Moisture vs Protein conditioners

It’s so important to use conditioners on your hair to replace moisture and/or protein. Black hair is the driest of all hair types and needs moisture more than other hair types. One important way of adding moisture back to is by deep conditioning it at least once a week with a moisturizing conditioner.

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What is hair conditioning?

There are 2 major groups of conditioners:

  1. Protein conditioners; and
  2. Protein-free conditioners (also called moisturizing conditioners)

Is there any difference between moisturizing and protein conditioners? Simply put, a protein conditioner contains proteins while a moisturizing conditioner does not.

Proteins are an integral part of your hair structure. To maintain healthy hair, you also need to add protein back to it by ingesting adequate proteins internally and using protein conditioners externally.

Common types of proteins to look out for in your hair products include:

  • Keratin
  • Collagen
  • Amino acids
  • Eggs
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein (this is actually more of a moisturizer. If you see this in your conditioner but there is no other protein, consider that conditioner to be a moisturizing conditioner).
  • Rice protein
  • Oat protein
  • Milk protein

The next question you might ask me is so how do I add moisture AND protein to my hair? How much protein or moisture do I need?

Excess proteins in your hair can lead to hard hair and breakage. On the other hand, excessive moisture causes extra soft, mushy hair. However, when in doubt of what conditioner to pick, I would say that you use moisturizing conditioners more frequently than protein conditioners.

You can add protein to your hair in different ways.

Choose the option that seems preferable to you.  These are just suggestions and does not exhaust all the different ways you can use protein conditioners. You might come to a final decision by trial and error. What works for one person might not work for another person.

1. Prepoo with light protein weekly

  • prepoo with a light protein conditioner weekly (Light protein please)
  • shampoo your hair.
  • deep condition with a good moisturizing conditioner.

2. Deep condition weekly with a light or moderate protein conditioner

  • Wash
  • Apply your light protein conditioner. Leave it in for as long as you wish, maybe 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse it out
  • Follow with a moisturizing (protein-free) deep conditioner (optional)
  • Use a protein-free leave-in conditioner if you skipped using a moisturizing deep conditioner.

 3. Alternate moisturizing and protein conditioners from week to week

  • Use a protein conditioner this week and then the following week, you can use a non-protein/moisturizing conditioner.

4. Use a moderate to heavy protein conditioner once a month

  • once a week, deep condition with a good moisturizing conditioner
  • once a month or every 6 weeks, use a moderate to heavy protein conditioner
  • follow it up immediately with your moisturizing conditioner to soften your hair. Proteins make hair hard so don’t miss this step or you might end up with hard, unmanageable hair.

5. Do a combination of options 1 and 4

6. Do a combination of options 2 and 4

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