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Breakage..what if you can't tell whether ur hair needs protein or moisture?

Cayenne0622

New Member
I'm determined to get this breakage issue under control. I keep re-reading different threads from people like sistaslick, etc., but nothing is helping my hair. Can someone please help me figure out what my hair needs. The breakage thread says the following:

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. "My hair does not feel like a brillo bad and its not hard and rough when its wet. It does pop right off at the slightest touch"

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 has 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. "My hair is very fragile/week but it does not feel extra stretchy when wet and does not follow the comb".


So how's a girl supposed to know whether her hair is moisture deficient or protein deficient? I loosely bun my hair almost every day. I shampoo and deep condition once or twice a week. I only use a ceramic iron, with heat protector, if I decide I want to wear my hair down and only after a fresh wash. I don't blowdry, I drink lots of water, I take vitamins, I drink carrot juice (with a tbs of flaxseed oil), I sleep on a satin pillow case and cover my hair with a satin cap or a satin scarf. I hadn't done a protein treatment or a henna treatment in a while just in case it was a protein issue...still breakage. I decided to do henna last night with a tablespoon of Aphogee 2 min reconstructor...still breakage. As a last resort I'm going to do Nexxus Emergencee on Sunday and if there's still breakage, I won't know what to do. I don't want to cut my "nearing shoulder length" hair but I'm kind of at a loss now. Help?

 

Serenity_Peace

Genius never dies!
This is an excellent question. I am underprocessed and my hair is breaking a bit. Since I think the reconstructor that came with the relaxer may have had protein in it, my hair started to dry out. I did a deep moisturizing conditioner last night, but my hair is still slightly breaking. So, which is it? Do I need more protein to stop the breakage; or, do I need the moisturizer because the protein is the breakage culprit. I'm confused too. Now, I skurred to use any kind of protein because I don't know if it's helping or hurting the situation.

Great question! ;)
 

Amour

Well-Known Member
I would like to know this also... I kinda went on - whenever my hair felt hard & brittle it needed moisture & when i felt soft & mushy it needed protein, but my problem is that one day it can feel hard & brittle then the next it feels really mushy.

I'm on the baggying challenge and that seems to leave my hair really soft and mushy even though I may have done a protein treatment on the previous wash :confused:, I think I need to find a strengther (like a spray or something) that I can apply after I baggy,

I was going to use some garlic with my next wash & condition as that has helped with my breakage in the past, may be it will help you too?

Sorry to hijack your thread, with my problems... but hows your hair feeling? really soft or hard? maybe someone will be able to help you with that info?
 

KiniKakes

Well-Known Member
This is a good thread, Cayenne. I have read all the same things, over and over, about whether ure hair needs moisture or protein.............. and even after all this time i cant determine which one i need. When i get breakage (which i frequently do), i just make sure to keep moisturizing. And i do a regular protein treatment, every 6 weeks or so. But in terms of which my hair really NEEDS, i have no idea. I simply cant tell what is mushy/dry/over moisturized/undermoisturized/needs protein, etc. :perplexed
 

Guapaholic

New Member
I'm glad this thread was posted.. I too am still confused.. i thought maybe i'd get it over time, but i still dont think i know. i need more telltale signs to know the difference. i don't know wut 'mushy' hair feels like... etc..


I agree with wut Kini said and i do this as well.... but i dont know if im helping the problem or making it worse?

KiniKakes said:
This is a good thread, Cayenne. I have read all the same things, over and over, about whether ure hair needs moisture or protein.............. and even after all this time i cant determine which one i need. When i get breakage (which i frequently do), i just make sure to keep moisturizing. And i do a regular protein treatment, every 6 weeks or so. But in terms of which my hair really NEEDS, i have no idea. I simply cant tell what is mushy/dry/over moisturized/undermoisturized/needs protein, etc. :perplexed
 

Cayenne0622

New Member
No prob, KissKiss... inquiring minds want to know!:D

Bmore - my does not feel mushy at all. I'm starting to wonder if I simply don't know what brillo, mushy, or anything else feels like. Maybe I'm so used to my hair that I don't even realize that I'm experiencing mushiness or brillo padednesseseses...haha To me, my hair feels okay. Soft but not overly soft and sometimes a little dry but I moisturize daily and deep condition regularly and faithfully so if its still slightly dry from time to time despite that then I don't know what else to do.

