Pro­tein –name­ly whether or not we should add it to our hair — is a hot top­ic among nat­u­rals. Jc of the Nat­ur­al Haven is here to guide us through this top­ic.

By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven

There is a lot of buzzing about pro­tein treat­ments and what they can do for hair. To sum­marise it, pro­tein treat­ments are known to tem­porar­i­ly repair and strength­en hair. They do this by fill­ing up gaps in the cuti­cle and if of a suf­fi­cient­ly small size can also pen­e­trate to the cor­tex.(Jour­nal of Cos­met­ic Sci­ence, pg69-87, 1993).

For nat­ur­al hair dam­age tends to come from nor­mal weath­er­ing — wash­ing, dry­ing, comb­ing, heat use etc.  Col­or treat­ed nat­ur­al hair and relaxed hair can suf­fer from more cuti­cle dam­age.



1. Does coconut oil con­tain pro­tein

No it does not.  I repeat, no coconut oil does not con­tain pro­tein. Oils are pressed out of seeds, in the case of coconut oil, heat­ing up the flesh and strain­ing it out. The oil is very eas­i­ly sep­a­rat­ed from the flesh once heat­ed using a sieve.

The straw like feel some peo­ple find with coconut oil is usu­al­ly relat­ed to using too much prod­uct because coconut oil is not as vis­cous as oth­er oils . Hard­en­ing of the hair is relat­ed usu­al­ly to tem­per­a­ture because coconut oil solid­i­fies at a fair­ly low tem­per­a­ture so a cold win­ter breeze can stiff­en hair very fast.

Some peo­ple (like me) love coconut oil, oth­er peo­ple just do not. It is a bit like mar­mite, if you find that even using less does not help ( see the fin­ger­tip tip ), just leave it!

2. Does coconut milk con­tain pro­tein?

Yes coconut milk does con­tain pro­tein. Coconut milk is made from sus­pend­ing the flesh in water and may con­tain bits of the flesh. How­ev­er this pro­tein is usu­al­ly not hydrol­ysed (yep hydrol­ysed again). Pret­ty much like eggs, it is unlike­ly to be as effec­tive as a hydrol­ysed pro­tein.

It is the mar­mite sto­ry for coconut milk — if you like its effect use it, if you don’t just leave it!

3. Do pro­tein treat­ments stop hair shed­ding?

No, there is a dif­fer­ence between hair shed­ding (i.e hair with a bulb com­ing out of the fol­li­cle) and break­age (i.e hair break­ing off  due to han­dling). At times you can con­fuse the two but look­ing for a bulb is always the way to tell the dif­fer­ence. Hair shed­ding is a pro­grammed event it is not changed by pro­tein treat­ments. Break­age on the oth­er hand can be stopped tem­porar­i­ly.

4. Does nat­ur­al hair require pro­tein treat­ment?

There is no harm in try­ing it out if you want to. The worst thing that can hap­pen is that you hate it and have to wash your hair all over again.

If you use heat fre­quent­ly, reg­u­lar­ly wear your hair in styles that require comb­ing or colour treat your hair, a pro­tein treat­ment may be quite use­ful.

5. Is a plant based pro­tein source lighter than an ani­mal based source?

No. It is more impor­tant to assess how the con­di­tion­er makes your hair feel. Many blog­gers, vlog­gers etc warn peo­ple on how to spot pro­tein but for­get to men­tion that you should real­ly look for where it is on the list. If if is after the first five ingre­di­ents there is prob­a­bly not much in the bot­tle.

Addi­tion­al­ly there are no prod­ucts that tell you how hydrol­ysed the pro­tein is (read this post to find out why pro­tein has to be bro­ken up — or hydrol­ysed to be use­ful). In short ‚ pun intend­ed, if the pro­tein is not of the right small size (and it does vary accord­ing to pro­tein) it may not give your hair the desired effect.

There­fore, com­par­ing Aphogee with its ker­atin pro­tein in the first 5 ingre­di­ents to Gio­van­ni with its soy pro­tein list­ed as the 17th ingre­di­ent is just unre­al­is­tic. Use the prod­uct and if you don’t like it either on its own or in com­bi­na­tion (For exam­ple a fol­low up con­di­tion­er or leave in or oil) then just try some­thing else.

