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Brittle 101

Brittle 101

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Grilling Fruit 101

This recipe reminds me of the fruit-granola-yogurt parfait bowls that I used to eat for breakfast. The almond-ginger brittle comes together in the time it takes to grill the fruit!

From Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate.

Pluots, Or Another Type Of Stone Fruit

Minced Candied Or Crystallized Ginger

Preheat grill to high heat.

Cut fruit in half and remove pits. Spray inside of the fruit with nonstick spray.

When grill is heated, place pluot halves on the grill, cut-side down. Grill, uncovered, for 2&ndash3 minutes or until fruit is warm and nice grill marks have formed.

Meanwhile, place almonds, syrup, ginger, and salt in a small skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. The syrup will bubble and somewhat evaporate, leaving a sticky nut and ginger mixture. Transfer the brittle to a plate to cool.

Serve grilled pluots with a couple spoonfuls of yogurt and a sprinkle of brittle.

End of summer is a funny time&mdashsimultaneously craving the return of pumpkin madness, yet eating as much sweet, ripe stone fruit and melon as you possibly can before they&rsquore gone for another year.

We live in Northern Nevada with June-September farmer&rsquos markets, and I get so excited when they open! To be honest, I don&rsquot create many fruit-based dessert recipes because I prefer to eat them as is. They&rsquore such a treat by themselves!

The same goes for Nutella. All I need is a spoon.

If you have an abundance of fresh summer fruit or are looking to make something a little fancy (but easy!) for dessert, try grilling it! Stone fruit works well and so do figs. Melon is an unexpected choice, but also delicious.

Now, I&rsquom going to show you three different ideas for grilling fruit and some general tips.

1 - Grilled Pluots with Yogurt and Almond-Ginger Brittle

Stone fruit is the most popular choice for grilling, so we&rsquoll start there. Peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots all work well! My personal favorites are pluots&mdasha hybrid of a plum and an apricot.

I&rsquove been tempted to stick them in my hidden chocolate stash because my kids are in love with them, too.

For these, I simply grilled them and then topped them with vanilla almond milk yogurt and a ginger-almond brittle I whipped up while the fruit was grilling. You can find the full recipe down below!

2 - Grilled Figs with Orange-Scented Honey

Figs are somewhat new to me, and I&rsquom wondering why it took so long to try them fresh! (Possibly because I disliked Fig Newtons as a kid?)

I topped these grilled figs with an orange and vanilla-infused honey. This is seriously so easy, so elegant, and they&rsquore good even when they&rsquore room temperature!

You could use infused honey on stone-fruit or melon, too!

3 - Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Cantaloupe

This one is bit unconventional. Have you ever had prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe? If you haven&rsquot I can imagine the look you have on your face right now. I had the same look on my face when I was offered some for the first time by a lady in Austria. She had just returned from her vacation in Italy where she had eaten prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe. If the Italians are doing it, it must be good, right? It has a fabulous salty-sweet vibe going on. Delish.

I took it a step further and grilled the whole thing. I think I like it this way even better! Grilling the prosciutto makes it a little crispy, giving it a bacon-like taste.

All right. Now for some basic tips.

  1. Make sure the fruit is ripe enough to taste good, but not too ripe. If it&rsquos mushy to start with, you might end up with jam after it&rsquos grilled. Depending on your goal, this might not be a bad thing.
  2. Always spray the cut-side of the fruit with nonstick spray. The sugars from the fruit do a really nice job of adhering to grill grates. Don&rsquot leave half of your fruit behind because it sticks!
  3. Grill it hot and fast. You&rsquoll want some nice grill marks to form, but if the grill isn&rsquot really hot, it&rsquoll take a long time for those to form. You don&rsquot want to grill fruit for a long time or it&rsquoll start to break down and get really mushy. Just 2&ndash3 minutes should be enough time.

Grab some farmer&rsquos market fruit and get grilling before summer ends!


Microwave Peanut Brittle Recipe

No candy thermometer is required for this no hassle microwave peanut brittle candy recipe. And it takes only 10 minutes of hands-on time. It can’t get easier than this!

My mother-in-law’s friend, Leo, makes the most addicting peanut brittles that I’ve ever had! It’s sweet and nutty, melt-in-your-mouth crunchy. I don’t know if that last part make any sense at all, but it basically means it’s not rock hard, or stick-to-your-teeth chewy that you’d pray not to lose a teeth while eating it.

No, nothing like that. Instead this peanut brittle has light and airy texture with the most satisfying crunch.

Every Christmas my MIL shares her bag of treats from Leo with me, because she knows how much I love them. Well, this past January she brought yet another bag full of amazing brittles for me and my mom.

My mom loved those brittles so much so she insisted me to call Leo for the recipe, and I obliged. Don’t know why it took me so long, but I’m so glad I did.

And today I’m going to show you how to make the easiest and most addicting candy ever. Ready?

As I said earlier, these are the easiest peanut brittles in the world! No exaggeration here, because 1. You don’t need candy thermometer. 2. No stirring sugar mixture over hot stovetop for a long time. 3. It only takes 10 minutes of hands on time, one bowl with a lid, a microwave, and handful of simple ingredients.

Here’re my tips and tricks for success:
  • Prepare and measure out all the ingredients before starting. The process goes super quick and you want that margarin, that baking soda right now!
  • Speaking of margarin. Yes, you do need margarin. And no, you can’t use butter, I tried it to no avail. (<- I got rock hard brittles!) I gave in and bought a package of margarin just for this recipe, but it’s so worth it.
  • Microwave-safe bowl with a lid is essential. Leo stressed that the bowl has to have a lid, or you’ll risk burning the mixture.
  • Baking soda is what makes the candy so airy and light. After mixing in soda, the mixture will foam up. Don’t be alarmed, because it’s a good thing. Don’t take too much time mixing though, just a few good stirs until the mixture is evenly foamed up and pour it on a buttered baking sheet. I use 2 forks to spread it out evenly, but not too thin.
  • Directions on timing in this recipe are for 1000Watt microwave.

I now know the recipe by heart, as I’ve made countless batches to feed my mom’s craving. I even sent some to my sisters back in Mongolia, and they all loved it. Well, I mean, what’s not to love here??


Peanut brittle recipes - 10 recipes

Enjoy the quick and easy prep of this peanut brittle recipe - the microwave keeps it simple! Great to set out at a .

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Best Peanut Brittle

By Foodiewife, A Feast for the Eyes

This is my first, and not last, attempt at making peanut brittle

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Easy Peanut Brittle

  • 1/2 Cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Peanut Brittle

Making your own homemade peanut brittle at home is so easy, and makes it so sweet and delicious

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Famous Soft Peanut Brittle-A Clone from the Davenport Hotel

This soft peanut brittle is a clone from the Davenport hotel in Spokane, WA and is world famous

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups peanuts raw or roasted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Peanut Brittle

Homemade peanut brittle is easy to make, and so delicious! Buttery, sweet and full of peanuts (or cashews), you'll

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup peanuts (or cashews)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Peanut Brittle

Microwave power level: high (10) In 1 1/2 qt casserole dish, stir together sugar and corn syrup


Salted Caramel Nut Brittle (Keto and Low Carb) #ketonutbrittle #lowcarbnutbrittle #ketocandiednuts

This weeks recipe is Salted Caramel Nut Brittle (Keto and Low Carb), this is a delicious and very addicting keto and low snack. This recipe has it all: the sweet, salty and crunchy. You will definitely need to practice self-control if you make this recipe. This recipe is not hard to make, but it does require some patience but the finished product is worth it! We hope you enjoy it!
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Steps to Make It Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the. Directions In a 1-1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar and corn syrup.

Microwave on high for 3 minutes. $ 4.95 – $ 12.00 Kona Coffee Macadamia Nut brittle is made the old-fashioned way from fresh roasted 100% Hawaiian macadamia nuts, creamery butter, real sugar, Kona Coffee and a sprinkle of salt. Our Kona Coffee Macadamia Nut Brittle is a. Macadamia Brittle, our most popular brittle, is legendary.

A nutty, crunch treat featuring the “perfect nut” and creamy butter. Our products are still made the “old Hawaiian way” here on O’ahu handmade with Aloha. Locals have proudly given our candies to their Ohana (family) and friends around the world for many years. Butter cookie sheet and large saucepan.

In buttered saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and water mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring. Line slice tin with waxed paper and grease lightly with oil.

Tip macadamia nuts into a warm frying pan over a medium heat, toss and toast until.


Coffee Nut Brittle

Looking for a delicious homemade gift to give to family and friends this holiday season? Or perhaps you’re looking for something new and different for your holiday dessert tray? Then look no further than our Coffee Nut Brittle!

This Coffee Nut Brittle is addictively delicious and very easy to make.

We start by heating a classic brittle mixture of butter, sugar and corn syrup on the stove along with strong, brewed coffee plus coffee extract for a rich flavor that helps balance the sugary sweetness of the brittle.

Next we stirred in a variety of mixed nuts and seeds – cashews, peanuts, almonds and sunflower seeds – as well as some dried cranberries before spreading the brittle mixture on a sheet pan. A sprinkle of sea salt on top as the Coffee Nut Brittle cools is the perfect finishing touch!

Once hardened, break your Coffee Nut Brittle into large pieces and serve on a tray, or pack up into decorative containers or bags for gift giving.


