Possible Causes of Protein Overload:
- Unintentionally using products with proteins
- Doing protein treatments too often
- Easily tangled hair
- Dry, brittle hair
- Unusually hard hair
- Hair breakage cause by minimal force
- Hair looses moisture easily
Protein overload is no joke! While trying to perfect my leave-in moisturizer recipe, I used Giovanni's Direct Leave-In as one of the ingredients. It was not a good idea! Not...at...all! The leave- in didn't have a lot of protein, but I used it twice a day and the protein caught up with me! Below are tips to prevent overload:
- Space out your protein treatments: this will be trial and error as everyone's hair is different. My hair doesn't like protein at all so I do treatments once a year. A mild protein treatment once every 6-8 weeks is a safe bet to start and you can fluctuate to suit you
- Learn to recognize proteins: The number one cause of protein overload is not recognizing that you are using protein based products. If you want to avoid overusing proteins, use discretion when using products containing: Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Collagen, Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein, Keratin, Keratin Amino Acids, Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Silk Amino Acid, Silk Protein. There are more, but these are some popular ones. A good tip is to look for the words hydrolyzed, amino, and/or protein
How to Recover from Protein Overload:
- Clarify your hair with a sulfate free shampoo. Clarifying shampoos can be drying to the hair and using a clarifying shampoo with sulfates may only exacerbate the situation. A clarifying shampoo should remove all the extra protein and give you a clean slate.
- Deep condition your hair with a protein free conditioner.
- Do more moisturizing treatments
- Use protein free daily moisturizers.
- Bertolino, A., O'Cruin, W. Differentiation of the hair shaft. Disorders of hair growth. New York: McGraw-Hill, (1994), 21-37
- Robbins, C. Chemical and physical behavior of human hair. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979