Ladies, do you use pro­tein treat­ments? What’s your pro­tein treat­ment reg­i­men, and how does it ben­e­fit your hair?
For more hair sci­ence check out The Nat­ur­al Haven.

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56 Comments on "All About Protein Treatments for Natural Hair"

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It works won­ders for my hair. I bleached my hair and also did a bleach bath from dark brown into a dark blonde col­or and I have no break­age.
I’m glad I found this. It is great for my hair makes my hair very strong.


[…] Lit­er­al­ly use your fin­gers to stretch some of your strands to eval­u­ate your elas­tic­i­ty. You can learn more about pro­tein and coily hair here. […]


[…] amino acids which attract more mois­ture into the dry dam­aged hair; our hair is made of ker­atin and tem­porar­i­ly replac­ing these pro­teins can leave hair smoother and shinier. This the­o­ry is the basis of many of […]

Do not lis­ten to this arti­cle if you want your hair. There is pro­tein in near­ly every black hair care prod­uct which even­tu­al­ly caus­es the hair to break. Do your home­work, White hair care prod­ucts for the most part do not con­tain pro­tein unless some sort of dam­age has occurred or they want vol­ume, etc.: oth­er­wise it is not present in their reg­u­lar sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers. The hair care indus­try is well aware that too much pro­tein on any type of hair will lead to break­age whether it’s sub­tle break­age or major. And it does not mat­ter whether it’s the… Read more »
Shel­lie, I agree with you so much. I’ve been nat­ur­al for 3 years and have been doing my home­work on hair care prod­ucts. Pro­tein is in just about every con­di­tion­er and styling prod­uct on the mar­ket. I often hear women say they are pro­tein sen­si­tive. First ques­tion I ask them is what prod­ucts they are using and if pro­tein is in the prod­ucts. They have no idea if pro­tein is in the con­di­tion­ers or styling prod­ucts. They are prob­a­bly not pro­tein sen­si­tive; maybe their hair is suf­fer­ing from pro­tein over­load. This is why I read the ingre­di­ents very care­ful­ly. I… Read more »

Great Arti­cle! I would like to sug­gest Nutress Hair Pro­tein Pack Con­di­tion­er. It works real­ly great on my hair and its not too harsh. I use this once every two weeks to keep my hair strong. I love it :)


Pro­tein Treat­ments real­ly make a BIG dif­fer­ence in your hair!! I can def­i­nite­ly speak from expe­ri­ence. Nutress Hair Pro­tein Pack treat­ment has made my hair much stronger and I start­ed notic­ing less break­age imme­di­ate­ly. I love this stuff:)


You men­tioned shed­ding (hair com­ing out with the bulb at the end)–what can be used to stop that? I want to check my iron lev­els because I’m ane­mic and believe that may have some­thing to do with it but I’ve just start­ed using the Palmer’s Pro­tein pack, hop­ing that it would help but you stat­ed that pro­tein is not relat­ed to shed­ding.

Infor­ma­tive arti­cle I use pro­tein feed sham­poo and con­di­tion­er( blue bot­tle), it works won­ders but just like any oth­er pro­tein prod­uct it can cause break­age. I used to use it on every wash but noticed break­age then I start­ed using it once a month then now I rarely use it. I eat more of pro­tein these days so I don’t real­ly see the need of using pro­tein treat­ments at a spe­cif­ic time.  Can you replace the pro­tein treat­ment with a rich pro­tein diet? This is what I did and my hair is fine but I would just like to here some­one… Read more »
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lift­ing is the funnest activ­i­ty ive ever done in my life. i used to be podgy and dis­liked my life, but for the sec­ond time ever all is great because i work out all the time any­day im stressed because of it. and i do have crap­py anx­i­ety days where that hap­pens.

read my jour­ney to get­ting less fat:

Aiding people who have problems with Sleep Apnea

P.S Sor­ry for get­ting off-top­ic but I had to ask!|


I have a ques­tion whats the dif­fer­ence between a light pro­tein treat­ment and a deep pro­tein treat­ment?


I saw a Youtube video that explained this top­ic in detail. It helped me. The link is:


Yes, I want to know! Some­one please answer or refer us to a link! Thank you!!

