How To| Strengthen Natural Hair & Increase Moisture Retension

by West Parsons on February 15, 2013 · 10 comments

in hair care

You’ve probably read many a article about layering products to retain moisture, but did you know the same product which helps to strengthen hair also is also needed for moisture retention as well?

The basis of our hair’s makeup is protein.  With time, mechanical wear, daily elements and chemical processes, the protein-rich outer layer (cuticle) of hair breaks down, making these areas susceptible to damage. This damage  can reveal itself as breakage, split ends and simply uncooperative hair.

For instance, you may be a faithful follower of the LOC Method, but one day you notice your hair just is not reacting the same as it did just last week. Though you may have layered your products to prevent the escape of moisture, your hair is still dry as hay, your curl pattern is disturbed and your hair simply looks a mess. How could that be?  Your hair may be lacking protein.

Protein Hair Strand Test
Take a strand of shed hair, hold end to end and pull. If your hair breaks immediately, your hair is brittle and is in need of moisture. If the hair stretches a significant distance and/or remains stretched, your hair’s moisture content is too high and protein is needed.  If the hair stretches and returns to its original length, then your protein-moisture balance is just right.

How to use Protein-Rich Products
Many stray away from the use of proteins because of the bad rap they get for leaving  hair hard. Guess what?  That’s what proteins do! Imagine speckling a wall filled with holes — that is similar to how proteins interact with hair strands.  Most protein heavy products, especially those labeled reconstructors require an immediate follow-up of a moisturizing conditioner.   The moisturizing conditioner helps to balance the protein and moisture.

Protein Conditioners
*Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner
*Mega-Tek Cell Hair Rebuilder
*Aphogee Two-Step
*Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Treatment
Palmers Coconut Oil Protein Pack
Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner

*products used by West

What protein treatments do you swear by?


Mochacurls February 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I used to shy away from protein. My hair is so thick and coarse I thought it would make my hair break but now I love it! I’ve only been using it since the start of the year so its too soon for me to claim big benefits but it seems to have slowed down the shedding.

Mochacurls February 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I meant to ask have you tried the Black Castor Oil protein conditioner? I was wondering if its any good.

westNDNbeauty February 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Yup. The photo pictured in the article was taken by me of my own product. I despise the scent of this stuff but it definitely helps to ‘reset’ my hair. After one use my curls are poppin and hair is behaving. Definitely worth a try. I met the owner of the company a few months ago and she told me the older this product gets the better it works. This stuff is really like mayo 0_0 Now that I think about it, I might just try mayo instead when this stuff runs out.

Mochacurls February 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Oh good to know! I swear by their castor oil so I may have to give it a try!

AmeeraNakisha February 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Hmmm, I’ve never even heard of this stuff but I use that brand of castor oil. I will most def give it a try.

I also like the protein treatment by Giovonni. It says it can be used or a regular basis, however, I don’t use it that often.

Nikita February 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

I use mayo and eggs for my protein ~ leaves my hair very strong ~Aphogee works well also.

Amiya March 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Wow I didn’t know there was a jamaican black castor oil conditioner! You learn something new everyday. I have starter locs and I just started using the oil for my starter locs to insure they mature as healthy as possible. The conditioner is probably awesome!

Shirleyjl April 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I really only use henna treatments as my protein right now but may consider some of these products since I’m always switching things around. I’ve heard of the Aphogee quite a bit and the Aubrey Organics GPB, I’ve used their Honeysuckle Rose for moisture but may give their protein treatment a try when I’m too lazy to henna.

Cherice December 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I’ve noticed for several months my hair sheds a lot, I use deep conditioning products every time I shampoo or co-wash, but it still sheds. What can I use that will stop this immediately?

westNDNbeauty December 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Hi Cherice! I will use this question as a blog post reader question. Writing up an answer for ya! 🙂