Go Back   CurlTalk > Hair > General Discussion about Curly Hair

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-28-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
 
StruttsWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,005
Send a message via AIM to StruttsWife Send a message via Yahoo to StruttsWife
Default Proteins or Humectants? True or False?

Given the intolerance for protein by some of the curlies on this board, I want to share something with you that I learned in beauty school about it ... and would like your opinions/thoughts about it. Would you consider this a valid reason why you can/cannot tolerate proteins in your products, or vice versa?

In beauty school (at least where I went), one of the first things I learned was about fine, medium and coarse hair and the effects of different products on them. I was taught that many of the hair products out there are not really necessary; however, product sales are how the beauty industry makes most of its money, so it's all about the marketing - buy this for "color-treated" hair, buy this for "grey" hair, etc. - to boost sales.

When it comes down to it, though, the only thing we truly need to do is match our hair products to the type of hair we have and the condition it is in at the time ... and your hair type can always change from fine to medium to coarse, depending on a number of factors: the season, the weather, pregnancy, stress, previous processing, your health, etc. So, from a stylist perspective, there are really only three basic "types" of hair:

Fine hair - easily flyaway, does not hold a style well. Often looks dry and brittle, but actually is most likely over-moisturized. Hair products with emollients or humectants should be avoided in favor of protein-based products.

Medium or "normal" texture hair - considered the "perfect" hair type and, if undamaged, responds well to virtually all products and services.

Coarse hair - does not bend and cannot hold a style well. Is often dry and brittle, due to an overabundance of protein. Hair products with proteins should be avoided in favor of products with emollients and humectants.

So, my question is this: do you find this holds true for you? If you have coarse hair, does protein badly dry you out; if you have fine hair, do humectants and emollients give you limp, heavy, greasy hair? I know a lot of this is going to be affected by the condition of your hair as well - if you color or relax or bleach or whatever - or if you use sulfates or silicones in your products ... but I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about this basic theory, as well as any ideas/hypotheses you've formed about why this may/may not be true.
__________________
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

StruttsWife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 10:55 AM   #2
 
echokitten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,741
Default

I have coarse hair and I cannot use proteins almost at all. Even when they are way down on the list of ingred. My hair gets this straw like haystack feel/look too it. The worst protein for some reason is wheat, not sure why. Even when I used products with say...silk protein or casein I only had about 2 good days before it would go bad. Then I would have to poo and DT to get back to square one. This happened early on with CG for me, until I figured it out and when I cut out all proteins it stopped. I have almost all (except for about an inch here and there remaining of dyed hair) virgin hair. I don't straighten and rarely ever diffuse, so my hair is pretty healthy.
__________________
Cincinnati Ohio>>>Coarse protein sensitive 3a, Jessicurl WDT as a leave in, Biotera gel, White Boots, PW= coffeecurls

"Man tries to exaggerate what nature has given him," Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -Sophia Loren

Last edited by echokitten; 12-28-2007 at 11:03 AM.
echokitten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,847
Default

There is a reason why coarse hair may not respond well to protein.

Typically, coarse hair has a cuticle that does not lie flat, thus creating a more porous surface. This porosity allows more uptake of protein molecules from product, which are typically retained in high quantities for multiple washes. By using protein-laden products in subsequent wash/conditioning cycles, more protein is being added tot he interior of the hair shaft. This creates hair that is essentially overloaded, over "strengthened," and rendered brittle and dry feeling. It loses elasticity and suppleness, creating frizz and tendency toward greater breakage.
Swirlycurly Chemist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 01:46 PM   #4
 
msjanani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 624
Default

wow this is really interesting. Thanks for sharing, struttswife!

I have I guess medium hair and don't find myself sensitive to protein. I think my hair responds well to a balance of protein and humectants.

Can you explain a little bit about the proper way to tell if hair is fine or medium or coarse though? I've heard so many different things over the years I don't really know what to think.
__________________
3A low/medium porosity, medium texture

Current products:
Stylers: HE Tousle Me Softly, Condition 3-in-1 Mousse
Conditioners: Terax Crema, Mill Creek Botanicals Henna Conditioner
Cleanser: DevaCurl NoPoo

http://www.flickr.com/photos/theevolutionofcurl/
msjanani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
 
SpunGold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 454
Default

Quote:
Can you explain a little bit about the proper way to tell if hair is fine or medium or coarse though? I've heard so many different things over the years I don't really know what to think.
I'm not sure how proteins and humectants really affect my hair, but I'd really like to know the answer to the question quoted above.

I grew up thinking I must have coarse hair because of the way it frizzed out when I blow-dried it. (duh, you're shredding your natural curls, you idiot)

After hanging around here for awhile, I decided my hair must be fine because you can literally see through the individual strands and loose hairs are very difficult to see, even against a contrasting background. I'm wondering if this holds true for those with darker fine hair as well, since I'm a golden blond.

