Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Science of Protein Treatments on Afro Textured Hair
I wanted to change it up a little and add a little something about afro textured hair care today.
The scalely thing to the left is not a reptile. That is a strand of hair. It is a strand of hair with the cuticles lifted. On healthy hair, this should be a TEMPORARY state. That means, that lifted cuticles on a hair strand, that has been washed and conditioned and styled usually indicates the hair is not healthy. Conditioned hair will have cuticles that lay flat and tight agains the hair strand.
So, what's going on here? This is a depiction of the protein treatment process. Protein treatments should be done on hair that is recently been washed. Hence, the lifted cuticles come about from the use of soap or some kind of alkaline/basic cleanser.
Once the cuticles are lifted, then a deep and heavy protein product can be applied. Protein molecules are the circle things with the plus sign in the middle. Those are positively charged molecules. The protein molecules tend to be larger molecules and they are attracted to the negatively (-) charged hair! It's always about attraction, heh heh!
The protein molecules are in solution, or in some kind of water product or resin. It is placed on the freshly washed hair, with the cuticles raised, and the molecules gravitate toward the hair.
The protein molecules fill in the gaps, cracks, tears and missing cuticles on the hair strand. This fortifies the hair strand. How?
By filling in the missing scales of the cuticle, on the hair strands, the protein mimicks the undamaged hair structure (cuticle, cortex, medulla). The protein fortifies the natural structure of the hair strand. It does not rebuild it - literally - it sort of coats and fills in. Once you damage a hair strand, it is not very likely you can fix it or heal it.
Thus, protein treatments done on schedule that fits your hair, can be beneficial for your hair. I prefer to use protein treatments that require heat. Why? Because they tend to be in a base that fuses the protein to the strand.
I use protein treatments on my natural hair. They fortify the hair strand and the natural structure of the hair. It is this structure that you must preserve if you want to retain healthy, longer, afro-textured hair.