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Curly Nikki

Protein Treatments for Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202134 Comments
Protein Treatments for Natural Hair

 via For the Fabulous and Frugal

Tiffany writes:
“I want to do a really good protein treatment, but I’ll be honest, I’m not a “naturalista natural”, meaning the DIY mixes aren’t really for me. Does anyone have any brands they can recommend?”

Jamila responds:

The Science of Black Hair explains,

“Protein is what
gives the hair its strength and structure. Hair is about 70% keratin
protein by nature. There are a wide variety of proteins that serve
different functions and roles in hair care. Some enhance elasticity,
while others reduce it. These proteins bind to the hair cuticle and help
temporarily rebuild any weakened areas. Protein-based products
reinforce the hair shaft, and help it remain strong enough to fight
Some proteins are
stronger than others, but daily or even weekly use of even the milder
protein treatments may result in an imbalance between the protein and
moisture levels within the hair strands in some people. This is where
product percent composition really plays an important role. For example,
every product that contains keratin protein is not going to feel the
same way across the board, and every product that contains glycerin or
water is not going to feel the same either! The protein in question
could make up 30% of the product or 0.3%! Who knows! You have to play
around with different products to know how strong they are on your
particular hair. Your hair protein tolerance will vary from product to
product, not necessarily protein to protein.
Protein is found
most prevalently in products like instant conditioners (bargain brands
like Suave and V05), leave-in conditioners, protein reconstructor
conditioner treatments, and even some moisturizers.”
Some good protein products to try are:

Shampoos- Mane N Tail Shampoo, Motions Lavish Shampoo

Conditioners-Motions Moisture Silk Protein conditioner, Aubrey Organics GPB

Leave Ins/Other Products-
Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Aphogee Treatment for Damaged
Hair, Aphogee Green Tea Reconstructor, Infusium 23 Leave In Conditioner,
Nexxus Emergencee, Nexxus Keraphix, Motions CPR, Cantu Shea Butter
BreakCure, Cantu Shea Butter GrowStrong, Profectiv Breakfree
Moisturizer, Profectiv Megagrowth Moisturizer, Elasta QP Mango Butter
Moisturizer, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Mane N Tail Conditioner, Garnier
Fructis Long and Strong, Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Hair Mayo, Got2B
Soft 1 Minute Emergency, Rusk Sensories 60 second Revive, ORS
replenishing pak, Garnier Fructis Long N Strong

Leave Ins/Other Moisturizers: Kenra
Daily Defense leave in conditioner mist, Dove Intense Moisture Mist,
Salerm 21 leave in conditioner, Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil
Moisturizer, Neutragena Silk Touch Leave In Conditioner
Do you all do protein treatments? What do you use?

CN Says:
I LOVE Aubrey’s GPB Balancing conditioner… it’s hands down my favorite light protein treatment ever.  Also, if you’re looking to go the all natural route, you have the option of using the incredible edible egg or even yogurt… or mixing the two!  I don’t do egg treatments but I’ve done yogurt treatments with great success!  Strong yet soft and moisturized hair.


  • Jessica Coletrain says:

    I think I'll start with this and see how it goes! Thanks! :)

  • SavanahRae says:

    What she said

  • SavanahRae says:

    I use protein but I dont use it every week.

  • SavanahRae says:

    lol!!! yes they are messy.

  • SavanahRae says:

    Don't be, you have to try it before you knock it. Start with a light protein first.

  • SavanahRae says:

    For a light protein treatment I use the ORS conditioner that smells like citrus.

  • hairscapades says:

    I mix my GPB with Vatika oil and use it the same way. AMUHZING!! And I avoided protein because of always having that brittle, dry, straw-like feeling afterwards. And then, my world was changed when someone told me to make sure to use a moisturizing DC AFTER a protein treatment. *DING, DING, DING* I was like, "What the frick?!?! Why didn't they say soooo?!???!" So, for anyone who has been running away from protein, but has been experiencing breakage, spongy hair and/or what seems to be crazy shedding, you may want to give protein a try. I know that once I learned how to use it properly, it was a game changer!


  • Davina916 says:

    I don't use protein treatments. I tried Aphogee years back, but I didn't like it.

  • Jessica Coletrain says:

    With all the talk of protein sensitivity, I'm scared to go near any type of protein

  • Derika says:

    My hair hates protein too. I stay away from it. I need more moisture than anything. I'm right there with ya sister. I found out I have low porosity hair. Maybe you can look into it too. I think low porosity hair does not need much protein.

  • Hilary B. says:

    thanks for responding! this was really informative

  • Kudos says:

    Protein treatments aren't for everyone. I've tried a couple and my hair felt like straw afterwards. Everything's not for everybody. Just find out what works for your hair.

  • Netta says:

    I use LeKair Cholesterol once a month to DC and then if I feel I need a little more, I might add half an egg to an oil mix.

  • BB says:

    I have 4b/c hair and I use GPB as a deep conditioner on dry hair. I also add coconut oil with the GPB as I deep condition it because it helps for me to easily finger detangle my hair while I am dcing. My hair loves it. I do not want to sound like a spokes person for this product but after using it my hair is very moisturizing, shiny, and soft. After I apply the GPB, I rinse with somewhat cold, instead of luke warm, water.

