Deep Conditioner VS Protein Treatment: What’s The Difference?

Maintaining healthy-looking hair requires some pampering. If you go too long without taking care of your hair, it can get badly damaged. Two of the most advised products are deep conditioners and protein treatments for damaged hair.

While both works to repair damaged hair, both are different things.

Deep conditioning is an essential step in hair care. It moisturizes and strengthens the hair. It gives your hair a healthy-looking style and prevents it from breakage.

On the other hand, protein treatment is more intense than deep conditioning.  Protein treatment comprises hydrolyzed protein and often ceramides that work to strengthen the hair and get rid of breakage and damage.

Now the question is, which treatment does your hair need. Read ahead to find out more about deep conditioner vs. protein treatment:

Differences Between Deep Conditioner and Protein Treatment:

Even though deep conditioner and protein treatment are vastly different, they often get confused with each other. Both of them set out to do the same job, which is strengthening the hair and repairing the damage done to it. It is important for us to know which treatment we should go for on what basis.

Protein treatment helps restore the protein in your hair and scalp. Whereas a deep conditioner helps lock in the moisture of the hair. Moisture and protein both are essential for the hair. So it’s important to know which one your hair lacks.

Your hair needs protein because it is mainly made out of protein. The hair needs to follow a routine that stops protein loss and damage created by heat styling to prevent protein loss. Damaged hair weakens the cuticles and exposes the cortex, leading to protein loss.

On the other hand, moisture is important to maintain healthy-looking hair as it keeps the hair hydrated and fends off dryness.

Without moisture, hair becomes brittle and prone to breakage. It is important for the hair to balance its moisture and protein to have healthy hair.

If your hair looks limp and stretchy, then it is likely that your hair needs a protein treatment. Color-treated hair also needs the extra care of a protein treatment. A hair losing its curls also indicates that your hair needs protein.

On the other hand, brittle hair that is prone to breakage indicates moisture loss. And that’s when you need deep conditioner.

Losing moisture is more common than losing protein. Hence why, deep conditioning is done more regularly. Protein treatment is also more intense and time-consuming.

Is Deep Conditioning And Protein Treatment The Same?

Deep Conditioning and Protein Treatment are not the same.  Protein treatments are more intensive than deep conditioning.

Generally, deep conditioning should be done at least once a week. Though a lot of people incorporate the habit of deep conditioning twice a week. Deep conditioning makes your hair moisturized and healthy.

On the other hand, protein treatments should only be applied every four to six weeks only. If you opt for protein treatments too often, your hair can get overloaded. Protein overload does more harm than good and makes the hair prone to breakage.

Protein treatment should also always be followed by some kind of deep conditioner.

Do I Need To Deep Condition After A Protein Treatment?

Ideally, a protein treatment should always be followed by deep conditioning with a conditioner. It’s a must to balance the moisture and protein of the hair. So after a protein treatment, you should always use a deep conditioner to balance the moisture as well. Only doing protein treatment can make the hair overloaded with protein, resulting in the hair becoming brittle. Protein treatment has to be followed up by deep conditioning to avoid this.

How do I know if my hair needs moisture or protein?

Moisture and protein are essential for healthy hair. They must also be balanced in the hair. One cannot overpower the other.

The hair needs moisture when it becomes brittle and dry. The water makes the hair healthy-looking and strong. If your hair lacks moisture, it becomes frizzy.

Protein protects the hair from styling heat and makes it strong. On the other hand, protein is needed when the hair becomes limp and stretchy. Protein treatments fill the hair with a couple of nutrients and proteins that help reconstruct and strengthen the hair strands.

How often should you use a protein deep conditioner?

Protein treatments are intensive. They restore protein back in the hair and get rid of damage. Protein treatments should be done once every 4 to 6 weeks, especially the deep ones. There should be a significant amount of break between these treatments.

The reason is that it is very easy for the hair to get overloaded with protein. Protein overload can lead to hair loss.

There’s also a chance of the protein treatment not working if you do it more than once every 4 to 6 weeks. Some hair care experts also suggest getting a protein treatment every three months or so.

Going overboard with protein treatment is never a good option.

Deep conditioner VS Protein treatmentFinal Words

The hair needs both deep conditioning and protein treatment to look its best. Protein and moisture are both musts for the hair, and both should be balanced.

Hair that lacks protein results in breakage, and hair that lacks moisture also lead to breakage. But on the other hand, hair that is overloaded with protein can result in breakage from stiffness; and hair with too much moisture can break from lack of any structure or support.

We need to understand what our hair lacks and what kind of treatment our hair needs. We should also remember that it is important to condition your hair with a deep conditioner after a protein treatment so that the hair does not lose its moisture. Both deep conditioning and protein treatment are necessary to give our hair what it lacks.

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