Ken Nooe

Soy pro­tein refers to the pro­tein that is found in soy­beans that is often used to replace ani­mal pro­teins in an individual’s diet. The soy­bean is a legume that con­tains no cho­les­terol and is low in sat­u­rat­ed fat.^^;*

See all of the most up-to-date post at our per­son­al web por­tal <

Burberry Handbags

I’m Con­tent! im or her which means that ecsta­t­ic i real­ly chosse those Burber­ry Hand­bags all of the coulor extreme­ly good and maybe they are which means that cloth­ing!( will not come to be used on heat­ed months!!!!) how­e­vere, if i acquired those once i’d pick the taller set those Burber­ry Hand­bags Peb­bles which means that muc­hand i real­ly ardent­ly recomend these peo­ple cloth­ing intel­li­gent addi­tion­al­ly, on par­tic­u­lar months! and maybe they are this kind of ter­rif­ic coulor!


I love, love, love the ApHogee Pro­tein Treat­ment and I have been using it since I was a lit­tle girl. It stinks but it is amaz­ing!


I use the Megatek Rebuilder. Expen­sive but so worth it!


i have a short nat­ur­al hair i don t kwon wether i have to wash it evey­day or not i need help?


what can I do so that the egg por­tion of my at-home treat­ment does­nt run down my neck, etc? It’s the results but hate the run­ny egg!


tal­isa — try mak­ing your treat­ment thick­er (sounds obvi­ous!) by chang­ing the amounts of the dif­fer­ent prod­ucts you use. You could also wrap your hair in film/saran wrap while it’s work­ing — that’ll stop the drip­pies and the extra heat will make the treat­ment work more effi­cient­ly.


I did a pro­tein treat­ment the first week after I big chopped…did not notice a dif­fer­ence. I used the aphogee treat­ment.

Ladies be very wary of try­ing home made pro­tein treat­ments con­tain­ing eggs if you’ve not used it before. I just pre­pared a home made pro­tein con­di­tion­er with eggs(including the egg white) and store bought con­di­tion­er. The results were a dis­as­ter!!!! The egg con­gealed and formed lit­tle lumps in my afro! I spent 4 hours(yep 4!) try­ing to use clar­i­fy­ing apple vine­gar and cold water to rinse the bits out of my hair and when that failed I resort­ed to a comb which caused quite a bit of break­age. Its good to exper­i­ment as a new nat­ur­al but be care­ful of… Read more »
Ugonna Wosu

did you rinse with warm water? Don’t do that, it cooks the eggs.


I’ve used eggs in my hair since I was a teenag­er. It’s a won­der­ful pro­tein. I mix mine with mayo and olive oil and just let it sit. If you apply any heat to it IT WILL COOK THE EGG.

Trad­er Joes Nour­ish Spa Cond­tion­er is all the pro­tein my hair needs. And I’m sor­ry to say that I believe that you’re wrong about the coconut oil. I did the fin­ger tip test for tak­ing out braids. By the end of the day my hair was dry and crispy. I used prod­ucts that nor­mal­ly make my hair soft. Yet once I used a lot of heat on my hair for a blow out, and at the end of the day I sprayed my hair down with puri­fied water and then sat­u­rat­ed my hair with about a half dol­lar sized about… Read more »
Yukie B

I’ve used a pro­tein treat­ment on my processed and nat­ur­al hair. My treat­ment is home­made I use egg yolks and EVOO. Mix it togeth­er and apply to wet hair and blow dry, rinse and deep con­di­tion hair after its a must. It leaves my hair soft and spongy.


I use Jher­ri Red­ding for my pro­tein treat­ment twice a months and i has done won­ders for my fine medi­um hair.


[…] reviews indi­cat­ing that it was. So, when I got home, I did some research and found this recent post on about pro­tein treat­ments that indi­cates one should look for […]


I just start­ed using aphogee 2 minute recon­struc­tor once a week. I think I may also start doing hen­na treat­ments once a month to see how that works out.


What about edi­ble Whey Pro­tein? Has that been hydrol­ysed for pos­si­ble use on hair? 

My hair has been expe­ri­enc­ing a lot of break­age and it is very brit­tle. I’ve been try­ing to be more cre­ative with my styles so all the manip­u­la­tion has result­ed in more break­age. So I start­ed using Le Kair’s cho­les­terol treat­ment for about 20 min­utes each week with a show­er cap. Do you think it’s any good? They have Ker­atin list­ed in its ingre­di­ents so I hope it’s good. What do you think Nat­ur­al Haven?


Great read and extreme­ly infor­ma­tive.

