Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Five W's of Protein Sensitivity

Protective Style Hair Band
Having naturally curly hair has been a challenge like none other in my life. As a professional woman I have received the disappointing looks and heard words from brothers I don't care to repeat. I've chopped, colored, grew out, and chopped again. In my 8 years of being natural, nothing has been more challenging then finding what makes my hair happy. When my hair was relaxed I loved the silkiness of clean, conditioned hair but finding that same happiness for my curly locks has been a quest that would discourage the Indiana Jones. Recently I learned that my hair is protein sensitive. I found this out when I tried Carol's Daughter Herbal Tui shampoo (my normal CD shampoo had been sold out for weeks). This shampoo left my hair tangled, matted and straw-like. It took me three months to recover. Little did I know the very products that were supposed to help me actually were hindering me because they too contained protein. The following list is the 5 W's of protein sensitivity:
  1. What- What does protein sensitivity look like? In laymen's terms, it is when the hair's response is a dry, straw like feeling. Hair is typically unmanageable and feels as if it has not been conditioned at all. 
  2. When- One can tell when one is protein sensitive once one's hair is in a natural and health state. When hair is relaxed, colored or damaged by heat exposure protein can be loss and the hair may be more receptive to protein treatments.
  3. Why- Why does curly hair resist protein? The best answer I have found is because curly hair makes so much of its on protein that protein treatments tend to send it into a frenzy. Too much of  a good thing can be bad.
  4. Where- Where is protein found? In shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers. Commercial and organic products both can contain proteins and the only sure way to know is to read the label of ingredients. It is a good idea to take your smartphone with you to Google any ingredients you are not familiar with. 
  5. Who- Is susceptible to protein sensitivity? Anyone who has coarse high porosity hair but some women with fine hair have also reported protein sensitivity to specific types of protein. For example one may be able to tolerate soy but not silk protein. 
Prayerfully, this has been an informative blog :)