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Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 11 Sep 2019 Protein or moisture: ...

Protein or moisture: What is your hair lacking?

Published Sep 11, 2019, 5:04 pm IST
Updated Sep 11, 2019, 5:08 pm IST
It’s important to know what your hair needs to figure out the best products for your hair.
Dry, frizzy and unruly hair indicate that your hair is dehydrated. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 Dry, frizzy and unruly hair indicate that your hair is dehydrated. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

Your hair care routine includes using the best brands of shampoos and conditioners, but are you using the right product? Currently, two treatments seem to be trending in the hair care market- one that focuses on protein, and the other that focuses on moisture. Thankfully, you can figure this by yourself without making any visits to expensive salons or stylists.

Protein deficiency in hair


Dr Tara Rao of Schweiger Dermatology Group, New York City said, “Hair is a highly complex appendage of the body that is created by many proteins.” And that means, proteins are a vital point of focus when it comes to hair care. Stringy, sticky or limp hair are some of the possible signs of protein deficiency in hair. Anabel Kingsley, a consulting trichologist at Philip Kingsley explained, “Think of amino acids (proteins) as the building blocks of your hair; they give strands strength and structure. Without adequate protein, hair can become brittle and fragile.” Your hair is more prone to breakage if there’s not enough protein.

Excessive protein in hair

This one’s quite rare. While lack of protein in hair is a common issue, having excessive protein can be problematic too. “If [the products you’re using] are very protein heavy and the protein molecules in them are too large, they could potentially weigh the hair down and make it feel coated,” Kingsley said. The good news is, the effect tends to go away once the product you’ve used is washed out.

Lack of moisture in hair

According to Bustle, your hair might lack moisture if you’ve gone for a lot of chemical treatments (like using relaxers and highlighters), or used hot tools (like straightener or curling iron). Signs that indicate moisture loss in hair include: dryness, tangled, weak hair, split ends and lack of shine among others.

Excessive moisture in your hair

Again, this is contrary to dry frizzy hair. If your hair tends to feel sticky all the time, chances are there’s too much moisture in there. It gives you a constant feeling of ‘heaviness’ and is quite troublesome.

Protein treatment you can go for

While there are a lot of protein restoring products available in the market, your diet should ideally be your key area of focus. Usually, it’s the lack of protein in your diet that is responsible for protein deficiency in hair. Adults need about 40 to 50 gms of protein every day, according to most experts. Dr Rao explained, “True protein deficiency that affects hair can be congenital and is identified very early in life. In very rare circumstances, skin, hair, and nails can all be affected by severe deficiency of protein in an adult diet.” If there are major changes in your hair quality, it could signal an underlying disease. So it’s the best to get yourself checked. Also, make changes in your diet after consulting your nutritionist or dietician to enhance protein intake.

Moisture treatment you can go for

Nicole Rogers, a dermatologist who works at Hair Restoration of the South said, “Products containing silicone (dimethicone, cyclomethicone) can be helpful to coat and protect the hair shaft, but only temporarily.” For a long term solution, you’ll have to “grow it out and treat it gently.” You can also go for pre-shampoo conditioning treatments if your hair is too damaged. These draw moisture into the hair shaft, increasing elasticity, strength, and bounce,” she explained.

So, now that you know what is it that your hair needs, make sure you choose the right products. Nonetheless, maintaining a healthy diet is essential for lustrous and shiny hair.  


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