Okay, question. For you ladies who air dry, does your hair look dry and a little bushy once its dry? Mine does (unless I wrap it) but if I leave it hanging to airdry, it usually looks dull and a little lifeless until I finish styling it.
 

divinefavor

Well-Known Member
Wow, I was just thinking about this early this morning!!! My hair sometimes has frequent breakage as well. I have no idea what any of those descriptions feel like though. I'm wondering if maybe alternating between moisture and protein conditioners every other week or combining the two each week would work.
 

amwcah

Well-Known Member
Cayenne0622 said:
No prob, KissKiss... inquiring minds want to know!:D

Bmore - my does not feel mushy at all. I'm starting to wonder if I simply don't know what brillo, mushy, or anything else feels like. Maybe I'm so used to my hair that I don't even realize that I'm experiencing mushiness or brillo padednesseseses...haha To me, my hair feels okay. Soft but not overly soft and sometimes a little dry but I moisturize daily and deep condition regularly and faithfully so if its still slightly dry from time to time despite that then I don't know what else to do.

Okay, question. For you ladies who air dry, does your hair look dry and a little bushy once its dry? Mine does (unless I wrap it) but if I leave it hanging to airdry, it usually looks dull and a little lifeless until I finish styling it.

Cayenne0622~I can identify with you and I'm having a terrible time with determining what I need more of as well (moisture vs. protein). However, I don't believe you have experienced your hair in the mush or brillo state. If so, you would know. I'm speaking from experience of course. Once I joined LHCF and stumbled upon sistaslick's breakage thread I could recall my hair in those states. When my hair was mush is was like a sponge when wet. It was not straight, but like in a natural curl texture. Brillo is just hard, course like texture for me.

I airdry and my hair is very dry after drying and looks very very dull, but not so much lifeless. My ends tend to be a little frizz I guess. They don't go straight. I never blowdry.
 

Cayenne0622

New Member
Wow! I had no idea so many of us were still confused about this. I hope some folks who have mastered this to some degree come in and help us out. I did individual 2 strands twists on my freshly shampoo'd/conditioned hair last night and the whole time I kept having broken hairs on my hands. Even today, now that its dry, every time I gently touch a section of hair I come away with a few strands. I even used porosity control for a final conditioning just in case my cuticles weren't laying flat and that didn't help. Geez frickin louise!
 

amwcah

Well-Known Member
Cayenne0622 said:
Wow! I had no idea so many of us were still confused about this. I hope some folks who have mastered this to some degree come in and help us out. I did individual 2 strands twists on my freshly shampoo'd/conditioned hair last night and the whole time I kept having broken hairs on my hands. Even today, now that its dry, every time I gently touch a section of hair I come away with a few strands. I even used porosity control for a final conditioning just in case my cuticles weren't laying flat and that didn't help. Geez frickin louise!

I'm having this same problem. I wonder if I should just cut to shoulder length and start all over!:confused: :(
 

guesswho

New Member
great thread! I always ask myself that same question so I just do the basics and keep my fingers cross that it works and my hair progress, deep conditioning treatments, protein every month or 6 wks and moisture moisture moisture....
 

Blackoutzangel05

New Member
I thought I had this all under control until this week. I altered my hair routine and instead of cornrowing started wearing buns for 2 days and I am not sure if I did a protein reconstructor or not but my hair is breaking like crazy, like hairs all over my shirt and floor. I had just had this problem fixed!!!!! I am so pissed right now but I am thinking that I might need a good protein treatment and mixing my dc with some oils making a hair pudding....I am transitioning and normally wouldn't be worried but my hair was doing great with minimal shedding and here we go again.
 

preciousjewel76

New Member
OK, I'm by no means an expert in this area, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of the infamous moisture/protein balance. Here are some of my tips:

What helps me is mixing about 1/3 protein conditioner with 2/3 moisturizing conditioner for each DC (every week), OR alternating a moisturizing DC with a protein DC weekly. Lately, I've been alternating. I might go back to the moisture/protein mixture.

I've started cowashing once a week, and when I do, I use a protein-based leave-in (usually Giovanni Direct mixed with a little Mane N Tail conditioner), or I'll use the Aphogee 2-minute reconstructor immediately after cowashing. My hair can get overmoisturized very easily!

I try to do a "hard" protein reconstructor at least 1x per month, sometimes twice. I just finished up the last of my Emergencee. I'm going to try Joico K-Pak soon - because you don't have that additional step of sitting under the dryer like you do with Emergencee.