Brown Sugar Peanut Brittle Recipe

Brown Sugar Peanut Brittle is so delicious and that it will WOW everyone you served it to. This old fashion homemade peanut brittle recipe is quick and easy to make and tastes just like the professionals make theirs. In fact, this recipe puts store-bought peanut brittle to shame! Also Brown Sugar Peanut Brittle makes great Christmas gifts for your family and friends.

There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, so dieters beware. If you are going to have a treat that you know is bad for you, doesn’t it make sense to have the best-tasting treat you can, and satisfy the craving?

This recipe and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. Check out more of Cynthia’s Southwest Recipes.

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (firmly-packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter*
  • 2 to 3 cups peanuts, raw and shelled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda*

Butter a baking pan or Cookie Sheets (with sides) or line with Silicone Baking Mats set aside.

In a large heavy sauce pan (at least 3-quart size), combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Cook over medium high heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes just to a full boil.

Stir in the butter. Continue to cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reached 230 degrees F. Once it has reached this temperature a thread should form when the spoon is dipped into the mixture and lifted up. Cook and stir until you reach 280 degrees F, or the soft crack stage. (If you do not have a thermometer, place a small drop of the mixture into a bowl with room temperature water, the mixture should be make a firm ball that is slightly crunchy).

When you have reached 290 degrees F, add the peanuts (all at once) and stir in. Continue to stir constantly until you reach 300 degrees F, or the hard crack stage (a small amount of the mixture will make a hard ball when dropped into the water) . I was taught to keep on stirring until you hear the peanuts begin to &ldquopop&rdquo, and then remove the pot from the heat.

Stir in the baking soda, and mix well. It is going to &ldquofoam&rdquo up, which is what gives you light, airy brittle. Stir it well, but do not stir it all the way flat, unless you really want flat hard crunchy brittle.

Working quickly, pour the candy mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Either spread with your spatula or tilt, shake and &ldquoshimmy&rdquo the candy until is has spread out as far as possible on the pan. You must do this as quickly as it sets up fast!

Tip: Place your baking sheet in a warm oven. By doing this, you add the hot candy mixture on a warm pan instead of a cold one. This gives you a little more time to spread out the mixture more evenly.

Allow to cool until it is room temperature, then lift the pan up and drop it onto the table (at least that is how I do it, you can crack it into pieces with the back of a heavy knife, or even with your hands if you wish) .

You now have about 2 pounds of wonderful, crunchy peanut brittle! So enjoy!

Storing Peanut Brittle: Store the brittle in an airtight container once it has completely cooled.

* Baking soda adds bubbles that the brittle more porous and delicate texture. Butter also helps to make the candy tender and easier to chew.

/>I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer . Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.

You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

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Comments and Reviews

5 Responses to &ldquoBrown Sugar Peanut Brittle Recipe&rdquo

Kristie

OMG! I don’t leave comments for anything but I had to for this one! I tried all the “Best peanut brittle” recipes online. I was so disappointed after they all were terrible and went straight into the trash. I looked for a recipe that was “airy” and this was the one! The ABSOLUTE BEST peanut brittle in the world! This brittle is so perfect, crunchy and airy and full of flavor! And addicting! I am so happy I found this recipe and will never make it any other way.

Janet joyce

The first time I have had success with peanut brittle. Absolutely delicious.

I didn’t fully understand what to do between 280 and 290 (was 280 only mentioned as it was the hard crack stage?). Anyway, I went with 3 cups of peanuts…adding these at the 290 degree point caused a rapid drop in temperature. We stirred until the peanuts were fully mixed in, then pretty much let it sit without stirring until the temp got back up to 300. Can someone comment as to what to do when the peanuts drops the temperature so much? Other than that, I think the end result looks promising, but too early to tell as it is still VERY hot.

Jewels

I heat up my peanuts in the oven so they aren’t as cold, it does help some but you have to be careful not to let them burn

Rhonda Russell

WOW………….THE BEST EVER. I’ve made lots of brittles, but the brown sugar component makes this recipe “over the top”. This one is going into the “family cookbook”!


Building on Recipes

You may have heard me talk about Building on Recipes from time to time through my various videos and recipes blog posts.

If you are new here, well then let me explain.

I have this way of baking, based on my experience in the professional baking industry that allows for me to make hundreds of different items a day with minimal effort and staffing.

It is a system called “Building On Recipes”.

It is this system that allows me to build, ice and assemble a cake from start to finish in less than 10 minutes.

It is this system that allows me to take a day old pound cake, cut it into cubes, add some custard and create a luscious Bread Pudding Recipe while eliminating as much waste as possible.

Basically what it all means is that we have various “Base Recipes” which we prepare ahead of time.

Such as our cake mixes, ganaches, custards, mousses and buttercreams.

Not to mention brownies, cake layers and cookie doughs.

All of which are ready (properly stored in the refrigerator or freezer) and waiting to be made into something amazing at a moments notice.

This is the epitome of organization.

This is the key to success in fulfilling 100 orders at once on a busy weekend!

This is the end all be all of Mise en Place!

This, for me is what makes it exciting!

We work all week long to prepare the base recipes and by the weekend it is all usually all gone made into hundreds of different specialty cake orders, or desserts to sell in the store.

Then we start all over again!

A good pastry chef will have ideas that utilize these same base recipes in a new way or put a flare on the standard base recipe to create something new altogether.

Got custard? Got Ganache? Got Sponge Cake?

How about a Boston Creme Pie in less than 10 minutes?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Anything is possible with the Building on Recipes theory!”

Let me know what YOU can come up with based on what you have in your pantry!

Here is an example of a Building On Recipe project and you can see how I list the ingredients and the steps in a well thought out, organized manner to make the process easy and stress free!


Bacon Pecan Brittle Recipe

Our Bacon Pecan Brittle Recipe is a fluffy airy homemade caramel candy, speckled with salty bacon and pecans. It makes a marvelous holiday gift.

wide array of cookies. Other times we make soft chewy caramels. And then now and again we make layered fudge.

No matter what we decide to cook in mass quantity to pass out to our friends, we always have fun!

Get The Full Bacon Pecan Brittle Recipe Below


Science-y Hair Blog

Choose smaller proteins (any amino acids, any peptides or hydrolyzed: silk, keratin, collagen) if you're new to protein or have coarse hair. Larger proteins (oat, wheat, soy, vegetable, quinoa) tend to work well for fine and medium hair and even coarse hair occasionally.

Deep condition after using protein?: After using a product which contains protein or a protein treatment, some people find their hair feels tangly or stiff. This is sometimes a sign of having used too much protein, used protein too often, or having used the wrong protein. But before making that conclusion - try either 1) applying extra conditioner and leaving it on for a few minutes, or 2) apply a deep conditioner (an intense conditioner) and leaving it on for at least a few minutes with some heat. If that brings your hair back to a flexible, less-tangly condition, you need to follow up protein use with extra (or deep) conditioning.

  • Hair can become stiff, tangly, sticky, brittle, curl pattern can be affected, it can feel dry and have too much volume
  • Hair can become overly soft, limp, flat and lose its wave or curl. Or overly smooth.
  • Hair that loses its bounce may need protein.
  • Hair that just won't behave though you have tried deep conditioning or using oils probably needs protein.
  • Hair that is snapping off though you are using plenty of good (protein-free) conditioner probably needs protein.
  • Hair that remains dry despite using oils and conditioners may need protein for hydration.
  • Hair that feels "smaller" when it is wet - and homogenous or mushy - like a very old, soft undershirt may need protein. Hair should feel like individual fibers when it is wet - so it if feels soft and mushy and non-fibrous when wet, you may need some protein.
  • Amino acids and peptides are smallest and will likely agree with the widest variety of hair types - fine, medium and coarse, porous, normal porosity and even low porosity.
  • Hydrolyzed silk, keratin and collagen are smaller and may agree with a wide range of hair types - fine, medium and coarse and low to high porosity.
  • Gelatin is between medium and large - better for porous or very damaged/brittle hair or fine/medium hair.
  • Hydrolyzed wheat, oat, quinoa, corn, soy, lupine and other plant or vegetable proteins tend to have components that are medium to large and may be tolerated best by porous hair, fine and medium hair, damaged hair, chemically treated hair. Infrequent use recommended for coarse or lower porosity hair.
  • Leave protein-containing products or protein treatment on for more time to allow more protein to bond (temporarily) to your hair for better hydration. This makes the treatment more intense.
  • Use heat with a protein-containing product or protein treatment to encourage the hair to swell gently and slightly, to improve bonding of protein to the hair and increase the area that proteins can bond with. This makes the treatment more intense.
  • Leave protein-containing products on for less time or without heat for a less intense treatment - for example, for coarse hair or medium-coarse hair, for frequent protein users, or for lower porosity hair.
  • Hair feels tangly and rough after using protein? Rinse very, very well. Apply a lot of rinse-out conditioner or a deep (intense) conditioner and leave it on for 3 or 5 to 15 or 30 minutes (with or without heat). If that rough feeling doesn't go away with this post-protein deep conditioning, then you 1) left the protein on for too long, 2) the protein was the wrong protein for your hair, 3) your hair didn't need protein now or 4) the protein was too concentrated (too strong), Either chose a lower-protein product or dilute the product you have with water or conditioner to make it less concentrated next time.
  • Protein is in every product you use or almost every product. Limit protein to only some products so it will be easy to add protein only when your hair needs it, and you'll avoid over-doing protein inadvertently.
  • You bought a product that combines several large proteins (oat, soy, corn, wheat) and maybe some smaller ones and used it every time you washed your hair. Unless you're very experienced with protein, try to stick with 1-2 protein sources in a product so you don't get a bad impression of a product because it was a very high-protein product or a bad protein combination for your hair.
  • This protein-product works in everybody else's hair, but not mine - my hair must be protein-intolerant. Maybe - but maybe it just doesn't work in your hair and your hair would tolerate a different product with a different protein (or less time or no heat, or more heat) just fine.
  • I only use natural products with lots of herbal extracts - my hair gets stiff with any protein. Try a product with protein but no herbal extracts or vitamins before you write off protein forever. Sometimes plant extracts can actually leave a stiff feeling in hair and so can some vitamins like biotin.
  • You want to try protein, so you use it daily. There's a good chance that will be too often. Or you might have a negative effect from another product that you attribute to the protein.
  • You automatically deep condition following protein, whether your hair needs it or not. If you were using protein for strength and your hair doesn't feel too rough or stiff, use enough conditioner to detangle and so hair feels smooth and wait until your hair dries to determine whether it needed more softness or weight from conditioner. On the other hand, if your hair feels very rough and tangly after using protein - go for the deep conditioning.

