Frizzy hair needs special attention. As a general rule, we talk about hydration and nutrition. However, proteins are of paramount importance for your hair, since they help strengthen the hair fiber and slow down hair loss.
Your body uses protein to build cells, including your hair, skin, and nail cells.
What is protein for hair? About 80% to 90% of your hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Keratin, which hair is made of, is a solid protein that can break down with exposure to sun, wind, pollutants, daily maintenance, handling, heat tools, and chemical treatments like coloring.
This is where the use of protein care comes in to help temporarily repair the hair fiber. Protein treatments allow you to regain beautiful hair, a good reason to integrate them into your hair routine.
What to know? I tell you everything!
The role of protein care
Again, the hair needs to be nourished and hydrated , in order to be supple and soft to the touch. They also need protein to strengthen the hair fiber and prevent breakage.
To give you an overview, keratin is a natural protein produced by your body. It represents about 90% of the structure of the hair.
Its presence plays an important role in the health of the scalp . Clearly, it plays a protective role for your hair .
Hydration alone is not enough to strengthen the hair fiber. Indeed, if your hair is damaged or weakened, it strongly needs a higher protein intake than hydration.
Protein treatments aim to strengthen fragile and damaged hair , by restoring suppleness and elasticity.
In addition, proteins give new life to hair follicles and make them more resistant to breakage. This treatment is suitable for all hair types (colored, normal, unruly, curly, etc.).
How often should a protein treatment be performed?
Depending on the condition of your hair, it will be necessary to adapt the treatment avoiding damage to the hair fiber. There are also hair products rich in protein.
You can use these protein-rich cosmetics as a cure or maintenance.
If you have dry and damaged hair , it is advisable to perform a protein treatment every 4 to 6 weeks . On the other hand, if the hair is really very damaged, a one-month treatment is strongly recommended. I also advise you to complete your treatment with vegetable oil baths, a mask and a protein shampoo.
In the case of brittle, split ends, or even fragile hair , make a protein mask once or twice a month. Always be sure to trim split ends for best results. Rest assured, hair grows best when it’s healthy.
Hair in a state of transition to natural hair also needs protein care. It is also recommended when you remove your protective hairstyle, and if your hair is regularly exposed to the hair dryer, straightener or brushing.
How do I know if my hair needs protein?
1. Your hair is very porous
High porosity hair (find your porosity here) often has tears in the strands, making it more susceptible to damage.
These tears allow the hair to absorb too much water, which can cause frizz, tangles, and even color loss in colored hair.
To fill these gaps, you need a protein treatment to strengthen the hair fiber.
The treatment works by nourishing the hair with vital proteins that help seal those gaps and create a stronger canvas for styling.
2. Your hair has lost its elasticity
Is your hair difficult to curl or even loses its natural curls? Well, it may be due to the loss of elasticity in your hair.
When your hair loses its elasticity, it’s usually a sign that it needs a protein treatment. To find out the elasticity of your hair , take a section of hair (still attached to your head) and wet it.
Once the wick is wet, stretch it. If the hair returns to its original length without breaking, then your locks are balanced.
On the other hand, if the wick doesn’t bounce back , feels limp, or breaks, it definitely needs a protein boost .
By increasing the protein level of your hair, you increase its elasticity, which makes it look fuller, full of life and easier to comb.
3. Your hair is “loose”
Stringy, flat, or limp hair is a sure sign that your hair needs a protein treat.
Normally, hair should be full of life with volume, so when it starts to fall out, be careful. By reintroducing protein into the hair, you can revitalize your strands and bring them to a healthier state.
4. Your texture is no longer the same
It is not a good sign. Generally, when you feel that your hair texture is not the same or weird, your hair may be damaged.
This can happen if your hair is chemically treated too frequently or has suffered excessive damage.
The hair fiber has been weakened, their texture changes and gives off an unpleasant feeling. By calling in your stylist for a protein treatment, you can help bring your locks back to life.
5. You recently straightened your hair
When you straighten your hair, you totally (or partially) change the natural texture of your hair.
If you straighten your hair often, you are very likely to get split ends and damage your hair. In order to give your hair a better base, ask your hairstylist for a protein treatment.
Where do you find protein care?
Protein is found in the following foods:
- Coconut oil.
- The egg yolk.
- Coconut milk.
Virtually all hair care products have protein. You can easily find them in supermarkets or even specialized shops. The protein treatments are varied:
- A milk.
- A spray.
- A hair mask.
- A leave-in conditioner.
- Fortifying shampoo.
Some hair products may include the mention ” restructuring ” or ” repairer “. However, be careful when choosing your product, especially the ingredients.
Absolutely avoid products containing parabens, sulfates or silicones, which only weigh down your mane instead of hydrating them.
Here are 3 ready-made protein treatments:
- Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Mask.
- Aphogee Intensive Keratin Reconstructor.
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner.
