How to tell if hair needs protein or moisture?

How to tell if hair needs protein or moisture?


Determining whether your hair needs protein or moisture can be a crucial step in maintaining its health and appearance. Protein and moisture are both essential for maintaining strong, hydrated hair, but an imbalance between the two can lead to various issues such as dryness, breakage, and lack of elasticity. In this article, we will explore how to tell if your hair needs protein or moisture and provide tips on how to address these needs effectively.

Signs that indicate the need for protein

Excessive breakage: If your hair is breaking easily, especially when combing or styling, it may be a sign that your hair lacks protein. Protein helps to strengthen the hair shaft, and when there is a deficiency, the hair becomes weak and prone to breakage.

Elasticity loss: Healthy hair should have a certain level of elasticity, meaning it can stretch and return to its original state without breaking. If your hair lacks elasticity and snaps or breaks when stretched, it may be a sign that protein is needed to restore its strength and flexibility.

Overly porous hair: Porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture. If your hair has high porosity, it means it absorbs moisture quickly but also loses it rapidly. This can be an indication that your hair needs protein to fill in the gaps and reduce excessive porosity.

Signs that indicate the need for moisture

Dryness and brittleness: If your hair feels dry, lacks shine, and is prone to breakage, it is likely in need of moisture. Dry hair often appears dull and can be difficult to manage. Moisture helps to hydrate the hair shaft, making it softer, more pliable, and less prone to breakage.

Frizz and tangles: When your hair lacks moisture, it tends to become frizzy and tangled easily. Moisture helps to smooth the hair cuticles, reducing frizz and making detangling easier. If you find that your hair is constantly tangled and difficult to comb through, it may be a sign that it needs more moisture.

Lack of elasticity: Just as lack of elasticity can indicate a need for protein, it can also be a sign of moisture deficiency. Dry hair often loses its natural elasticity, making it more prone to breakage when stretched. Adding moisture can help restore the hair’s elasticity and improve its overall health.

Addressing protein and moisture needs

Protein treatments: If your hair shows signs of protein deficiency, incorporating protein treatments into your hair care routine can be beneficial. Look for protein-rich products or DIY treatments containing ingredients like hydrolyzed keratin, silk amino acids, or wheat protein. However, be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive protein can lead to stiffness and brittleness. Follow the instructions provided with the product and monitor your hair’s response to find the right balance.

Deep conditioning: To address moisture needs, deep conditioning treatments are essential. Look for deep conditioners that contain moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, glycerin, or coconut oil. Consider incorporating regular deep conditioning sessions into your routine, especially if your hair is prone to dryness or damage. Additionally, using leave-in conditioners and moisturizing hair masks can help maintain moisture levels between washes.

Hydrating hair products: Choosing the right hair products is crucial for maintaining the balance between protein and moisture. Opt for shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for your hair type and needs. Look for products that are labeled as moisturizing or hydrating to ensure they provide the necessary moisture your hair requires. Avoid products that contain harsh sulfates, as they can strip the hair of its natural oils and further contribute to dryness.


Understanding whether your hair needs protein or moisture is essential for maintaining its health and preventing common issues such as breakage, dryness, and lack of elasticity. By recognizing the signs of protein or moisture deficiency and addressing them with appropriate treatments and products, you can ensure that your hair remains strong, hydrated, and beautiful.