Do you experience split ends often? Does your natural hair feel dry and brittle? Or your curls aren't popping as they used to? Then your hair needs protein. Specifically, you need a protein treatment for your natural hair. Beyond the normal routine of shampooing, deep conditioning, and protective styling of your natural hair, a protein treatment is a great way to take care of your hair.
Our hair already has protein structures in it, however, due to constant manipulation, exposure to environmental conditions, and product buildup, our hair loses some of these protein structures gradually. This is when a protein treatment comes into play. Applying a protein treatment to your natural hair helps to nourish and strengthen the hair and ensures it grows to its maximum length.
What Is A Protein Treatment?
A protein treatment is a conditioning treatment that adds protein to the cuticle layer of your hair strands. This strengthens your hair, making it a lot stronger and less likely to get damaged later on.
But you might be thinking hey, a good deep conditioning treatment can also do the magic. Well, that's different, a good deep conditioning treatment adds moisture to the hair restoring its elasticity. But a protein treatment binds proteins to the hair strands which is ideal for strengthening the natural hair so it doesn't break off easily.
However, it is important to alternate between doing a deep conditioning treatment and a protein treatment for your natural hair. When you do this you are able to maintain an adequate protein-moisture balance in your natural hair. This is why it's recommended that you do a protein treatment once every month because too much protein can actually have the opposite effect on your hair.
Benefits Of A Protein Treatment For Natural Hair
- Protein treatments do the work of nourishing and softening natural hair by taking away dead cells from the scalp and replenishing protein back into the hair.
- They ensure that you have thicker, longer, and healthier hair by adding extra body and volume to your natural hair.
- It helps to reduce breakage, prevent split ends, and strengthen limp brittle hair strands.
- Protein treatments ensure that your natural hair maintains its natural balance of proteins, oils, and nutrients.
5 Best Protein Treatment Products For Natural Hair
1. Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment
This protein treatment is the perfect solution for damaged natural hair. It is packed with proteins that hydrate and strengthen the hair. Its sulfate-free component also ensures that your hair isn't stripped of its natural moisture and color. When you use the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment it is expected to rebuild broken damaged hair within 6 weeks.
4 honest reviews of Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment
I also do this with my son’s hair and his hair has thrived since he does not enjoy the process much. He has low-density 4a-4b high porosity hair and so far he has very minimal to no hair shedding.
Make sure to follow the directions verbatim to obtain optimum results. I highly recommend this protein treatment for damaged and healthy hair. This really does work!" -Gee
2. Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner
The Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner contains black castor oil, cactus oil, pimento oil, mayonnaise, apple cider, etc. This protein treatment is ideal for those trying out a protein treatment for the first time. The natural ingredients contained in this protein treatment include; essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin E, and minerals. These ingredients help to repair damaged and split ends, encourage hair growth, and penetrate and heal the dry flaky scalp.
3 honest reviews of Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner
"LOVE LOVE LOVE! I use this conditioner on both my own (relaxed) and my daughter's (natural) hair. Great results after about 6 months of use. Both my daughter and I have course, thin hair that breaks easily and sustains heat damage. I generally use after a relaxer and maybe once in between for a total of at least once month treatments. I noticed a much longer time in between having to co-wash or shampoo wash. It helps to restore and retain moisture well. Also noticeably less breakage." -Kelly D
"I'm shook! I wasn't expecting this to be as good as it is! I shampooed first and then I left it on under a cap for an hour. I rinsed it out and my hair felt a little dry from the protein, so I followed up with a moisturizing conditioner and leave-in. My curls bounced back in an unbelievable way! I'm so happy! The smell is not as bad as other people are saying. It doesn't smell good, but it doesn't smell really bad either. I 100% recommend this product!" -Deanne
3. Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner
If you are looking for a product with a low protein content that you can add to your weekly hair regimen, then you should try out the Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner. This product moisturizes and strengthens natural hair.
