Back

Power of Protein Treatments: Strengthening and Repairing Natural Hair

Subscribe to our newsletter (no spam!)

Table of Contents

Protein treatments are necessary for maintaining the health and vitality of natural hair. These hair treatments play an essential role in strengthening hair and restoring its health and resilience.

Protein treatments are necessary for maintaining the health and vitality of natural hair. These hair treatments are essential in strengthening hair and restoring its health and resilience.

In this article, we’ll discuss the significance of protein treatments for natural hair and explore how they work to nourish, strengthen, and revitalise your tresses.

Understanding Natural Hair

Natural hair refers to hair that has not been chemically treated with relaxers or straighteners.

It has a unique texture and curl patterns that require specific attention to maintain good health and appearance.

Natural hair is more prone to dryness, breakage, and damage than other hair types.

This is because the natural oils produced by the scalp have a challenging time traveling down the hair shaft due to its coiled structure.

Plus, factors such as heat styling, environmental stressors, and harsh chemical treatments can further contribute to damage and weaken hair strands.

The Role of Proteins in Hair Health

Proteins are the building blocks of hair, providing strength, structure, and resilience to each strand.

The three main proteins found in hair are:

  • keratin
  • collagen
  • elastin

These proteins help maintain the integrity of the hair shaft and prevent breakage and damage.

But, factors such as heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental stressors can deplete the natural protein levels in the hair, leading to weakened strands and increased susceptibility to damage.

This is where protein treatments come into play…

Common Signs of Protein Deficiency in Hair

Before diving into the benefits of protein treatments, recognize the signs of protein deficiency your hair may be experiencing.

These signs may include:

  • Excessive breakage: If you notice that your hair is breaking off easily, especially when combing or styling, it could be a sign of protein deficiency.

  • Weak, limp hair: Protein-deficient hair may feel weak, limp, and lackluster, lacking the strength and resilience typical of healthy hair.

  • Increased porosity: Protein helps maintain the hair’s structure and integrity, so protein-deficient hair may have higher porosity, meaning it absorbs moisture quickly but struggles to retain it.

  • Lack of elasticity: Healthy hair should be able to stretch and return to its original curl pattern without breaking. Protein-deficient hair may lack elasticity, leading to increased breakage and damage.

Recognizing these signs can help you know if your natural hair could benefit from protein treatments to strengthen it.

Benefits of Protein Treatments

Protein treatments offer lots of benefits for natural hair, including:

  • Strengthening the hair shaft: Protein treatments penetrate the hair shaft, reinforcing its structure and strengthening weak or damaged areas.
  • Repairing damage: Protein treatments help repair damage caused by heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental stressors, such as sun exposure and pollution.
  • Increasing elasticity: Proteins like keratin and collagen improve the hair’s elasticity, reducing breakage and promoting healthier, more resilient strands.
  • Enhancing moisture retention: Treatments can help improve the hair’s ability to retain moisture, preventing dryness and dehydration.
  • Adding shine and smoothness: Treatments can impart a healthy shine and smoothness to the hair, enhancing its overall appearance and manageability.

Types of Protein Treatments

Various types of protein treatments are available, ranging from DIY treatments using natural ingredients to professional salon treatments.

Common types of protein treatments include:

  • Protein-rich conditioners: These are regular conditioners infused with proteins such as keratin, collagen, or silk amino acids to help strengthen and nourish the hair.
  • Protein masks: are intensive treatments that contain higher concentrations of proteins and other nourishing ingredients to repair and revitalize damaged hair.
  • Protein treatments with hydrolyzed proteins contain hydrolyzed proteins, which have been broken down into smaller molecules for better absorption into the hair shaft.

How Protein Treatments Work

Protein treatments work by replenishing the protein levels in the hair, restoring its strength, elasticity, and resilience.

When applied to the hair, the proteins penetrate the hair shaft, filling in gaps and cracks in the cuticle layer. This helps reinforce the hair’s structure and prevent breakage and damage.

Plus, treatments help to temporarily patch up areas of damage along the hair shaft, smoothing the surface. This can result in hair that looks and feels healthier.

