BY TARIEMI OREORITSE
Caring for natural hair can be a struggle, especially since you already know that natural hair care doesn’t end with just washing and conditioning. Dryness split ends, and loose curls are also signs that your hair might be protein deficient.
While natural hair contains protein structures, environmental conditions, exposure and product build-up could cause the loss of this protein. This is where protein treatments come into play. Using a protein treatment on your natural hair replaces the lost protein; nourishing and strengthening your hair, causing it to grow to its full potential.
What is Protein Treatment?
Protein treatments are conditioning treatments that replace lost hair protein by adding protein to the cuticle layer of hair strands. These protein treatments strengthen the hair, preventing damage to its follicles.
Differences between Protein Treatments and Deep Conditioning
Deep conditioning also does the same treatments as protein treatments, adding moisture to the hair and restoring its elasticity. However, protein treatments go the extra mile to bind proteins to the hair strands, strengthening the natural hair to prevent breakage.
For optimum performance, you must alternate between deep conditioning and applying a protein treatment to your natural hair. This would ensure that your hair maintains its adequate protein-moisture balance. As such, it is highly recommended that you do a protein treatment once a month.
You should also note that applying too much protein treatment can cause your hair to break, make it more straw-like, dry and cause it to lose its natural shine, defeating the purpose of the protein treatment.
Healthy hair. | Image: Hairlovetoknow
Benefits of Protein Treatments for Natural Hair
Protein treatments contain amino acids, which are also an essential part of the body. The human hair is made up of proteins, a large majority of which are keratins. When exposed to heat, pollutants and chemicals, this protein (keratin) breaks down, making the hair susceptible to dryness and breakage.
Protein treatments act as a protective barrier for your hair, filling up holes and gaps within the hair cuticle. This makes your hair look and feels a lot healthier while strengthening it. Protein treatments have become an essential part of maintaining or restoring healthy natural hair.
These are some benefits of protein treatments for the hair:
- Protein treatments nourish and strengthen your natural hair, removing dead cells from the scalp and replacing lost protein in the hair.
- Protein treatments add extra body and volume to the natural hair, making it thicker, longer and healthier.
- It reduces hair breakage, prevents split ends and strengthens hair strands.
- Using protein treatments on the natural hair ensures that your hair maintains its natural balance of proteins, oils and nutrients.
How to Choose Protein Treatments
When choosing protein treatments, you must choose the right treatment for your needs and follow the instructions carefully. Here is how to choose a protein treatment for your hair needs:
Light Protein Treatments
If you are looking for protein treatments for regular routine hair care, it is important that you choose treatments containing keratin. These light protein treatments help treat relaxed, dyed hair as well as weak hair.
These light protein treatments should be applied between two to three times each month and must be balanced appropriately with a moisturising conditioner to prevent dryness and breakage.
For natural hair with severe breakage, be sure to use a protein treatment after each shampoo until your hair regains its elasticity, and the breakage reduced.
Protein Treatments for Serious Damage
For hair breakage caused by severe chemical damage, your hair would require more intensive protein treatments. To do this, we recommend visiting a professional salon. Also, note that these protein treatments designed for severe breakage should be used just once every six to eight weeks to prevent further damaging the hair.
Make sure to track your protein treatments. Once used appropriately, most of the hair breakage should stop.
Natural hair requires protein treatments at least once a month to replenish lost protein and revive it, stopping hair breakage and dryness. The hair treatments are a great way to bring back the lost shine of your hair, ensuring it keeps its curls and bounce. It is wisest to pair your protein treatments with a deep conditioner to ensure its maximum efficiency.