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Healthy, curly hair needs a proper balance of moisture and protein, but it turns out this can be difficult to achieve. For one, we cannot determine what each head will need, want, or even love so we say a balance and it has to be left up to the curly girl to find out what makes that happy balance for herself. I can go monthly or every other month with a protein treatment and do just fine while others need it even less or much more. Let’s not forget about the curly girl who seems sensitive to certain types of proteins and are currently on the hunt for the right ones to provide strength and elasticity. Trial and error is often the only way to find out what that balance looks like, but we are always here to help our readers  along the way. NaturallyCurly community member Curlygirly__  posted this question in our Curly Q&A.

Question

Ok so my hair needs a lot of protein or else it gets over moisturized and loses curl. What Shea moisture deep conditioner would u recommend for me (must be one with LOTS of protein) I need a DC that I can depend on to bring my curls back to their maximum curliness and help them stay healthy. Please help!!! :)

Answer

So it seems you have figured out the right formula for your curls to pop and that means less moisture and more protein or using protein deep conditioners and stylers on the regular. While I am very happy you have found your Holy Grail regimen, I do want you to not overdo the protein for fear of protein overload. Just watch for your hair to ensure it does not get brittle and maybe not dump protein on your hair daily. SheaMoisture has a great line of deep conditioners that have protein and moisturizers in them that will bring your hair back to life. Let’s do a breakdown of a few of their hair masques (their version of deep conditioners) and I’ll add some others just in case you are interested.

SheaMoisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque 

This masque for high porosity hair has two types of proteins in it. It has hydrolyzed rice protein and hydrolyzed soy protein. It is designed for dry, unmanageable curls suffering from high porosity that needs strength as well as moisture. This is a relatively new line and may be worth giving a try.

SheaMoisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque 

This popular hair masque also has two proteins: hydrolyzed vegetable protein and hydrolyzed rice protein. This is an intensive masque created to smooth frazzled strands and is about strengthening hair to resist breakage. Hydration is not a major, factor so this may not be the best choice for you.

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydrations Masque

This hydration masque has hydrolyzed rice protein and its primary job is to add the moisture and defrizz hair. I love this masque and it is my staple for deep conditioning. The smell alone makes it a winner.

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque 

This restorative masque has hydrolyzed vegetable protein and higher on the list of ingredients than all the others mentioned. The primary purpose of this masque is to restore strength and resilience to damaged strands. It is great for color-treated or chemically-processed hair and promotes elasticity. Hydration is not the main focus of this masque.

Alikay Naturals Honey And Sage Deep Conditioner 

This NaturallyCurly 2016 Editor’s Choice winner has silk amino acids (natural proteins) and focuses on moisturizing weak thirsty hair.

Mop Top Deep Conditioner 

This deep conditioner is protein rich with both soy and wheat proteins. Suggested for occasional use, it is great for dry, frizzy strands in dire need of some protein, and moisture.

Read more: Do You Need a Strong, Medium or Light Protein Treatment? (Find Out Here)