How to Fix Protein Overload in Hair
Hair protein overload can occur if you are not careful with hair care product selection and application practices. Haircare is a task that requires time and patience. If you're someone who has natural hair, then your daily routine consists of deep conditioning, moisturizing, styling/styling, sealing in the moisture with oil or butter to help keep it from drying out. However, there's more to consider when taking care of your locks.
What is Hair Protein Overload?
Protein overload occurs when too much protein is applied to your hair regularly. For protein treatments like those found in shampoo and conditioner to be effective, they must penetrate into the cuticle layer, where they help make the strands stronger by
strengthening them against breakage caused by combing and
brushing. This statement may not sound like such a bad thing, but too much protein will cause hair to become excessively dry, creating a vicious cycle of trying to solve for brittle hair.
Protein Overload Hair Symptoms
Diagnosing protein overload hair symptoms is not too difficult of a task. Your hair will have a distinct feel and look. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect.
A Lack of Hair Elasticity
One of the first things you will notice about protein overload hair is its lack of flexibility or hair elasticity. Your hair will likely be incredibly prone to snapping or breakage with the slightest bit of manipulation of styling. This symptom is a direct result of your hair lacking adequate moisture levels to withstand stretching.
Protein Overload and Dry Hair
Another protein overload symptom you can expect to encounter is dryness. Your hair will likely feel dry and lack a curl pattern. This symptom, unfortunately, sets you up for hair that is so coarse that it rivals the texture of straw. Also, it can lead to excessive shedding due to weak strands and weak follicles because there is no moisture at the scalp level.
Protein Overload Hair and Poor Vibrancy
Finally, protein overload may deprive your hair of its distinct shine. Dull hair is often the by-product of hair that lacks hydration.
Good News! While the experience may leave you feeling hopeless, there is a way to fix protein overload in hair.
How to Fix Protein Overload in Hair
You will have to take some immediate actions to fix your protein overload dilemma. Remember that even in following the proper steps to reverse the problem, your results will not be immediate. You likely will not see results for a few weeks. However, there will be positive results.
Avoid Protein Products
First, you should get rid of your protein-heavy products. You will have to go into your arsenal and read those labels. Even if you think you know which items are protein-heavy, you should review the other items in your stash. You are looking for ingredients that feature the word “hydrolyzed” or “keratin.” Also, keep an eye out for products that use slogans like “reconstructing” or “strengthening.”
Use a Clarifying Shampoo
Clarifying shampoos are essential for removing the buildup of products on your hair. If you have low porosity hair, you know that this step is critical as low porosity hair is notorious for allowing products to sit on the hair. This side effect can be problematic when dealing with hair that is already gasping for moisture.
Take care not to overdo it with the use of a clarifying shampoo. Initially, you may start out using clarifying shampoos once or twice per week. With time, you can adjust the use of clarifying shampoo for protein overload to every other week or as needed to keep hair soft and manageable.
For your regular shampoo regimen, switch your shampoo out for a non-protein-rich cleanser.
Use a Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioners are an excellent way to fight the frizz that can accompany protein overload. They are beneficial in minimizing breakage while increasing manageability. Leave-in conditioners are an ideal match for protein overload hair because they contain moisturizing agents that help to hydrate your hair.
Finally, if your efforts fail at home to resolve your protein overload symptoms, seek the help of a hairstylist professional. They can assist you by providing consultation on your hair’s texture and the symptoms you are experiencing.
These are a few tips for how to fix protein overload hair. You now have the information you need to get started with restoring your hair to a healthier state.