Guiding WOC Through The Process Of Returning Natural

Read this if you’re low porosity or protein sensitive

Being a low porosity girl has both its pros and cons. The great thing is that once moisture does seep into our hair, it’s able to retain it for longer – the issue is, getting that moisture in. Another thing with low porosity hair is that it’s protein sensitive. This isn’t a good or bad thing in itself, it just means that we have to watch and monitor how much protein we put into our hair to prevent it from becoming dry, brittle and weak. 

The difference is that high porosity gals need the protein as there are gaps in their hair stubble which allows the hair to absorb moisture quickly, but let it out just as quick. Whereas with low porosity gals, our hair cuticle is more closed, and has less gaps, meaning that it takes time for moisture to penetrate the hair properly. Oftentimes if you’re low porosity, you will probably be sensitive to protein. Let’s talk about it!

What is protein sensitivity? 

It’s been said that there are people out there with protein sensitive hair, meaning that their hair is easily overloaded with protein, leading to dry, brittle strands and in some cases, an irritated scalp. Why does this happen if our hair is made mostly of protein, some of which depletes with time and constant manipulation? Experts have weighed in on the issue stating that it may not be a sensitivity at all, but that you’re probably just overloading your hair with protein.

The reason behind this is using too many products with protein, too often. When there’s too much protein, the hair becomes stiff and easily prone to breakage. Pay attention to the labels on your products and use trial and error to figure out which ones contain proteins and if you’re using them too often.

How do I avoid protein overload? 

There are a few rules to follow in your regimen and haircare if your hair is protein sensitive, and we got you! 

Give your hair time to recover

One of the ways to recover from a protein overload is by temporarily avoiding all products that contain protein. This will give the hair a break from any extra protein and a chance to let the protein that’s already present break down a bit more. You can do this by reading the ingredient list! If you see things like wheat protein, hydrolyzed collagen, soy protein, rice protein, silk protein, keratin, or amino acids, avoid it! 

Do moisturizing deep treatments 

Since you’re avoiding protein, it’s important to focus on moisture, so be sure to apply your moisturizing products properly and use oils to seal everything in. Now is a good time to deep condition more often too! Once you see that your hair is less brittle and isn’t breaking as easily, you can slowly start to incorporate proteins back into your routine. There is definitely such a thing as having too much of a good thing and while protein is necessary for healthy hair, having too much of it can create an adverse effect. 

Beware of hidden proteins

Proteins are a substance consisting of amino acids, hydrogen and more – it can be found in the human body (our hair is made of a form of protein called keratin), food and many other things. Proteins come in different forms and it can be hard to tell when there’s a hidden protein in a product. As you know, we recommend a protein treatment every 4-6 weeks for low porosity hair, and no more than twice a month for high porosity hair, so being mindful of the protein in your overall regimen is a key to helping us retain the growth we want. Keep an eye out for these hidden ingredients in products as they are all various forms of protein:

Avoid certain ingredients (or use them sparingly)

We’re all about using natural ingredients for our hair! And a deep treatment is needed every week to two weeks for your hair to be at its optimum health. However, there are a few ingredients and hair masks you should only use every 4-6 weeks if your hair is protein sensitive. 

Although you should go for moisturizing masks and treatments weekly, doing a protein-based mask every 6 weeks can work wonders strengthening your hair and enabling you to retain more length. All our masks at Belle Bar include deeply nourishing and moisturizing ingredients, so your hair won’t be left dry or brittle. 

Great hair masks that you can use every week that are deeply nourishing are our Ultra Nourishing Guacamole Hair Mask and Restorative Hibiscus Hair Mask. Then every 4-6 weeks, you can opt for a mask that has a bit more protein. 

Here are some protein-rich ingredients you should only use once every 4-6 weeks. 

Henna 

Henna is a great Ayurvedic ingredient that promotes hair growth and slows down the splitting of your hair’s ends. However, for low porosity gals you should only use henna once every 4-6 weeks (for high porosity girls, we only recommend twice a month max) because it can be too strengthening and lead to breakage and dryness. When you use henna, always follow it up with a deep conditioner to balance out moisture levels! 

Check out our Henna Strengthening Hair Gloss.

Yoghurt 

The antifungal properties in yogurt are great for preventing and getting rid of dandruff, and the lactic acid comes in handy on the hair too, reducing dullness and treating damage. Another thing that makes yoghurt great for hair is its high protein content – which also makes it one that those with protein sensitivity should use no more than once every 4-6 weeks. 

Fenugreek 

Fenugreek seeds have lots of fiber and protein, plus minerals like iron and magnesium. On our hair, it’s able to strengthen the hair from the follicle, preventing hair thinning, while regenerating and restoring already thinning hair. Because fenugreek is quite high in protein, it’s one that low porosity or protein sensitive gals should use once every 6 weeks. 

Check out our Intense Fenugreek Regeneration Hair Mask

Rice water

We’ve all heard about the benefits of rice water and how it works wonders for strengthening hair and length retention. It can do the same for you if you are protein sensitive, just be sure to use it sparingly as it can be drying for your hair porosity. 

Check out our Rice Water Health & Strength Hair Mask

Steam is your friend 

Steaming is a great way to allow the products and hair mask you use on your hair seep in. Because the hair cuticle on low porosity hair is shut, it’s harder for ingredients to penetrate the hair and get to work – it almost seems like the ingredients slide right off! That’s why steaming or letting your hair ‘heat up’ when you have a treatment on it is important: it opens up the cuticle and allows the products to go in and do their thing. If you don’t have a steaming cap, you can wrap your hair in a shower cap and a plastic bag – this will create a warm environment that will work to open up the cuticle. 

LCO method all the way

LCO stands for Liquid-Cream-Oil. The LCO method is said to work much better on low porosity hair types because it won’t weigh down the hair as much as the LOC method can. 

It’s important that you warm up your “liquids” before use. Put the bottle your liquid is in, inside a cup or bowl of hot water to warm the liquid inside of your bottle. You need to open up your cuticle to get the other products inside of your hair cuticle so moisture actually gets inside. This is very important! 

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