How to Balance Protein and Moisture Wash Days: A Practical Guide

Hey Ladies!

We are often told to balance our protein and moisture, and to do a hard protein treatment once per month or every six weeks.However the truth of the matter is that achieving that balance practically is still quite hard for some. Here is a realistic breakdown of how and when to use your different types of conditioners.

From left to right: moisturising conditioner, balanced conditioner, hard protein conditioner

These are my current conditoners, you can substitute them for others as long as you have one of each type.
Moisturising conditioner: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Balanced conditioner: ORS Hairepair Nourishing Conditioner (with banana and bamboo extracts)
Hard protein conditioner: ORS Hair Mayonnaise

Now to the practical aspect. Here are two schedules to choose from depending on how often you want to incorporate hard protein.

Hard protein every 6 weeks i.e. The 6 Week Wash Cycle

Hard Protein (wash week1)
Moisture DC (wash week 2)
Balanced DC (wash week 3)
Moisture /Balanced DC (wash week 4)
Balanced/Moisture DC (wash week 5)
Moisture DC (wash week 6)
Hard protein ( wash week 1, cycle starts again)

You will use a balanced or moisturising deep conditioner  during wash weeks 4 and 5 depending on how your hair feels. If you feel it needs more moisture, use a moisturising deep conditioner, however the next wash should incorporate a balanced conditioner. It also works in reverse. If you used a balanced conditioner in wash week 4, a moisturising one will follow in wash week 5. 

Hard  protein once a month i. e. The 4 Week Wash Cycle

Hard Protein (wash week 1)
Moisture (wash week 2)
Balanced (wash week 3)
Moisture (wash week 4)
Hard Protein (wash  week 1, cycle starts again)

1. Use a balanced conditioner if your hair is soft, but needs a bit of added strength AND your previous wash incorporated a moisturising deep conditioner.
2. For the 6 week cycle, it is also okay to have two balanced conditioning sessions or two moisturising conditioning sessions in a row. But do not do that 3  weeks in a row, otherwise it will throw your hair off balance.
3. Use a moisturising conditioner if your hair is dry and has very little elasticity.
4. The next wash day after a protein treatment should always be dedicated to a moisturising deep conditioning session in order to avoid protein overload.
5. Although this schedule simplifies things a lot,  always go with how your hair feels.

How do you balance your protein and moisture?


  1. This is a great information, i just copied it into my journal so i can check my protein and moisture balance. Thank you and God bless you

  2. Valuable information. Thanks for sharing with us Bee.

  3. Lemme see if I can follow this.

  4. Wow! I just got to know about the blog.*thanx to google.I BCed on d. 15th of may 2015 and I dun have a routine for growing my hair.I actually do more of PS.but my newYear resolution is to take care of my mane and. Am convinced that am in the right place.Thank u admin for this piece really informative

  5. Great post! But what if you wash your hair every 2 weeks?

    Berry Dakara Blog

    1. Go by how your hair feels. If it stretches and stretches so much then finally snaps, it's time for a hard protein treatment.
      Moisturising dc if it is rigid and instantly snaps as you comb it. Balanced dc would be advisable if it is slightly more elastic than necessary but not enough to warrant a protein treatment.

  6. So indepth. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. I do henna treatments every six weeks. That serves as my protein. I alternate between moisturizing conditioners and balancing conditioners.

    1. I'm hoping to be more consistent with my henna. Its the only protein treatment that doesn't leave my hair feeling crispy even after following it up with a moisturizing dc

  8. Thanks for sharing, very good guide. I tend to go with how my hair feels and every four washes is usually when it starts to need protein. Sometimes I ignore and breakage.
    I should definitely have a routine like you outlined.

    Naija girl next door

  9. This is a good guide, I'll be following the 6 week guide.

  10. Awesome information..sometimes having too many products at a time adds to my confusion. Moving forward, I will stick to just 3 of each type in my stash...thanks Bee!

  11. Last time I did a hard protein wash my hair broke. I could hear the scrunchy scrunchy noise. Reconditioning it with moisture conditioner didn't even come to my rescue. I kinda stay away from protein, maybe because I have low porosity hair so moisture moisture. I am open to learning more. I haven't seen any low-po bloggers. Do we have low porosity naturals in the building?

  12. I currently use ORS Replenishing Conditioner and i think it a Moisture Dc.. I'll start balancing with Mayonnaise i guess


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