89 comments:

Hi, thank you very much for this very interesting post, I will share it on my FB page. I once went to a blogger event hosted by a hair products company and we were told there that using some proteins such as keratin was useless if you didn't use heat to "bond" it to the hair shaft. I've always had this doubt, what's your insight on this issue? And does it happen with all sorts of proteins? I was thinking about buying some collagen to add to my flaxseed gel.

Hello Eli,
That information is not correct. It is true that heat will increase protein bonding to hair - but that just means more protein can bond to hair in a given amount of time when you use heat. Not that protein will not bond to hair without heat. Hydrolyzed proteins have a "mild" positive charge. Hair, especially damaged hair has a negative charge. Opposites attract - so the protein bonds to hair. But the film-forming effect is very important also for hydration.

There may be some salon products containing keratin that are specially designed to be heat-activated. And, of course, keratin straightening requires heat to work. But otherwise, protein in hair care products does not require heat to in order to be able to help manage porosity and hydration (and elasticity, strength and shine).

Protein in homemade flaxseed gel is great if your hair loves protein! In the U.S., "Neutral Protein Filler" is a liquid protein additive that mixes easily into flaxseed gel with mostly keratin and some wheat protein. I like collagen in flax gel also - if you get a powder it's best to dissolve it in some water first, then mix it into the gel so you don't get lumps.

Thank you for maintaining this blog, it is amazing to finally have a source of scientifically robust information for caring for curly hair!

Quick question - do you have a view on what percentage of hydrolysed protein is necessary to be effective for a wash-out condition, a leave-in conditioner, and a deep-treatment product? I enjoy making my own hair care products, but the suggested usage rates for proteins from the suppliers have a very large range (e.g. "suggested usage 1-10%").

Hello Melanie,
You may see a noticeable result from protein when there is as little as 0.5% to 1% in a rinse-out or leave-on product. Between 2% and 4% it becomes a stronger product that may cause unwanted side-effects in coarse hair - or great hydration and curl support for curly hair. Above 5%, you are in "strong protein treatment" range. If a product suggests 10% use, it may be a conditioning protein ingredient, or it may be more dilute. For example, liquid protein additives can have 25% active ingredients or 50% active ingredients. If there are 50% active ingredients, then using that ingredient at 10% is a total of 5% in the finished product. Which is still a lot of protein. Good luck!

Thank you for the thorough, beginner-friendly information! I'm new to protein and my hair stylist recommended I try it, so this was great to get me started.

I'm a little past 7 months into my transition and I'm questioning protein at this point. I've contacted you before regarding my hair and I have to say I can only come back to seek your advice because you are extremely knowledgeable and thorough.

So here goes: I previously mentioned to you that I've been natural for 8 years but I've always heat styled my hair (Dominican Blowouts, Flat Ironing). I didn't start my healthy hair journey until about 1 year ago so I never used the appropriate products when heat styling (heat protectants, protein deep conditioners, maintaining moisture, etc.). Needless to say, I have extreme heat damage. I've been using protein deep conditioners/reconstructors every other week as part of my regimen to help with keeping my hair strong. Since the beginning of my transition (April), I've used: Aphogee 2 Minute, Shescenit Okra Reconstructor, Hydratherma Naturals Protein Treatment and now Shea Moisture Yucca Masque respectively. My hair is still breaking. The littlest manipulation (moisturizing using the "Praying Hands" method) results in short and mid length strands all over my sink, floor, hands.

Do you think I should do the Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment? Or is the breakage part of the heat damaged hair which was already weakened getting even weaker? It scares me so bad to see hair just come out like that. Being that my hair is heat damaged, I have to moisturize every day. If not, its HAY/STRAW. I know some would recommend no manipulation but the dryness would be too extreme. The protein products mentioned above are the only sources of protein I use in my regimen. Everything else is protein free. Could it be I'm using too little protein? I have focused on moisture because of the current condition of my hair and I feel like too much protein would cause it to be much more straw-like.

Which leads me to my next question: I've noticed that when my hair is dry (air dried-the only method I've been using), it turns into pure HAY/STRAW. I for the life of me cannot pinpoint what causes my hair to be like that once it dries. I do the LOC Method and yet the result is dry/brittle hair. Could it be silicones? I personally don't think so but you may disagree. Also, I've been using Keteconzale 2% Shampoo (as I mentioned in my prior email to you) and I read online that it can cause extreme dryness and change in hair texture. My hair is 3C when wet and dried it looks like 4C. Once I re moisturize, the curls pop right back. The dry hair is causing ALOT of knots. I've eliminated coconut oil, avocado oil and protein as possible culprits but yet no change in hair once it dries. What do you suggest?

I'm also still shedding like crazy. All Doctor's tests have eliminated medical as part of the issue. I've questioned you about this before but can the heat damage hair cause the shedding?

Sorry for the long question and I thank you in advance for answering.

I think when you're in "problem solving mode" one of the first things to do is to limit yourself to one protein-containing product and make sure it's a smaller protein and not too concentrated if you're uncertain about protein in your hair. From your list of products, that would be the Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor. Stick to smaller proteins like keratin, silk, and collagen when you use protein. I would take a break from Hydratherma Naturals (combines large proteins), Aphogee 2-Step (very concentrated protein) and Shea Moisture Yucca Masque until you get your hair's protein needs worked out. Too many products makes it difficult to sift through the feedback your hair is giving you!
Hair that is breaking and doesn't respond robustly to protein probably needs an emphasis on emollients (oils and conditioners) more than protein. Oil treatments (i.e. sunflower oil or coconut oil for 8 hours) before washing can help prevent weakness in water and improve flexibility - they balance out porosity in heat-damaged hair. Deep conditioning (protein-free conditioner + a little oil, left on for up to 30 minutes with heat) should help - but not overnight unless you're putting the deep conditioner on dry hair. Daily moisturizing is a good idea and not all that unreasonable. Make sure that one of the products you're using in LOC has something like aloe or marsh mallow extract or seaweed extract (Irish Moss) or flax extract or something juicy and humectant to help slow water loss from your hair.
You can get that weird dryness from silicones - but that will wash out with the Ketoconazole shampoo, so you can test that fairly easily by skipping silicones for a few "wash cycles."
Perhaps try oil pre-wash treating your hair for a few wash cycles, include a deep conditioning as well and **don't use protein** during that time and see if the breakage improves. Moisturize your hair daily during that time. If you can wear a "sleep cap" or wrap your hair in a silky scarf, it often helps create a humid little micro-climate around your hair while you sleep.

The increased shedding sounds like you have extra friction in your hair - and that can come from too much protein as well as other things like build-up (butters, hard water). Don't massage your scalp with big motions during washing - not even little circles. Just short back-and-forth movements. I recently learned that thanks to extra tangles of my own.

I was thinking my way through that. If it were my hair I would either: 1) Stick to only the Aphogee 2 Minute reconstructor protein product only and observe carefully and be sure to use moisture, moisturize daily, etc. to limit protein. Or
2) Eliminate protein for a few wash cycles, use oil treatments and see if anything changes (continue to moisturize daily). I hope that helps!

Upon further reflection. If sticking to one protein in the same frequency as before OR going protein-free doesn't work, then you might try increasing the protein like you suggested - using protein weekly or else incorporating some protein into your leave-on products.
It just seems like a good idea to rule out "protein sensitivity" first. But I don't know exactly how much oil and conditioner you've been using. If you were using lots and lots - then the "more protein route" might be the first thing to try. But I would still stick with the smaller proteins like keratin or collagen.

Your blog! What should I say in its praise… relevant, lastly something which surely helped me? Thanks
home remedies for hair loss

Hello, My hair is wavy, frizzy, and probably heat damaged. When I run some strands of hair through my finger tips, the strand feels very bumpy. I think I have high porosity hair that is lacking moisture.

I've read wonderful things about coconut oil, so I decided to give it a try. I mixed it with some honey and applied it to my hair (while dry), let it sit for about 30/45 min, washed it out with my normal shampoo (contains hydrolyzed keratin), and finally applied my regular conditioner (also contains hydrolyzed keratin) and rinsed it out. After air drying a bit, I applied some anti-frizz/smoothing product which contains proplyene glycol and silicones. I let my hair air dry the rest of the way.

24 hours later, my hair feels softer than usual, but is breaking very easily. Mostly at the ends, but I can snap a strand in two with very little effort. Before, it would stretch a good bit before breaking.