So what you're saying is that proteins may actually be good for my hair. I'm thinking of Abba Weightless gel, which some curlies here say is full of proteins. I definitely noticed some dryness when I tried using it daily so I'm always careful to use it with a leave-in and rotate it.

As far as my own chemical processes, my color is 100% natural, and I'm growing out a single chemical straightening from 2005. I can't tell how much of my relaxed hair is left, so I suppose my hair wasn't that badly damaged from the process.

This is going to be a fascinating thread.. sitting back to watch.
__________________

Location: Frisco, TX

Fia type: 3a/F/ii Pics! Updated 04/22/10
CO Wash: Suave Coconut
Leave-in: Deva Heaven in Hair
Current Styler: Fuzzy Duck Gel
finally at waist length!
SpunGold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 03:58 PM   #6
 
StruttsWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,005
Send a message via AIM to StruttsWife Send a message via Yahoo to StruttsWife
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirlycurly Chemist View Post
There is a reason why coarse hair may not respond well to protein.

Typically, coarse hair has a cuticle that does not lie flat, thus creating a more porous surface. This porosity allows more uptake of protein molecules from product, which are typically retained in high quantities for multiple washes. By using protein-laden products in subsequent wash/conditioning cycles, more protein is being added tot he interior of the hair shaft. This creates hair that is essentially overloaded, over "strengthened," and rendered brittle and dry feeling. It loses elasticity and suppleness, creating frizz and tendency toward greater breakage.
I think I also remember coarse hair additionally has more side bonds that hold the peptide chains of keratin in place in the cortex to form the hair structure. Would this contribute to protein sensitivity in coarse hair as well or is that unrelated?
__________________
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

StruttsWife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 04:09 PM   #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,282
Default

I have fine hair, and I'm pretty sure it responds well to both humectants (like honey, right?) and proteins.
__________________
Lots and lots of fine 3b-ish hair.
DevaCurl currently, but exploring new products.
Love the hair!
firelily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 04:24 PM   #8
 
Suburbanbushbabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 16,020
Default

This is me too. My fine, porous hair craves moisture but I can use products with silk protein, hydrolized protein, etc. And I can do a major protein treatment every 4-6 weeks.
__________________
My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
My FOTKI - http://whatsnew.fotki.com/suburbanbushbabe/


Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
Quote:
Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
Suburbanbushbabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 04:41 PM   #9
 
jcurlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 624
Send a message via Yahoo to jcurlady
Default

That's so interesting. I've always thought of my hair as course b/c it's so thick and there's so much of it. Nearly half of my have fell out during my transition but you couldn't tell. My hairstylist said I have enough hair for two heads.
Now, I think I might have medium hair. I can take protein w/o breakage. Since I've gone natural all of my hair problems have gone away (I really only had a dandruff/dry scalp problem before). I don't have dandruff/dry scalp anymore and I use giovanni hair product which I think have proteins in them. My hair does well w/ their product.
Does that sound right? I'm pretty new to all of this.
__________________
if luvin KCKT and KCCC is wrong I don't wanna b right

sell crazy somewhere else...we're all stocked up here.
jcurlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 05:58 PM   #10
 
StruttsWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,005
Send a message via AIM to StruttsWife Send a message via Yahoo to StruttsWife
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by msjanani View Post
Can you explain a little bit about the proper way to tell if hair is fine or medium or coarse though? I've heard so many different things over the years I don't really know what to think.
I literally learned to tell by feel for all sorts of hair conditions and types:

Texture (diameter) test - grasp a hair strand firmly between your thumb and index finger near the root, then run your fingers in the direction of scalp to end. If the hair feels barely there, is very soft and feels kind of flyaway, it's fine. If it feels a bit more substantial, but is still relatively smooth, it's medium. If it feels rough to the touch, it's coarse.

Porosity test - grasp a hair strand firmly between your fingers. Slide the thumb and index finger of your other hand from end to scalp (opposite direction as for texture test). If your fingers "catch" going up the strand, or feel like they are ruffling up the hair strand, your hair is porous.

Elasticity test - take a wet strand of your hair between the fingers of both hands and stretch it. If you can stretch it to 40-50% of its original length and it returns, without breaking or staying stretched out, you have good elasticity.
__________________
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

StruttsWife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 06:32 PM   #11
 
wild~hair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 10,942
Default

According to the testing you posted, I have coarse hair with good elasticity.

My hair responds very well to protein [Aveda DPHR and K-PAK]. It also likes humectant and emollient products [SheaMoisture, Ojon RT].
wild~hair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #12
 
Mint's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,143
Default

Great post! My hair is coarse on the canopy and medium in the underlayers. Now I know why I'm protein sensitive at times.

However, what about amino acids? I've been using Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner and I'm impressed so far with the shine (it has silk amino acids). I've also tried the LA Looks Volume gel a couple times and don't remember having straw-like hair (it had keratin amino acids).

