Protein is essential for keeping hair strong and healthy, but how do you recognize what protein looks like on your shampoo or conditioner bottle? This article provides you with a list of protein ingredients to look out for in hair products.
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Why Is Protein Important For Hair?
Approximately 85-90% of the hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. This is why protein is essential for maintaining healthy, strong hair.
While it’s more important to get sufficient protein through your diet, topical hair treatments can also be very effective. When used in combination, this maximizes the benefits.
Protein treatments mostly work by filling in any gaps between the hair cuticles to strengthen and repair the hair strands.
You can find protein in a range of products such as shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks.
List Of Protein Ingredients In Hair Products
Protein has many different names in hair products. Some of which are harder to recognize. These are some of the most common ones to look for on the label or in the online description:
You may also come across different variations of these names, but they all have the same purpose.
These types of protein are added to strengthen, increase shine, and repair damaged hair.
There are two reasons why someone would look out for these ingredients: to use them or to avoid them.
Not everyone needs additional protein in their hair routine. Avoiding protein products is, therefore, a necessary step to take when choosing new hair products.
Our Top 5 Protein Products
- As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner
- Bounce Curl Super Smooth Cream Conditioner
- Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Conditioner
- Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana 3-in-1
- Love Beauty And Planet Coconut Water And Mimosa Flower Conditioner
When Not To Use Protein Hair Products
Protein in hair products needs to be avoided if you have protein sensitivity.
If you have a protein sensitivity, you will find that when using protein products they make your hair stiff, hard, dry, or even break off.
This is why it’s good to know the list of protein ingredients to look out for in hair products.
Your hair can become sensitive to protein if you use it too frequently. This is also known as protein overload.
Protein sensitivity could also be caused by having low porosity hair. When you have low porosity hair the pores remain tightly closed. This means that the hair actually repels moisture.
This is why people with low porosity hair find that products will often sit on the hair, instead of being absorbed.
If you have low porosity hair then you will find that you don’t need much protein at all and should switch to protein-free products.
Some people may benefit from a protein treatment occasionally, but some will find that it is best avoided.
Typically, those with low porosity hair will be protein sensitive.
Adding protein to the hair, even occasionally, can lead to the hair becoming stiff and weak. This can lead to hair snapping or breaking off.
Another reason to avoid protein is if you have recently done a protein treatment on your hair.
It’s not necessary to use a protein treatment on your hair weekly or bi-weekly. In fact, it’s often recommended that you wait at least 4 – 6 weeks between treatments to avoid protein overload.
The Benefits Of Protein For Hair
While protein isn’t typically beneficial for low porosity hair, it is important for high porosity hair.
This is because high porosity hair often lacks protein due to the cuticles being damaged.
When you lack protein, you will usually find that the hair is dry, rough, frizzy, and unmanageable. It may also appear limp or stringy.
Benefits to using a protein treatment on hair include:
- Strengthens the hair which reduces breakage
- Makes hair feel softer to touch
- Hair appears fuller and voluminous
- Helps repair damaged hair strands
- Helps to retain moisture
- Provides hydration for color treated hair
- Repairs and reduces split ends
Knowing the list of protein ingredients to look out for in hair products can therefore be really helpful when shopping for deep conditioning treatments.
Top 5 Protein Hair Products
It can be overwhelming finding the right product that doesn’t contain any harmful or irritating ingredients.
These five products consist of natural, nourishing ingredients that will provide you with amazing benefits.
The coconut co-wash cleansing conditioner by As I Am is a light formula that gently cleanses the hair without weighing it down.
This product contains tangerine, coconut oil, castor oil, and phytosterols to help nourish and soften the hair.
Using this cowash conditioner makes hair easier to detangle and style as usual. Fewer tangles leads to less breakage, so it could lead to stronger hair overall.
Bounce Curl’s super smooth cream conditioner is a lightweight product that leaves hair feeling full of life.
Created with a blend of organic aloe and sunflower oil, this naturally occurring formula glides on the hair to separate the hair strands and create smoother softer hair.
It is color safe, vegan friendly, and made with 80% plant extracts.
Simply apply a small amount to sections of the hair, comb through with your fingers, and rinse it off as usual.
Enriched with organic aloe vera, this light conditioner aims to rejuvenate and repair dry hair without making hair appear greasy.
This aloe vera condition is the ideal addition to any natural hair care routine as it is vegan, cruelty free, and contains plant extracts.
It can be used after shampoo or as an alternative to shampoo. As this product is gentle on the hair and scalp, it can be used frequently.
The Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana by Garnier is a versatile product that has 3 uses: regular conditioner, hair mask, or leave-in conditioner. It contains 98% natural ingredients so it’s suitable for very sensitive hair and scalps.
This superfood hair mask mostly consists of banana and shea. This is known to nourish the hair and provide essential nutrients to improve strength.
It claims to reduce breakage after just one use, assuming it’s used as a hair mask. While this product works well with different hair types, even the rarest hair type, it is mostly targeted at dry and damaged hair.
The coconut water and mimosa flower conditioner from Love Beauty And Planet is a nourishing product that is suitable for all hair types.
Infused with organic coconut water, this conditioner lightly moisturizes while giving the hair volume and bounce.
This product is vegan, silicone and paraben free, and safe for use on colored hair. It can be used frequently if required.
This natural pure collagen and keratin treatment by Aminotouch contains only water, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed keratin, sodium benzoate, and citric acid.
It is used primarily as an intense protein treatment for dull, dry, damaged hair. It can be used before and after hair coloring to protect and prevent damage to the hair.
A little goes a very long way with this product. Just use a few drops mixed with your usual conditioner will help to transform your hair.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Coralle is an experienced beauty writer with a passion for wellness, women’s health, and sustainability.