I have a severe protein sensitivity so I know what you're going through. May I ask what your properties are? I have coarse and low-porosity strands which seem to be the worst when it comes to protein sensitivity.
At first I thought I was reacting to the aloe in my products too, but what was the bigger problem for me was other "hidden" proteins in my products. It was hard to figure out at first since I'm in the minority and other protein sensitive curlies seem to be able to handle those (as well as things like silk and keratin proteins or proteins further down on the ingredient list which I cannot).
Like you, I couldn't use the VO5 or Suave. For me, it was because of those hidden proteins, mainly in the form of plant extracts and coconut derivatives found in those 2 lines. I avoided even trying GVP. In addition to having to avoid ingredients that literally say "protein" or "hydrolyzed" or the major offenders like wheat and hops; I also have to avoid certain plant extracts, sea kelp, fruit oils, jojoba oil, horsetail, nettle, marshmallow, etc. Coconut and coconut derivatives will also give me that same straw-like feeling. I have also recently discovered a sensitivity to panthenol, which I am not sure is a protein but it acts as one in my hair. I'm also trying to avoid poly quats since those can build up and cause problems too. I'm still searching for a good 'poo.
It is a lot of trial and error and a major practice in patience. My hair actually became matted for a while and I was very panicked. I am still trying things myself but know a little better what to watch out for and have found a few products that are working better for me. I found that if I was even using ONE product that made my hair feel like straw, I had to eliminate it and let my hair recover a bit before I seemed okay with the others. Don't forget to check your stylers. And don't get discouraged, remember that a protein that may not work for one might for another. You will figure it out!
p.s. I also got a shower head filter for hard water.
CG since 3/1/13
3B; Low porosity, Coarse, & Extremely Protein Sensitive
Very high density, waist length
Co wash: Suave Clarifying or Sun Ripened Strawberry
RO: Sun Ripened Strawberry, TN, or TN w/ veg glycerin
Sealer: apricot oil
Styler: 4 Naturals Spring Back Custard, Pantene Curl Defining Mousse, or BB "Mudd"
Using a hard water filter, microfiber towel, & silk head scarves & pillowcases
Avoiding: protein, coconut, & parabens
Last edited by misbehave; 04-28-2013 at 04:51 PM.