DIY: 6 homemade protein care recipes
1. Shea Butter & Coconut Oil
You will need :
- 4-5 spoons of pure shea butter.
- 1 egg.
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil.
- 1 Greek yogurt.
- 3 to 5 tablespoons pure castor oil.
- 1 tablespoon of honey.
First, warm the coconut oil for about 1 minute.
Next, warm the shea butter for about 1 minute.
Now mix the two and stir well. When the mixture is smooth, add the other ingredients: castor oil, yogurt, honey and egg.
Apply this mixture all over your head and let it sit for 25 to 30 minutes under plastic wrap and/or a hot towel. before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
This recipe is effective for the following reasons:
The shea butter in this protein treatment is well known for its deep hydration and protein-rich ingredients that help replenish lost protein in hair and promote growth.
Coconut oil, castor oil, yogurt, and eggs are one of the best-known sources of natural protein that can effectively replenish all the lost protein in your hair.
Honey is a recognized natural humectant (which attracts moisture) that gives your hair deep hydration.
Moreover, being rich in powerful antioxidants and nutrients, it not only protects your hair from environmental damage but also promotes your hair growth.
2. Egg yolk & honey
You will need :
- 1 egg yolk.
- 2 tbsp almond oil.
- 1 spoon of honey.
First, take the three ingredients in the mentioned amounts and mix them evenly.
When the mixture is homogeneous, apply it all over the head and leave it to act for 25 to 30 minutes under a plastic film and/or a hot towel.
Rinse off this mask with lukewarm water, then apply a mild shampoo and/or conditioner.
The reasons why this protein hair treatment works are:
First, this mask as a whole is deeply hydrating and also acts as a very good conditioner.
Egg is a rich source of protein that your hair is deprived of, while honey and almond oil are excellent nutrient providers and powerful antioxidants against environmental damage.
3. Mayonnaise & Avocado
You will need :
- 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise.
- 1 ripe avocado.
First, blend the avocado and add some mayonnaise to it, then blend the two well until smooth. It is important to mix so as not to have lumps in the hair.
Then apply this mixture to all of your hair and leave it to act for 40 to 50 minutes under plastic wrap and/or a hot towel.
Then, rinse off this hair mask with lukewarm water and use a good mild shampoo and/or conditioner.
Why does this protein mask work?
Since mayonnaise is mainly made of egg which is packed with powerful proteins and vitamins that are enough to fill the protein and vitamin deficiency of your hair and bring strength.
The fatty oils in this product are a source of powerful antioxidants that not only protect your hair from environmental damage but also act as a good natural conditioner.
4. Yogurt & Egg
You will need :
- 1 egg white.
- 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt.
First, mix all the ingredients in a bowl to get a smooth consistency.
Then apply the product all over the hair and leave it to act for 40 to 50 minutes under plastic wrap and/or a hot towel.
Rinse and wash as usual.
Yogurt is a natural exfoliant and a rich source of protein that can stimulate hair growth and bring strength to hair very quickly.
The rich protein content of the egg replenishes your hair’s depleted protein stores.
5. Avocado & Coconut Oil
You will need :
- 1 ripe avocado.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
First, carefully blend an avocado and add some coconut oil to it.
Mix well until you get a smooth consistency.
Now apply this paste on your hair from root to tip and leave it on for 30-40 minutes.
Rinse with lukewarm water and wash as usual.
Coconut oil is naturally very penetrating, very moisturizing and rich in protein, which helps repair your damaged hair from within.
Plus, avocado is naturally rich in powerful antioxidants that protect your hair from environmental damage and nourish nutrient-starved strands.
6. Egg & Mayonnaise
- 1 egg white.
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise.
To start, mix all the ingredients together to form a uniform paste.
Then, apply the mixture all over your head and leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes.
After this time, rinse it off with lukewarm water and use a good mild shampoo and/or conditioner.
Why is this protein treatment effective?
Mayonnaise and egg being one of the richest sources of protein , this homemade protein treatment is the best for repairing your most protein-poor hair strands.
Questions that will interest you…
What are the side effects of too much protein intake? Excessive use of protein care can make hair brittle, especially on fine hair, which eventually leads to breakage. If your hair has too much protein, temporarily stop using it and focus on using moisturizing and nourishing treatments, which will help restore its elasticity.
Are protein treatments different from other hair masks? Regular hair masks are formulated to rehydrate hair, keep it soft, and improve elasticity. They nourish dry and brittle hair. Protein treatments strengthen the hair to prevent damage, but they don’t necessarily moisturize the hair. Hair needs a balance of moisture and protein to stay healthy and maintain its length.
How often do protein treatments? The condition of your hair is a primary factor that can help determine how often you need to do protein treatment. If your hair is chemically treated (straightening, coloring) or heat styled regularly, using a protein treatment once every 4-6 weeks can restore and revitalize weak or brittle hair.