Fine and porous... But I think I need moisture more than protein? Confused!

My hair is fine (possibly medium--this is the one property I'm unsure of), dense, and highly porous (it's been highlighted and colored). I fall somewhere in the 2B/C range and I have issues with dryness.

I know hair that is fine and porous generally loves protein but I'm wondering if I'm overdoing it.

Basically, when I give my hair a little protein (ex: using a styler with light proteins or the occasional mild protein treatment) my hair curls up nicely.

However, I've been noticing that my hair has been getting progressively dryer since incorporating regular and frequent protein treatments (about 2x/week). Same goes for if I use a conditioner containing protein daily. For some reason, I don't have this issue if I use a styler with a small amount of protein (as long as I'm using a moisturizing conditioner rather than a protein laden one). Since increasing protein, my hair has felt kind of dry and it seems less elastic (I don't know how to describe). It just doesn't feel as good.

So, for the past week or so I've kind of shifted gears entirely. I've been using coconut oil like usual but have been using a protein free conditioner (Deva 1 C) as my daily RO and LI and have been using moisturizing DTs (Deva Heaven in Hair, coconut oil, Biolage Conditioning Balm) rather than PTs. Oddly, my hair feels and looks much better... Silky, reduced frizz, curlier, etc.

Could I be fine and porous but need moisture more than protein?? I'm so confused because it contradicts everything I've read.
2A/B. Mix of fine, medium, and coarse (mostly medium). Dense. Mix of normal and high porosity.
Dry climate.


I've known a few people (myself included) who have gone through phases where they needed a lot of both protein and moisture. The protein can help with porous hair and essentially give the moisture something to cling to.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
What I do since I low poo with 2 sulfate/silicone free shampoos. 1 shampoo with a protein rich shampoo. Then shampoo with the moisturizing shampoo. Then go about my routine as usual. This helps keep the moisture/protein balance in my hair.
What I do since I low poo with 2 sulfate/silicone free shampoos. 1 shampoo with a protein rich shampoo. Then shampoo with the moisturizing shampoo. Then go about my routine as usual. This helps keep the moisture/protein balance in my hair.
Originally Posted by curlicious13
Are you saying that this is what you're doing now? If so, that would definitely explain why your hair is dry. I would try a protein low-poo followed by a moisturizing rinse-out conditioner. Or a protein conditioner followed by a moisturizing LI.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
My hair is fine and highly porous. I find I need a ton of both protein and moisture. In the summer it's a little more on the protein, in the winter a little more on the moisture, but year round it's a lot of both!!

Even in the summer I'm using lots of LI, and oils.

I don't know if that helps you, but it's certainly the case for me.

I do frequent PT's and DT's, and virtually all my products have protein. (My low poo's and condish's too!)
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
TY all!

Jas: How much LI do you use? Sometimes I think I don't use enough.
2A/B. Mix of fine, medium, and coarse (mostly medium). Dense. Mix of normal and high porosity.
Dry climate.


I use tons of protein but almost never experience dryness because I use a leave-in conditioner. Sometimes my LI doesn't have any protein and is very moisturizing. I think having a moisturizing leave-in is important.... I'd focus on this first before backing off the protein.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
My hair's the fine side of normal and porous and, like you, from what I've read I feel I should need protein but my hair just doesn't seem to like it. I use a protein conditioner once a week (sometimes less) and a moisturising one the rest of the time and that seems to be enough for me. To be honest I'm not really sure it does anything particular but I think I should use it as I read a lot that all hair needs protein. I would never do a proper pt as I did a couple a few years ago and my hair was just foul afterwards. I occasionally do dt's but can rarely be bothered.
Anyway, yes, I think it is possible to be fine and porous but need more moisture than protein!
3b in South Australia.
TY all!

Jas: How much LI do you use? Sometimes I think I don't use enough.
Originally Posted by kaykre
Hard to say precisely. I don't completely rinse out my RO, for one. Then I seal, and when I do that i take 1-2 small pumps of SM condish and mix it with the oil.

I also mix a little SM smoothie with my final dollop of gel. (It's basically a LI)

So yeah, I use a lot! Lol! In the winter I use even more!

I highly recommend Ion Effective Care if you have a Sally's near you (or are willing to order online). It's protein heavy but has a lot of slip and moisture, too. GVP conditioning balm is another good one from their. It's incredibly moisturizing. In the winter it's not only my RO, it's my LI, too.
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
My hair is fine (possibly medium--this is the one property I'm unsure of), dense, and highly porous (it's been highlighted and colored). I fall somewhere in the 2B/C range and I have issues with dryness.

I know hair that is fine and porous generally loves protein but I'm wondering if I'm overdoing it.

Basically, when I give my hair a little protein (ex: using a styler with light proteins or the occasional mild protein treatment) my hair curls up nicely.

However, I've been noticing that my hair has been getting progressively dryer since incorporating regular and frequent protein treatments (about 2x/week). Same goes for if I use a conditioner containing protein daily. For some reason, I don't have this issue if I use a styler with a small amount of protein (as long as I'm using a moisturizing conditioner rather than a protein laden one). Since increasing protein, my hair has felt kind of dry and it seems less elastic (I don't know how to describe). It just doesn't feel as good.

So, for the past week or so I've kind of shifted gears entirely. I've been using coconut oil like usual but have been using a protein free conditioner (Deva 1 C) as my daily RO and LI and have been using moisturizing DTs (Deva Heaven in Hair, coconut oil, Biolage Conditioning Balm) rather than PTs. Oddly, my hair feels and looks much better... Silky, reduced frizz, curlier, etc.

Could I be fine and porous but need moisture more than protein?? I'm so confused because it contradicts everything I've read.
Originally Posted by kaykre
I don't think it's contradicting anything, sounds more likely your hair needs a balance of ingredients which is completely normal.

You've just gone mad on protein and maybe it's too much - treatments twice a week is quite a lot, some will do well with that some need once a week or once a fortnight. As you're now washed and conditioning your hair the excess protein adhering to the surface is coming off or penetrating the hair, so the feel of your hair is returning to normal. Be aware that the more damaged the hair the more protein can adhere, that can be good for patch repairing damage but can also lead to build up.

Coconut oil is not moisturising it's an anti humectant, increases elasticity and reduces porosity which means your hair holds less water. My hair is porous and needs a balance of a little oil (either pre-wash or in a conditioner) with protein or is does risk getting dry or frizzy or tangly looking even when dripping wet. The oils and conditioning ingredients (especially fatty alcohols) are helping my hair hold the right amount of water, not gain too much or lose too much due to the porosity. I use loads of leave in conditioner but I don't have fine hair and class my routine as conditioning not moisturising.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Any hair type needs to moisturize well after almost any protein treatment.

The only sort of exception I've found is Spiral Solutions Repairing Protein Treatment as it's already pretty moisturizing. I use it all sorts of ways - as an actual treatment for 20-30 min. with heat, sometimes as my rinse out, sometimes a little as a leave-in. Even with it, though, I need to do occasional DT's, though not necessarily the same day as with other brands/types.

I don't find I get enough protein just in regular shampoo, conditioners, or styling products for it to affect my moisture level much - or for it to help my curl much. I can tell a definite difference when I am or am not getting enough protein.
2C/3A/3B - mod. CG, med. to fine, normal to low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated, GTTT or Aim2Health 'poos as scalp needs, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein Trtmt & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, AO Mandarin Magic, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing then clips or clamps & air dry. Blend gray w/henna glosses

www.fotki.com/auntnett

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