Tips for Using Protein Treatments

To get the most out of protein treatments for natural hair, consider the following tips:

  • Choose the right type of treatment for your hair needs: When choosing a protein treatment, consider your hair type, texture, and specific concerns. If unsure, consult a hairstylist or trichologist for personalized recommendations.
  • Follow the instructions: Always follow the instructions provided with the protein treatment to ensure optimal results. Overuse of protein treatments can lead to protein overload, which can cause stiffness and breakage.
  • Use heat for deeper penetration: Some protein treatments, such as using a steamer or hooded dryer, may benefit from heat to help the proteins penetrate the hair shaft more effectively.
  • Balance with moisture: While protein treatments are essential for strengthening the hair, it’s also crucial to maintain a balance with moisturizing treatments to keep the hair hydrated.
  • Be consistent: Incorporate protein treatments into your regular hair care routine to maintain the health and integrity of your natural hair over time.

DIY Protein Treatments at Home

If you prefer a more natural approach to hair care or want to save money, you can create DIY protein treatments using common household ingredients.

Here are a few DIY treatments you can try at home:

  • Egg mask: Eggs are rich in protein and can help strengthen and nourish the hair. Beat one or two eggs and apply the mixture to damp hair. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
  • Yoghurt and honey mask: Yoghurt contains protein and lactic acid, which can help strengthen and moisturise the hair. Mix yoghurt with honey to create a creamy mask, apply it to damp hair, and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Avocado and banana mask: Avocado and banana are both rich in vitamins and minerals that can nourish and strengthen the hair. Mash a ripe avocado and banana together, apply the mixture to damp hair, and leave it on for 30-45 minutes before rinsing.

These DIY protein treatments can effectively strengthen and repair the hair when used regularly as part of your hair care routine.

Professional Protein Treatments: What to Expect

If DIY treatments aren’t giving you the results you desire, or if you prefer a more intensive approach, consider professional protein treatments available at salons.

Here’s what to expect from a professional protein treatment:

  • Consultation: Your hairstylist will assess your hair’s condition and discuss your specific concerns and goals to determine the most suitable protein treatment for you.
  • Application: The protein treatment will be applied to your hair, either as a standalone treatment or as part of a more extensive service, such as a deep conditioning or hair reconstruction service.
  • Processing: Depending on the type of protein treatment used, you may need to sit under a hooded dryer or steamer to allow the proteins to penetrate the hair shaft effectively.
  • Rinsing and styling: Once the treatment has been processed, your hairstylist will rinse it thoroughly and style your hair as desired, leaving you with stronger, healthier-looking strands.

Professional protein treatments can provide more concentrated and customised results than DIY treatments, making them an excellent option for individuals with severely damaged or protein-deficient hair.

Caring for Protein-Treated Hair

After getting a treatment, it’s essential to care for your hair properly to maintain its strength and vitality. Here are some tips for caring for protein-treated hair:

  • Use sulphate-free shampoo: Sulphate can strip the hair of its natural oils and proteins, so opt for a sulphate-free shampoo that will cleanse the hair gently without causing further damage.
  • Deep condition regularly: Follow up your protein treatment with a moisturising deep conditioner to restore hydration and balance to the hair.
  • Avoid over-processing: Too much protein can lead to protein overload, causing the hair to become stiff and brittle. Limit the frequency of protein treatments and alternate them with moisturising treatments to maintain a healthy balance.
  • Protect your hair: Minimise heat styling and avoid harsh chemical treatments that can further damage the hair. Use heat protectant products when heat styling, and protect your hair from the sun and environmental stressors.
  • Trim regularly: Regular trims are essential for removing split ends and preventing further damage from travelling up the hair shaft.

Key Takeaways: Harnessing the Benefits of Protein Treatments for Natural Hair

Protein treatments are essential for natural hair care. They offer benefits such as strengthening, temporarily repairing damage, and enhancing moisture retention.

DIY protein treatments using household ingredients like eggs, yoghurt, and avocado can effectively strengthen and nourish hair.

Professional protein treatments offer a more intensive and customised approach tailored to individual hair needs and concerns.

Taking good care of your hair is important for healthy hair. That means using shampoo without sulphates, conditioning your hair deeply often, and not doing too much chemical stuff. Doing these things will help ensure your protein treatments work well for your hair.

Embracing the power of protein treatments is key to maintaining healthy, beautiful natural hair, ensuring solid and resilient locks that shine with vitality and beauty.