What Too Much Protein did to my Hair


I got home from one coloring and when I looked closely at the hairs at the front of my hairline, they were frazzled; zig-zagging and definitely not smooth strands. I asked my stylist the next time I was in if they changed coloring brands and she said no, it was the same formula she always used. I just couldn’t get my hair back to a normal texture. It felt heavy, waxy and breaky, blah! I thought I was doing everything right, I was using a good shampoo and conditioner, Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair, and had even gone one step further and started using the deep conditioner from that line (Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment).

I know some people get good results from this line but not me :( I had previously loved the deep conditioner but…..I wasn’t using the shampoo and conditioner from the same line at that time. I knew about too much protein in the hair and what it could do but I wasn’t over using the mask and I wasn’t aware of the protein in the shampoo and conditioner…but they’re in there. I had quinoa protein overload!

Protein can be great for the hair, but in small doses. Like anything in life, you have to find your personal balance; you need just the right amount of moisture and protein. It’s the reason you will hear people rave about one product while others curse it. You are completely unique and you really do have to pay attention to how your body reacts to products, food, stress, etc. and adjust accordingly. Are we getting too deep for a hair blog? Okay, back to vanity…..too much protein can like totally make your hair a mess!

If your hair breaks really easily, feels dry and brittle, you need to add more moisture and perhaps cut back on the protein treatments. On the other hand, if your hair stretches more than normal and doesn’t go back to it’s original shape and length after pulling on it, you probably need more protein.

And it’s not just what you put on your body, it’s what goes in it too. You can consume too much protein which is no beuno for your hair, not to mention it can wreak havoc on the rest of your body. If you’re eating more protein than your body requires, it will convert most of those calories to sugar and then…you guessed it….fat. We won’t get into too much detail here because we aint no fancy scientists, but there are a whole other list of problems too much protein can cause in your body. If you think this may apply to you, we suggest you do a bit of Google-ing on the subject. Again, it’s about balance and determining how much protein is right for you based on your weight, age, how much you work out, etc.

There are several types of proteins you may notice on labels; wheat/quinoa/soy/rice protein, etc. It may also be hidden under other names that don’t mention “protein” at all:

  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed (casein / collagen / hair keratin / keratin / rice protein / silk / soy protein / wheat protein)
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl silk amino acids
  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed (collagen / keratin)
  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed
  • Hydrolyzed (keratin / oat flour / silk / silk protein / soy protein / wheat protein)
  • Keratin
  • Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
  • TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed (collagen / soy protein)

So if you’re feeling blue about some dry brittle hair, check your shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioner labels to see if they mention these names at all. Now my Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo & Conditioner didn’t mention these names or “protein” but when I Googled them, their descriptions mentioned quinoa protein being in them. The protein may be under the ingredient “Quinoa Seed Extract”, I’m not sure. But it just goes to show you what elements can be hidden in big fancy names (both in products and food; did you know “natural flavors” on your food labels don’t mean “natural” at all? MSG, aspartame and bugs in your food are all considered “natural flavors”. yuck!) so do your research!

Now as I mentioned, I aint no fancy scientist or nothin’ so I don’t have studies to back up my claims and everyone is unique, but I do know that once I gave up that line, my hair went back to normal (hallelujah!). I haven’t touched it since and my hair has been in a glorious state; thanks in part to Olaplex too.

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