Protein Treatment for Protein Sensitive Natural Hair

Isn’t protein sensitivity a myth?

Personally, I think it’s more of a misnomer. Protein sensitive naturals have hair that freaks out when proteins or ingredients that bond to the hair touch their strands.

Hair is 80 – 90% keratin (a protein) which is why most people say protein sensitivity is a myth. Similarly, up to 90% of our bodies are water, but some people have a hormonal imbalance that causes them to be allergic to water. So, the “being sensitive to protein is like being allergic to water” argument doesn’t hold water for me.

In fact, when I went natural 3 years ago, I couldn’t seem to keep my hair moisturized. I was using coconut oil and other products just trying to keep moisture in. When I learned about protein sensitivity, it all made sense. Coconut oil and aloe vera are things my skin loves, but they make my hair feel like straw. Coconut oil bonds to the hair. Aloe vera is full of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). When I started avoiding “protein buzz words,” my moisture retention increased dramatically and my hair flourished.

Can protein sensitive naturals use protein treatments?

Yes, they can. All hair needs protein because hair is made up of protein. Meaning, for your hair to be healthy, you need to keep those protein bonds strong. A protien treatment is the way to do that. BUT…

I recommend only using them a few times per year (assuming you’re not heating or coloring your hair).

The treatment I used…

keratin for natural hair

This product is actually a heat protectent, but hydrolized keratin is the third ingredient in this stuff. Yep, it’s the same protien your hair is made of. Because it’s been hydrolized (dissolved in water) it will readily penetrate the hair shaft.

How I did the treatment…

I shampooed my hair like normal. When my hair was damp, I liberally sprayed the product onto my strands. I covered my hair with a shower cap and my satin scarf and left the product on my hair for 5 minuets. After 5 minutes, I rinsed the product out. I followed with a deep conditioning for 1 hour.

My Results..

I did a strand test before I deep conditioned. My hair wasn’t as stretchy as normal, so I concluded that the protein treatment did the job. My hair was a little bit dryer than normal the next day. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t as soft and didn’t feel as hydrated (which I expected). The good news, though, my hair didn’t feel like straw. Overall, I call this a success.

My takeaways for protein and protein sensitivity…

  • If you consider yourself protein sensitive, don’t let others get to you. Take the time to know your hair.
  • Some hair reacts very badly to being treated with protein on a regular basis. That’s what “protein sensitive” means.
  • Keep avoiding “protein words.”
  • Use protein treatments every 4-6 months.




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