Protein and Moisture: What You Need for Hair Growth


Article by Melva Williams
Photo Credit: Hailley Howard
Featuring: Siobhan Barrett
Magazine: Issue #39

Protein And Moisture: What You Need for Hair Growth

Protein And Moisture: What You Need for Hair Growth

Protein and Moisture: Importance

When combing your hair; where do you find it most? Is it in the comb, on your shirt, the sinks or your bathroom floor? This is even when your hair is not in it's shedding phase? Are you finding hair everywhere but staying on your head? So you ask yourself what is going on. Hopefully there are medical factors to consider. Are you having a problem or is this normal and your hair in the telogen phase (shedding phase). Like everything in life there is a cycle of life. Like a cat sheds it's fur, a snake sheds it's skin, and so does our hair have a shedding season that should last about 2 to 3 weeks. Hair breakage is usually a lacking of an imbalance of the two important factors within the hair strand: moisture and protein levels. 

Moisture: Think 'Stretch'

Hair needs water to maintain its elasticity, or ability to stretch. Since water is the ultimate moisturizer, water-based products are best for really getting the greatest moisture benefit instead of alcohol bases. 

Moisturizers nourish your hair deep within the strand. Check labels for protein content. Good moisturizers will not contain cheap, filler ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, or lanolin. 
Try to avoid products contain these ingredients. There is nothing moisturizing about them! Petrolatum and mineral oil are sealants that seal out the natural moisture our hair needs. 

Protein: Think 'Strength'

Protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure. Hair is about 70% keratin protein by nature. Hair is mainly made up of protein. There are a wide variety of proteins that serve different purposes in hair care. Some enhance elasticity, while others reduce it. These proteins bind to the hair cuticle and help temporarily rebuild any weakened areas. 

Women with relaxed or color treated hair need more protein than others. Relaxing and coloring breaks protein bonds, and depending on how often you do them. Some relaxed or color treated may need more or less protein than someone else. There are also some people whose hair is more protein deficient by nature (genetics, low protein dietary intake), so they require more regular protein than others to keep the balance intact. At the end of the day, you must experiment and get to know your own head of hair. 

Balancing Both for Results

Protein and moisture balance within the hair strand is simply a case of balancing act to prevent hair breakage. These two components work together to produce a healthy head of hair, and neither can work well without the other. 

Achieving the proper balance involves using the right combinations of protein and moisture based products for your hair type.

Everything in life requires balance, including your hair! 

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