I just wanted to do a quick post clearing up the misconceptions that protein is only strengthening. I know of those who will steer clear of protein in any shape or form on the quest to gaining more moisture. But if you are trying to maximise your hairs moisture intake then protein will be of a great assistance to you.
Protein Is A Film Former
Protein does more than strengthen the hair, it forms a breathable film around the shaft that slows down the evaporation of water from within the strand itself. It can also absorb up to twice it’s weight in water. This means it helps to retain water levels in the hair, keeping it moisturised for longer. So often you will find small amounts of protein in your moisturising products (nearer the bottom of the ingredients list) and this is the reason why. Low levels of protein will help the hair feel smoother, softer and shinier. JC of the Natural Haven explains it better in her post ‘How Protein Can Add Extra Moisture’.
Hydrolysed protein seems to be the best choice of protein in hair care, although other forms are effective as well.
Ultimately, you will have to determine which products make your hair feel softer and more moisturised, and which ones contain just a bit too much protein for your moisturising needs. If you are protein sensitive than any amount of protein may make your hair feel like barbed wire! And you may need to stay away from most protein, high or low. But for the majority of us, protein, especially hydrolysed forms, can help keep our hair moisturised for longer!