I find it easier to test my strands for strength when they're dry (IMO, anybody's hair will stretch and break when wet, that's the most fragile state for your hair anyway). If I'm noticing more breakage than usual (I get a few broken hairs no matter what, I don't stress about it), then I take a shed hair and pull on it a little. It may take a few hairs to get the hang of it, but usually if I pull it just right, I can tell whether it's brittle, stretchy, or has the normal resilience. I adjust my weekly DC according to how my hair is acting. If it's stretchy, I go with a protein DC (hair mayo or Aubrey's GPB). If it's brittle, I go with a moisturizing DC (I have TONS of these!).


Bottom line: It really *is* hard to figure this out, and I don't know if what I'm doing is "right", but my breakage is a lot less than it has been in the past. It all depends on your hair, and we all know that it's a challenge to be "one" with our hair!:)

I wish you the best, and please DON'T CUT YOUR HAIR! It's so pretty, and you've already made so much progress! Besides, until you get to the root of your problem, any new hair that grows might end up broken as well, and we don't want that.
 

bLackButtaFly

Well-Known Member
I used to always have this problem especially in the winter months. I think that some breakage is normal, and that with the very fragile hair we have, it's important to know we may always have some breakage. That being said I used to touch my fro or play with it and my shoulders would be covered with little hairs. If your hair by itself seems healthy I don't know if it has so much to do with protein or even moisture. Like my hair felt fine if it didn't I wouldn't want to touch it, but it was breaking. And I was doing a protein treatment every three weeks, and not using heat.
For me I just had to change my products. I used to use mizani shampoo everytime I wash. Now I only wash with deva curl, which doesn't lather, and is very moisturizing, and only really wash my hair, with bumble and bumble, about every two sometimes three weeks. I lessened the amount of products I put in my hair when I was styling now it/s pretty much just miss jessies and water, and my hair milk when I need moisture. My hair did a 180 like I still have alittle breakage, but nothing like what it was before. So sometimes I think less is more, and making sure you're getting the moisture right from the beginnning of the washing process.
 

foxy kc

New Member
Have you tried clarifying before the protein/moisture treatments...sometimes the hair is so coated that nothing can get to the hair strand.

Also, if your hair was ever mushy.....trust me you would definately know. Also hair feeling like a brillo pad feels very similar to how your hair would feel after you do an aphoee treatment (the one that you let harden), as soon as you rinse it out before you DC with a moisturising conditioner.....


This may not be what anyone wants to hear, but sometimes no amount of protein treatments or moisture will stop the breakage.....sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get a trim.

The hair that is breaking off may be the result of split ends, or damaged hair....
 

Artemis

New Member
preciousjewel76 said:
I find it easier to test my strands for strength when they're dry (IMO, anybody's hair will stretch and break when wet, that's the most fragile state for your hair anyway). If I'm noticing more breakage than usual (I get a few broken hairs no matter what, I don't stress about it), then I take a shed hair and pull on it a little. It may take a few hairs to get the hang of it, but usually if I pull it just right, I can tell whether it's brittle, stretchy, or has the normal resilience. I adjust my weekly DC according to how my hair is acting. If it's stretchy, I go with a protein DC (hair mayo or Aubrey's GPB). If it's brittle, I go with a moisturizing DC (I have TONS of these!).

This is what I do also. I DC 2x/wk w/moisture and spray a protein leave in (Joico) and seal it w/oil or serum, depending on how I choose to style it. Sistaslick said in that thread that if you're unsure, to err on the side more moisture, so that's what I've done. I know what mushy feels like (overcooked ramen, IME) so I have only done it once. I now do a protein reconstructor (like Keraphix or CPR in the bottle) 1/wk or every other week. You can only tell when you're all up in your head, you know. Trial and error.

HTH
 
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Artemis

New Member
foxy kc said:
This may not be what anyone wants to hear, but sometimes no amount of protein treatments or moisture will stop the breakage.....sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get a trim.

The hair that is breaking off may be the result of split ends, or damaged hair....

