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What is Protein-Moisture balance? Identifying Protein or Moisture deficiency in your hair.

Too much moisture??? Yes! There is such thing as too much moisture. I hear a lot about moisture in the curly hair community: hair needs moisture, moisture equals healthy hair, but rarely see anything about moisture overload, hydral fatigue and how important it is to incorporate protein in our hair regime.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission if you click one of the links and make a purchase through that link.


What is Moisture-Protein balance?


When the hair has the essential nutrients it needs and it’s well hydrated while also having a balanced protein structure making your hair strong and healthy.


Our hair is primarily made of a protein called “Keratin”. Some things that we do and environmental factors can damage the keratin structure of our hair, these include: coloring, styling, chemical straightening, heat, and an unbalanced diet, yes! A protein deficiency in your diet can cause hair problems.



Moisture overload


It is common knowledge that our curls need and crave moisture, so naturally we give the hair what it wants so we can all be happy. However, like everything in life, too much of one thing is bad. Well balanced hair will have definition, bounce, feel and look soft and will not experience a lot of frizz. This can all be achieved by finding the perfect balance between Moisture and Protein.


What causes Moisture overload?


-Repeatedly wetting your hair before it’s completely dried.


-Frequently deep conditioning using only moisturizing products.


- Leaving deep conditioners over night too often.


-Lack of protein in your products.


-Too many moisturizing products in your regime.


Signs of Moisture overload


⁃ Hair feels limp and sticky, has a gummy feeling when wet

⁃ Excess shedding.

⁃ Won’t hold curls

⁃ Weak or breaks easily

⁃ Frizzy


The next stage of over moisturized hair is Hydral Fatigue.


Hydral fatigue is when the hair cuticle gets damaged by excess moisture that enters and exists the cuticle. When the hair gets wet the cuticle swells as it takes in the water and it contracts as it dries. The constant change in the cuticle (wet-dry)causes it to weaken and break.


Who experiences it?


We can all experience hydral fatigue but people with Highly porous hair are more likely to encounter this problem because the strands have an open cuticle allowing the moisture to go right in. Low porosity repeals moisture because of it’s closed cuticle so it is less likely to get hydral fatigued.


How to fix over moisturized hair?


The solution is to add protein to your hair. Protein is the foundation of strong hair. A protein mask or treatment will be necessary to restore the balance in your hair. Look for words like Strengthening, repairing and fortifying. Look for ingredients like: hydrolyzed wheat or soy protein or quinoa protein, hydrolyzed keratin, collagen, amino acids (silk, milk, wheat).




Protein overload


Protein treatments help repair the hair by attaching to the cuticle and filling in the gaps, this helps restore the protein that is loss in the hair from sun exposure, chemical treatments, heat tools, styling, etc. When the hair has too much protein it changes drastically.


Signs of protein overload


-Your go to products seem to leave your hair super stiff.

-Extreme tangles.

-You will shed more than usual.

-Hair will look dull and feel like straw.

-Feels dry and brittle.

-Lots of breakage


How to fix Protein overload


First thing you need to do is look at your go to hair products and identify the ones containing protein. Anything with the words hydrolyzed in front of them is a protein (rice, quinoa, wheat, soy), also collagen and amino acids. If your your shampoo, conditioner and leave-in all contain protein and you are also using a deep conditioner containing protein in it, you will definitely experience protein overload. Balancing your products is the key to maintaining the Moisture-Protein balance in your hair.


-Clarifying to help get rid of any excess protein on the surface of the hair.


-Using oils on your hair before washing it (Prepoo) for added moisture.


-Deep conditioning with moisturizing masks that do not contain proteins.




If you are experiencing Protein overload this is going to be your best friend. This super rich deep conditioner will leave your hair super soft and moisturized. It smells amazing and has great ingredients. Silicone free!



This deep conditioner is great for low porosity hair, has very low protein content and super moisturizing quality ingredients. If you suspect you have a protein sensitivity this is the right product when you want to add a little protein and lots of moisture to your hair.



My all time favorite protein treatment! I just love Shea Moisture period. This hair mask has a very thick consistency and I find it to be the quickest solution when my hair lacks protein.


Remember, your hair holds the answers, listen to it!

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