Proteins, Moisture, Emollients - how do I care appropriately for my hair?
You might have already stumbled upon the importance of the balance of proteins and moisture when it comes to your curly hair care.
And honestly, since I've understood the principle behind it, my world has transformed - or rather my curls. They are visibly healthier, more defined and bouncier. I even dare to say that my hair strands have developed from 2c to a 3b structure. Since I have found a good protein/moisture balance, single strands that had trouble getting into shape are now curlier than ever.
It is in no means difficult to understand the principle - you can even go ahead and rotate between and "experiment" with different products during several wash days (e.g. wash day 1: protein-dominant, wash day 2: moisture-dominant etc.).
One thing is for sure: every curl type needs protein and moisture - not either or.
The significance lays within the amount and the timing when to use protein and moisture. Whilst too much protein will dry out your hair and can lead to breakage, used in the right amount, it will lead to more bounce and stability.
Using only products with moisture is not ideal either. Over-moisturized hair will lead to soft curls that can't remain its curly structure. Typical characteristics include flat falling curls, poor curl formation and often times former curly hair on the top of the hair loses its volume and falls flat as well.
The key to success therefore lays within finding the right protein/moisture balance!
Before I go ahead and describe how you can find your personal protein/moisture balance, there are some fundamentals you should know about to comprehend why finding a balance is important for your hair care and why it is reasonable to integrate both, protein and moisture into your routine - no matter the curl type.
1. Why are protein and moisture so crucial for the right curl care? And where do emollients fit in?
Let's quickly talk about the structure of a hair strand: The cortex, which is the main part of our hair, is responsible for elasticity and stability and consists 90% of proteins, so called keratin.
Therefore, it also makes sense to supply the hair with sufficient protein to fill the holes in the hair that are created by external influences and chemical treatments. Proteins make the hair appear more stable and thicker. However, before proteins can dock, your curls need to be sufficiently moisturized. This is because proteins attach themselves to the water molecules they encounter along the way. So if proteins are applied to hair that is not sufficiently moisturized, they will absorb the moisture from the hair, which leads to dry hair.