memes - I had the same concerns as you regarding the protein issue. My hair always hated protein, especially wheat. I was unsure because many of the samples I ordered initially, contained either wheat germ or wheat germ oil. I have been pleasantly surprised how my hair does not react to these proteins at all! Not sure why that is, but my hair feels clean and soft with each one I've tried. I'm hooked.

I can't answer the soap scum question.