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Friday, November 16, 2012

Does your hair need moisture or protein treatment? Hair wet stretch test!

So how many times have you lovelies have been asked to do a protein treatment when you went to saloon to get your hair done or trimmed?

See I have fairly healthy hair (on of the upsides of no heat or processing) so they are like, "you have really nice hair you should do a protein treatment to keep it healthy". And then there were some other girl who had highlights on her hair so the saloon was like, "your hair might be damaged from color so you should do protein treatment" etc. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against protein treatments per-say, but I just hate the  idea of how it is being used as a universal remedy of all-things-hair.
That is so not the case.

Protein can repair your hair. It can also damage your hair. So can moisture. Ever heard the phrase too much of anything is bad? Exactly. Now before I go into any details, lets get a few things straight. 
  1. Hair treatments can be either a moisturizing treatment or a protein treatment.
  2. Your hair can need protein, or moisturizer or both or none (if you have really really healthy hair) 
  3. There is such thing called over moisturizing or too much protein and they will most certainly damage your hair. Here you wanted to do your hair some good and would end up making it only worse. 
So lets see what the damages are. If you have a fairly moisturized hair and still keep on moisturizing, it will feel lump and lifeless. It will stretch to infinity every time you comb or brush and in long turn will be prone to breakage.

If your hair already has enough protein and you keep getting those protein treatment, it will dry your hair out. It will become brittle and totally loose the healthy texture. You will experience frequent split ends on regular basis.

So you should always know if your hair needs moisture or protein and then take care of it accordingly. But, how would you know? Really simple. It is called a wet stretch test.

For this experiment you will need a perfectly wet for a prolonged time hair strand. So the best way is to take a few of your hairs that you have shed after shampooing.

Take 3/4 wet hair strands; hold the ends using both hands. Start stretching slowly.

1. If the hair does not stretch and just breaks abruptly you will need more moisture. Do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment once a week, use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner every time you shampoo. Continue this until your hair starts to stretch. (keep testing regularly).

2. If the hair stretches to 20%-30% but then does not come back, it has no elasticity and you will need more protein. Do your protein treatment once a week; use shampoo/ conditioner which has the word protein/amino acid/keratin on it.. Keep doing this until your hair starts showing signs of elasticity.

3. If your hair stretches less than 20% and then breaks its both low in protein and moisture, in another word your hair is really really damaged. You will need to use both protein and moisture deep conditioners, regular shampoo and conditioners etc to counter-act this problem.

3. If your hair stretches and then comes back to the normal length like an elastic band, congratulation, you have a good moisture and protein balance, do not go overboard with any of them. Maybe do 1-2 protein and moisturizing treatments once a month and you will be done.

Also if your hair is in the first two categories, do not chemically process your hair. You can do so much damage working on hair that is either low on moisture or protein. So before you get a hair strengthening, rebonding, color or highlighting process done, do a stretch test. If your hair shows signs of weakness, take a month to nourish it  back to health and then do the procedure. in fact it is a very general process for most of the western hair saloons to do the wet stretch test on their clients hair before determining the procedure.

To know more about wet hair strech test and what you should do about your protein and moisture siturations check these links out.

*Nadia's Note (really helpful!)

So girls, next time you go buy yourself a really expensive treatment conditioner or go for a professional pampering, know what your hair needs first. Then act. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any question or comments :)

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