I agree w/this too! Also, what's that saying about a ounce of prevention = a lb of cure?? Y'all know what I mean :lol:

ETA: I have also found IME that if I spray my hair (a little) w/moisture before putting an actual moisturizing product on, my hair is less likely to break. If I just put the moisturizer on dry hair, I get those tiny broken hairs...Weird, huh? :)
 
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RubyWoo

Well-Known Member
I'm no expert either but I'll share what I do. Firstly, I do a protien and a moisturing deep conditioning every single week. I've been doing this since I started my journey in december. I need protien to keep my hair strong and moisture to keep my hair soft. To maintain the balance I tend to use water based moisturizing leave-ins that have some protien(keratin or silk protien) in them on a daily basis. I then seal with an oil (usually vatika oil). In addition, sometimes I'll use some infusium 23 but I found that if I used infusium 23 everyday, my hair would start to break so then I opted to use infusium 23 every 2-3 days to maintain that balance. So, personally I try to incorporate protein and moisture regularly in order to maintain that balance.
 

dreysonsmommy2011

Well-Known Member
KiniKakes said:
This is a good thread, Cayenne. I have read all the same things, over and over, about whether ure hair needs moisture or protein.............. and even after all this time i cant determine which one i need. When i get breakage (which i frequently do), i just make sure to keep moisturizing. And i do a regular protein treatment, every 6 weeks or so. But in terms of which my hair really NEEDS, i have no idea. I simply cant tell what is mushy/dry/over moisturized/undermoisturized/needs protein, etc. :perplexed

I do exactly what Kini said. I have done the stretch test and I am still clueless as to whether my hair needs moisture or protein:ohwell:
 

alundra

Addicted to jdramas
I'm glad you posted this thread! I have problems with this too - I call it "the zen of hair." I was just now able to tell what my hair feelsl ike when it's really dry. :perplexed

I think I'm going to do what another member suggested and use 1/3 protein and 2/3 moisturizing.
 

cocoa32

New Member
I still haven't mastered this either. Thanks for posting...I thought I was the only one having this problem. I still have no clue what to do....
 

kbody4

New Member
Cayenne0622 said:
No prob, KissKiss... inquiring minds want to know!:D

Bmore - my does not feel mushy at all. I'm starting to wonder if I simply don't know what brillo, mushy, or anything else feels like. Maybe I'm so used to my hair that I don't even realize that I'm experiencing mushiness or brillo padednesseseses...haha To me, my hair feels okay. Soft but not overly soft and sometimes a little dry but I moisturize daily and deep condition regularly and faithfully so if its still slightly dry from time to time despite that then I don't know what else to do.

Okay, question. For you ladies who air dry, does your hair look dry and a little bushy once its dry? Mine does (unless I wrap it) but if I leave it hanging to airdry, it usually looks dull and a little lifeless until I finish styling it.

Hey Cayenne, I may not know much myself about the protein/moisture balance, but I noticed that in your siggy you have fine/medium texture hair. I too have this same hair type. I had to overhaul my whole entire regimen again. I noticed that when I stopped deep conditioning with heavy conditioners, and using heavy proteins, I had very little breakage. I now use light weight conditioners (Dove) protein (Aphogee 2 minute recontructor) I noticed that fine/medium textured hair cannot handle a lot of products or heat. I don't deep condition anymore. I leave the product on for the recommened time and rinse. I'm not saying you or anyone should do this, but this is working for me. Even when I use a flat iron, I have to make sure that I don't use too much heat protectant because my hair easily gets weighed down and breakage prone.

When I airdry my hair, its bushy but when I touch it's has a soft cotton feel to it.

ETA: I chopped off 3-4 inches of hair because I wasn't taking care of my ends that well. That was my fault :lol:
 

Lady Esquire

New Member
KissKiss said:
I would like to know this also... I kinda went on - whenever my hair felt hard & brittle it needed moisture & when i felt soft & mushy it needed protein, but my problem is that one day it can feel hard & brittle then the next it feels really mushy.

I'm on the baggying challenge and that seems to leave my hair really soft and mushy even though I may have done a protein treatment on the previous wash :confused:, I think I need to find a strengther (like a spray or something) that I can apply after I baggy,

I was going to use some garlic with my next wash & condition as that has helped with my breakage in the past, may be it will help you too?

Sorry to hijack your thread, with my problems... but hows your hair feeling? really soft or hard? maybe someone will be able to help you with that info?

KissKiss,
Every single word you typed relates to my current situation. I use SistaSlick's article as a guideline on reading moisture/protein cues. These cues usually dictate which treatment is in order. However, I too find that one day my hair will be dry, so I will do a moisture treatment, and then next day it'll be mushy. Many people mention switching products with too many cones in it. Maybe I am over-conditioning it when it is dry, maybe all that is needed is a simple co-wash as opposed to an-hour sit under the dryer with a deep condition. I need to ease off of my heavy-handedness when applying products, and shorten the length of time I apply products.

Also, the baggying sometimes makes my hair too mushy. Even though I absolutely love baggying, if the ends are too mushy, I will not retain as much growth.