5 honest reviews of Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner
"My coily 4a/b/c African American hair loves this stuff. I do have to use a ton of it, but as soon as this stuff touches my locks I can feel the difference. Once, before I knew my hair didn’t like protein, I used a protein shampoo and conditioner, and my hair matted and tangled so bad that I came close to cutting it all off rather than try to detangle. It was a horrible mess. Giovanni deeper moisture literally saved my hair that day. It was still a chore to detangle but a manageable chore. It’s pricier than what I normally spend on shampoo/conditioner but it’s worth it to me." -Susan
"I have used this conditioner for around ten years. It is truly perfect for my hair! I dye my hair funky colors, and this conditioner both prevents wash out while treating damage from the dye. It makes my hair very silky and shiny while allowing it to maintain bounce and wave" -Alyssa
"This conditioner is wonderful. Great slip, moisturizing yet not to heavy to weigh down my curls. Works great with the smooth as silk shampoo or by itself as a co-wash. Highly recommend!" -Heather Zaun
"I repurchase this product every time I run out! It makes my hair so silky soft and is great for curls." -Toni
"Giovanni conditioners are the best that I have found for my dry curly hair. Great slip, but still very moisturizing." -Anne Norrick
4. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment
One of the most exciting things about this protein treatment is that it contains argan oil. The argan oil contains antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, these rich ingredients softens and nourishes the hair. Therefore the presence of argan oil in the Cream of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment ensures that your curls stay hydrated, silky soft, and super shiny.
4 honest reviews of Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment
"I love this conditioner, it’s perfect for 4a/c hair like mine. It smells so good and it leaves your hair so shiny and moisturized. You can use it during wash day and a regular conditioner or you can use it to deep condition as well, it’s very versatile. But best of all it’s very affordable compared to other natural hair brands and it has the same high quality. 10/10 I’d highly recommend this product!" -Jasmine
"I really LOVE this conditioner. It's a staple in my hair care routine. It is the most moisturizing conditioner I've ever used and my hair feels extremely soft after using it. To get the best results out of this conditioner I recommend leaving it in your hair for about 20 minutes so it can really restore moisture to your hair. It's a little on the pricey side for the amount of product you get but surprisingly, a little goes a long way. It also smells quite nice, not too strong, which I like. I definitely recommend it especially if you have kinky hair (it would also help in detangling)." -Shalom
"This treatment smells absolutely delicious. It softens up my hair and doesn’t leave it feeling stripped. It makes my hair feel stronger. I started using this in one of the single packs that they come in. Then I decided to go ahead and grab the bottle. This stuff is amazing. I would definitely recommend it." -Christina
5. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque
The natural ingredients you'll find in the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Treatment Masque includes peppermint, shea butter, apple cider vinegar, and Jamaican black castor oil. Its anti-fungal and healing properties help to nourish, hydrate and repair dry damaged hair. With the help of the Jamaican black castor oil and shea butter, this protein treatment will help to keep your curls happy without leaving behind heavy grease on it.
3 honest reviews of Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque
"I have very heat damaged hair, my curls were not what they used to be. After one use I immediately felt and saw a difference with my hair, my curls were more defined and it felt a lot healthier." -Beck
"OH .. MY .. GOODNESS !! This product worked so well. I have natural 3c/4a hair that I know has a curl pattern but only when it is drenched in water. And my hair is very porous so it sucks up moisture like crazy so it's always thirsty and dry. I use the LOC method to help with it though but then comes this product. It is a miracle worker, seriously. It defined my curls sooooooo well which never happens with any other product. And it left my hair smelling AMAZING! I'm so in love with this product. Seriously. My hair is super soft and curly after using it." -Belle
"This is my GO-TO Deep conditioner!! Leaves my curls super shiny and soft. They are also very defined. Love how thick it is!" -Sydney White
DIY Protein Treatment
If getting protein treatments often at a beauty store can be a hassle or too expensive for you. You can opt for a quick DIY protein treatment instead. This way you get every ingredient fresh and you don't have to break the bank to keep your natural hair healthy.
To whip up a DIY protein treatment you can use a couple of ingredients rich in protein you can easily find in your kitchen. They can be anything from honey, egg, avocado, banana, coconut milk, shea butter, olive oil, castor oil, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, or Greek yogurt.
What you need to do a DIY protein treatment for natural hair
- ¾ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 2 eggs
How to make a DIY protein treatment for natural hair
- Break the egg into a bowl.
- Add ¾ cup of mayonnaise and a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Mix them together properly or use a blender for a finer texture.
- To apply the protein treatment to your natural hair, start with freshly shampooed hair preferably.
- First, divide the hair into 4 sections and apply the protein treatment to each section, making sure to coat your ends thoroughly.
- Massage your scalp too and repeat for every section of hair.
- Cover up your hair with a shower cap or plastic bag and let it sit for about 20 minutes. You can also sit under a dryer for this step.
- Rinse off treatment with warm water.
Looking to put these tips to great use and try out making your own DIY protein treatment, I bet you'll love to get started with this tutorial by @Ebony Curly. She shares super easy steps on how you can make your own DIY protein treatment for natural hair:
Links to the reviews
Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment:
Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner:
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner:
Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment:
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque: