How does your hair react to protein?

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stephiee427,

If you are highly allergic to wheat, I don't think you should use products that have it. I have Celiac and I don't use products with wheat, and I definitely won't go into anaphylaxsis if I did; it could just make me sick.
My hair can tolerate a low quantity of protein once in a while. If I overdo it or use a product too rich in protein, it will feel like straw, start to breaking off, hard to detangle and the worst: dry dry dry.
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My hair gets hard and crunchy. Like straw.

Jen


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FroZen
I had never heard of protein-sensitivity until I learned about the Curly Girl method. I never suspected that I would be sensitive so when I joined CurlTalk, I dove in and started trying everything - especially the methods that are popular in the 2 forum. I have fine hair, and I kept reading that people with fine hair benefit the most from protein treatments.

When I heard about AIgirl's gelatin treatment, I was excited because I love to know what I'm using on my hair and where it comes from. I bought a big box of Knox and used two packets on my first Protein Treatment.

After I rinsed the gelatin out, the first thing I noticed is that my hair had much less-than-normal slip for clean, wet hair. I knew to do a deep conditioning treatment immediately following the PT. Lots of girls have written that GVPCB makes a good DT, so I used that, with heat for 30 minutes. I combed it through before I rinsed my hair, and I had plenty of slip, but as soon as I rinsed it out my hair felt unmanageable and tangle-prone.

I allowed my hair to air dry naked (no leave-in or styling products) so that I could access the difference. my hair felt stiff and rough. It seems kind of silly to say that my dry hair felt dry.... but what other word is there? My hair felt less-moisturized and less-healthy than normal. I don't have a microscope to confirm, but it felt like my cuticle was all roughed up and my hairs were grabbing each other like velcro.

After a week of extra conditioning and TLC, my hair seemed back to normal. Another curltalker convinced me to not to hastily blame this on the PT, and told me I should try it again. Shame on me for not following my gut on this. I did the treatment again, this time with only one packet of gelatin. My hair had the same reaction and this time I noticed that my hair was brittle and a lot of hairs were breaking off. By now I had ordered JC DT and I conditioned, conditioned, conditioned. Within a week my hair was re-moisturized, but I'll have to wait for those broken hairs to grow back to get my max density back.

I seem to be able to handle a little protein in stylers and rinse-out conditioners.

I really want to add some natural body and texture to my hair, so I'm experimenting with much gentler protein treatments to see which proteins my hair likes and which ones my hair doesn't like. I did a strand test with Ion Effective Care (5 minutes followed by DT) and that seemed doable.
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CG since 5/2010 Intro

My hair likes some proteins (vegetable proteins, amino acids) and it'll tolerate silk protein...but barely. If I use a product with silk protein days in a row my hair gets really mad and dry, and my ends get super fried feeling. Coconut oil does the same thing too, which sucks because shea moisture's curl and hold style milk is like my favorite leave-in ever but I have to alternate when I use it.


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I'm not sure but I tried IAGirl's Gelatin Protein Treatment. It was weird. When my hair was wet, it was the curliest it's ever been, then when it was dry, it was the straightest it has ever been. It was also soo smooth and soft. Too soft. It felt nice, but not the effect I've been looking for. Am I protein sensitive or have protein overload because I thought your hair was supposed to feel all dry and brittle?
Also, I noticed my hair reacts to differently to some proteins. I noticed that with silk proteins, my hairs feels really soft and smooth, but limp and almost mushy. It feels nice, but my hair would barely hold a curl. With wheat proteins, my hair feels really strong, almost stiff but makes my hair curlier. What kind of protein is the gelatin treatment? It was weird. The first time it made my hair really curly (something I've been striving for since my hair is curly when wet but loses it while it dries) and kind of rough and stiff. T
o experiment, I did it a week later (Too soon? I'm not exactly patient.) and my hair was curly again while wet, but when it dried, it was so soft and smooth, but limp and perfectly straight. Is this protein overload or did I need to clarify first (someone suggested that.) or do I actually need more protein (it felt like overconditioned hair.)?

Last edited by Keihs; 11-12-2012 at 06:28 PM.
Keihs, I have heard some curlies say that too much protein straightens their hair out. Maybe don't use anything with protein in it for a week or two, and see how your hair is...? And try different types of protein treatments, because not all proteins affect hair in the same way... In the end, sometimes experimentation is all you can use in order to figure out what the problem is ;p

Also, I used a Greek yogourt, honey, mayonnaise and coconut oil PT, then immediately followed it with a coconut oil DT...I had success with it, but I wouldn't try that more than once every few weeks...and I think following it up with deep conditioning helped a lot to offset the side-effects of protein...I do think my hair needed some though, because my hair was both very soft and also a bit springy after. I think the dry, brittle yuk feeling from protein is when you have used it too much over too many days...or if it is the wrong kind of protein for your hair, imo. Hth!
Finer, mixed with coarser strands, low-porosity, wavy curly whirly hair...3A, 2C hair. Medium thickness, medium elasticity.
S-shaped hair with corkscrew ends. My hair is even more confused than me ;p
My hair officially hates protein Once a month is enough!
Currently a fan of TiGi products, (rock on, TiGi Curlesque styling creme!) but that will soon change - I am a self-avowed product junkie! Yay!
BIG fan of supersoaker method - thanks Rudeechick!
Keihs, I have heard some curlies say that too much protein straightens their hair out. Maybe don't use anything with protein in it for a week or two, and see how your hair is...? And try different types of protein treatments, because not all proteins affect hair in the same way... In the end, sometimes experimentation is all you can use in order to figure out what the problem is ;p

Also, I used a Greek yogourt, honey, mayonnaise and coconut oil PT, then immediately followed it with a coconut oil DT...I had success with it, but I wouldn't try that more than once every few weeks...and I think following it up with deep conditioning helped a lot to offset the side-effects of protein...I do think my hair needed some though, because my hair was both very soft and also a bit springy after. I think the dry, brittle yuk feeling from protein is when you have used it too much over too many days...or if it is the wrong kind of protein for your hair, imo. Hth!
Originally Posted by Knotty_Maddy

Thanks for replying. I've been trying to take out protein lately and increasing my deep treatments, which I haven't been taking that seriously before. I realized that most of the products I've been using before had protein in, so maybe I do have protein overload. I think my hair is kind of dry. It sounds kind of crunchy when I hold it and doesn't stretch much. I'm not sure if it's always been like that, or if it's because of the protein, since I just recently tried to pay attention to my hair more when I noticed more breakage. So right now I think I'm gonna take a break from experimenting with protein.
My hair craves it. I add egg and full fat yogurt to my condish mixes every 2 weeks. If protein really does straighten the hair, I don't care. My curl pattern is no curl at all. All zig zags and extremely tight coils.


Birth Feb 1984, First press 1990, First relaxer 1992, Last relaxer Oct 2006, BC Sept 2007, 4c.....
Keihs, I have heard some curlies say that too much protein straightens their hair out. Maybe don't use anything with protein in it for a week or two, and see how your hair is...? And try different types of protein treatments, because not all proteins affect hair in the same way... In the end, sometimes experimentation is all you can use in order to figure out what the problem is ;p

Also, I used a Greek yogourt, honey, mayonnaise and coconut oil PT, then immediately followed it with a coconut oil DT...I had success with it, but I wouldn't try that more than once every few weeks...and I think following it up with deep conditioning helped a lot to offset the side-effects of protein...I do think my hair needed some though, because my hair was both very soft and also a bit springy after. I think the dry, brittle yuk feeling from protein is when you have used it too much over too many days...or if it is the wrong kind of protein for your hair, imo. Hth!
Originally Posted by Knotty_Maddy

Thanks for replying. I've been trying to take out protein lately and increasing my deep treatments, which I haven't been taking that seriously before. I realized that most of the products I've been using before had protein in, so maybe I do have protein overload. I think my hair is kind of dry. It sounds kind of crunchy when I hold it and doesn't stretch much. I'm not sure if it's always been like that, or if it's because of the protein, since I just recently tried to pay attention to my hair more when I noticed more breakage. So right now I think I'm gonna take a break from experimenting with protein.
Originally Posted by Keihs
Sounds like overload, yes...I had the same type of problem with my hair and it took me finding this website before I could figure out what was wrong (a lot, as it turns out ;p) it took me about 2 months of taking out protein products from everything I use, and really DT'ing with moisturising oils etc before my hair really began recovering. Now, I can do the protein once every few weeks and that is enough to do the trick I have read here that it is a good thing to add protein back slowly into your regime, and being careful to notice which protein does what to your hair - I make sure if I use protein that it is natural (like the yogourt) and not in my products. That way i can control what kind and how much I am getting Hth!

MissKris, I'd trade my silly S's for your Z's lol! It sounds like you take awesome care of your hair
Finer, mixed with coarser strands, low-porosity, wavy curly whirly hair...3A, 2C hair. Medium thickness, medium elasticity.
S-shaped hair with corkscrew ends. My hair is even more confused than me ;p
My hair officially hates protein Once a month is enough!
Currently a fan of TiGi products, (rock on, TiGi Curlesque styling creme!) but that will soon change - I am a self-avowed product junkie! Yay!
BIG fan of supersoaker method - thanks Rudeechick!
MissKris, I'd trade my silly S's for your Z's lol! It sounds like you take awesome care of your hair
Originally Posted by Knotty_Maddy
I'm tryin. If trading were an option I'd be down wit it! Genetics and livin in tha desert makes for hard work LoL.....


Birth Feb 1984, First press 1990, First relaxer 1992, Last relaxer Oct 2006, BC Sept 2007, 4c.....
Knotty_Maddy likes this.

Last edited by MissKris; 11-15-2012 at 07:21 AM.
I never have trouble with wheat protein. But soy protein and products with keratin high on the list are a death wish. My curls are limp and straighten out and sometimes my hair looks just full and flat. I used Wen with soy and it took a day for my curls to disappear. It's not high on the list and my hair was shiny and straight. Keratin just does the build up look. So did a gel that had protein high on the list. But when I switch to the other Wens my hair goes back to normal. Weird.
I'm not 100% either but I avoid it as much as possible because my hair felt hard when I would use it often.


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Originally Posted by evelynnalfred
same here!


Texture: Coarse / Porosity: High / Elasticity: Low / Curl pattern: 3b - 3c
BC and CG since Sept.15.2012
I like Tresemmé Naturals, Knot-today, Kinky Curly Curling Custard[/I]
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My hair hates protein i found out the hard way my hair gets hard and brittle the less products i use the better i especially won't be using lots of different conditioners ,shampoos and gels because of my hairs sensitivity.

Could someone give me a curl activator gel suggestion with little/no protein in it thanks for any suggestions

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