Are there Softening vs. Strengthening Proteins?

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  • 1 Post By CurliLocks

Ok. I've just gotten into learning a little bit more about proteins -- Which ones would work best for the moderate amount of protein my hair seems to need vs ones which would be excessive and result in damaging my hair. I came across a curly who mentioned there are 'softening' proteins (such as silk amino acids) and 'strengthening' proteins (such as hydrolyzed proteins).
Because my hair isn't damaged, and I've never done any kind of chemical processes to it, I'm thinking it would do best with softening proteins.

But the thing is -- Does anyone happen to know if this anaylysis of protein is correct, i.e. that there are some proteins that are softening and others that are strengthening? Or is the effect that protein has on your hair the same regardless of the protein you're using?

TIA
P.S. I'm making good progress with finding the right balance of moisture and protein for my hair, and figuring out this "protein types" issue would help a lot I think.
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair
Darn! No one?! I was really hoping someone had either anecdotal evidence of how their hair performed based on what they determined were different proteins, or knew of some articles or reporting on 'softening' vs. 'strengthening' proteins. My hair needs some protein, but I want to be careful about not overdoing it. The idea of softening proteins just sounded so ideal (I don't think my hair needs strengthening so much).

The blogger who discussed this difference in proteins seems really knowledgeable, so I don't think she's wrong about anything she's saying. I just wish I could find out additional info about it (The searches I've typed in aren't bringing up anything).

Oh, well!!
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair
Well, I'm no protein expert, but I'll try to answer your questions!

I don't know if this is the blog you were talking about, but you might find this blog post helpful:

science-y hair blog: Mysteries of Hydrolyzed Proteins

Basically, I think most proteins do the same basic things, but some proteins are better for certain things. Certain proteins are probably milder. Keratin is a pretty strong protein, for instance, and I've heard someone on here say that they read it was the easiest protein for hair to accept. Silk protein seems to be fairly mild and more softening -- to me, anyway!

I hope this helps a little!
Type 2c/3a with lots of hair and a super sensitive scalp! Med/slightly coarse texture, low porosity and elasticity.

Favorite...
Low poo: Organix TTM, Essential Wholesale Free & Clean
RO/LI: TN, GFTN, YTC
Stylers: EcoStylers, GF Curl Shaping Gel, Aussie Aussome Volume Mousse & Instant Freeze Gel, GFPC, LALNC, La Bella Lots of Curls, Apricot Oil, KMFUM, AO B5DG
Extras: sugar scrubs, AVG washes, pre-poos with EVCO, oiling scalp before washes, plopping, gelatin PT.
Mod-CG since 12/1/10!
Thanks. It does help. Not quite the discussion that the blogger brought up, but it's definitely good info to have.

If I weren't so concerned about how I could screw my hair up if I don't get different balances of things like protein and moisture correct, I'd go ahead and experiment with silk amino acids based on the little bit I have been able to learn. I guess I'll just have to see how brave I am...
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair
I agree that silk proteins are more milder. That might just be that they are smaller and absorb more easily. I really like the chs pure silk protein treatment.

I am protein sensitive and silk is one I can use weekly. Rice protein doesnt bother me too much either.
I agree that silk proteins are more milder. That might just be that they are smaller and absorb more easily. I really like the chs pure silk protein treatment.

I am protein sensitive and silk is one I can use weekly. Rice protein doesnt bother me too much either.
Originally Posted by crazywaves
Oh good. I was hoping silk amino acids would be something I could use without having to worry *too* much about messing up any protein/moisture balance. I've read horror stories about the damage going overboard on either protein or moisturizing can do.
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair
I agree that silk proteins are more milder. That might just be that they are smaller and absorb more easily. I really like the chs pure silk protein treatment.

I am protein sensitive and silk is one I can use weekly. Rice protein doesn't bother me too much either.
Originally Posted by crazywaves
I haven't looked into the science of it, but I have heard that silk proteins are easier on protein-sensitive hair (like mine). I can use Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine shampoo (silk protein), but not the Shea Butter Moisture Retention (sea kelp). Same with the TJ's Nourish shampoo (sea kelp and soy protein)-- it really dries out my hair and makes it feel like straw.
Devushka likes this.

SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring"
3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
* pw: just4curlies
* My Motto: Strand Test!
some hair pics
-- gone, but never forgotten.
I agree that silk proteins are more milder. That might just be that they are smaller and absorb more easily. I really like the chs pure silk protein treatment.

I am protein sensitive and silk is one I can use weekly. Rice protein doesn't bother me too much either.
Originally Posted by crazywaves
I haven't looked into the science of it, but I have heard that silk proteins are easier on protein-sensitive hair (like mine). I can use Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine shampoo (silk protein), but not the Shea Butter Moisture Retention (sea kelp). Same with the TJ's Nourish shampoo (sea kelp and soy protein)-- it really dries out my hair and makes it feel like straw.
Originally Posted by CurliLocks
I wish I'd known to consider differences in proteins earlier. I have used products with protein just fine, and I do do PTs, but I recently used the SM Moisture Retention (just as a periodic clarification-type wash), and I immediately DID notice a difference in how my hair felt. It wasn't in my plan to do a deep conditioning then, but I ended up doing so because I really didin't like the way my hair felt. The deep condish seemed to correct things just fine, thankfully! Buying the SM Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine, however, may have been a better choice based on the difference in protein used in it.
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair
I agree that silk proteins are more milder. That might just be that they are smaller and absorb more easily. I really like the chs pure silk protein treatment.

I am protein sensitive and silk is one I can use weekly. Rice protein doesn't bother me too much either.
Originally Posted by crazywaves
I haven't looked into the science of it, but I have heard that silk proteins are easier on protein-sensitive hair (like mine). I can use Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine shampoo (silk protein), but not the Shea Butter Moisture Retention (sea kelp). Same with the TJ's Nourish shampoo (sea kelp and soy protein)-- it really dries out my hair and makes it feel like straw.
Originally Posted by CurliLocks
I wish I'd known to consider differences in proteins earlier. I have used products with protein just fine, and I do do PTs, but I recently used the SM Moisture Retention (just as a periodic clarification-type wash), and I immediately DID notice a difference in how my hair felt. It wasn't in my plan to do a deep conditioning then, but I ended up doing so because I really didin't like the way my hair felt. The deep condish seemed to correct things just fine, thankfully! Buying the SM Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine, however, may have been a better choice based on the difference in protein used in it.
Originally Posted by Devushka
I'm glad I'm not the only one whose hair felt weird. Try the C&H next time!

SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring"
3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
* pw: just4curlies
* My Motto: Strand Test!
some hair pics
-- gone, but never forgotten.
Yeah, the SM Moisture Retention is a good product overall, but I just wasn't as knowledgeable about it as I could have been. Good thing that it won't be a loss as long as I make sure NOT to do a PT in any week that I use it! Thanks everyone for the input.
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair

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