Does Your Hair Need Protein or Moisture?
How do you know if your hair is just chronically dry and in need of moisture, or if it is damaged and in need of protein? Cosmetologists learn some quick tests to determine the porosity and elasticity of hair. Before you pick out products, it is important to determine what your hair actually needs! Learn about the Porosity and Elasticity Tests below.
Porosity Test: Moisture
Place a piece of hair in a glass of water and observe whether the hair floats, suspends or sinks. This determines how much water the strand is absorbing. High porosity hair is like a sponge. It absorbs tons of water when wet, but it will release all of that water more quickly than low and medium porosity hair. You can help control how quickly your hair releases water and dries out based on the types of products you are using on your hair.
To retain more moisture in high porosity hair, try adding in your leave-in conditioner while you’re still in the shower! After rinsing your regular conditioner out of your hair, gently squeeze out the excess water (just so your leave-in doesn’t immediately drip out of your hair) and then apply wherever hair is porous and experiences dryness. Applying your leave-in while hair is still very wet will really help it to retain the most water. All Kavella conditioners double as leave-ins, so you don’t need any additional products in your shower!
- Volumizing Conditioner for fine, oily or limp hair
- Balanced Conditioner for all hair types
- Moisturizing Conditioner for very dry har
- Healing Tea Conditioner for all hair types, hypoallergenic
If your hair dries out quickly even when you leave in a conditioner, try our Recovery Oil Treatment. It can be layered on top of your leave-in conditioner to further seal in the moisture, protein and conditioning agents of your conditioner. Unlike most “oil treatments” that are essentially silicone serums, our oil treatment is silicone-free and is mostly comprised of organic sunflower, safflower and grapeseed oils.
Low porosity hair benefits from a normal or a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to keep the hair from feeling weighed down. In contrast, porous, dry hair needs to retain moisture to feel healthy and to stay elastic. Some – but not all – curly hair types start out porous without ever being physically or chemically damaged.
Heat styling, coloring your hair and using harsh or alkaline products are some ways to raise the hair cuticle and increase porosity. Some people with low porosity get their hair colored just to add volume! Having a raised hair cuticle adds friction to volumize the hair.
Elasticity Test: Protein
To test if your hair has a healthy level of elasticity, gently stretch a strand while the hair is wet. If it stretches a bit and then bounces back to it’s natural state when you let go, then you have a healthy level of elasticity and your hair is strong. But if the strand stretches easily and breaks, or if hair feels mushy while wet, then it needs to be strengthened with a protein treatment. Find a local Kavella salon to see if they offer our protein treatment, and/or try the following at-home options.
If your hair is very porous as well as damaged, try the Kavella Recovery Mask, which will replenish and seal in moisture and protein. This mask is more emollient than our Leave-In Recovery Lotion, which you can use in addition the Recovery Mask as your leave-in (or just use your regular Kavella Conditioner which will contain a small amount of hydrolyzed protein, too.)
If your hair is less porous or fine/thin but is damaged and weak, use our Leave-In Recovery Lotion as your leave-in conditioner regularly until your elasticity tests return to normal, then you can reduce this treatment to once per week or less.
Kavella uses a little bit of hydrolyzed protein in many of our leave-in products and all our conditioners. If your hair is damaged, using leave-ins is an important way to fill the holes of damaged hair with protein that would otherwise mostly rinse away.
Hydrolyzed protein is water-soluble. There’s only so much protein that can bond to the hair, even when used under heat, without it just rinsing away in the shower. The proteins we use will not over-deposit on the hair or cause brittleness.
We suggest with all of our conditioners to only apply from roots to ends if hair is porous or damaged all the way to the root. This is not only because we use selective organic plant oils that we don’t want applied to nonporous areas, but also because those areas don’t need conditioning or protein yet! Even on very healthy hair, if your hair is long, the ends have lost some keratin over time and will be happy to accept the small amounts of proteins we use in our conditioners.
Our plant proteins have been carefully chosen based on the intended hair type of the product.
|Hydrolyzed Rice||Volumizing||Clinically proven volumizing effect because it contains both positively and negatively charged ions|
|Hydrolyzed Baobab||Recovery||Superior at strengthening damaged hair. It’s high in amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.|
|Hydrolyzed Quinoa||Balanced||Increases ease of styling, enhances shine and helps color retention.|
|Hydrolyzed Jojoba||Moisture||Forms a hygroscopic film on the hair & retains moisture. Increases shine and conditions.|