Naturally curly hair relies on a balance of proteins, nutrients, and oils to support healthy roots. Your hair is approximately 91 percent protein, and is made up of long chains of amino acids. Harsh chemical treatments, exposure to sun, pollution and lack of proper care can lead to the breaking up of these chains resulting in brittle and dull hair. Since the hair is made up of protein it would only make sense to treat your hair with protein. A protein conditioner could benefit hair that is overly relaxed or brittle. A person with brittle hair should use conditioners that have protein ingredients to help strengthen the hair follicle. These conditioners will add moisture to damaged hair, prevent further damage due to heat styling, and even mend split ends temporarily until the hair naturally repairs itself.
Basics of Protein Conditioners
A protein treatment has different protein properties that attach directly to the hair follicle and harden the cuticle layer. This places a barrier around the follicle, which protects it from further damage. There are four types of protein conditioner treatments: protein packs, reconstructors, deep penetrating treatments, and light protein treatments. The hair's current condition will decide the type of protein conditioner needed for treatment. Use a reconstructor for severely damaged hair. For moderately damaged hair, use a deep penetrating treatment. For slight damage and routine treatments, use protein packs or light treatments. Below is a sample list of each type of protein conditioner.
Palmers Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack
Nutress Protein Pack
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstrcutor
Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor
K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor
Affirm 5 in 1 Reconstructor
Creme of Nature Conditioning Reconstructor
Deep penetrating treatments
Dr. Miracles Deep Conditioner
Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonniase
JessieCurl Deep Conditioning Treatment
DevaCurl Heaven in Hair
My Honey Child Honey Hair Mask
As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment
Light protein treatments
Aubrey Organics GPB
Neutrogena Triple Mositure Deep Recovery Mask
Hydratherma Naturals- Protein Leave In
Using Protein Treatments
Some hair types will need more protein treatments than others. For slightly damaged hair, a treatment once per month is more than adequate. For severely damaged hair or hair that is often styled, a treatment once per week will protect the hair follicles from further damage and help repair any current damage. Natural hair that has little to no damage would still benefit from a protein treatment at least once every two months to keep up the hair's natural strength and shine.
Follow the directions listed on the protein treatment's packaging for the best results. Make sure that you buy the type of treatment you need based on the hair's current condition and remember to balance protein with moisture. Too much protein can make your hair rigid and lead to dryness and possibly breakage.
I use Aubrey's GPB weekly, with great success. Not too much protein... just enough to keep things balanced. My hair is always left stronger but softer and shinier because of it. Some folks, especially those reppin' #TeamHighPorosity, swear by the power of the incredible, edible egg-- just whisk it into some yogurt, add a little oil, apply for 15 minutes (NO HEAT!) and rinse with luke warm, not hot water, lol, or risk frying that bad boy up in your curls.
- Look for hydrolyzed proteins in rinse-off products. These can penetrate hair and add strength and shine.
- Collagen is helpful in improving hair elasticity.
- Keratin is thought to be strengthening and improves manageability.
- Wheat protein adds strength and helps retain moisture.
- Soy protein and other plant proteins also have moisture-attracting (humectant) qualities.
- Silk protein tends to soften hair.