As a curly hair girl, I realized from, a young age, that I enjoy researching and discovering new ways or products that make maintaining my hair easier. From different hair growth tips, like the rice water method for hair growth, to trying out the latest curly hair products.
Now that was never a problem until I came across protein treatments. We know the basics, that proteins are essential in maintaining the health of your hair. But did you know too much protein can damage your hair?
Protein tends to be a key ingredient in many natural hair products. So when you apply all those different products to your hair, without properly washing your hair, it causes a product build-up. This leads to a lot of protein in your hair and that protein is then absorbed by the hair’s surface. This results in what we call a PROTEIN OVERLOAD.
What is a protein overload?
A protein overload is when the moisture and the protein levels in your hair are unbalanced. Not everyone’s proteins/ moisture levels are the same and the “balance” might vary from head to head. While some might experience a protein overload from having tons of proteins, others might be protein sensitive and just a little protein can be damaging.
We might not have the same moisture/ protein levels but the symptoms of a protein overload are universal and they include:
- Dry and brittle hair
- In some cases, your hair can change the texture
- Your hair will lack shine
- Your hair will be more susceptible to shedding and breakage
Now I know the symptoms sound scary but there is a way to fix it and prevent it
How to fix a protein overload?
A protein overload might be easy to get but it is difficult to fix. Not impossible but it can take weeks or months to fix, you just need consistency, patients, and the below steps:
- You need to clean your products, that means giving away or throwing away all products with protein in it. Now, this is not easy because it entails knowing the proteins but it is worth it.
A few proteins found in-store products are:
- Silk protein
- Soy protein
- Wheat protein
- Hydrolyzed rice protein
- Oat flour
- Hydrolyzed collagen
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Now that you removed all the protein-filled products from your cupboards, it’s time to invest in protein-free products. Products that are silicon, paraben, protein, and sulfate-free are perfect for curly girls.
Clarify your hair, invest in a good clarifying shampoo. This will help remove the excess protein from your hair and product build-up.
- Focus on adding moisture back into your hair by using or trying the below methods. Moisturize and seal. After moisturizing seal your hair with natural oil. Practice hair stemming Apply a weekly deep conditioner to your hair, after cleansing with a clarifying shampoo.
- It also helps to know what type of porosity your hair has.
Have you ever experienced a protein overload? If so comment down below on what methods and products worked for you.