Any thoughts?
__________________
2a/M-C/ii hair. Super long.
Mint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 09:32 PM   #13
 
StruttsWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,005
Send a message via AIM to StruttsWife Send a message via Yahoo to StruttsWife
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mint View Post
Great post! My hair is coarse on the canopy and medium in the underlayers. Now I know why I'm protein sensitive at times.

However, what about amino acids? I've been using Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner and I'm impressed so far with the shine (it has silk amino acids). I've also tried the LA Looks Volume gel a couple times and don't remember having straw-like hair (it had keratin amino acids).

Any thoughts?
Well, our hair is mainly made up of keratin, which is a protein ... and protein is formed by amino acids, so maybe certain amino acids in product actually reinforce and protect the hair. Hopefully, Swirlycurly Chemist will slide back in and give us the scoop.

I almost hate to admit this, LOL - but I have an "emergency" bottle of Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner in my own bathroom closet for the times when I've run out of everything and literally have nothing else in the house. I wouldn't give up my Deva products for the world, but this makes a pretty darned good pitch-hitter and I'll use it as a safety net any time. Plus, I have clients who absolutely, positively, will not buy anything other than drugstore products, so this is the one (and only) conditioner I will recommend they use.

I tell them to use it mixed with lemon juice as a cleanser, alone as a conditioner, and mixed with purified/distilled water as a leave-in. It is sulfate- and silicone-free and, although it is not as good as professional products formulated for curly hair, it is by far better for curly hair than professional products that contain sulfates or silicones (my drugstore gel recommendation, incidentally, is Garnier Fructis Style Super Stiff Gel Ultra Strong, mixed with a bit of purified water and "stretched" to activate the fruit microfibers).

Sometimes, confession is good for the soul
__________________
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

StruttsWife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2007, 05:58 PM   #14
 
FrizzBgone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,676
Default

I'd say I'm medium / normal hair. I haven't seen any sensitivity to proteins so far ... I'm very grateful. Almost everything you go to buy seems to have protein in it.
__________________
Type: 3a fine & dense,with normal porosity, terrible product junkie
ROUTINE: LI, enhancer, gel, plop with Curlease towel, serum product (either CIAB or Gel-les'c), clip & diffuse.
Too many favourite products to list ... I finally have my routine that works and alot of products to choose from. My product stash is huge, but well loved !!!
FrizzBgone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2007, 07:09 PM   #15
 
redcelticcurls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14,014
Send a message via Yahoo to redcelticcurls
Default

my hair is coarse by strand size if that is teh type of coarse we're talking about. It is medium to coarse in texture. My hatred of proteins is fairly well known to those who've read enough of my posts. It has become more pronounced since giving up sulfates, but looking back, was present even when I used regular poo.

I color treat, and my hair theoretically should need protein. but, it HATES it.
__________________
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
redcelticcurls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 01:27 PM   #16
 
curlylex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 104
Default

RCC, you've got the best hair ever. If I could have any hair of anybody - I'd pick yours.

Just so you know...
__________________
3b, superfine, natural colour
Complete CG from May 2007 - Mod CG starting June 2008 - no sulfates, no cones

There was a little girl, with a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
When she was good
She was very, very good
But when she was bad she was horrid!

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
curlylex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 05:33 PM   #17
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 630
Default

My hair is medium-to-coarse, and proteins definitely dry it out and make it straw-like. Interesting ...
__________________
Mishy (color-treated, thick, 2b/2c, several inches below shoulder length, long layers).
mishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 09:25 AM   #18
 
Snarls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,346
Default

I have fine hair. I agree with the general description of fine hair being fly away and not holding a style well.

I can use products with moderate amounts of protein in them, in moderation. If I use stylers or conditioners that have a lot of protein, my hair gets dry and even more difficult to manage.

I'm not sure about the humectants and emollients. It seems to depend on my water source. At home, my water is very hard and I would say even downright jagged. It must ruffle the cuticle of my hair, because emollients and humectants work well to sort of either shmash the cuticle down again or to fill in the gaps created by the ruffled scales. When I'm traveling and the water is less hard, I get more buildup from emollients and humectants and I'm more likely to get overconditioned.
__________________
formerly Castella
(my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
Snarls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 09:31 AM   #19
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 285
Default

I have to say, I'm the complete opposite to the description for fine hair. Mine loves humectants and HATES protein. Go figure!
__________________
VERY fine 2B/3A hair
Chin-length - growing it out...again.
ECCurly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 09:41 AM   #20
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13,292
Default

Well, recent discoveries lead me to believe my hair (fine & virgin but for the last few inches which is old bleach) has a love-hate relationship with humectants, proteins & I guess certain hold ingredients too.

I never know what's going to happen with a new product, or even with an old product in combination with another or alone.
lazy loops is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Trending Topics[-]hide

Thread Tools
Display Modes



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com