- Types of protein treatments
- How To Determine The Best Protein Treatment For You
- 5 Ways To Keep Your Hair Stong
- 3 The Best Hard Protein Treatments On The Market
We have talked about hair strength quite a bit on the blog, so much so that you might wonder why we would tackle the topic again. The truth is most of us tend to find pockets of information here and there and things can get confusing especially when our hair might be going through a crisis. It often helps to get a complete overall picture so that you can determine the best approach for your hair.
When we talk about the strength of your hair we are often referring to the structure of the hair strand. From a scientific perspective, every single hair strand has three layers, the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer which is made of flat protein cells that overlap each other like scales or tiles on a roof. These scales protect the innermost layers of the hair strand from damage.
In a perfect world, the more intact the outer layer of the hair strand is the stronger your hair will be. In a not so perfect world, like the one we live in our hair strands are subject to our own manipulation, heat, the environment, chemical treatments all of which erode the strand of its precious protein cells. When your hair strand is depleted, expect to have dry brittle hair that splits and breaks when the strand cannot hold on to itself any longer.
The thing that we all have to remember about hair is that once your hair follicle pushes out the from the scalp all the cells that determine the structure of your hair is all you are given for the life of the strand.
Your hair strand does not replicate itself along the length of it once it leaves the scalp which is why people say that your hair is dead. The only way to add strength in places where strength is lost is with protein or other agents that can stick to the strand and create temporary layers that will, in essence, make your hair stronger. In this post, we want to give you a comprehensive guide to strengthening your hair that will help you to eliminate breakage forever.
As we mentioned above hair is made up of protein cells, specifically Keratin and as your hair grows and undergoes more exposure to different things that we subject our hair to protein is lost and the hair loses some its elasticity or strength.
By using products that contain protein in them, you improve the hair’s elasticity and strength properties. Very curly and kinky* hair tends to be dry and quite fragile even in its natural state. With the addition of relaxers or color services, the hair tends to become weaker. Using a protein based conditioner improves the health of the hair immensely and should be applied to any regimen.
There are 6 types of proteins that can be used to treat our hair and they all perform a variety of functions that contribute to the strength of your hair.
Hydrolyzed Human Hair Keratin
This is the most potent of the proteins and matches the keratin in hair exactly. It keeps the hair pliable and strong.
Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein
The protein has been broken down so it can penetrate all layers of the hair better and as such is excellent for deep conditioning*. It also keeps the hair pliable and strong.
Silk is the strongest natural fibers and has very small molecules that can penetrate the hair shaft. It is excellent for deep conditioning* as it’s known to soften the hair.
This type of protein will generally just coat the hair shaft and repair damage on the outer layers, examples include eggs
This absorbs more easily into the hair without leaving any build up on the hair shaft.
Used in many conditioning products, this is a moisturizing and strengthening protein which also improves the hair’s ability to maintain moisture levels.
This increases the elasticity of the hair.
Protein treatments range from relatively light to quite strong and your job is to figure out just how much strength your hair needs so that you can determine what protein treatment to apply to your hair.
The rule of thumb is everybody needs a dose of protein at least every 3 weeks and that protein treatment can be light. Light proteins include vegetable, animal, silk or wheat proteins. Your hair might be doing well, very moisturized but getting to the point where your hair looks a little dull and the strand is very elastic.
Some women who have very fine hair can use a light protein weekly and see great success with their hair because the width of the strand is naturally thin and frankly they need a consistent boost in hair strength.
Hard protein treatments are hydrolyzed protein treatments where the protein from the product penetrate the hair strand and attaches itself to the inner layers of the hair strand. If your hair is chemically processed with color or a relaxer you will find that you will have to do a hard protein treatment every 6-8 weeks.
If your hair is stressed, breaking, dry, brittle very mushy and dull it may be time to do a hydrolyzed protein treatment or a hard protein treatment.