Is my hair "protein sensitive"? I've read that some hair becomes brittle, dry, straw-like, and breaks. But my hair feels great to the touch (well maybe except the ends, but I really need a cut). It seems to have lost all it's strength. Where did I go wrong? What can I do to fix it?

Any advice is much appreciated.

It actually sounds like your hair did not respond well to the coconut oil. But there are a lot of "ifs" here. *If you normally use that keratin-containing shampoo and conditioner together without the same brittle result (I think you do), then your result may not be the protein in those products. *The coconut oil wasn't on your hair long enough to really soak in and do its thing. Coconut oil needs 6-8 hours or longer to slowly penetrate into the hair - different treatment times give different results. Because you got a brittle result on this attempt, if you want to try a longer coconut oil treatment, best to do it on a 1 inch strand and see what happens. Or you might want to steer clear of coconut oil entirely - and that might be a smart choice for the time being.
When hair is "coconut oil sensitive" it tends to be crunchy or brittle, dry or breaking more than usual when a person uses coconut oil. That has little to do with protein sensitivity. There is some confusion out there on the web about coconut oil and protein. In damaged hair, when coconut oil treatments are used and then the hair is wetted (and washed), it tends to lose less protein than un-treated hair. Where does that protein come from? It's amino acids (small protein fragments) that "live" under the cuticles and have the job of attracting water to keep hair hydrated. Losing those proteins means your hair is more easily dehydrated!
Instead of coconut oil, sunflower oil or avocado oil or olive oil can be used, usually without that brittle or rigid or crunchy result of coconut oil, for a penetrating oil treatment to help maintain hydration in porous hair.

Give your hair a break from protein and oils for a bit. Go through a couple "wash cycles" with protein-free products and see if your hair recovers. From there you might try reinstating your protein-enriched conditioner only (not the shampoo, use a protein-free shampoo at first) to see if the strength comes back.

Your hair might be the sort that prefers to have its oil treatments and protein kept separate. My hair is like that with a vengeance! When I overlap those treatments, I get overly soft hair and I cannot sort out beyond reasonable doubt what went wrong and it takes me longer to un-do the fluffiness. So I keep them separate to keep life simpler and to keep getting my "Yes, that was exactly what my hair needed today" result.
Good luck! You'll get this sorted out and be the wiser for it.

Will the proteins in stylers adhere to the hair less strongly than those in a shampoo or conditioner? Will the effect of the proteins in the stylers be cumulative (for instance, if I begin using a styler with silk protein near the top of the list, will that protein adhere to the hair shaft each time I use it, creating a cumulative effect)?

Hello Crazycatholic,
Protein in styling products probably bonds with hair like proteins in a conditioner - the effect of proteins in styling products is definitely cumulative. When I think "cumulative" I'm thinking that any benefits of the protein will accumulate - bounce, hydration, and support, and that will persist (a little) even after washing. I think you are referring more to layer upon layer of protein, like a build-up? That's not entirely the case - protein has to bond to hair if it's going to accumulate and there are a limited number of places it can bond to.
While the protein-containing styling product is in your hair, the protein is actively helping your hair stay hydrated, though. And that is a good thing, even though some of that protein will rinse away when you wash your hair. It won't create a build-up of protein. Though some people's hair will respond to a too-frequent use of protein by becoming stiff, that's not the same as build-up.

Thank you for your help. I asked the above question because I recently started using a styler with silk protein (SheaMoisture Curl Enchancing Smoothie), and after a few weeks, my hair became very shiny and smooth but also overly soft and limp, with a looser wave pattern. Based on your reply, it sounds like the protein could have bonded to my hair over repeated uses and made it overly soft. I tried correcting the soft-hair problem by using the gelatin PT, and also trying a couple of protein-rich conditioners (Aubrey GPB, Mineral Fusion Volumizing with hydrolyzed barley), and none of these did anything, even the PT.

I don't think it's build-up, because my hair feels extremely clean and lightweight, not weighed down or rough at all. I usually get rough hair from excess protein, but this is my first time trying silk, so maybe my hair is sensitive to this one.

The other products I have been using are the shampoo and conditioner from the SM Yucca and Plantain line, which contain hydrolyzed rice protein. Could this protein also cause this type of problem? I have also done a few coconut oil pre-poos in the past few weeks, which may be another culprit. (I have hair that seems to be porous, so I was trying to improve porosity.)

I really don't think it's build-up, because in the past, build-up has resulted in dry, rough hair. My hair feels overmoisturized now. And my hair in the past has liked shea butter, because my hair seems to be on the porous side and fine, and shea butter seals it but doesn't give it the weighed-down feeling that liquid oils do. So I'm not so quick to blame the shea butter.

Almost any protein used in excess or at the wrong time or in hair that doesn't need protein - can cause either the too-soft or too-rough result. A lot depends on the formula, on how long the product is in your hair, and what else is going on in your hair's life - like the other protein you are using - but you knew that.
Shea Moisture Curl Smoothie can cumulatively soften hair regardless of the silk protein. That's not necessarily build-up - all the oils and humectants can be very softening to hair. So it may be the silk protein, or it may be the product as a whole leaving your hair so soft (and limp).
When hair is over-softened by emollients (oils) - adding protein often doesn't help, or even makes it more soft. It seems like throwing more protein at hair should stiffen it up - but if it's already too soft, protein can easily make hair even softer.

I think you might need to skip protein for a little while, make sure you're getting your hair clean enough, use softening products carefully (light-but-adequate application) and watch what happens. If you're over-doing protein, this break should let the over-softness gradually diminish. It may take a week or two. Then you can go back to using protein intermittently and watch out for an overly-soft result.
Good luck!

Thank you for the advice. I did do a clarifying shampoo, and that did not fix the problem, but at least I know my hair is clean. I followed it this morning with a protein-free deep conditioning, to see what would happen, and my hair remained soft and limp--but the tangles that I was getting with wet hair disappeared, which is nice (although my hair was supersmooth when dry, it was tangly when wet). I have cut all protein out of my products and am going for a very light application on products now. I am also going to try to lay off the emollients, as you mentioned--after my deep condition this morning, I felt like a better thing to do would have been to condition with a protein-free humectant-type conditioner. Oh well, live and learn. I'll stay off the protein and see what transpires in the next few weeks.

Hi, I am a huge fan of your clinical blog-style. I was wondering if you had a take on Olaplex, the bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. I did a treatment today, so my personal opinion is pending.

I've looked at the patent for Olaplex and read some other information, such as exists. It's all a bit vague and hypothetical. They are using the language of polymer-creation. As bonds (sulfur-sulfur bonds) in hair are broken during highlighting/coloring/perming etc., the active ingredient (bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate) is supposed to move in and bond with those now-broken bonds so there will be non un-bonded protein fragments. In Olaplex-free situations, those broken bonds will find something else to bond with, like oxygen, because un-bonded atoms in a molecule like to fill up their valence shells. Stylists who use it are reporting it works well for other sorts of damage that break bonds in hair (high heat, lots of sun exposure).
I think the "Step One" that is used during chemical services might have the best chance of actually doing what is claimed. The molecular weight of the active ingredients, according to one source I found, actually is small enough to penetrate into the cortex of the hair where it would need to be. The reason I am thinking that is because when there is bleach or perms or relaxer - the hair is swollen and the cuticles have popped up and so it's much easier for *any* active ingredient to reach it's target.
The other steps, I feel more ambivalent about. If hair is seriously damaged - maybe the result is much better than lightly damaged hair.
To me, it's still all hypothetical. This is new, there is a patent on it so access is limited. There are no published studies done on human hair that I am aware of. I have heard some people say it works, others say they don't notice much.

For people who don't have the time or inclination to take extra care of their hair when using chemical services, it may be a big advantage. But I'm not convinced that it is better than a conscientious, consistent hair care routine. (Based on communicating to people who've used it and analyzing hair samples for physical characteristics, a small number of which have involved Olaplex).

Oh good! I see you have answered my question "what do you think of Olaplex?" here. I bleach my hair. Should I mix all kinds of good things into the bleach, since the hairs will be swollen and the cuticle lifted, thus particularly receptive to stuff I want to put in there?

Check out how other people use things like "Neutral Protein Filler" for lightening. Read ingredients on commercial lightener formulas and see what they're adding already. You can add some things to a lightening formula, but you have to be careful not to create any unintentional chemical reactions or other weirdness.

The high pH of most hair lightening solutions will interfere with how conditioners and even proteins usually bond with hair, but at least they can act as buffers for the hair - to protect it a bit during processing.

Pre-lightening you can do things like a long oil treatment with a penetrating oil like coconut or avocado or sunflower. That helps hair act less porous during bleaching. That's done the wash before lightening - but some people actually color over oil. Not sure about bleaching over oil.
Good luck! WS

This blog is INSANELY good. I've spent hours on others and come away confused, or just felt nervous to ask questions because the forums can be somewhat aggressive! I can't believe I didn't find you earlier - you are a godsend, and your tone is so light and funny, it's a joy to read.

Ok - two questions - (feel free to edit this down if it's rambling) Firstly - chemically 'bleached' hair.

My hair is super-fine. Soft, northern european. It's what I call 'mouse' color which just looks drab on me so I go blonder chemically. (I know, I know - but in my defense I work in entertainment and it just pops better when it's blonde!) I have a great colorist - she hardly ever 'overlaps' when she does the base, and we only highlight at the front and very occasionally. We use coconut oil before coloring (I guess this works like neutral protein filler?) and Olaplaex every three our four months. I look after it very well but as you can imagine, controlling the damage is a full time job, and sometimes I just get random breakage for no reason at all. My question is: do you think it's possible to have chemically lightened hair and not have it break? I know people who do, but their hair is about four times as thick as mine. (my pony-tail is just over an inch circumference).

