Moisture or protein, what does your hair need?

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Are you feeling overwhelmed by the variety of hair care products available? We can’t say we blame you. With more products than ever advertising the benefits of protein and moisture, you might wonder, “Does my hair require protein or moisture?” Some only supply protein, while others only provide moisture, and knowing which one your hair requires could be the difference between lifeless and vibrant hair. If you’re confused, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading to discover how to distinguish between moisture and protein in hair care products. We’ll also show you how to perform a simple test to see what your hair needs the most.

What is the difference between Moisture and Protein?


Before you begin any type of hair care, it is critical that you grasp the distinction between the two. The distinction between protein and water begins at the atomic level. Each strand of hair is held together by what are known as Disulfide bonds. Proteins strengthen these bonds, making hair stronger and less prone to breakage. Moisture, on the other hand, adds to the overall appearance and feel of your hair. Protein bonds are what hold the hair shaft together and make it strong. Your hair will break or snap if you do not use it. Moisture is what keeps the hair smooth and hydrated.

Hair that is devoid of protein or moisture loses its elasticity, making it more susceptible to breakage. Some types of damaged hair, on the other hand, will benefit primarily from protein-based solutions, while others will require moisture. Fatty-acid rich oils and butter are used in some hair moisturisers. These chemicals penetrate the hair shaft, providing much-needed moisture to parched hair. They can also build a protective layer on the hair, which aids in the retention of moisture. Hydrolysed proteins, which are usually derived from a plant source such as wheat, are used to make hair protein. The term Hydrolysed refers to the breaking down of proteins so that they can dissolve in water. These proteins adhere to the hair, assisting in the temporary healing of damaged areas. Hair feels and appears healthier and stronger as a result.

So, how do you know if your hair requires protein or moisture? Here are a couple of ways to figure it out:

How does it feel when your hair needs protein?


To begin, keratin is a protein that is found in all hair. Damage from the environment, particularly chemical treatments such as hair colour and relaxers, can sometimes damage the protein of the hair shaft, making it more prone to breakage. Hair loss and the formation of weak, brittle strands might be caused by a lack of protein. A protein treatment can help chemically damaged hair that seem mushy or cotton candy-like. Protein can help thicken and strengthen fine or thin hair. If your hair is stringy or limp, it could be an indication that it requires more protein. Fine and weak to mushy damaged hair textures and conditions respond well to most protein added to shampoos and conditioners, which can include straight, wavy, curly, and extra curly hair types with any density – low to high – depending on how much hair you have on your head. Through restoration, the proper hydrolysed protein can help temporarily reinforce fine, mushy, weak hair. However, the hair will not be repaired permanently. Because they progressively rinse out, all hair protein conditioning treatments and moisturising hair conditioning treatments must be administered on a frequent basis to continue to reap the benefits.

What’s our recommendation for hair that’s protein-depleted? Detoxie Keratin Repair & Shine Restore Strengthening Hair Mask is a deeply nourishing and pollution-protecting hair mask. Hair looks stronger, thicker, and healthier thanks to the Keratin complex in it. 

How does it feel when your hair needs moisture?


Moisture loss resembles protein deficit in appearance. Moisture-deficient hair can feel dry, brittle, or scratchy. It may appear dull and tangle easily, as well as be susceptible to broken ends. Your hair may be dehydrated and in need of moisture if you are experiencing any of the concerns listed above. This loss of moisture is caused by chemical treatments such as bleaching, relaxers, and hair colouring, as well as the use of direct heat-styling appliances (such as flat irons or curling irons), which cause significant damage. Overuse of heat products can cause hair to become dry. However, some hair varieties, such as curly and textured hair, are inherently drier and require more frequent moisturising. Using treatments containing oils and butter can help to hydrate parched hair, making it look smoother and more elastic. The Earth Rhythm Hydrating Moisture Lock Scalp Complex has been shown to maintain your hair frizz-free by locking moisture into your scalp.

Still not sure what your hair needs? Take the elasticity test

Are you still unsure about whether your hair requires protein or moisture? Use this easy elasticity test to see how flexible your hair is. Examine the texture of a strand of your hair with your fingertips. Then stretch the hair strand and compare your results to the following descriptions:

1. Moisture is needed for your hair

Hair is coarse, dry, readily breaks, and does not stretch. This is when you look for a deep conditioner with rich oils and butter in a composition like the Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Treatment Conditioner

2. Protein is needed for your hair

Hair with a mushy or cotton candy texture stretches and does not return to its original shape, or breaks easily. Use a protein-rich conditioner like A’kin Macadamia Oil & Wheat Protein Moisture Rich Silicon-Free Conditioner to restore some of the keratin protein to the outside of your hair strands.

3. Hair has a good balance

Hair is silky, expands slightly, and then returns to its former state. Keep doing what you are doing! Your hair care routine has a good balance of moisture and protein.

You will be able to choose the hair products that will work best for your hair’s specific demands now that you know whether it requires protein or moisture.

-Nishita Tahalramani

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