Does my hair need protein or something else?

sa.axelrodsa.axelrod Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 3 Curl Neophyte
Hello, friends! I can’t tell if my hair needs protein, or something else. I overloaded a year ago on a keratin mask my hair really liked… at first. My hair became very dry, very frizzy. I started using jessicurl deep conditioning overnight before washing my hair, and that fixed the problem. I do overnight treatments in the ends anytime my hair starts looking dry— every few weeks, or so. 

My hair is past my chest, layered, mostly fine/medium, prone to being flat, but reasonably healthy, as far as I can tell. I have been straightening it for twelve years, but it’s shiny, and soft, and only minorly frizzy, given where I live. 

I had loose spiral curls when I was little, and I think that’s what my hair wants to be. I have a few in the bottom layer, and, when I didn’t refresh my hair, the bottom layer started spiraling together in a big clump. That’s what I want it to do. Only, some of the hair isn’t getting with the program. I have some loose waves, which are pretty, and then some that are just.. straight. And then I have these pieces that obviously want to curl. You can see the … indent where it wants to curl, but, instead, it’s this mostly straight but oddly wrinkled strand of hair… like a pool noodle. Wet or dry, my hair has very little stretch— it just snaps. But, it’s not frizzy, or tangly, can be brushed out post-shampoo without conditioner, doesn’t hold a hot-iron curl… I've tried the test, but I can't figure out the answer. 

My current hair care is overnight, deep conditioning as needed. I do a hard water treatment every few weeks (last week, in this case), and a Neutrogena clarifying treatment, today. I went through all my products and got rid of everything that had silicones or other non-safe ingredients, so they won’t be reintroduced to my hair. 
I clarified, brushed my hair back (for volume) with a denman brush, scrunched in some leave in conditioner. My curl cream wasn’t safe, so I just used some notyourmothers mousse, and I have some really beautiful spirals— but the other weird patterns, as well. I can’t figure out if I need to do bond-repairing treatments with olaplex OR a protein treatment. I don’t want to screw up the moisture balance in my hair, again, but I want my hair to curl like it did in 1997 :) If anyone has any hard-earned wisdom to share, I’ll take it gratefully. 

Comments

  • bringingcurliesback?bringingcurliesback? Registered Users Posts: 1,317 Curl Connoisseur
    I think deep conditioning overnight might be overdoing it. Most deep conditioner should not be in our hair longer than thirty minutes (average time for most deep conditioners). Longer is not always better as sometimes over moisturizing /hydrating can lead to limpness. Maybe focus on identifying how balanced your hair is?

    Not all protein is created equally. I personally like use plant based protein in conditioners better than keratin for my hair type. But a good rule of thumb regardless is alternating between moisture and protein treatments. :)

    I've been doing CG since 2007 and I have done almost everything to my hair at this point in my life lol. Protein overload was definitely one of them and I also learned that coconut oil can be too much for my hair so I have to be careful with it. Coconut oil has a tendency to lock protein into hair via it's lauric acid content. It's like a protein magnet for my hair and I tend to use it sparingly, it might be worth experimenting with because you might also be sensitive to it?
    *Current Routine*
    LP: SM RSB
    CO/CW: CJ Daily Fix, GR Restorative, SM RSB, SM SFC
    DC: SM, CJ Rehab, G.Nutrafix, DIY
    LI: a CO, KCKT
    Sealers: an oil, JC N&S
    Stylers: just CO, CJ CIAB, KCCC, aloe gel, FSG
    Once in a while: ACV, Lemon-Aid

    Oils to seal, rinse, and/or pre-poo as needed :love10:

    2c/3a/3b coarse, normal porosity
    :toothy4: CG since 2007 :flower:
  • sa.axelrodsa.axelrod Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 3 Curl Neophyte
    @bringingcurliesback?

    My hair is definitely limp, so I'll do that! I think I'm just going to cut out a 'leave-in' until my hair actually needs it, again. It's very glossy, but to the point where it just looks dirty. But, I can't figure out if I need protein. I bought a treatment-- I think it's wheat protein, but I don't want to use it if I don't need it. I've tried all the tests, but they don't seem to apply to my hair. Wet or dry, it doesn't stretch much-- just snaps. But, it definitely doesn't need moisture. But it's not frizzy. It's very soft and glossy. But, it's also very limp and flat. I also don't want to do an olaplex and a protein treatment, and I'm not sure if you can do a different kind of treatment every time you wash your hair, because that also seems a bit excessive. Is there another way to identify the balance? Does too much moisture automatically mean you need protein? Thank you for taking the time to respond!
  • bringingcurliesback?bringingcurliesback? Registered Users Posts: 1,317 Curl Connoisseur
    @sa.axelrod Wheat protein has always caused protein overload for me which is the reason why I never used the original deva line with great success. I just dealt with it when I used to get deva cuts lol. 

    I don't think alternating and doing a treatment each time you wash is excessive especially if you do not wash frequently. Too much moisture does not mean you need protein always and sometimes the only negative is moisture induced frizz. 

    Maybe give your hair a break and let it go without washing for a little bit? 

    Are you certain you lifted all cones from your hair? Do you co wash? Maybe you have done enough clarifying and just need to let some natural oils build in your hair. I remember sulfate shampoos (even if it's just to lift some cones out) can be a lot on the hair. Perhaps, you need to try sealing in moisture or using a jelly styler to see how your hair reacts with that?
    *Current Routine*
    LP: SM RSB
    CO/CW: CJ Daily Fix, GR Restorative, SM RSB, SM SFC
    DC: SM, CJ Rehab, G.Nutrafix, DIY
    LI: a CO, KCKT
    Sealers: an oil, JC N&S
    Stylers: just CO, CJ CIAB, KCCC, aloe gel, FSG
    Once in a while: ACV, Lemon-Aid

    Oils to seal, rinse, and/or pre-poo as needed :love10:

    2c/3a/3b coarse, normal porosity
    :toothy4: CG since 2007 :flower:
  • sa.axelrodsa.axelrod Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 3 Curl Neophyte
    @bringingcurliesback?
    Hello! So sorry for the delayed response! 
    I wash my hair twice a week using a sulfate-free shampoo. I was doing it once a week for almost a year, but my hair didn't seem to like that. 
    I used the neutrogena clarifying shampoo... I certainly hope it got the silicones out! But, I don't know :) 
    However, I did go ahead with the protein treatment. I used it, used olaplex the next wash day, and then the protein treatment one last time, as well as using a gel with protein in it. I'll cut back to doing the treatment maybe once a month, from now on, but my hair definitely needed it. For now, I'm doing olaplex treatments to repair the top layer of my hair, which is very curl resistant (but recovering!!) 
    Eventually, curly hair will be easier than straightening. but, not right now :) Thank you!

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