Secondly - airplanes! Sometimes I can get away with a four hour trip if I put conditioner on it and keep it on for the flight (which is kind of gross but hey..) but when I fly transatlantic I get horrific breakage every single time. It doesn't happen on the plane, but the three or four days that follow. I'm sure it's the dryness and unnatural air and whatnot but Jeez - there must be SOMETHING I can do? The worst bits are the baby hairs at the nape of the neck and the 'crown' - top layer kind of where a hat would go. (Except I never dare put a hat on because they break my hair too - thanks for your lining suggestions btw!)

I know it's hard to 'diagnose' over the internet, just wondered if you had any thoughts on these tow things since you seem to have thought of just about everything else!

Hello Jane,
The thing that popped into my mind is - hydration. Coconut oil before coloring is ideal. You could use Neutral Protein Filler during the process, immediately after or before. You can also add 1/4 teaspoon Neutral Protein Filler per tablespoon conditioner (as long as your hair responds well to protein) for extra hydration.

It is possible to have chemically lightened hair without breakage, but you have to do something to manage that and maximize hydration every day - even if you don't wash your hair daily. Some of these ingredients will be your best friends in rinse-out conditioners and leave-in conditioners: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/film-forming-humectants-what-they-are.html

Panthenol - that will penetrate the hair shaft for excellent hydration from the inside - look for that panthenol!

Do you deep condition regularly? If not, start doing that. You can mix some honey (for hydration) or aloe vera gel (for hydration - my favorite is Lily of the Desert aloe gel, which also contains Irish Moss) into your rinse-out conditioner with a couple drops of oil and leave it on for 5 or 10 minutes with some heat. Every week, every other week - whatever your hair needs.
Protein - use it as often as your hair tolerates it! If you can use protein in a conditioner every wash day or every other wash day, use it. It will keep your hair hydrated and prevent breakage.
If coconut oil doesn't leave your hair softer - switch to sunflower oil.

If you don't wash or wet your hair daily, mist it lightly with a mixture of distilled water and a little conditioner for hydration.
If your hair needs more flexibility, apply a drop or 2 of oil over the spray for flexibility and softness and to keep the ends "together."
Airplanes - If you can do a protein treatment before (Aphogee 2 Minute Intensive, Ion Reconstructor, Ion Effective Care, Joico K-pak. ) use it to build in strength and hydration. Apply a little oil (jojoba, sunflower, coconut, whatever you like) to your hair. Then top it with a leave-in conditioner (which can be a diluted rinse-out conditioner) that contains those Film Forming humectants (panthenol, Irish moss, seaweed or sea algae extracts, hydrolyzed proteins, aloe, amino acids, some herbal extracts. The oil can go over the leave-in if you prefer. This should seal in as much moisture as possible and keep your hair lubricated.
If you're not using a leave-in conditioner, use one every time you wash your hair. Look for one that contains film-forming humectants and a little oil. You can apply them to very wet hair and then add a little more water - squeeze and scrunch the water into the conditioner on your hair to get it extremely well-distributed.
The same applies to conditioner application. Coat your hair, then splash on some water and squeeze the water into your hair. It should feel even more flexible and slippery. Add more conditioner and water so all your hair (including the crown area) feels flexible, slippery and very saturated. That method tends to give hair the best hydration.
I hope that helps!

I have been reading your amazing blog, thank you for all the great information. I've been a little unsure as to whether the answer for my hair is protein. My hair is curly and the issues I am having are that my hair is frizzing and some of the hair is separating from the curl. My hair is also tangling quite a bit.

This describes my hair: medium texture, springy curls, low porosity, medium thickness.

I did the float test to check porosity. I don't know for sure if I have low or medium porosity. My hair strands were floating after four minutes. The test doesn't seem to allow for determining medium porosity. I can't tell very well by the feel of it, I read your instructions for doing it that way.

If I need protein it's hard to tell which to use. I read your article about the various levels of ingredients in the products, but then matching it with a product (other than your list) is another story. I'd also be interested in a recipe for resolving these issues. Options are great!

Hello Kat M,
If you've been using conditioners and oils and tried deep conditioning and none of that has helped, then protein may be the answer.
A good way to start is with the smaller proteins like keratin in a rinse-out conditioner. Or Neutral Protein Filler added to a conditioner. If you notice less frizz, more shine, more bounce, a different/nicer feel - then your hair had a good response. Some hair will also "like" the larger proteins like vegetable, quinoa and oat protein - and have an even better response to those.
That's my suggestion - start small and with a small investment like Neutral Protein Filler. See how your hair responds and proceed from there.
If you get a "it's a little better, but I want more" response - then you might need one of the heavier proteins, or a more-concentrated product.
Good luck!

Here I am almost a year later. I've tried a number of things and have improved my hair quite a bit. It's not quite there yet.

I think the main thing I need to try is a larger protein now. Can you recommend products so I don't have to spend a ton of time on that please?

The Neutral Protein Filler helped. My hair doesn't seem that crazy about small proteins. It does like Cholesterol by Queen Helene. What it likes most is Sally's Hard Water Shampoo and Conditioner. The only thing is the results are very temporary.

I did change to a water softener when I wash my hair. That helped right off the bat. I've been using Malibu C's Hard Water treatments in the individual packs and that helped.

I also thought my hair needed changing products each time, which did help. But after much back and forth and experimenting with products I can see I still need the right shampoo and conditioner.

I bought Paul Mitchell's Curls Spring Loaded Shampoo and Conditioner. My hair kind of likes it.

I just started reading your article on low porosity hair. That may help me too. I do have low porosity hair and my curls are look like coils. I have medium texture. Any additional advice is much appreciated.

I think I did try some larger protein products. I just remembered one with oats. I believe it was Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey. It may just not have been the right one. Any suggestions on larger protein products or another direction altogether? Thank you!

Hello Kat!
Glad to hear you've made some progress. One really nice product I can recommend with a larger protein is Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkinseed Conditioner - unless your hair doesn't do well with coconut oil, it has a great blend of large protein + plenty of emollients. There is also Ion Reconstructor, Mill Creek Biotin Conditioner, Island Essentials Awapuhi Intensive Treatment, Not Your Mother's Naturals Linseed Chia Blend & French Plum Seed Oil Volume Boost Conditioner.
These are all conditioners with protein, you might not want to use a conditioner with protein every time you wash your hair. For many people, that could be too much protein unless your hair is also porous.
The "Product List By Category" page might be helpful. There is a list of mild shampoos about mid-page. The first list of conditioners might be a good one for you to alternate with a protein-containing conditioner. http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/p/product-list-by-category.html

Have you tried oil pre-wash treatments at all? If your hair likes the Queen Helene Cholesterol treatment, it might do well with and oil pre-wash treatment. Here's a link to how to use those. Links I post usually aren'y active - copy & paste. http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/oil-pre-shampoo-or-pre-wash.html

Sometimes the oil pre-wash treatments help with flexibility, curl definition, softness in a way that protein and even deep conditioning do not help with. Hair can be picky about which oils you use - just like with protein! For example - just in my house my husband's hair loves coconut oil and mine gets rigid and weird with it. But my hair loves babassu, avocado and sunflower oil. All those oils are penetrating oils to help soften hair, create flexibility and lubrication and manage porosity (short and long term). The blog post above has lots of tips because oil treatments are both an art and a science!
Best wishes! -W

Thank you so much WS for your help, you are indispensable! I am using the coconut shampoo and conditioner. It did improve my hair a lot, but what has improved it most is the oil pre-wash. 

My hair loves babassu oil. I did the coconut oil and it improved it a lot, but my hair does have a reaction to it. My hair may do better with a different shampoo and conditioner, I don’t know yet. 

I have low porosity hair, so my hair does better with less time for the pre-wash. For me even four hours is on the long side. It likes two hours better. I may try it for an hour and see how it does. 

What about heating the oil, would that possibly help? If so, do you end up heating more oil than what you use and then it gets reheated during another use? Does that negatively impact the oil?

Does it help to use a carrier oil to help distribute it? I also haven't tried sunflower oil or avocado oil (at least not by itself) at this point. I did try one blend of coconut, jojoba and avocado. It wasn't as good as the babassu oil is for my hair.

You have totally changed my hair, thank you. You should write an ebook or ebooks with the information from your posts and the comments. I don’t know anyone who has even a fourth of the understanding that you do.

I meant to also talk to you about keeping my hair hydrated. I bought marshamallow root extract. I put five or six drops in 1oz. of distilled water in a spray bottle. When that didn't do anything I used it straight. No response. I think my hair may not like it.

But is that the way to go about it, to use an extract? I already tried aloe vera juice and also conditioner in the water and misting. I just noticed you said to boil the marshmallow root. Does that mean you buy it dry and put in water to boil? If so do you strain it? I was also going to try nettles and or horsetail.

Hello Kat,
Marshmallow root is usually simmered in water for 15 to 30 minutes, then the marshmallow root needs to be strained out. Nettles and horsetail are "steeped" like you would make a tea, then strained out.

My hair seems to break each time I manipulate it. It even breaks when I moisturize it. It breaks the more I touch it and whether I manipulate it wet or dry. However, I think it breaks more readily when wet.I tend to moisturize my hair everyday or every other day with water + VO5 conditioner or water + coconut oil. My hair is usually soft so I don't tend to have a problem with moisture. So I'm wondering if I need more protein? All of the conditioners I use that have protein arent very concentrated as the proteins tend to be towards the bottom of the ingredients list. I don't understand why my hair breaks even while doing something as simple as moisturizing it.