  • stephanie says:

    I do use a protein treatment, usually every 4 to 6 weeks. The protein in my Ecostyler gel works and keeps hair a little stronger too.
    BTW… These trending now gossip links at the bottom of the post, wow! Some are just messy!!!! Interesting new feature here at the site.

  • hairscapades says:

    Gwenna4ya, when you tried it, did you follow the instructions and use it on dry hair BEFORE shampooing? I tried using the HSR AFTER shampooing like you would most DCs and it did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for me. Then a friend told me to follow the directions (lol) and I did and it was AMAZING!! THEN I tried the GPB … Changed my life!!!! My hair was rejuvenated!! Now, this isn't to say it will work for you at all b/c, as we know, what works for one may not work for others. But, just wanted to see if you tried it before shampooing and had those results. Sometimes small tweaks can make all the difference in the world.

    So, yeah, in regard to the quesiton, Aubrey GPB all the way!! I had good results with ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor and the 2 step the one time I tried it. But my curls didn't start popping until after I started using Aubrey GPB!! It was a Godsend for me! My little trick is that I mix it with Vatika Oil as a pre-poo/DC. Hair Heaven!! ;)


  • Gwenn4ya says:

    Honestly, I haven't figured the whole protein thing out yet and I'm going on 2 years natural. It makes my hair hard and dry, so I stear clear for them. I've tried Aubrey's GPB but it didnt work for me. It kinda just sat on top of my hair. It didn't penetrate it at all. My hair felt hard. I'm still in search of whether my hair likes protein or not.

  • Katrina says:

    I've used the Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment, and, it worked fine for me. Like, you, I'm hesitant to try Aubrey's and it doesn't work out. Other treatments, like putting an egg or honey in my conditioner, made my scalp itch.

  • Shayla Smith says:

    Anyone with 4bish 4cish hair that uses protein? I'm afraid because the one time I used it my hair dried out. I would love to try Aubrey's GPB but don't know if it will work for me…I've wasted so much $$ on hair products lately.

  • Megan M. says:

    I do an egg treatment with olive oil or coconut oil every two months or as needed. My hair after is so soft and less hair breaks/sheds. Sometimes when I have extra money I will buy the one n' only argan oil hydrating masque from Sally's( 10.00 for a 8oz jar) it has a combo of moisture and hydrolized keratin protein this was my first protein masque I ever purchased and I loved it down to the very end of the product. I am left with soft, strong, less breakage, and moisturized hair.

  • Sydney says:

    I do a full protein treatment once a month using Aphogee's 2 minute treatment. I do a weekly DT which also has a little protein in it and my leave in (Cantu Shea Butter or Lacio Lacio) also has a little protein in it. My hair loves it! I definitely make sure to keep my hair moisturized so that it stays balanced.

  • Angie B. says:

    I use the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment every 6-8 weeks. I like it.

  • Brooke B. says:

    I use yogurt, honey & oil mix or I will add a egg to my henna treatment.

  • LM says:

    Does Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie not qualify? It has silk protein. I don't know much about protein, but I thought I was doing something good for my hair by using it.

  • Abstract says:

    When your wet hair feels weak and stretchy or "gummy", like it has too much elasticity. But instead of heavy protein treatments, I've been alternating my bi-weekly deep conditioning sessions with a moisturizing deep conditioner and then next time a protein deep conditioner. So far so good, but I'll keep paying attention to how my hair responds, but I think this may be the way to go for me.

  • All8S says:

    Phytokeratine reparative shampoo and condtioner, AO GBP conditioner…These products are my staple strengthening products alongside my DIY mixes.

  • Hilary B. says:

    This has always been a confusing topic for me. How do you know when it's time to do a protein treatment?

  • Naturally Esq says:

    I alternate between Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor and a Cherry Lola treatment.

  • Pam says:

    I really love Aubrey Organics GPB as well, it really light. I also like Giovanni's Smooth as Silk Extreme protein treatment; it is a little stronger than GPB but gives excellent protein treatments, shine, and moisture.

  • sammiegotsoul says:

    I use a spiral solutions repairing protein treatment on my hair and when I tell you that this once a month treatment does my hair some good. I mean …. g o o d. If you could imagine the benefits ill list you some of the beneficial ingredients ; water, hydrolyzed keratin protein, ricebran oil, hydrolyzed rice protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein,hydrolyzed oat protein, panthenol, hydrolyzed jojoba protein and more. Now my hair loves protein and I always keep it very moisturized and deep condition to keep a balance. This stuff is the bomb! And on the liost the keratin is the second ingredient behind the water and it smell ohh soo fantastically correct ! Lol, I love this stuff, and no dry feel or frizz.

  • Caramelcurls says:

    Ditto Nik! I LOVE Aubrey Organics GBP conditioner. It strengthens my hair, without drying it out, and it the texture is creamy and thick. I alternate AO GBP, AND AO White Camelia every week, so I use the GBP 2X a month. So far, so good.

  • Esther Komolafe says:

    I do protien treatments once a month and I use ion repair solutions.

  • Natural83 says:

    I definitely cosign using Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner! It works wonders, especially when you sit under the steamer with it!

  • Sarah Gee says:

    no need to get complicated… just smear some Greek yogurt in your hair. but some good brands are Aubrey Organics GPB, Curl Junkie Deep Fix and Repair Me! look for a "hydrolyzed" protein for the best results.

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