First of all, I'm not CG, but I have cut back on how often I use shampoo. Some of my conditioners are cone-free, others not.
So, is there a big difference if the protein is in the shampoo versus in the conditioner? I was at my parents' house last week and used what seemed to be a protein rich shampoo and my hair liked it. Maybe I just needed protein and my hair was happy to get it through any source.
Sulfates open the hair cuticle (that's why a lot of curlies and wavies avoid them). Several years ago my stylist told me that hair will pick up more from shampoo, which makes sense now that I understand the cuticle lifting thing. That being said, I get most of my protein through actual protein treatments or in my styling products. I don't really look specifically at the protein in my conditioners because there I'm more concerned about moisture
Also, does the need for protein change with the seasons? We all change up the routine at least a little as the weather changes, and I'm just wondering whether or not protein needs stay constant.
This I'm not really sure of- I only started learning all of this in November, so I haven't been through a major change of season yet.
So the point of all this is... I realized that I don't have any conditioners with protein high on the ingredient list, so I have to go shopping. Any suggestions? Nothing too expensive. Drugstore, Sally's, Target.
At Sally's they have GVP Reconstructing Conditioner, which is a generic version of K-Pac. There's also a homemade PT recipe that was created by IAGirl that's very cheap and easy to make and gives great results. HTH