Why Add Strength?
You want to add strength, or more specifically protein, to your hair because it adds structure to the hair shaft making it more resistant to breakage and more capable of retaining moisture. Our hair is made up of proteins but chemical treatments and heat tools can deplete it of some of it’s structural components. Protein treatments and/or other hair products containing proteins allow us to reinforce our hair strands adding strength where those structural components may be missing. But be careful about adding too much protein because that results in hair that is too stiff which leads to brittle/breakage-prone hair.
How to Find
Rules of Thumb:
- The stronger the protein treatment the less frequently you should use it.
- Strong protein treatments should be followed up with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment (these strong protein treatments will inform you of this on their instructions: follow them).
When To Add Strength
The wash day before Chemical Treatments (i.e. Relaxers) – adds structure and reinforces the hair shaft in preparation for your harsh chemical treatments, which can deplete the hair of it’s protein.
When you plan to use Heat Tools (i.e. blow dryers, flat irons, etc) – adds structure to the hair shaft to prevent permanent damage (don’t be like this poor girl). It also helps to ensure smoother/silkier results (which is why hair companies like to label their protein based hair products as “smoothing,” “smooth,” “silk,” or “sleek”).
How I Add Strength
Protein Based Hair Products: I incorporate these when I use heat.
- The deep conditioner that I use for my roller sets is moisturizing but contains a protein (GVP Nexxus Humectress).
- One of the two leave-ins that I use for my roller set and flat iron wash days are protein based (Aphogee Green Tea Keratin Spray or GVP Concentrated Leave-in Treatment).
- And my heat serum for flat iron wash days contains proteins (CHI Silk Infusions).
- I rarely use protein based hair products when I air dry my hair.
Currently In My Hair Product Stash
|Yup, these all contain at least one protein.|