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You purchase something new, because your hair is lacking something, is dry, damaged or your just feeling inspired to try something you haven't before. It goes well for a day or two, then disaster strikes! DRY brittle hair, with no life whatsoever, in the worst condition you've ever known it to be. In defense of this, you use more of your new product, or even get a new one, and it gets WORSE! We are talking straw.
What's going on? This happened to me, so in finding out what it was, and how to fix it, I thought I would share with those whom it might happen to (or already has!). It could simply be the dreaded protein disaster. Many people find protein beneficial to their hair, protein fillers to repair damaged hair, protein packs before colorings, and find them miraculous. Unfortuately, there are some of us few, that protein of any kind can wreak absolute disaster.
Ways to realize it might be a protein mutiny?
Hair suddenly goes haywire, we're talking brillo pad rough.
Extra oiling, treatments and packs do no good, the minute you wash your hair again (or use that new item) its back to hell in a handbasket.
Possible extreme dry scalp (I had this) when you normally have oily hair.
When you rinse out conditioner, instead of it feeling moisturized and smooth, hair instantly gnarls and feels dry even with water on it.
Returning to old products for a few days to a week starts to restore it, going back to the new destroys it to that haystack.
Protein is a devil of an ingedient and additive when you are sensitive to it and your hair absolutely hates it. It's often hidden, and I couldn't tell you all of the ingredients that make up protein to point them out; however, once you realize you may have a protein problem, check your items, and read ingredients carefully on anything you might buy for the following:
Hydrolized ANYTHING, Milk, Soy, Silk, Egg, Placenta, Enzyme, reconstructor, split ends, damage repair, restorative, rejuvenator, Amino Acid, Collegen, and Keratin
(Important note: Watch out for Panthenol. For most this ingredient is harmless, but some hair types reject it, and instead of moisturizing it has the same effect as protein on the hair, making it super coarse and brittle.
In cosmetics, panthenol is a humectant, emollient and moisturizer. It binds to hair follicles readily and is a frequent component of shampoos and hair conditioners (in concentrations of 0.1-1%). It coats the hair and seals its surface, lubricating follicles and making strands appear shiny.
In effect, Panthenol can act as a highly effective sealing silicone on some individuals. Also of note, Panthenol although not a protein, can be treated in the same way as a protein disaster if you gain bad effects from it. Its exception is to clarify with a shampoo not containing Panthenol.)
If an item in question says "blank blank milk", or, "Repairs and restores damaged hair" read the ingredient list carefully, 9 times out of ten its loaded with protein.
Okay, so you have a protein debacle, what do you do? Don't panic! Do not cut off your hair in frustration, do not make hasty choices because you are sick of the hair mutiny! There is hope, the first solution is time, and riddance of all protein in your hairs routine. Check everything, from oil blends, shampoos, conditioners, leave ins, hairsprays, and gels. Once the protein is gone, your hair WILL return to normal.
To hasten the process: Protein can be very drying. Hair feels tender and fragile, desert like... Moisture is the key. Conditon condition condition in whatever manner you can think, from SMT's, cholesterol treatments, heavy oilings, whatever you find your hair likes and drinks up like a lapping pup. The same treatments do not work for everyone, having my hair continually wet in a moisture treatment was not happy for my hair, but might be for yours. In my case using a leave in thick conditioner and slathering it heavily on dry hair worked the best.
The best advice to give, is if you can't discern proteins in new items, immediately go back to the last thing that worked for your hair, no matter what it was. Your hair can be saved, just be patient. Usually within a week of deep moisture salvation and riddance of protein, your hair will return to the lustrousness you remembered it. Protein damage is not permanent, so with time, all will be well!