An anonymous commenter mentioned yesterday that her hair was feeling crunchy from having too much protein in her hair. While we need both protein and moisture in our hair, we can overdo it at times.
Products with protein can be a lifesaver for people with over-processed hair. If you have a perm, or if you've coloured your hair one too many times, your hair may feel spongey or sticky when it's wet. This is a sign of protein loss. If you stretch a wet hair and it doesn't spring back to shape, then your hair is likely lacking in protein as well.
There are a lot of excellent products that contain hydrolyzed protein and help to make protein-deficient hair look and feel more healthy. One of the best upscale products of this nature is Joico's K-Pak. It's a deep moisture and protein treatment. The protein in it is hydrolyzed, meaning that the protein has been processed in such a way that it can penetrate the hair shaft. There is protein hidden in many other regular drugstore brands too. If you look at an ingredients list and see the word "hydrolyzed" in it, then it's likely that it contains a protein. Some proteins come from soy, silk, whey and wheat.
While protein is essential to hair, if you don't need protein, and you continually use protein products, you can end up with protein overload, which will result in your hair feeling crunchy at the ends or having velcro-like ends. This is much the same as the result of silicone build-up.
A lot of people are baffled when their hair seems to have a lot of buildup, even if they don't use silicones. Too much protein is frequently the culprit.
If you have protein overload, then it's a good idea to clarify your hair as I described in this entry. Then make sure to moisturize well with a deep treatment, like the conditioner and honey treatment described in that entry as well. Make sure that the conditioner you use to make the deep treatment contains neither silicones or protein. There are several inexpensive conditioners that do not have silicones or protein, so it's not an expensive proposition to use this deep moisture treatment.
Once you've rinsed out the deep treatment, then you can use a silicone conditioner if that's your preference. Discontinue using any conditioners with protein until and unless you need it. And remember, if you do use silicones, you will have to clarify and deep moisturize from time to time.
I wish to extend my thanks once again to my faithful readers and to my new readers. You will never know the depth of my gratitude. Love to all.
'Til tomorrow, my friends.