Protein Treatments For Natural Hair: Benefits And How To Use.
Sept 02, 2022
Benefits of protein treatment for natural hair
How did your last washday go? Were your curls feeling limp, brittle, got more frizz, and than definition with twist-outs even after deep conditioning? Then it might be time for a protein treatment.

We all know how important it is to incorporate protein into our diet, it is after all the building block for our body's cells and muscles. But it might interest you to know that proteins perform the same magic as well for the outer parts of our body as well, like our hair.
Human hair is quite an intricate fiber made up of water, lipids, minerals, pigments, and keratin. A sizeable amount of our hair strands is a protein (Keratin), so it stands to reason that ingesting and applying an active percentage of protein will have therapeutic effects on hair strands.
Join me as we explore protein treatments, why you need one, and how you can feed your curls some of their goodness.
What is a Protein Treatment and Why Do You Need One?
A balanced diet will maintain your body's protein levels and support hair growth. But your hair strands encounter lots of stress every day, from moisture loss and gains to hair manipulation and colour treatments. All these stress factors break down the outer layer (Cuticle) of your hair strands over time and this is where protein treatments come in.
A protein treatment reinforces the outer layer of hair strands by filling in the damaged parts and strengthening the cuticle to give healthier curls. All good things right? But protein treatments can be tricky when not used correctly.
How Do You Know You Need A Protein Treatment?
Protein treatments should be used only when needed. Its not a weekly treatment like your deep conditioner. Now the question is, how do you find out if your curls need some protein pick-me-up? Here are some indications of a protein deficit in curls;
-Limp and Mushy Hair
-Excessive Breakage.
-Hair acquires a gummy texture.
-Color Treated Hair:- Chemical color treatments break down the hair cuticles greatly.
-Low elasticity in curls:- This simply means that when extended without heat, your curls do not bounce to their original curl state and length.

Are you experiencing any of these in your curls presently? here are more reasons you definitely need a protein treatment today.
Benefits Of Protein Treatment
1. Increased Hair Elasticity
Hair strands, deficit in protein will stretch to their limit and breaks off. Protein helps your curls to be extended and return to their original state without breaking.
2. Strengthens Hair
Protein is the building block of hair strands and its presence in hair follicles strengthen the entire length of your curls.
3. Reduces Breakage and Split Ends
Protein treatments fill in damaged areas in the cuticles of your hair strands, repairing split ends and strengthening the hair to prevent breakage.
4. Healthier Curls
Protein treatments improve density and volume, giving curls a healthier appearance. While helping maintain the natural balance of oil, nutrients, and protein in your curls.
5. It forms a protective layer over hair strands that protects them from further damage.
How To Use A Protein Treatment
Professional-grade Intense Chemical protein treatment used only by the hair stylist can be a bit drying. But luckily there are gentler at-home protein treatment products you can apply yourself in these steps;
1. Apply treatment to pre-detangled curls from scalp to ends and comb through to ensure even distribution

2. Cover hair with a shower cap and steam

3. Leave the treatment on for 30-45mins

4. Remove the cap and rinse off. Follow up with a conditioner or shampoo as indicated in product directions.

Another at-home protein treatment option is a DIY Protein mask that can be made with ingredients in the kitchen and applied as stated above. Some easy DIY protein masks include;
-Rice water rinse
-Egg + Yogurt mask
- Avocado + Coconut milk Hair Pack.

But if like me, you are part of the 'no food in my hair' gang, then use afore mentioned conditioning protein treatment products. Can't figure out which conditioners are protein treatments?
Well, some are clearly called that in their branding, and for others you can watch out for protein ingredients such as; hydrolyzed wheat protein, coconut oils, honey, e.t.c.
Protein Treatments and Hair Porosity
All hair types can use a protein treatment. However, color-treated hair and high porosity hair types with highly porous hair cuticles will need more frequent protein treatments than say lower porosity hair types.
Moisture-Protein Balance
Moisture-protein balance in your hair strands simply refers to the moisture and protein contents of yoir curls, and one should not exceed the other. Excessive protein treatment can reverse all the good you have already received leading to dry, brittle hair prone to breakage.
While excessive deep conditioning without the occasional protein treatment can lead to a condition known as Hygral Fatigue.
So it is crucial to maintain a balance between both.


Still not sure if you need a protein treatment?
Select a piece of your hair, pull it straight to its maximum length, let it go, and watch closely to see if it bounces back to its original and natural curly state and how much it does. This helps you determine your hair elasticity.

If it does not bounce back then it needs protein and its moisture content is becoming damaging, even if the hair is dry at that moment. But if highly elastic but dry, go ahead with a deep conditioning treatment.
FAQ
1. How often do you need a protein treatment?
For color-treated hair or damaged, use once every 4weeks / Once a month
For healthy protein maintenance, use once every 2 -4 months as needed

2. Why did protein treatment make my curls fragile and brittle.
Excessive protein treatment can cause this. Immediately start a weekly moisture-rich deep conditioning treatments to restore balance.
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