I also experienced unexplained shedding and breakage lately. It has been 5 days since I relaxed and I reassessed my regimen. I am realizing that certain things need to be done in moderation. So I am still going to follow SistaSlick's moisture/protein balance, but maybe I will not baggy as long as I usually do (maybe just at night).

I also realized that there are periods that your hair will choose to shed more, seasonally or hormonely-related factors involved. So I am definitely developing a daily vitamin regimen, and I will monitor the effects. I have considered garlic shampoo...so I will research the board for previous threads.

This is a GREAT thread because getting one's moisture/balance down to a science is the key to healthy hair that will retain the desired growth. Much apologies for hijacking this thread as well, but I could not help add my two cents. Looking forward to reading what the rest of you have to share about this one.

Ciao.:)
 

Determined22

New Member
Cayenne, I think we are living the same life!

I've been baggying every night, but using the Mizani night time treatment to seal; deep conditioning; and bunning each night. 2 days ago I washed and then used Joico K-pak for a protein treatment, and air-dried. Today I flatironed, and lost so many little hairs! :eek:

I think my hair just doesn't like air drying....I had noticed it before, but I was trying to avoid blow drying...Looks like I'm back to roller sets cause this breakage is driving me crazy!

I'm going to do an Aphogee treatment after my next shampoo, and then I'm done...

At this rate, I'm never going to get to APL :(
 

Cayenne0622

New Member
foxy kc said:
Have you tried clarifying before the protein/moisture treatments...sometimes the hair is so coated that nothing can get to the hair strand.

Also, if your hair was ever mushy.....trust me you would definately know. Also hair feeling like a brillo pad feels very similar to how your hair would feel after you do an aphoee treatment (the one that you let harden), as soon as you rinse it out before you DC with a moisturising conditioner.....


This may not be what anyone wants to hear, but sometimes no amount of protein treatments or moisture will stop the breakage.....sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get a trim.

The hair that is breaking off may be the result of split ends, or damaged hair....


I clarified last night before I did any treatments.

A major trim may be in store.:(
 

gymfreak336

New Member
I too go through this but since discovering my beloved Porosity control, I haven't had this problem nearly as much. My breakage theory is that even when your protien and moisture balance is pretty square, uneven porosity in the hair can still cause breakage. Since using porosity control, my hair holds on to moisture much longer and my conditioning treatments seem to be more effective. As far as conditioning goes, I stopped using heavy protien for awhile. I mostly use balanced conditioners now that give moisture but still have touches of protien like silk elements cholesterol, pantene breakage defense mask and aveda damage rememdy. After 4 washed using porosity control before deep condtioning and using these conditioners, my breakage got better.

Also, I can't go off of the senarios for determining my protein-moisture balance. I always have to go off of the strand test. Its the only way I really know.
 

Cayenne0622

New Member
Thanks everyone for your tips, suggestions, and just genuine support.

Kbody - really insightful. I'm gonna have to remember what you said. Our hair is a different breed (fine texture).

Precious Jewel - thanks for the information. Girl, its worth a shot.
 

Cayenne0622

New Member
Determined22 said:
Cayenne, I think we are living the same life!

I've been baggying every night, but using the Mizani night time treatment to seal; deep conditioning; and bunning each night. 2 days ago I washed and then used Joico K-pak for a protein treatment, and air-dried. Today I flatironed, and lost so many little hairs! :eek:

I think my hair just doesn't like air drying....I had noticed it before, but I was trying to avoid blow drying...Looks like I'm back to roller sets cause this breakage is driving me crazy!

I'm going to do an Aphogee treatment after my next shampoo, and then I'm done...

At this rate, I'm never going to get to APL :(

Don't give up on APL, ma!! I think there may be other protein treatments out there better than Aphogee based on a "protein thread" that Adrian posted on 1/30/07. She listed the types of proteins and Aphogee apparently has animal protein instead of hydrolized human hair keratin so its really a less effective protein though it has been known to do the job for some people.
 

preciousjewel76

New Member
Cayenne0622 said:
Don't give up on APL, ma!! I think there may be other protein treatments out there better than Aphogee based on a "protein thread" that Adrian posted on 1/30/07. She listed the types of proteins and Aphogee apparently has animal protein instead of hydrolized human hair keratin so its really a less effective protein though it has been known to do the job for some people.

I copied the link to that thread and put it in my journal, 'cuz it's such good information:

A little info about proteins:
http://www.longhaircareforum.com/for...d.php?t=114629
 
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