What causes hair to be protein sensitive?

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  • 1 Post By Rustina
  • 1 Post By NaturallyNiké

I'm just wondering..
Is it due to over processing the hair with various hair products/treatments?

Is it due to over using products that contain protein?

I'm just curious because some people say they are protein sensitive and did that just develop or was it always the case(of them being protein sensitive)?
I'm curious because i don't think i'm protein sensitive but I don't know if one day i will become that way or not because i do use lots of products with protein in it. Also does previously relaxed hair have to do with protein sensitive hair?(it's been over 10yrs sense i've relaxed my hair)
My understanding is that protein sensitive hair is hair that already manufactures enough of its own protein and therefore reacts poorly when more is added via protein treatments or protein-containing products. In general, hair that is on the coarse side of medium in texture (has a thicker hair strand diameter) contains more protein than it needs. Fine hair (has a thin hair strand diameter) is generally deficient in natural protein and therefore requires it to be added via products and treatments.

I haven't heard of a fine-haired person being or becoming protein sensitive, but certain people may be sensitive to certain types of protein even if they're fine-haired. So someone might be okay with keratin, but can't take wheat proteins in their products. Coarse-haired curlies still need some protein from time to time, even though their hair manufactures it, because protein can be lost through use of heat or hydral (water) fatigue, but they generally have to be careful how much they use and what kind.

I don't know that a person can become protein sensitive over time - I would think that in order for that to happen, the hair texture would have to change from finer to coarser. But perhaps, with age and hormonal changes, that can happen. Hopefully, others will chime in.

Hope that helps.
Fmasuhr likes this.
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

My understanding is that protein sensitive hair is hair that already manufactures enough of its own protein and therefore reacts poorly when more is added via protein treatments or protein-containing products. In general, hair that is on the coarse side of medium in texture (has a thicker hair strand diameter) contains more protein than it needs. Fine hair (has a thin hair strand diameter) is generally deficient in natural protein and therefore requires it to be added via products and treatments.

I haven't heard of a fine-haired person being or becoming protein sensitive, but certain people may be sensitive to certain types of protein even if they're fine-haired. So someone might be okay with keratin, but can't take wheat proteins in their products. Coarse-haired curlies still need some protein from time to time, even though their hair manufactures it, because protein can be lost through use of heat or hydral (water) fatigue, but they generally have to be careful how much they use and what kind.

I don't know that a person can become protein sensitive over time - I would think that in order for that to happen, the hair texture would have to change from finer to coarser. But perhaps, with age and hormonal changes, that can happen. Hopefully, others will chime in.

Hope that helps.
Originally Posted by Rustina
Interesting......
But my hair is very thick and coarse and not protein sensitive, at least i don't think it is, i put protein products in my hair all the time
Sensitivity to protein is primarily caused by having coarse hair.

People often identify what coarse hair really is, though. Many people assume that dry=coarse. Coarse is simply the size/thickness of the hair strand, regardless of how the hair feels. My hair is coarse when it feels dry and coarse when it feels soft. The size of my strand doesn't change.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
My understanding is that protein sensitive hair is hair that already manufactures enough of its own protein and therefore reacts poorly when more is added via protein treatments or protein-containing products. In general, hair that is on the coarse side of medium in texture (has a thicker hair strand diameter) contains more protein than it needs. Fine hair (has a thin hair strand diameter) is generally deficient in natural protein and therefore requires it to be added via products and treatments.

I haven't heard of a fine-haired person being or becoming protein sensitive, but certain people may be sensitive to certain types of protein even if they're fine-haired. So someone might be okay with keratin, but can't take wheat proteins in their products. Coarse-haired curlies still need some protein from time to time, even though their hair manufactures it, because protein can be lost through use of heat or hydral (water) fatigue, but they generally have to be careful how much they use and what kind.

I don't know that a person can become protein sensitive over time - I would think that in order for that to happen, the hair texture would have to change from finer to coarser. But perhaps, with age and hormonal changes, that can happen. Hopefully, others will chime in.

Hope that helps.
Originally Posted by Rustina
Protein sensitivity can appear to change as one gets used to a routine. Someone new to caring for her hair may be able tolerate protein until her damage is fixed. Then she will notice that she can tolerate less protein. This relates more to porosity than strand size though.

Weather can also make a difference. I don't use any protein in low dew points, but I can use it (but only if it's keratin) in high dew points.

As for the OP, if she is using multiple types of protein pretty often without problems, her hair probably isn't coarse.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
Thanks for the extra info! My hair is medium coarse, and I'm still learning how often I can tolerate protein and what kinds.


Sent from my iPhone using the CurlTalk app!
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

Thanks for the extra info! My hair is medium coarse, and I'm still learning how often I can tolerate protein and what kinds.


Sent from my iPhone using the CurlTalk app!
Originally Posted by Rustina
I have medium hair too, meaning that it does great with some proteins and horrible with others. I avoid hops like the plague because of the mess that devacurl turned my hair into. I didn't like joico k pak either. My hair tends to do good with soy proteins, *some* wheat proteins, and *some* keratins. I've never had an adverse reaction to soy though
3a
medium/thick
Loves protein and oils

Low-poo: MopTop gentle shampoo
Co-wash: CJDF, Jessicurl Aloeba
RO: Jessicurl Too Shea, MopTop daily conditioner, CJ rehab, CJ strengthening
LI: ^^^
DT: Jessicurl WDT, SS Deeply Decadent
PT: SS protein treatment, Ouidad 12 min
Oils: argan, sweet almond, jessicurl oil blend
Stylers: SS firm hold, SS curl enhancing jelly, Kiss My Face Upper Management gel, AG Recoil
It has alot to do with porosity

Protein attracts moisture

High porosity hair has a harder time holding onto moisture, because it lacks protein...So it will gladly take in protein...

Normal porosity hair will accept and retain moisture well because of the proper balance of protein and moisture...

With low porosity hair, it takes a while for moisture to get in since it has tighter cuticles, meaning stronger protein bonds, so when the moisture actually gets in, it holds onto moisture like no tommorow...They tend to be protein sensitive, and more moisture hungry...


Any strand size can have high porosity , normal, or low porosity hair



ebonyrose31626 likes this.
Niké (Nee-Kay)

My world of curls
3C/4A,Fine-Meduim,Thick, Lo Porosity

http://public.fotki.com/lilnicka4u2nv/

Leave-in/Moisturizer: Giovanni Direct Leave in
Sealants:EVOO, JBCO, Crisco
DC:Matrix Condtioning Balm,Giovanni SAS,Honey, Glycerin
Shampoo:Dr.Bronner's Castile soap bar
Styler: Flaxseed,DM Miracurl, SheaMoist Smoothie, OYH S&D
Porosity plays a role, but strand size seems to play a larger role. Even though my hair is very porous, I need very little protein unless the dewpoint is quite high. Even then, my hair can only tolerate keratin.


Siri types my posts for me.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
this is wonderful! when i was in germany my hair loved protein, now that im back in Australia my hair cant stand it, (only in VERY small amounts!) and i was wondering if it had somthing to do with humidity..... now i know it was strange how quickly it happened..... over night! and ive been kinda stuck with what i can n should use, cause i did have a routine!
thanx ladies

my hair: 3c, high porosity, high density and coarse hair (i think i finally figured that all out)
my hair loves conditioner only styling!
my hair goal length is bra strap length when curly.

I also blog about my hair journey, please feel free to read and comment/ask questions http://www.naturallycurly.com/blogs/...air-blogs/2494

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