Here's a little background:

I have fine, thin, low density type 4 kinky curly hair. I would say that my hair is normal to low porosity.

For my regimen (which I have recently changed but the problem of breakage has persisted since I cut the relaxer out my head over a year ago),

- I apply some type of oil to dry hair (coconut, olive oil, and I want to try shea next)

- Then I put Trader Joe's tea tree conditioner over it and DC for about 30min - 1hr. Then rinse. I plan to shampoo my scalp every other week otherwise use conditioner only on the scalp. *This portion of my regimen I just started doing last week with good results.

- Then I may add some V05 conditioner (one with no protein) as a leave in and twist up my hair.

- Then as stated above I moisturize throughout the week with water + VO5 conditioner (usually has soy milk protein) or water + coconut oil and I usually apply the coconut oil liberally as my hair soaks it up by the next day.

My hair is twisted up or in a bun more than 90% of the time. I only wear my hair down when I'm washing, moisturizing and I may wear it down a few times a month.

Now for my history with protein:

Based on my experiences my hair can tolerate low doses of protein like those in my V05 and TJ conditioner. Both of these conditioner have Soy protein in them and work well for me but the protein in them obviously are not curbing my breakage. I have also used Shea Moist. Anti-breakage masque (has vegetable protein) and anti-breakge hair milk (rice protein) and have had good moisturizing results but once again it didn't stop the breakage.

I have used a product with wheat protein and it tangled terribly,it was one of the worst experiences I'd had with my hair. The wheat was even towards the bottom of the list. Cassia (I know it isn't protein but I think it protects the protein already in hair) also has tangled my hair very badly. With both the wheat protein and the cassia it had taken me 2 deep conditioning treatments in a row to get my hair back to normal.

So what I'm saying is my hair likes some types of proteins but those aren't enough to stop the breakage. I feel like if I do a heavy protein treatment my hair will become all tangly and brittle again. I don't think my breakage is excessive but I am tired of seeing little hairs on my hands or in the sink. I would say maybe 6-12 hairs break when I manipulate my hair. So what should I do next? I don't feel I have any other problems with my hair other than the breakage. I don't use heat, wear hair out often, no dyes or chemical treatments, combs, brushes, etc. Do you think this is just the nature of fine, thin, extremely curly hair? Or do you think there is something I can do about it?

Thank you and sorry for the super long post! :)

Fine, thin, extremely curly hair might tend to break on handling because it's fragile (fine-ness). You have to totally relax your arms and hands and neck and shoulders for handling so you'll be more sensitive in your movements to tension in your hair and not rushed. Using a lubricant every time you manipulate your hair - like an oil - or an oil-butter blend if you need something thicker - can help a lot, especially on the ends.

You mentioned coconut oil. For some people, coconut oil actually causes breakage. Not only breakage, but crunchy or dry or brittle hair. So you might want to avoid coconut oil and use of other oils for the time being.

For trying a strong or heavy protein treatment - you might save hairs that shed during washing or detangling. Stick one end on a piece of tape and when you've got enough, fold the tape over. Test out your stronger protein treatment on that lock of hair first! Follow up with whatever conditioning you would do if you were applying it to all of your hair. That way, you don't have to wear it if you don't get a good result. If the test-lock seems promising, you might do a test strand on your head before applying it all over.

Next - you said that soy protein is okay. Soy is a small to medium protein. It's going to have a hydrating effect as well as a conditioning effect. The wheat protein you used was probably a high-molecular weight wheat protein. There are lower molecular weight wheat proteins that would act more like the soy protein, but they would need to be labeled that way or you can't be sure. So based on that - you might be better off with smaller to medium proteins like Hydrolyzed silk, keratin, corn, soy, or maybe collagen. All those proteins are less likely to make your hair stiff or brittle. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein may be a larger protein - it's not entirely clear. It seems to behave like a large protein. So that might not be an ideal choice.

Use a protein either in a conditioning base, or follow up protein use with a deep conditioner to make sure you have enough lubrication and softness to balance out the support from the protein. And to a test-lock off your head, or a test-strand on your head.

I hope that helps! Good luck. W

Thank you so much for your blog!

I'm not sure how to tell if my current moisture-protein balance is good or out-of-whack. Here are details with my questions:

My natural, 4a hair stays more shrunken up (super DUPER coiled) than it used to and I'm wondering if it's due to too much protein or if I didn't have the right amount of protein before and my hair SHOULD be this shrunken.

The main change I made is that I did a deep condition (under a hooded dryer for about 2 hours) with Shea Moisture's 10-in-1 Masque (link at http://www.sheamoisture.com/SuperFruit-Complex-10-IN-1-Renewal-System-Hair-Masque_p_1327.html). After that, my hair felt SUPER strong and that's when I noticed it had lost a lot of its hang. I don't know if the previous hang I used to get under running water was really limpness. But I do know that now my hair is super springy and strong feeling, and it feels more resistant to moisturizing conditioners. It won't get nearly as much hang time under running water as it used to.

My coils feel stronger, and that's good, but I used to be able to cleanse/moisturize/detangle my hair with Naturalicious Moroccan Rhassoul clay and then condition it with Shea Moisture's High Porosity Moisture-seal Masque (link here http://www.sheamoisture.com/Mongongo-Hemp-Seed-Oils-High-Porosity-Moisture-Seal-Masque_p_1507.html), and have some serious HANG TIME under running water that I could capture with styling products. That's no longer happening!

Is the new level of tight springiness of my coils a sign of protein overload? Did I maybe get too much protein into my hair with the 10-in-1 Masque, and is that why my coils are so coiled and short now? And then, might the Shea Moisture High Porosity Masque (which used to give me so much soft HANG TIME before I deep conditioned with the other Shea Moisture masque) now be a pile on of too much protein after the deep condition with the 10-in-1 masque?

I gave myself a moisturizing treatment to see if I was just in need of more moisture to balance things out. (I used Bekura's Y.A.M.). Still tightly, tightly coiled coils . . . though softer!

Thank you in advance for any insight you might have. I miss my hang time, but maybe this new super coiliness of my coils is "correct," i.e. healthy?

P.S. And, oh!: The other change I've made is that I've been drinking a cup of Beautifully Bamboo every morning for the last two weeks.

The Shea Moisture 10-in-1 (thank you so much for the links!) has so many things going on. Coconut oil, panthenol, and Hydrolyzed rice protein. The rice protein might be a medium molecular weight protein, and there is not a high concentration of protein in the product. So maybe it's the combination of ingredients that provided hydration and flexibility that gave you such enhanced springiness.
Feeling stronger is good! As long as your hair doesn't feel inflexible or dry. Really good hydration from proteins and panthenol often does make curls bounce up.

If you feel that this new strong-but-resists-elongating to capture under running water with styling products is a sort of excess rigidity, then you might be having a problem with the coconut oil or the protein.
But before you suspect those ingredients - you mentioned that you left the treatment on for 2 hours. The longer you leave protein on your hair, the more intense the effect of the protein! So it may be that you needed a much shorter treatment time with a product like that one to still be able to style your hair how you like.
That's a definite maybe for too much protein, but due to length of treatment instead of the product itself.

The Shea Moisture Hi Porosity Masque has a different protein - soy, a medium, conditioning protein. And it has a lot of butters. Butters create just a little friction or "grip" in hair that helps some hair cling together better.

You might want to avoid protein completely for a little while - as you suggested. It sounds like you did get a benefit from the 10-in-1 product. A shorter treatment might be just right. The super coiliness might be your hair behaving very differently to rice protein (it's advertised as an ingredient to be volumizing) than other proteins. It probably is super-hydrated, and if it's the protein providing the hydration, that should start to "wear off" after a wash cycle or 2.
If you're not liking your hair like this, experiment with shorter treatment times with the 10-in-1 product (to avoid ending up with brittle hair) or different proteins. That should tell you if this is "correct" for your hair, or if you were at the very brink of totally over-doing it.

Some people use oils and moisturizing products to try to un-do too much protein. That never works for me. I just have to wait it out.

Oh wow - there's a bamboo tea!? That's really neat. It'll have an effect on the new growth, but it seems like maybe too soon to have this big an effect on all your hair.
Best wishes,
W

My hair is dark blonde right now. It is naturally more of a greyish dark blonde, kinda like snow on the road in winter.

I dream of perming my hair at home, and I dream of lightening to what I had as a kid (613 in extensions, I think it's called platinum in English)

Question:
Hypothetically, could proteinization perhaps combined with appropriate emollientation bring a hair back to health even after heavy chemical treatments?
Is there a possibility of platinum light hair that is strong and water resistant?

Hello again!
Using protein, oil treatments and deep conditioning can help chemically-treated hair feel healthy , strong and manageable and shiny. Water-resistant may be more difficult, but with good care, your hair might not act overly porous if it is currently water-resistant. You absolutely must plan out your hair care, though. For example, if your hair tolerates gelatin protein treatments and does well with sunflower oil, you might need to use a gelatin protein treatment every week and a sunflower oil treatment every 1-2 weeks. And deep conditioning every 3-4 weeks.

If you are consistent with good care, and pay close attention to how your hair responds to the different treatments, you will begin to know exactly what it needs. But it's still ideal to follow a schedule so you don't miss a treatment.

