The Importance Of Protein Treatments For Afro Hair
What is the ultimate goal for any curly-haired natural? It’s safe to say that we all just want healthy, full, and just as a bonus, long hair. Apart from the usual things you should, and should not do to your hair to achieve your hair goals. So, is a protein treatment really that important?
Stick around and see what you need to know about protein treatments on natural afro hair.
So, what is a protein treatment?
This is a conditioning treatment that adds protein to the cuticles of your hair strands making it stronger and less likely to get damaged. It is not to be confused with a deep conditioning treatment whose main aim is to impart moisture. Since hair is made of up protein cells called Keratin, it is important to include a protein treatment every so often to ensure that your hair health is supplemented and maintained.
Just for clarification, a deep conditioning treatment is not the same as a protein treatment as a deep conditioner adds moisture while a protein treatment helps promote elasticity by binding protein cells to hair.
Benefits of protein treatments on hair.
- Softening natural hair by taking away dead cells from the scalp.
- Adding extra body and volume to hair making it thicker, longer and healthier.
- Helps reduce breakage, split ends and strengthening brittle hair.
- Ensuring that hair maintains its balance of proteins, oils and nutrients.
How do you know you need protein in your hair?
Since the last thing you want is to over-do your protein treatments, here are a few things you can look out for to know if your hair is in need of one;
- If you have highly porous hair. This is because protein helps your cuticles close up temporarily allowing for longer retention of nutrients and moisture.
- If you recently coloured/chemically processed your hair. Relaxing, texturizing, dyeing, and bleaching of hair weakens hair strands making them susceptible to breakage and damage. Because protein strengthens hair strands, this might be a good time for you to fortify your strands against any kind of damage. After all, chemically altering the structure of your hair does have its consequences.
- If your hair has lost its elasticity. If you pull on a strand of hair and it breaks, it means that it is in need of a protein treatment to boost its elasticity. Ideally, your hair should stretch and go back to its original length without breaking.
How often should you do a protein treatment?
The frequency at which a protein treatment should be administered is totally dependent on your hair’s porosity. What does this mean? Well, typically, any article online will tell you to space them out between 6-8 weeks apart.
But. When it comes to highly porous hair, the cuticles are so damaged that they too open and often need a little patching up every once in a while. This is where the protein treatment comes in.
Protein acts as a temporary bandage that closes these holes temporarily. Therefore, a protein treatment will suffice every 4 weeks or shorter in case of severe damage.
Let’s talk lowly porous hair, shall we?
When it comes to lowly porous hair, 6-8 weeks will suffice as there are no holes needing patching and the application of too much protein could lead to product build-up or a protein overload.
What should you use for a protein treatment?
Although you can make protein treatments at home from eggs and even mayonnaise, chances are that it will not be as effective as specially prepared protein treatment hair products like Full Bloom Beauty's Fortify. Why is that? This is because protein treatment products consist of hydrolysed proteins that will penetrate the cuticles better.
What are hydrolysed proteins?
This is when protein strands are unchained into smaller chains or amino acids allowing for easier absorption. Simply put. It is like having very small molecules of protein already broken down for your hair’s convenience.
Now, although using a whole egg can work as a protein treatment, the protein bonds in it is too dense for hair to absorb it. Sure trace amounts will get through but not to the point where your hair has had its fill. For this reason, look for products that have the word ‘hydrolysed protein’ on them.
Protein treatments are great and work well to ensure that your hair is strong and healthy. However, you should be on the look-out for protein treatment products specifically made for hair. They should contain “hydrolysed proteins” that help hair absorb proteins better than when using raw eggs or any other sources of protein. They are also more convenient and easier to use as part of your haircare routine.