Help! Confused on Brittle hair and protein!

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  • 1 Post By kathymack
  • 2 Post By Pixar
  • 1 Post By Chris1965

So confused. My hair seems porous and fine and has no elasticity and splits and breaks easily. I use no heat whatsoever. I deep condition regularly. Still seems dry.

After looking, none of my products contain protein. My stylist said that was the problem that I needed more protein products. Then I read if your hair has no elasticity and is breaking that you need more moisture, not protein. Now I don't know what I need! Please help!

Currently I low poo once or twice a week with deva low poo, use KCCC Knot today leave-in and Deva angel gel. Also JessicurlDeep Conditioner--once a week with heat and as a rinse out.

Last edited by Chris1965; 03-24-2013 at 08:35 AM.
If your hair is fine/porous, in all likelihood protein is the answer.

My fine/low porosity hair never met a protein it didn't like. I do at least one PT a week and use a lot of products with protein.

Around here, Deva is a love/hate line. Many of us start with it, think we like it and then move on to things we like a lot better. My salon carries Deva, I used to let them use the NoPoo on my hair until they changed the ingredients several years ago. After that, I found it drying. The LowPoo has both polyquats 7 and 10, the Angel has 7. I have problems with polyquats, especially 4, 7 and 10. I find that they coat my hair. Give me frizz when wet and require a surfactant stronger then coco b to remove them.

Sounds like your hair could use both moisture and protein. My initial advice would be to wash your hair with a stronger shampoo (read ingredients carefully to make sure that there are no polyquats), do a PT and follow up with a DT. Again, read your ingredients carefully.
bosanbo likes this.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I agree that you probably need both. I have the exact same issue - my hair is dry, and needs moisture, but it is also fine and porous (and has some chemical damage, not sure if that applies to you). Snaps immediately on the stretch test. But since protein can help hair to hold on to moisture (link re this below) I have decided to proceed with using protein, especially because other people with hair like ours have said it has helped. It makes sense to me that if you're using something like Jessicurl WDT (which is really moisturising) and not protein, and the hair is still dry, it may need some protein to help it take advantage of moisturising products. I'm still looking into how the stretch test relates to this, but maybe the snapping is a sign of dryness, but in some cases it is dryness made worse by needing protein to help us hold on to moisture?

THE NATURAL HAVEN: Moisture Issue: Proteins and moisture levels!
UK based wavy

Mostly waves, but curls and straight bits too!
Fine to medium, high porosity, medium density, very low elasticity
Highlights damage (growing it out), seems to like protein and need lots of moisture.

Cleanse - CJDF, trying out low poos ; Co wash- Uk chemist brands, Urtekram Rose or Aloe, Hairveda Amala Cream Rinse; RO - varies, Tigi Moisture Maniac, Desert Essence Coconut ; Leave in - Keracare natural textures; Sealant - argan oil
Trying out new things, still looking.
Thanks ladies for your thoughts!! Going to try a host of new protein products and see how it goes. Always hard to isolate what makes the difference--or even if its the weather!

I don't have any chemical treatments lucyprimrose--which makes the brittle breakage even more perplexing! Am really hoping its the lack of protein! Will try Kathymack's rec of a PT followed by DT.
Try Aubery Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner. It can be used as a Deep Treatment and a 2 minute regular conditioner. I love the stuff! I've been using the Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner as a leave- in and the combo has worked very well for me. Only reason I can't use it these next few days is because it contains Glycerin and my hair HATES Glycerin when the Dew points are low. Also, follow the Frizz Forecast. I have noticed a major difference in how my hair reacts to certain products and it explains fully why I've hated certain products(They contain ingredients that weren't recommended for low/high dew points!)

Anywho, I wish you the best of luck!
lucyprimrose and bosanbo like this.
2C/3A Fine, Normal Elasticity, & Normal Porosity.
If you're not chemically processed then wear and tear through washing, using brushes/combs and normal handling can still cause cuticle damage, also of course drying through heat with blow dryers. But yeah, surprised it is so brittle. I would hazard a (very uneducated since I haven't seen your hair in real life and know your routine) guess that your hair is dry and needs a lot of moisturising, but also needs some protein. In fact that the introduction of protein may help it to use and retain that moisture. I am writing this to myself as well as you!!

So yes, go for it with protein - if you are interested in CJ Repair me it is a protein treatment that is also moisturising, still follow with a bit of moisture too though. But also, don't let up on moisture as you use protein - ie. follow up protein focused things with more moisture, don't suddenly use protein every day, still do your weekly JCWDT with heat. I really think we need both and maintaining moisture as we introduce protein will be quite key to success. So maybe you could think about doing some co washing, always using plenty of moisturising rinse out (sounds like you do already but not sure how much you slather on), and going for a higher moisture leave in if needed. I haven't used KCKT but I have heard it is more of a slip detangler than a moisturiser.

I bet you'll see really good results soon , I'll check back because I'll be trying the same kind of things. But, with my large chemically damaged sections I probably will need a big haircut before I really see those results. Must get to that, but that's another story
UK based wavy

Mostly waves, but curls and straight bits too!
Fine to medium, high porosity, medium density, very low elasticity
Highlights damage (growing it out), seems to like protein and need lots of moisture.

Cleanse - CJDF, trying out low poos ; Co wash- Uk chemist brands, Urtekram Rose or Aloe, Hairveda Amala Cream Rinse; RO - varies, Tigi Moisture Maniac, Desert Essence Coconut ; Leave in - Keracare natural textures; Sealant - argan oil
Trying out new things, still looking.
Pixar just saw the Aubrey Organic product today and was wondering about it. Will give it a try. I have also been wondering about glycerin as I have been using Deva Angel gel. Not sure if it is good for me or not. I am switching to another kind without glycerin--especially heading into more humid warm weather in Texas--will see how that goes.

Lucy--I did use the Joico K Pak protein treatment and my hair loved it! It actually looked shiny and strong--like regular hair. So protein was def. missing from my routine! Yay! I love it when something helps and I can see the difference! I did follow with a DT after as well.
That's good news!

Did you use a low poo or a co wash before the K pak? I have ordered the Nexxus Emergencee but it has been lost in the post for about two weeks!

Glad you're seeing good results
UK based wavy

Mostly waves, but curls and straight bits too!
Fine to medium, high porosity, medium density, very low elasticity
Highlights damage (growing it out), seems to like protein and need lots of moisture.

Cleanse - CJDF, trying out low poos ; Co wash- Uk chemist brands, Urtekram Rose or Aloe, Hairveda Amala Cream Rinse; RO - varies, Tigi Moisture Maniac, Desert Essence Coconut ; Leave in - Keracare natural textures; Sealant - argan oil
Trying out new things, still looking.
Thanks me too! I used Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl and Shine shampoo first then the K Pak treatment--followed by Jessicurl Deep Conditioner--with heat for 20 min. I really needed protein!
lucyprimrose likes this.

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