If hair is over-processed - the lightener is too strong or left on too long or with too high heat - it will be much more difficult to keep your hair feeling healthy. You may be able to prevent breakage, but it will be more work. So for example - if you want to lighten your hair, save hair from washing until you have enough to test with lightener to see how long you need to leave it on, how strong it needs to be, and how the hair feels afterwards. You could even cut a little lock of hair to test with.

The most damage from lightening occurs when too much heat or a too-long processing time is used.

If you decide to lighten, try out your well-planned hair care routine at least 2 or 3 weeks in advance to make sure your hair is well-hydrated and strong before lightening. Best wishes - W

Hi! Your blog is incredible! You really do a wonderful job :).

I just had a quick question. I have medium to fine 4a/4b natural hair that loves protein. I use one designated protein product in my hair - the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor (my moisturizing DC does contain protein as well but very little). Sadly, it's not strong enough and only works as a leave in (stops breakage completely when left in).

Do you know of any alternative rinse out treatments that are stronger than Aphogee and can be used regularly (the Aphogee 2 step is an intensive process)? Thanks you, thank you, thank you! :)

Hello Ivy Classic,
Aphogee 2 Minute (according to the ingredients I found online) contains Cocodimonium Hydrolyzed Hair Keratin, and Sodium Coco Collagen Amino Acids. There's a fair amount in there! But also lots of conditioners to keep hair flexible.
Aphogee 2-step is a very strong protein treatment. If you can leave in the Aphogee 2-minute, your hair can probably tolerate (or really love) the Aphogee 2-step. The label says to use a bonnet dryer to dry the product in your hair. That method packs a huge protein punch with the high heat. But you can also leave it in your hair, covered with plastic with some heat applied if the bonnet dryer or hair-dryer method isn't appealing.
Aphogee 2-step says to use it once per month. Back when I used it, I used it every 2 weeks.

My gelatin protein treatment recipe was my solution to the Aphogee 2-step because I couldn't deal with the scent. It's not quite the same (one needs to add a lot of conditioner to avoid creating tangles), but I can use that treatment weekly, though I use it *half-strength* and leave it on for 3-5 minutes with gentle heat. There's a link on the right side in "popular posts."
Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment is also concentrated, though it's made with different proteins than the product you mentioned. One 'N Only Island Essentials Awapuhi Intensive Treatment is also protein-rich for protein-loving hair.

Neutral Protein Filler (protein and herbal additive from Sally's or buy online) can be used straight from the bottle, or mixed with conditioner and is a really great product for protein-loving hair that does well with keratin.
I hope that helps! W

Thank you for responding! It's nice to know that the Aphogee 2-Step can potentially be used with alternative sources of heat b/c fortunately/unfortunately, I don't own a blow dryer (haha). Also, I'll be sure to try your gelatin recipe - it sounds like it will get the job done and inexpensively.

Hi, since flaxseed & marshmallow root are high in plant protein I was wondering is the mucilage from them protein-sensitive compatible for hair? If not can you provide or refer me to a list of mucilage herbs that are protein sensitive compatible? Thanks.

Gels made from flaxseed and marshmallow root are very, very low in protein. Flax gel works well in a wide range of hair widths and textures. Marshmallow root gel works really well in some people's hair, but not so well in others. There are other herbs like nettle and horsetail that make some people's hair shiny and full, and others get a little rigidity or dry feeling from them.
I know that some people never get flax gel to work for them. If flax gel leaves hair stringy - it needs a thickener. If it leaves hair feeling dry, it may need the addition of oil or conditioner. If it makes hair feel overly soft, it may need a thickener too. If it's not moisturizing enough, it may need the help or another humectant like a small amount (0.5% to 1%) panthenol, or a little bit of aloe vera - for hair that likes aloe- or marshmallow root. A little bit of pectin added to strained gel (re-heat to dissolve pectin) can also be moisturizing, but for some people, it's too stiff once dry. It only takes from 1/4 to 1 teaspoon to see an effect with pectin in flax gel.
I hope that helps! W

Hi thank you for your information
I have a question, do you not recommend doing a protein treatment on a very low hair cut like about 1/2 an inch since there's not much there to work with?

Hi l have a question, do you not recommend doing a protein treatment on a very low hair cut like about 1/2 an inch since there's not much there to work with?

It's probably not necessary. But if you has spent a long time in the sun or heat, or bleached your hair or felt like it was soft and wondered if you could get it to feel "stronger" - then protein might be worth a try.
If you were growing your hair longer than that and it's hair that does well with protein, the time to start using protein is now!

How does one maintain a good protein/moisture balance? Is the use of a protein based deep conditioner once a month sufficient? I'm still trying to figure out if my hair likes protein (I'm still transitioning from heat damage) because I've used a lot of protein based products and my hair is still breaking and shedding.

Also, do Shea Moisture Yucca and Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Masques count as protein treatments? Or would I have to use something stronger? They would be the only protein based products used in my regimen.

Is Silk Protein strengthening? I currently use the Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk as a daily moisturizer. I'm just trying to make sure it's not too much and will cause protein overload.

Last question (sorry): what would you suggest for hair that is dry, brittle and straw like the same day I wash it (I air dry)? I've done everything such as pre poo, eliminate coconut, eliminate protein, do a hard protein (Aphogee), LOC or LCO method, deep condition, yet the end result is the same: very dry and hay like hair the same day I wash. Thanks!

Hi! First of all, the 2 Shea Moisture products you mentioned are protein-enriched, but I probably wouldn't consider them a protein treatment because I think of protein treatments as being concentrated in protein. People with hair that is picky about protein or protein-sensitive might consider them protein treatments, if that makes sense. The longer you leave a product like that in your hair, the more protein your hair will take up - so if you're leaving them in a while, the protein might be more noticeable.

You mentioned avoiding coconut oil already. It's not all that uncommon for hair to have an odd reaction to coconut oil. Hair will act rigid or crunchy, or dry and brittle and breaking. It might be worth avoiding a little longer and using sunflower oil or avocado for oil pre-poo treatments.

I wonder if your hair would do better with a product more like Shea Moisture Noni & Monoi Smooth and Repair Rinse out conditioner. It's a differently texture product and might behave a little differently in your hair for protein. Keratin is a smaller protein and more likely to hydrate and soften than stiffen hair. Silk protein is quite small and good for keeping hair hydrated and soft. Some hair likes liquid conditioners better than thicker masques. Another good (and inexpensive!) product for protein is Neutral Protein Filler. It has keratin and wheat proteins. You can add anywhere from a few drops per tablespoon conditioner to half and half with conditioner for a protein treatment.

If your hair is on the fine/medium side, protein once per month probably is not enough, it may need protein more often. If your hair is more on the coarse side (wider hairs), then once per month is probably a maximum for protein use, and it's better to stick with proteins like keratin and silk that are smaller.

When you condition your hair, add water to the conditioner in your hair. Add it by the handful, duck your head quickly under the shower, pour some over with a cup - then squeeze it into your hair. The conditioner and hair should become more saturated-feeling, more flexible, heavier and more "swing-y." That gives you the best hydration and the best conditioner coverage. This is a great way to apply leave-in conditioner to keep hair flexible without over-doing the conditioner.

Have you tried easing into everything? Like doing light oil pre-wash treatments (light application), left on for several hours. Or using a protein-enriched rinse-out conditioner, leaving it on for a few minutes to use "just a bit" of protein. Deep conditioning - but only for 5 to 10 minutes. Some people have "all things in moderation" hair and that's the best approach - their hair isn't impressed by strong or heavy or long treatments of anything.

I hope something there was helpful! Good luck - W

I've been CG for almost 4 months. I am high porosity and super sensitive to proteins and ingredients that act like proteins, and on top of that my hair hates humectants! I am very limited to products, since everything contains one or both, I have yet to find my holy grail. Lately, I've had a lot of frizz. I deep condition at least once a week but thought maybe I lacked protein. I've conditioned with Shea Moisture High Porosity which contains protein for no more than 6 minutes. I'm afraid to leave it longer, it didn't do damage but didn't help either. I am very frustrated since nothing seems to be working and am about to give up the method, my heart tells me not to. Do you have any suggestions?
My current routine is cowashing, conditioning with Shea moisture low porosity, no protein but has humectants, I squish to condish and rinse out completely. I use Kinky Curly Knot Today as a leave in, olive oil to seal and Herbal Totally Twisted and diffuse.
I appreciate your time.

Hello Mercedes,
Not knowing much about your hair or your water, I suggest you find out if you have hard water. If you do, this post might be helpful: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2016/03/hard-water-and-your-hair.html
Shea butter can be troublesome for hair that accumulates build-up and seems to reject lots of ingredients. Sometimes coconut oil is also a problem for hair that behaves like that. You might avoid those ingredients and see if that helps. WS

Hi! This article was so helpful, thanks for the information! I'm still a little lost though and was hoping you might have some insight.

I have medium/fine lo-po 2b/2c hair. When stretched, it typically stretches a decent amount, but stays straight. This leads me to think I need protein, in combo with the fact that my hair looks limp and struggles to hold the waves. I have to use really lightweight products or it gets weighed down. I've done protein treatments (both gelatin and the aphogee 2 step) and it definitely makes my hair stronger but doesn't seem to help with hold.
However, while in the shower, if I hold up a piece of hair that fell out while detangling or something, it looks like it's 3a. which makes me think it might not be so much of a protein issue. So I tried deep conditioning treatments (olive and almond oil mixed with conditioner, an avocado mask), that make my hair softer but not much else. Do you have any thoughts on what might be going on?

