Many kinky/coily hair women encounter protein overload at some point in their lives. Proteins are essential to maintaining healthy hair.
Protein makes up at least 90% of the hair, and the hair’s surface absorbs them.
Proteins attract water molecules and readily bond with them. Protein helps to draw in moisture through the hair and penetrates the shaft to fix any weak areas in the structure.
Haircare companies add protein to their products in a way to keep the hair healthy and strong. In this article, you’ll find the symptoms of protein overload, and how to beat it.
What is Protein Overload?
Protein overload happens when you add too much protein to the hair. Several types of protein make up a hair strand, but the major protein that makes up the hair is keratin.
Keratin gives hair its structure and strength for health. However, it is not the only key ingredient required for hair.
Healthy hair needs water. Moisture and protein must exist in balance for the optimal health of your hair.
Too much of either will compromise the integrity of the hair. If you are a newbie to wearing your natural hair or have been wearing your hair natural for years it’s best to stick with products that have a balance of light natural protein and will moisturize your hair check out Natural Hair Queen’s Pumpkin Hair Serum to deliver a huge moisture punch to get back on track with the proper moisture and protein balance that you need!
Protein Overload Symptoms
The following red flags indicate potential protein overload, especially if they appear without warning when you’ve made no change in your hair care regimen.
- Hair has become unusually dry and brittle
- Excessive shedding and tangles
- Hair strands feel stiff like straw
- Hair Breakage
Signs of Protein Overload
Protein strengthens the hair but also makes the hair inelastic. Protein-burdened hair tends to snap and break when manipulated because of the loss of elasticity.
Breakage doesn’t always suggest protein overload since hair that is dry can also break. What does protein overload look like?
Signs of too much protein include dull or dirty-looking hair that has little or no stretching before breaking. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you have protein overload.
That’s why knowing the physical characteristics of your hair beforehand is key. When you pay close attention to your hair, you can better diagnose problems that arise.
Natural hair has varying degrees of shine and luster and hair types like 3c hair, 4a hair, 4b hair or 4c hair, so there is no one-size-fits-all conclusion. It is important to pay attention to your hair as this is the only way to spot the signs of protein or even moisture overload.
Protein Overload VS. Moisture Overload
What Causes Protein Overload?
Hair needs protein to be healthy and strong as mentioned above, but using too much of a good thing can be bad for your hair. Manufacturers place protein in hair care products to fill the gaps of damaged hair so it can be strong again. However, too much of this can cause your hair to become stiff, brittle, and inelastic. Using too many products that contain protein can cause overload.
Protein Overload Recovery
To start the process of protein overload recovery you will need to add moisture to combat the excess protein and re-establish balance. The severity of your hair’s protein overload determines how long it takes to undo the damage. To be clear this is not something that will change overnight or even in a week’s timeframe. Sometimes it can take months or even an entire year before you start to see a real difference in your hair.
It also indicates the extent to which you need to avoid protein. Your regimen needs to consist of hair products without protein if your overload is severe.
This means you must review your entire product stash to identify products that contain protein. Your whole product line should be moisturizing and free of all protein.
How to Remove Protein from your Hair
Your hair will recover in time if you make sure to avoid protein-added products. You might be wondering how to purchase products for protein overload.
First, check all of the products you currently have as some maybe protein-free. Next, look for conditioners without protein but are very moisturizing.
Protein and moisture must be in balance for your hair to be healthy. So it’s important to make sure you are using products that moisturize your hair. Check out Natural Hair Queens Butta Butta Cream as it delivers daily moisture to your hair and it’s all-natural. Moisture overloaded hair is extremely elastic, while protein-overloaded hair is brittle.
However, protein overload takes much longer to correct. A single protein treatment is usually enough to restore the balance for moisture overload hair.
You can use a mild protein treatment or a strong one, depending on the extent to which your hair is moisture overloaded. Be sure to follow strong protein treatments with moisturizing deep conditioning treatments to make hair softer and less dry.
You must restore elasticity or the hair will break during manipulation and styling.
How to Treat Protein Overload in your Hair
1. Check all your product labels and do not use them if they contain protein.
2. Use a clarifying shampoo for protein overload to remove buildup. Buildup hinders your attempts to moisturize your hair.
3. Use a moisturizing shampoo on a regular basis, or try co-washing with your favorite conditioner.
3. Deep condition with heat once or twice weekly depending on the severity of the problem. Natural Hair Queen’s Pumpkin Hair Serum is a great way to add intense moisture to your hair during this time. Use moisturizing deep conditioners that are protein-free. Apply heat during the deep conditioning process to help the moisture penetrate the hair shaft.
4. Use the LOC method on your hair daily, focusing on your ends.
There is a hair protein overload remedy that some naturals and women with relaxed hair have had success with.
The first step in treating protein overload in natural hair is to identify the problem. Pay attention to your hair and this will make it easier to diagnose and solve issues before things get severe.
With patience and knowledge, you can undo the damage and return balance and health to your natural hair. What has been your experience?
Have you ever had protein overload in natural hair?
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.
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