salon worst than I arrived. My hair was much healthier before using their color, etc. services. I have been researching and following natural hair blogs to help with my journey.
I guess I am one of the lucky ones. My stylist has asked about the products and my regimen for my hair. She has seen the progress and when I have her relax or style my hair, once every three months, she comments how healthy my hair is and tells me to keep up the good work. That’s why I call her the “Master Stylist”; she really is!!!!
Sharon Williams-Lester says
Being of mixed race don’t hurt either
Sharon Williams-Lester says
True Valerie, some professionals don’t focus on the health of your hair, only style and getting you out so they can wait on the next client.
that is true Sharon all they think about is money not your hair which is bedazzling to me because you would think they want you to come back, I’ve had a bad experience with a product I got from the hair show in Atlanta call GK (global keratin) broke my hair off and a beautician put it in guess she didn’t know maybe how to put it in or what it would do to your hair anyway she never once treated my hair back to health that’s why I think they should go to classes to update there skill like doctors need too.
Lisa Dennis Carter says
What happened to good old fashioned hair grease and brush & water? Old school
Marie Veal says
To much of anything is bad for you… Protein is great when needed but if over used it can make the hair brittle and break …. Always work from the inside out …. All that you put in comes out !!!!
Janice T. Johnson says
I do my avocado mask, proceed with Co washing, then deep condition with shea moisture. Lastly, my redken anti snap. That is the truth. I apply that all over.
I have to agree with you Janice that redken is really a great product… especially as a finisher.. gives your ends that extra strength it needs. – Thanks for Sharing
Valerie Johnson says
I stopped using my flat iron completely and my hair grew at record speed…my hair is permed…this is 5 weeks post perm so it’s closer to its natural thickness…it was just at shoulder length from January of this year…I wash my hair every day even though some say we shouldn’t wash our hair that often…I do…I blow dry and use a curling iron daily too…sorry not good at following “rules” lol…
Panama M America says
i wash daily as well and clarify and DC on fridays. However, i am too scared to use styling tools more than twice a yr. workout 7days a week and sweat hard. can’t just not wash my hair and feel clean. my hair ,scalp is fine and thriving. LCO daily .
I just checked out both the conditioners mentioned in this article and found them on Amazon at what I would say a “reasonable” price for what I need. You can get either product for $12.99 – $19.99 with both of them being new and not used – eww. I’m placing an order for the Redken because the cold Wisconsin weather can wreck havoc on hair. Thank you for this article Emily.
Your Welcome Ruth~ Hope they work for you!!..
My hair is relaxed.This has been helping me a bunch! I find that as my hair gets longer, it requires a little more protein on the ends. This helps keep them strong. I just use a protein based moisturizer on the ends and add a tad bit of glycerin. Simple yet effective. I enjoyed the article.
Thanks Shayz, we always have to find innovative ways of attaining our goals and if this works, then why not!.. glad it works for you, I know it has defin. been working for me!
La Shonda Black says
Too much protein can dry your hair out…stop trying to do your own hair
Tanya Stinson says
Yeah now that’s good looking good i washed my children hair everyday too it was healthy good luck
Mia Eubanks says
Ok. I’d like to try this. I have a question. Do you put the leave in in after or before your oils and creams?
Always before… oils seal in moisture so you add your moisture based products first and then trap them in the strand with your oils or butters.
Ep Ife Ny says
Moisture with oil or Shea butter daily to protect ends from breakage. If u sprits the hair with pure water your hair cuticles will absorb the moisturizer more easily and prevent split ends and breakage.
Ep Ife Ny says
Build of oils and grease on the scalp just clogs the scalp pores and prevents new growth. Our hair has its own natural grease (sebum) avoid any moisture to scalp and use protective styling. Cowash the hair twice a month.
Akilah Smith says
La Shonda sometimes doing your Own hair is better than going to a salon. And not everyone has salon money either so learning your own hair is better and cheaper
This article was a great read, although I don’t think I need to “layer the protein” for my hair it totally makes sense because most of us do have different textures and curl patterns. I learned a few months ago how much my hair loves protein (but in moderation). I do my weekly protein treatment (aphogee keratin and sometimes the 2 step) and follow up with a deep condish. For moisturizing and sealing I like the Cantu shea butter products and coconut oil…
It’s funny how something simple can change your hair. I love you protein you’re my hero <3 lol :))
Bobbie Fletcher says
Mix protein/ moisturizer.There’s your balance.
Jenelle B. says
But what if you’re natural with no heat damage and is chemical free but you want to do this to retain more length especially if you wear more out styles more often?
Emily CottonTop says
Janelle, this is meant for all hair types, I am natural, no chemical treatments whatsover and I do this often because for me I like to keep my ends strong so I tend to use more protein on them than other areas of my head. I do use protein all over my hair but on a daily or every 2 day basis I will spritz a little of my protein based leave in on the ends of my hair and seal them up. Layering protein is really great for hair generally and also since you mentioned out styles, then you might need a more on your ends then too. When your ends are exposed they go through more wear and tear than if they were constantly tucked away.
Lisa Truly Blessed Hawthorne says
Which proteins are best for hair?
Tammie Faulkner Taylor says
I like this article. My hair broke off from too much protein/infusium 23.
Serenity Bliss says
infusium23 has silicons in it which causes your hair to dry out
Cheetara Csfinnels says
This does make since! I am definitely up for trying. My problem will be trying to figure out the right amount to use and not over do it.
Odessa Patton says
My hair hates protein-infused products! 🙁 Must have enough then, actually. I love the results of others’
Bethany J Thomas says
If my hair will look like that,no thanks.
Tawanda Lck says
The last couple articles – I have not been able to go to page 2. I can only read what’s on page 1 from my phone.
Hmm, I just tried on an iPhone and android and it works fine. Restart your browser perhaps?
Rhumel Anderson says
I had the same problem initially. I went out and came back in. I then had no problem.
Tawanda Lck says
Yeah. It worked when I went back in but it doesn’t always.
Bernadette Maame Gyamfuah Addy-Bennett says
….or go all da way down to da last paragraph, u see a number 1 and a number 2, 3, etc click on each one 2 take u 2 dat page number
Tawanda Lck says
When I click on the other page numbers, it never goes to that page.
I tried again later and it worked.
Jewelz Jew-Jew Saunders Cda says
I learned to moisture and seal by placing light oil coverage, them misting, and then apply moisturizer, and seal with oil.
The oil was protein coconut or avacado