When we think about our natural hair it’s easy to think about things such as styling and conditioners etc.
Those things are good but if you really want to be able to take your hair to the next level then you need to start thinking about things that your hair needs in order to fully flourish.
When we begin to think this way we build a better culture for our hair.
One of the things that you should think about doing from time to time is a protein treatment for natural hair.
Let’s take a look at what a protein treatment is and how it can help us.
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What is a protein treatment?
Your natural hair is essentially made up of a protein called keratin. This is a very tough protein which makes up 80 -85% of your hair.
When you do lots of things to your hair such as colour it, chemically treat it or it has a lot of exposure to heat you can cause the protein in your hair to break down.
Protein treatments help your hair to rebuild damage to it in the same way that conditioners help to restore moisture.
When you do a protein treatment you helping to strengthen your hair strands.
What are the benefits of doing a protein treatment on curly hair?
There are many advantages to doing a protein treatment on curly hair, some of the main ones being:
- Strengthens your hair
- Repairs damage
- Adds moisture
- Restores elasticity
- Helps to add more volume and body
- Leaves your hair feeling soft and full of life
Related post: Why your hair needs the LOC method
How do you know if you need a protein treatment?
Your hair is really great at giving you simple signs as to what it needs. The more you get to know your hair the more you will understand what it does and does not need.
Some of the telltale signs that your hair is due for a treatment are as follows:
1. Dry, brittle and stringy feeling
You might start to notice that your hair feels really dry no matter how many times you try and add water or conditioner to it.
You will also start to see that some of your strands will be shorter than others which means that you are experiencing breakage.
2. Loss of elasticity
A loss of elasticity in your hair is another sign that you are due for a protein treatment.
It’s easy to see if your hair is losing it elasticity by doing a simple test.
Get a strand of your hair and gently pull on it. If the strand bounces back easily then you are ok on the elasticity front but if it does not then it’s likely that you are due a protein treatment.
When your hair is mushy is kind of feels a little like cotton wool. This is a big sign that you need a protein mask for your hair.
It’s also a good idea to do a protein treatment in the following cases:
If you have recently added colour to your hair, if you have chemically altered your hair in any way such as a relaxer or if you are about to apply heat to it.
How often should you do a protein treatment?
It really depends on your hair. You can never say that you should do a treatment every 3 weeks or make it a regular schedule.
Protein treatments can be beneficial to your hair if used in the right way but equally, they can cause damage if you overdo it.
If you are going to do a protein treatment then make sure to keep an eye on the telltale signs first.
However, if you want a general guideline then I would say roughly every 2 months would be a good estimate but do take that with a pinch of salt because there is no definitive answer to this question.
How do you know if your hair needs protein or moisture?
If your hair has too much protein it will feel quite heavy, dry and a bit like straw.
You might even notice that you will begin to experience more breakage.
You can tell if your hair needs moisture because it will likely be dull in appearance and feel dry.
If you are not sure then you should try a moisturising conditioner first. If that works out then there is no need to do the protein treatment.
If you don’t see any improvement after a moisture rich deep conditioner then you can give the protein treatment a try.
DIY protein treatment ingredients
The wonderful thing about protein treatments is that most of the ingredients can be literally found in your kitchen.
Here are a few items that you can use on your hair that will help you to add protein.
Believe it or not, an egg is extremely high in protein and therefore a great source to help you add protein to your hair.
The yolk is full of fats and protein and will give your hair a beautiful shine and leave it feeling soft.
Avocado has a lot of fatty acid and protein within it which make it great to use as a protein treatment for your natural hair.
Greek yoghurt is the easiest of all the ingredients to apply to your curly hair.
It requires minimal effort to apply and will leave your hair feeling soft and rejuvenated.
How to make your own protein treatment at home
It’s easy to make your protein treatments at home by using any of the ingredients listed above.
You can simply add an oil of your choosing to any of the above.
Coconut oil or sweet almond oil are great choices.
Just a word of caution if you are going to use egg as a protein treatment remember not to rinse your hair with warm water, only use cold otherwise you will end up with scrambled egg hair. It will be a nightmare to remove.
Protein treatments you can buy at amazon
If you don’t want the hassle of making your own protein treatments then you can easily pick some up on amazon.
Here are some good ones you can use.
Final thoughts on protein treatments for natural hair
Doing a protein treatment for natural hair is an essential part of any naturals hair regimen.
Try to remember to switch between moisture and protein conditioning in order to get your hair to the best condition as possible.
Related post: 6 Reasons your natural hair may not be growing how you want it too
Saturday 12th of September 2020
Is it healthy to have protein treatment on one week 1, then conditioning on week 2?
Curls and Cocoa
Saturday 7th of November 2020
That's what I do. I alternate between a deep condition and a protein treatment. Been working great for me. I only wash my hair every 2 weeks though so bear that in mind.
Monday 13th of July 2020
Should I follow up with a deep conditioner?
Curls and Cocoa
Monday 20th of July 2020
You shouldn't need too. Protein treatments usually cater for both regular conditioning as well as the protein aspect.