Protein Moisture Balance 101

by GAIA TONANZI
Protein Moisture Balance 101

Figuring out the right protein moisture balance is one of the biggest struggles most curly girls encounter. It is important to balance a mixture of the two so that hair isn’t weighed down or overly fragile.

Protein Moisture balance in curly hair 

All curly hair types are inherently dry, due to the way the strands sprout from the scalp. The fact that the hair turns on itself rather than falling straight makes it harder for the natural oils on our scalp to travel down the hair length and keep the hair moisturized. That’s why moisture is absolutely key to healthy, glossy hair, and that’s why this is always the first thing we recommend to focus on when you start your healthy hair journey.

However, protein cannot be overlooked. Protein is what 91% of our hair is made of. It’s what gives it strength and structure. Daily wear breaks down the protein in our hair, and if we don’t replenish the loss with the correct products the hair will become weakened and fragile.

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Does my hair need protein or moisture? 

In order to keep your hair balanced and healthy, you always need to maintain a correct balance of both protein and moisture. It’s like a healthy diet. You need to eat a bit of everything to remain healthy, and so does your hair. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat enough protein-rich foods and vitamins to create the right foundation for healthy scalp.

Everyone’s hair is different, so a protein moisture balanced routine will look different depending on your individual hair porosity. The more porous and damaged your hair is, the more protein-rich products you should use.

Is my current routine balanced? 

Since every one of us has unique needs in terms of protein moisture balance, you might wonder how to find out if your routine is balanced or if you are using too much of one or the other. Luckily there is an easy test that helps us assess our hair elasticity, which is a direct indicator of protein or moisture overload.

Take a strand of dry hair end gently pull at the sides:

  • If your hair stretches gently and bounces back, you are well balanced.
  • If the hair doesn’t stretch, or even snaps and breaks, you are in protein overload.
  • If the hair keeps stretching without bouncing back, and eventually falls apart, you are in moisture overload.

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How to Restore Protein Moisture Balance

Depending on whether you are suffering from protein overload or moisture overload, you will need to use different products. However, each hair journey begins with melting away build-up and resetting the hair. For this, we love using our Wash & Scrub. It's a clarifying shampoo that includes a very fine scrub to help exfoliate any excess residue left on your scalp.

When it comes to fixing protein overload, you’ll want to focus on protein-free products that will help restore your hair’s moisture. We recommend using a deep conditioner, such as our Double Cream, to achieve ultimate hair hydration.

Moisture overload, on the other hand, requires using protein-rich products that focus on strengthening the hair. Start with a protein treatment like our Bond Curl Rehab Salve and then add more products from our Strength Recipe collection to your regular routine.

About Curlsmith

We are a gourmet haircare brand that specializes in curly hair. We created an expert range of curl loving products including leave-in conditioners, shampoo and scalp care essentials with kitchen cupboard staples and clean vegan ingredients. Feed your curls and achieve your curly girl goals.

Gaia Tonanzi
Product Development & Textured Hair Expert

Product development expert on a mission to shine the spotlight on textured hair, bringing awareness of the category to the whole haircare industry. She is passionate about debunking false myths and bringing science-backed facts to the community, creating easy-to-follow guides to simplify curly haircare.

Gaia Tonanzi
Product Development & Textured Hair Expert

Product development expert on a mission to shine the spotlight on textured hair, bringing awareness of the category to the whole haircare industry. She is passionate about debunking false myths and bringing science-backed facts to the community, creating easy-to-follow guides to simplify curly haircare.