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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Beyond the Deep Conditioner: Ways to Ensure That Your Protein/Moisture Balance Is In Check

Happy Sunday lovelies!

Earlier this year, I came to an epiphany of sorts regarding my hair and protein. All through 2012, I was on an 'all moisture everything' kick. Every DC, every leave in, every moisturizer were all moisture based. I had abandoned everything I knew regarding protein because I was going through a phase.

And my hair wasn't too happy about it. My hair had a rough,wiry texture to it, did the whole stretch before it breaks thing, didn't hold on to moisture the way it should....ugh. It was awful.

As a result, I have been more vigilant about maintaining my protein/moisture balance. The easiest way to do this is to simply alternate your moisturizing DC with a protein DC. For example, if one week you do a moisturizing DC, the next week you'll do a protein one. This method worked exceptionally well for me when I had first cut my hair and was using heat frequently (I would wash my hair 2x weekly; One wash would be moisturizing while the next would be protein). As you guys can tell, my hair thrived from this method.

However, I got to thinking about other ways that would ensure that my protein/moisture balance stays in check. Sometimes, you may not have a protein DC on hand or you may be on a moisture kick because of the weather or maybe you just felt like your hair needed a moisture based DC for a month or maybe you forgot to alternate---whatever the reason, you don't want to neglect the fact that your hair needs protein, too.

So how do you get protein without a protein DC?

Well, there are easy 2 ways that I used to use (way before I became incredibly lazy regarding my regimen) and have started to use again. Take note that with each method your hair does get a dose of protein as well as a dose of moisture--resulting in a balance:

1) Use a protein based leave in. Easy as it sounds. Following a moisturizing DC, follow up with a protein leave in (my favorite is Giovanni Direct Leave In but other options include Infusium 23, Aphogee, etc.). If you use a leave in during your wash day anyway, just take the time to ensure that it is protein.

2) Use protein based conditioner for pre-poo. Pre-pooing is an excellent way of prepping your hair for the rigors of wash day but it is also a great way to maintain your protein/moisture balance. Most people typically pre-poo with a moisturizing condish BUT if you plan on DCing with a moisturizing conditioner, pre-pooing with a protein based conditioner is a great idea. A great (and inexpensive!) option for a protein conditioner suitable for pre-pooing are the VO5 Moisture Milks. Apply that to your (dry) hair and sit under a heat cap or dryer for 15-30min prior to your wash and BAM! Your hair has gotten its hit of protein and feels strong without negatively affecting your hair's moisture content or elasticity. You can then follow up with your moisturizing DC of choice.

As you guys can see, keeping up with protein doesn't have to be a huge ordeal. If your hair is in good condition, it doesn't really require frequent hardcore protein treatments--just a mild protein based product here and there in your regimen does the trick in my opinion. Your hair remains strong and it can hold onto the moisture that you give to it.

What are some ways you keep up with your protein/moisture balance?

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