Benefits of Protein Treatments on Black Hair

Will a protein treatment strengthen your hair?
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You want healthy hair, so you make sure that you condition and moisturize it, as well as take care of your body to encourage healthy growth. If you've seen protein treatments sitting on the store shelf, promising to strengthen your hair, should you bite?

Benefits of Protein Treatments on Black Hair

The short answer is: It depends. A great deal of whether or not you can benefit from a protein treatment depends on how you wear your hair.

Women who routinely do the following to their hair will gain a lot from regular protein treatments:

  • Color
  • Relax
  • Texturize
  • Heat style

Chemical processes and direct heat can chip away at the hair's outer layer, leaving gaps in the cuticle. Protein treatments help to fill in those gaps so that your hair shaft looks and feels smooth instead of rough to the touch. When hair looks brittle and frizzes easily, chances are it's lacking protein.

What If You Steer Clear of Chemicals, Heat and Color?

So let's say you don't do any of those things to your hair. Your tresses are completely natural, in texture and color. Do you still need any additional protein?

Properly administered protein treatments probably won't hurt, even if you wear your hair 100% chemical-free. You have to remember to balance protein with moisture, however, because too much protein will eventually dry out your hair. Remember: protein comes in various strengths, so all-natural types can stick to a very mild treatment on occasion and not worry about the intensive products designed for serious issues.

For women who color and straighten their hair, protein treatments strengthen areas of the hair that are weakened by chemicals. They work to build your hair shaft back up because much of the daily care and "extras" you do to create a hairstyle chip away at your hair's cuticle. Even if you chemically treat your hair and it seems healthy enough, a monthly or bi-monthly treatment will keep it in tip-top shape.

Signs That You Need Protein ASAP

If you have any of these signs, try a protein treatment and follow a regular protein regimen right away:

  • Loss of elasticity - Hair in good condition can stretch under normal conditions without breaking. If you're wondering about the elasticity in your hair, try this test: stretch wet hair and see if it easily snaps back without breaking. If it does, your hair is in good shape. If you stretch it and it breaks easily, you need to increase the protein in your hair.
  • Serious damage - When hair has been overprocessed with chemicals, it can feel and look like seaweed when it's wet. When dry, it may feel like a rough Brillo pad. This isn't regular dryness that black hair is prone to. Although black hair may not feel exactly like silk, healthy hair is still soft to the touch.
  • Severe breakage - This isn't the average hair shedding that everyone experiences on a daily basis. Regular shedding often comes out in a comb or brush. When your hair breaks due to weakness, you'll find strands of it everywhere; on your pillow, on the back of your seat, on your shirt, on the bathroom floor. It may make a snapping or popping sound when you comb it.

For severe damage, an intense protein treatment may hold off the inevitable and prevent shedding all over the place, but eventually you should cut off all of your damaged hair.

This is the only way to enjoy healthy hair over your entire head.