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Does My Hair Need Protein Or Moisture? Full Guide

If your hair is dull and opaque, dry, or frizzy, you may be asking yourself, Does my hair need protein or moisture? In my case, I have curly hair, and I often feel that my hair lacks bouncing and vitality.

When it comes to that, you can (and should) use protein and moisture because this combo will provide your hair the life and health they crave.

In this article, let’s look at how to use hydration and protein to achieve top-notch hair and when and how you should use each separately.

But we don’t stop there; let’s also understand the pros and cons of each treatment, when too much is too much, the best way to use them together, and more.

Does My Hair Need Protein Or Moisture stories
Does my hair need moisture or protein

Protein Vs. Moisture: What’s the difference?

The short answer is; Moisturising treatments will hydrate the hair while protein products will fortify your hair. So it is a good idea to have healthier, bouncy hair by adding these treatments to your hair care routine.

Ok, but before answering whether your hair needs protein or moisture – let’s understand how these treatments work separately.

Protein Restores and Strengthen The Hair

Protein For The Hair Summary
What does it mainly do?Strengthening and restoration
Key BenefitsElasticity, deep conditioning, restoration of the hair fiber, fixing split ends, discipline; growth
Best for All hair types, especially Dry, dull, damaged, long hair, curly hair, and colored hair
How often to use itUsually once or twice a month; Remember to read the product labels for accurate decision.

Our hair is a fiber that contains protein in its structural parts (with water and other components). So, it is unsurprising that the lack of it can cause an imbalance, leading to dryness, breakage, split ends, porosity, and similar problems.

The Protein that is prominent in our hair fiber is Keratin, which helps form the hairhair that looks damaged, for example, may lack keratin – because of this, you will see many protein keratin treatments that promise softness and restoration.

At the pace that the hair grows, the keratin inside our hair follicles breaks down; for this reason, it is essential to adhere to treatments that can restore and infuse our hair with protein repositioning.

Moisturizing Treatment Brings Hydration

By restoring hair moisture, your hair will get hydrated, soft, and malleable; It’ll also be protected from excessive heat styling and climate conditions. Some people like me have dry hair, so I need to invest in good treatments to help my hair retain water.

Main Benefits Of Hydration

A hydrated hair will have less frizz, more discipline, and balance, is easier to detangle, and fixed split ends.

Does my hair need protein or moisture?

You may be suffering from dry, brittle, opaque weak hair, but how do you know if your hair needs protein or just a good hydration mask?

In this session, let’s help you analyze and identify the signs your hair gives to you. Here’s a quick guide to help you do your test.

How To Tell If Your Hair Needs Protein Or Moisture

  1. Do a strand test by gently stretching it. If it breaks easily or lacks elasticity, your hair is weak and may need protein repositioning.
  2. However, you may need moisture if this stretches and does not return to its original shape quickly or stretches too much before breaking.
  3. Additionally, analyze how your hair feels after washing; If it feels limp, it can be a sign it needs protein.
  4. If you have curly hair, pay attention if the curls lack definition; In this case, you may need to add moisture to your routine.

Damaged, Brittle and weak hair? Use Protein!

If your hair is damaged, brittle, and weak, you may have lost its protein. Remember that protein is part of the hair structure, and the lack of it can cause the hair to become fragile and breakable.

To address the deficit, apply protein treatments that contain keratine or hydrolyzed protein and adopt a diet that includes eggs, legumes, and nuts.

Dry Frizzy hair? Moist it!

If your hair feels firm, it is not breaking but is dry, frizzy, and unruly, then moisturizing will most likely be what you need.

This happens because your hair cuticle is not retaining enough hydration. If you have curly hair like me, you will know exactly how it feels. The hair gets opaque, curly, and difficult to detangle. 

Types Of Protein & Moisturizing Treatments


Chemical keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, which a professional hairdresser should apply. 

These treatments can tame frizz and discipline the hair and could be applied once a month or every three months, depending on the product.

On the other hand, at-home deep treatments can be used more often. Look for products that include hydrolyzed keratin or hydrolyzed wheat protein in their composition. 


To get our hair moist, we can invest in good hydrating shampoos, deep conditioners, hair masks, oils, serums, and DIY hair masks that contain honey, avocado, and aloe vera.

What To Look For on a Moist Treatment 

While shopping for hydrating products, you can prefer natural oils, aloe vera, natural butter, honey, papaya, and avocado.

How To Use Protein Treatment for the Hair

There are many at-home protein treatments; you can even do your DIY to improve and repair your hair.

NOTE: It’s essential to understand your hair to know to what extent you need to add an extra dose of protein to your hair or not.

Because sometimes, we may think we need protein when all we need is to moisturize. I’m covering this later on. 

So once you identify if you need protein, find a good quality protein keratin mask and do the following:

  1. Apply the treatment on the entire hair, including the scalp (unless advised not to) 
  2. Wrap the head with plastic film, use a shower cap on top of it, and wait for 45 minutes (or as long as the product brand advises)
  3. When the time is up, remove the wrap and Use your hair drier in lower heat mode to blowdry the hair
  4. Rinse it out and proceed with styling as you wish!

How To Moist The Hair

If you have normal to oily hair, use a deep cleansing shampoo to remove all oils and impurities. However, it is best to use hydrating shampoo if you have dry hair. 

Then apply a moisturizing hair mask on the hair length avoiding the roots; Then, use a thermal hair cap and rest the hair for a minimum of five minutes. Rinse well, making sure to remove the product entirely.

How Often Can You Apply These Treatments?

The frequency depends on the product, so playing by the fabricant rules is essential. 

How Often Should I Moist my hair?

My hairdresser recommends hydrating deep conditioners and applying hair masks that contain coconut or argan oil once or twice a week, depending on the hair condition.

How Often Should I Do Protein Treatment?

Protein treatments should be used in moderation because if you use them too much, your hair may get heavy and dense.

Protein Overload Hair Vs. Moisture Overload

Everything in life needs a balance; the same happens with your hair care routine. In this session, let’s talk about protein overload hair vs. moisture overload and what to do.

Protein Overload Hair Vs. Moisture Overload
Protein Overload Hair Vs. Moisture Overload Infographic

Too Much Protein can cause hair breakage.

If you find out that your hair lacks protein, you can start your treatment and continue it until you see the hair getting better. 

For example, your hair was too porous and weak, and you performed a protein treatment every 15 days. 

Once you achieve your desired results, you can diminish the frequency of doing it only once a month or once every three months.

Apart from that, the hair can get too heavy without proper bouncing movement, so we don’t want that.

Too Much Moist can leave your hair too oily

Struggling all my life with dry hair, I thought I would never have to deal with my hair being too oily. I always thought this would be a dream on Earth.

So, I bought the super powerful moisturizing mask from Kerastase and decided to use it every three days. I did it until I noticed my hair got too oily on the roots, which did not turn out how I wanted.

Does My Hair Need Protein Or Moisture? Infographic
Does My Hair Need Protein Or Moisture? Infographic

References For Further Study

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