If you use protein too often, you can also end up with hair that won't hold curl or wave - keep that in the back of your mind as a possibility. But if you're not using any styling product for even light to medium hold, that is probably why your hair is losing its wave. Especially if it's cold and dry where you live right now. Usually some sort of styling product helps hair mold in a shape when wet and dry in that shape so it stays that way when dry. Products like flaxseed gel can help with hydration because when hair gets dehydrated (like in dry weather), it tends to lose its bounce and spiral.
Once you start encouraging your hair to curl with protein, etc., you'll often find some hairs that are a lot more curly than others. Hair tends to express the curl pattern that is the "median" of all the neighboring hairs. If you have some 3a hairs mixed in with 2b hairs, you usually end up with a somewhat fuzzy 2b or 2c wave pattern.

Usually you'll need some extra hold from a light curl cream, curl enhancer (i.e. flaxseed gel), foam, styling gel, especially in winter and summer (dry or humid). Sometimes a leave-in conditioner has enough "grip" to help hair hold its wave together if you're not looking for strong hold.
Look for styling products or leave-in conditioners with "film-forming humectants" - those ingredients help hair stay hydrated and bouncy. More about those here: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/film-forming-humectants-what-they-are.html Good luck! W

I see the last entry here was in November 2016. I hope you are still responding to questions about proteins though. I would describe my hair as fine, kinky, low density, rough(brittle, and low probity. My goal is to grow healthy hair first of all, then strength and length. My hair is prone to tangles and single strand knots (SSK). I've learned that warm everything liquid that goes in my hair allows for better absorption of light oils (Aragon, Jojoba, H20). I have to confess I am afraid of "protein" because it has the potential to defeat my purpose if I don't get into the right balance of enough protein and moisture balance. I tend to use Ayurvedic products to try and keep my hair somewhere normal. I deep condition weekly and the products I use all have some type of protein in them I intend to correct that now that I have read your AWESOME information regarding protein (s). I know my hair could be stronger and I could maintain more length (I believe) if I didn't lose as much as I do to SSK and thinning ends. I think the knots are associated with the thinning ends as the shorter hair tend to tangle with it and create knots. I have purchased some hydrolyzed quinoa and I would like to know what ratio should I mix it with conditioner, ballpark about how long do you think I should leave it on initially? How often should I use it (best guess), I shampoo once a week but I rinse my hair between washday because my scalp is sensitive and itchy with product build-up and contribute to hair thinning. I would gratefully appreciate any good advice you may have based on the above description. Right now my hair is short (5-6 inches).

Hello Determined,
Most recent blog post - yesterday (2017), I'm just a very busy blogger. You have a liquid Hydrolyzed quinoa additive (for anybody reading this who isn't familiar with how those are sold). Usually things like that are done by weight, and I think if it were my hair, I'd start with 1%. That would be 1 gram per 100g of conditioner. At 1%, there should be enough to be noticeable.
To be cautious, you might leave such a protein-enriched conditioner on your hair for 3-5 minutes with some gentle heat (covered with plastic under the warm shower or wrapped with a warm towel). If that gives you a good result, that might be enough time. You can leave it on longer, but better not to leave it on more than 3-5 minutes on the first try.

If you get a good result or even a hint of a good result, don't use the protein again until that good result fades. So if it made your hair feel stronger after using it, and still felt stronger after a few rinsings - you might not use it the next week and wait until the week after that. In other words, use it again when any benefits have faded so you don't over-do the protein. And - be prepared with some intense conditioner or a deep conditioning in the event that, after using the protein-enriched conditioner, your hair feels more tangly or stiff than you want. Then you can follow up with the intense conditioner to restore softness. Protein adds strength and support. Conditioner adds softness, lubrication and pliability. Good luck! W

Hi WS. I was wondering, is maintaining a protein/moisture balance usually in regards to chemically or heat treated hair & not healthy virgin hair? What about using henna to strengthen the hair instead of protein? Like in the form of a tea or rinse around once weekly- (recipe example: 1 cup of boiled water

1 tsp of body art quality henna powder

5 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

After boiling the water, add the powdered ingredients to a clean glass jar, and place the lid on top and steep for 4-8 hours or overnight.) Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer.

Hello Fret Fire,
Chemically treated hair tends to bind more protein than non chemically treated hair. It also loses that protein more readily during washing. Those two things together mean chemically treated hair may need protein a little more often than un-treated hair.
As far as I know, henna does not have quite the same effect on hair as hydrolyzed protein. Henna and cassia do tend to make hair hydrophobic (water-repelling), there is a study demonstrating that. More henna (or cassia) will be taken up by bleached hair, too. With protein, the improved strength is a result of better hydration making hair more elastic and therefore more breakage-resistant (when protein is appropriate). I don't know whether henna has that effect or not. The "dye molecules" in henna are small enough to penetrate into hair, but the dye is hydrophobic, so strength through hydration doesn't seem to be how henna makes hair feel stronger.

Excuse me, I meant to say, use this tea as a leave-in conditioning spray

Hi Wendy
Can you explain the difference between a protein treatment and a cholesterol treatment? My hair used to like the latter although it's not colour treated anymore, I just wanted to understand the difference before I give it another try. I think I have low porosity hair.
Thank you

Hello Natalie,
I can make a guess. A protein treatment should contain at least 1% to 2% Hydrolyzed protein. Protein helps with hydration and elasticity - and strength as well as manages porosity in hair. Cholesterol treatments can have a lot of different ingredients, it's more likely to be a deep conditioner for flexibility, softness and lubrication in hair. If it actually contains cholesterol, that is an emollient. Best wishes - W

Hey there, I have to say that as a materials science student I LOVE how scientifically thorough and analytical are your posts! I am new to truly caring for my hair, so I decided to share my distress.

I'd been constantly blow drying and flat ironing my fine, very porous and currently multi-typed hair (all 3 types, sections of 2b and even 1!) which I also had them coloured a few times. I'd been using a plethora of products full of sulfates, parabens, silicones and drying alcohols until the past 3 weeks, when I decided I wanted to restore my definition and learn how to handle my natural curls. Surprisingly enough, although my day 2 and on curls would always feel a bit dry, they have never felt rough. until now!

The last "non curly-friendly" products I used were Syoss's Repair Shampoo and Renew 7 masque (always used masques instead of "conventional" conditioners), both with hydrolyzed keratin as the 7th ingredient, PHYTO 7 Dry Hair Hydrating Day Cream With 7 Plants (http://www.sephora.com/phyto-7-dry-hair-hydrating-day-cream-with-7-plants-P2882), together with a silicone loaded argan oil serum as my leave-ins. I would also occasionally detangle with Schwarzkopf's Gliss Kur Ultimate Repair Express Regenerating Conditioner Spray with Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin and Hydrolyzed Keratin as the 6th and 7th ingredients. How come and my hair was feeling perfectly fine, apart from my ends where the shampoo had been harsh?

Then I started to air dry my hair and use DevaCurl’s No-Poo and One Condition (which I now realized contains wheat amino acids somewhere in the middle) as well as castor oil or aloe vera gel to seal. My ends began to smoothen right away, until I used Briogeo’s Rosarco milk (http://www.sephora.com/rosarco-milk-reparative-leave-in-conditioning-spray-P396733?skuId=1784735&icid2=products%20grid:p396733) suspended in water, to moisturize before sealing. I noticed it kind of weighted down my hair and made them sort of lifeless, although moist, after a few hours. At the end of the day, my ends had become as rough as never before. It’s second ingredient is coconut oil, which I have used before to detangle, but with no “crunchy” side-effects.
Today I made the mistake to test my hair’s protein limits and prepared a banana-milk-oil-aloe vera deep conditioner, after cleansing a hot oil pre-poo (with coconut oil). I then sealed with my own oil blend and styled with another Briogeo product, Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel (http://www.sephora.com/curl-charisma-rice-amino-quinoa-frizz-control-gel-P408411?skuId=1784677&icid2=products%20grid:p408411). My curls came out generally pretty well defined, extra bouncy and voluminous, but also gloriously smooth at some “selective” inner areas and at the same time, coarse, stiff and crunchy at others, especially my ends.

Now was that the protein, or the gel? I feel such an idiot… I’d also like to test Shea Moisture’s Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque, as well as the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie but I’m afraid of the protein, coconut oil and glycerine (I live in humid climates) they contain! What are your thoughts?

PS: Sorry for the enormous comment, it felt like talking to a priest! I hope you may be able to reply at some time…

Hello keftes,
Take this process one product at a time! It's really hard to tell what is going on if you throw too many things at your hair at once.
Work out some reliable cleansers and conditioners that you can come back to between experimenting.
Your hair may not do so well with coconut oil left in it all day (as in a product). Or in addition to the shea butter in the Roscaro product, even if it's okay with coconut oil for detangling. The longer coconut oil is in your hair, the more can soak in and that changes how your hair feels.
The Briogeo might be a little too high in protein for some sections of your hair - it would be normal for your hair to vary in width - but I think I would consider inconsistent distribution as a possible cause for the stiffer ends and random stiffer sections resulting from using that product too. Protein will bond more, to damaged areas like the ends of hair. But it's easy to end up with too much product on the ends or in some sections. The product may be fine you used it away from other proteins.

Quinoa is a more supportive protein than silk, and a higher concentration (closer to the beginning of an ingredient list) is more supportive than a lower concentration. Those things matter a lot when it comes to protein - protein source and concentration. And proximity to other protein use. Isolate those variables.
Good luck! W


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