Protein or Moisture: What Does Your Curly Hair Need?

A lot of people envy the curly locks of the Disney princess Moana. After all, it looks majestic as well as effortless.

But what people with straight hair don’t know is that it takes a lot to maintain the structure of curly hair. Curly-haired girls understand the struggle of having voluminous, big waves today but limp, frizzy hair the next.

But don’t give up just yet! In today’s blog post, we’ll explore whether protein or moisture is better for curly hair. Hopefully, this topic can help you in taking care of your beloved curls.

zala protein or moisture


So, what does your hair lack and what does it need? Does curly hair need protein? Does it need moisture? Moisture or protein for curly hair? We have listed below a couple of hair characteristics that will hopefully help you in understanding your hair better.


Lack of moisture is pretty easy to spot.

If you notice that a few hair strands tend to go up in the air while feeling rough and dry to touch, then you may need to add in more moisture. Lack of moisture will also cause loss of curl definition.

The hair will also be lackluster and dull. Sometimes, when the hair has been greatly damaged by heat and other styling methods, it will lose its curl definition entirely.


How do you know if your curly hair needs protein? You can try doing an elasticity test first.

If it turns out that your hair is overly elastic, then you might need to add in more protein. Sometimes, it will overstretch before breaking. Other times, it will break at the root.

Having difficulty combing your hair? That’s probably because the strands are just sticking to each other, which is also another sign that you need to add protein in your hair care routine. You can try incorporating a protein-rich conditioner or in severe cases, you might need professional treatments to repair the hair strands.

If those suggestions are not enough to fix your hair then you might need to go with the big chop.


protein or moisture
(c) Pexels

Like straight-haired girls, curly heads also have their own haircare routine.

In fact, you will be surprised that it’s a lot more complicated than you think. Frizzy hair is often an indication of your hair lacking moisture. That is why the famous curly girl method teaches curlies the importance of moisturizing and hydrating the hair.

However, we often forget that our hair is literally made up of protein which is the one responsible for our hair’s structure. If you’re asking, “Does my curly hair need protein,” the answer is yes! 


If you look up curly girl method routines online, you’ll notice that most of the products are for moisturizing the hair and that curlies often have a handful of moisturizing deep conditioners.

Simply put, moisture is important because it keeps the elasticity of our hair. This is especially important when we are planning to style our locks.

However, if you overwhelm your hair with deep conditioners, you might experience moisture overload which may even cause breakage. Just like everything else, it should be used in moderation.


Just like moisture overload, protein overload is also a possibility when following the curly girl method. This is why so many people ask, “How do I know if my curly hair needs protein?” It’s important to recognise.

Like what was mentioned earlier, our hair strands are made up of protein, specifically keratin. Although this is the case, we still need to provide our strands with protein to keep their structure in check and avoid possible damage to the hair.

When styling our hair, our hair tends to become damaged. This, in turn, will damage the cuticles. Damaged cuticles won’t allow hair to become resilient to damage. This is why protein treatments are necessary to bring back strength to our hair, but too much isn’t good either.


protein or moisture
(c) Pexels
  1. Have a dedicated hair pampering day. This means using a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and all the way to your leave-in conditioner.
  2. Use them simultaneously. We mentioned that protein treatments are necessary to bring back the hair’s strength. However, you might also want to put a moisturizing conditioner right after treatment to make sure that you have a perfect balance.
  3. Get a new conditioner. If you’re lucky and you already have protein-moisture balanced tresses, we still suggest trying a conditioner rich with both protein and moisture.

The inconsistency of your curls can be frustrating. You might feel overwhelmed by the products you’re using. You might also find yourself wondering, “Does my curly hair need protein or moisture?” You might even feel like your hair is just high-maintenance. Or, you might eventually give up and just accept the fact that your curly hair is just unruly sometimes.

But before you give up, take our word for it: don’t. You only have to achieve the best balance for you to find peace. Whether that’s protein or moisture depends mainly on your individual hair type!

For more hair tips and tricks, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!


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