Mar 29, 2011

Moisture/Protein Balance- Getting Deep Into it! Part A

As we all know, breakage and growth  and hair health go hand in hand because with breakage, health and  growth potential are greatly reduced.

I've shared this info on the Ezboard site I frequent, and I've decided to share a bit of what I've been writing with you all too. Some of you will recognize alot of this because I've been saving many of the posts I've done on various boards.   Please excuse the millions of typos as well-- I haven't had the chance to go through and truncate the repetition or correct for spelling. Forgive me ahead of time, it is still a work in progress and this is only an excerpt.

I believe this information will help the newbies, and the vets sort out their breakage issues and give them some useful background information so that they can get a better sense of the direction they should aiming product and technique wise. Ladies, feel free to add to this thread. We want to share and provide each other with as much information as possible. 

Breakage and Shedding

Understanding the difference between breakage and shedding is an important part of any healthy hair regimen. Many people use these terms interchangeably to refer to any hair that falls from the head. In its true sense, shed hair is hair that has reached the end of its growing cycle and naturally falls from the scalp along with its root attached. The root is a tiny white bulb on the scalp originating end. If a hair does not possess this white bulb, then it is not a naturally shed hair�rather, a broken one. Shed hair tends to be longer in length than broken hairs which are generally short pieces of varying lengths. If you have stretched your relaxer for a great number of weeks, your shed hair will have the curly new growth present on the area next to the scalp, and you will be able to see where the relaxed hair begins. Some find that garlic shampoos or products with garlic extracts help curb shedding. But remember, shedding is a natural, internal process and may not respond to topical, external treatments. So don't be alarmed if nothing works for you. Changes in diet, hormone imbalances, birth control pills, and pregnancy can also affect the rate at which hair is shed.

Breakage on the other hand is not natural, and is an indication of an imbalance of important forces within the hair strand. Broken hairs do not fall naturally from the head, but are typically a sign of mishandling or abuse. The proper treatments, will help stop breakage in its tracks.

Protein and Moisture

Scenario 1: Kim�s hair is breaking like crazy and feels like a brillo pad. Every time she touches it, pieces seem to just pop right off. Snap, crackle, pop. Combing is impossible without tons of little hairs covering her sink and back. Her hair feels hard and rough even when wet. She�s given it protein treatments because the product says its supposed to stop breakage in its tracks and rebuild the hair, but so far nothing is working and her problem is getting worse.

Scenario 2: Trina�s hair is breaking like crazy as well. Her hair feels dry, looks dull, and is very weak. Her hair is too weak to withstand simple combing. It feels extra stretchy when wet and almost follows the comb as she pulls through to detangle. She�s deep conditioned and done hot oil treatments on her hair once a week. Since her breakage began, she�s stepped up the conditioning but her problem has gotten worse. 

Both of these women have issues with breakage, but the solutions to their individual problems require two very different approaches. Before you go shopping for your hair care product arsenal, you must understand the difference between protein and moisture and what they mean for your hair. Protein and moisture are the key cornerstones of great hair care. Maintaining a proper balance between these two entities is critical for the healthiest hair growth possible. The two scenarios above perfectly illustrate what happens when the balance between protein and moisture is tipped too far in either direction. This section will teach you to effectively recognize the difference between protein based and moisture based problems and help you can organize your hair regimen to effectively combat these issues as the arise. 

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