Does your hair need protein or moisture or both?
Does your hair need protein or moisture, or both?
It’s no secret that curly and coily hair needs more moisture and hydration than other hair types. But did you know that it might just need protein too? If you’ve never heard of protein for your hair but you’re struggling with dry hair that’s prone to breakage, then it might just be what you’re missing out on in your routine.
What’s the difference between moisture and protein?
So why does hair need moisture? When it comes to taking care of your hair, moisture helps your hair to retain length and shine by hydrating your hair. This is a big deal for curly hair, that can look shorter, drier and less shiny than other hair types, thanks to a combo of shrinkage, light reflection and moisture being unable to travel down the hair strand.
Moisturising treatments are normally made from ingredients like oils, butters and fatty acids. These penetrate into the scalp and help to restore dry hair by hydrating it from root to tip. This means shiny hair that looks healthy and bouncy.
And why does hair need protein? Protein helps with elasticity (aka the amount of stretch your hair has in it before it breaks). It helps to keep your hair strong too, which means less breakage and restoring damaged hair. You might need both to keep your curly hair in its best condition - and if it’s damaged, a combo of the two can help keep your hair healthy.
Protein treatments are usually plant-based and made from wheat, soy, rice or silk that contain hydrolysing proteins. They support the hair by filling in damaged or weak parts of the hair, meaning it’s stronger and healthier, and helping to protect the inner cuticle of the hair.
Where does hydration fit in?
You’ll see hydration and moisture talked about when it comes to your curly hair routine. They’re the same thing, right? Well not quite. Curls, coils and waves need both hydration and moisture to stay healthy, shiny and defined. Hydration is what’s going on in the inside of your hair strands, how they absorb and retain water. Moisture is all about the outside of your hair, and sealing the water inside your hair with oils so it doesn’t evaporate ASAP.
The #1 bestselling Curl Jelly helps to keep the moisture in your hair, thanks to the glycerin and castor oil in there. It helps seal in the moisture for defined, shiny and frizz-free curls.
Does your hair need moisture?
If your hair’s in need of moisture, you’ll notice it feels dry, rough and tangles easily. You might get split ends easily, and your curls might not be curling so well. Dull hair that doesn’t hold heat styles so well (remember: Super Sleek Heat Protecting Spray is an absolute must have when it comes to heat styling).
Want to test if your hair’s dried out and in need of some moisture? Take a strand of wet hair from your head, pinch each end with your fingers, and gently pull it. If the hair stretches and then returns to its original length then you’re good. If it doesn’t return to its original length, then it’s pretty likely that your hair’s dry and in need of some moisture.
Remember, moisture helps to keep your hair hydrated and creates bouncy, springy curls by keeping your hair’s elasticity in check. All hair types need moisture, but curly, coily and wavy hair can be especially prone to drying out and breakage.
Does your hair need protein?
Wondering whether or not your hair needs protein? The first thing to check is whether your hair is porous or not. This basically means how quickly your hair absorbs water. High porosity hair will absorb water really quickly, whereas low porosity hair will usually mean that water sits on top of the hair shaft.
There are a few tests you can try to work out whether your hair is porous or not:
- Take a section of curl strands for different places on your hair, stretch out your curl and slide your thumb and finger from the tip to the scalp. If your fingers move easily, and your hair feels dense and hair then your hair’s low porosity. If it feels smooth, then your porosity is pretty balanced. If your hair feels rough (or it breaks), then you have high porosity hair.
- Try taking a hair that you’ve shed into a glass of water. If it sinks straight away your hair is high porosity. If it floats, your hair’s low porosity. Sinks slowly? Your hair’s balanced when it comes to your porosity.
- Another way to check is to lightly spray a small section of your hair with water and see what happens. Does it soak up the water quickly? High porosity. Does it sit on top of your hair? Low porosity.
So why do you need to care about hair porosity when it comes to protein? Low porosity hair tends to be resistant to moisture and is often protein-sensitive. This means that too much protein can make it stiff and brittle, leading to breakage. High porosity hair however, doesn’t have a lot of protein in there, so it doesn’t tend to be as strong.
If you don’t have enough protein in your hair, it might feel mushy or sticky (trust us - if your hair feels like this, you’ll know exactly what we mean). It might also be limp, stringy and struggling with elasticity. You’ll also find that it breaks easy, and clumps together - but not in the good way that means a good curl day.
Can your hair need protein and moisture together?
100%. Especially curly hair. It usually needs the right balance of moisture and protein for health, strength and shine - plus bouncy, defined curls that are shiny and strong. Without protein, your hair will lose moisture easily and without moisture your hair will look flat and dull
If your hair’s in need of protein and moisture, then we’ve got just the thing. Our new Thirsty Curls range delivers a unique triple-hydrating complex that combines moisture-loving wheat proteins with hyaluronic acid, snow mushroom and black oat extract that seals in moisture, banishes frizz and gives long-lasting hydration while feeling weightless on the hair.
It’s also free from silicones and sulphates so it’s perfect for curly hair that’s feeling dry and in need of some TLC. It delivers on hydration for up to 72 hours. Check out the Thirsty Curls Shampoo and Conditioner Duo, Thirsty Curls Dehydration SOS Curl Treatment Mask and Thirsty Curls Curl Enhancing Hydrating Lotion for a serious protein and moisture boost.