Being a veg­e­tar­i­an, I find myself more intereted in infor­ma­tion on pro­tein treat­ments than anyother treat­ments.

Ques­tions: Do veg­e­tar­i­an nat­u­rals ben­e­fit from more reg­u­lar sched­uled pro­tein treat­ments than meat-eat­ing nat­u­rals?


I under­stand this to be the case. But you shouldn’t give up on ingest­ing pro­tein. There are many ways to get a pro­tein fix that is veg­e­tar­i­an-friend­ly. Tofu and hemp pro­tein (which is veg­an) shakes are effec­tive. I also use my hemp pro­tein pow­der on my hair for pro­tein treat­ments.


um…broccoli and sev­er­al veg­eta­bles have pro­tein con­tent and bean/legumes…all real veg­e­tar­i­ans know that..or should

Stephanie Thornton
Its not enough pro­tein in vegetable’s beans or legumes. You have to be care­ful when you sub­tract a food group because you loose alot of nutri­ents if your not edu­cat­ed on the vit­a­mins and min­er­als females need. I’m pescatar­i­an I eat fish which gives me pro­tein and omega 3’s. VEg­an veg­e­tar­i­an is healthy, when done the right way edu­cate your­selves ladies. Vegetable’s are the best way too go 100% but eat alot of them everyday,which allot of peo­ple even veg­ans and vegetarian’s don’t. Tofu is not the answer. Its made from soy which is the num­ber 1 genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied food… Read more »

Oops! It’s ‘qual­i­fied’ in my last com­ment. I was typ­ing too fast.

I don’t even know where to begin with all the incor­rect infor­ma­tion and extreme igno­rance with this com­ment and com­menter. First, I’m going to start with the cat­a­stroph­ic use of prop­er Eng­lish. It’s not ‘Its not enough pro­tein in vegetable’s beans or legumes,’ the cor­rect phras­ing would be ‘There’s not enough pro­tein in veg­eta­bles, beans, and legumes.’ The fact that you can’t spell dis­cred­its this state­ment. This is not true at all. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy, and veg­eta­bles give humans enough pro­tein to sur­vive. Plant based pro­tein is best because it’s usu­al­ly low­er in fat, calo­ries, and has zero… Read more »
Actu­al­ly, Amer­i­cans get TOO much pro­tein in their diets, rec­om­mend­ed intake of meat or pro­tein should be no more than one meal twice a week and Amer­i­cans, con­sume meat usu­al­ly for break­fast, lunch, din­ner, every­day and even snacks in between. There is enough pro­tein in veg­eta­bles, beans and grains. There are plen­ty of sources to get the dai­ly rec­om­mend­ed allowance of pro­tein, that are not ani­mal based. I am veg­e­tar­i­an tran­si­tion­ing to strict veg­gie diet, pri­or to my tran­si­tion, I got more than enough pro­tein in my diet and have for 6 years now. How­ev­er, as you said before, a… Read more »

I thought there would be more info, kin­da dis­s­a­point­ed with the lack there­of.

Black Girl With Long Hair


This is just part 1 of a 3-part series. We will be pro­vid­ing a lot more infor­ma­tion in the com­ing days.



OH and my air also dried up and start­ed break­ing after month­ly hen­na treat­ments.


I won­der if you were putting hen­na on your whole head over and over again, rather than the just the new growth. Per­haps, that is why your hair start­ed to break. Once you receive the desired col­or, you are only sup­posed to touch up your roots when they grow.

Im a hen­na user and the colour oxi­dis­es ie gets dark­er with time. So if you want to keep the colour you should apply to the whole head every­time. Although long last­ing, the strength­en­ing effects of hen­na are not per­ma­nent there­fore for this rea­son you should apply it to the whole head ensur­ing that you mois­turise very strong­ly after­wards as it can be very dry­ing. I find it that hen­naing twice every three months means i hard­ly have to touch up on pro­tein at all, sim­ply keep­ing up mois­ture treat­ments. Every hair type is dif­fer­ent so see what works for… Read more »
Great arti­cle! My super fine, medi­um desni­ty 4-ish coils LOVE reg­u­lar pro­tein in all forms! I lost quite a bit of length :( over the last year due to too much blowdry­ing (twice a month), pulling/stress/tension, combing/detangling and not mois­tur­iz­ing suf­fi­cient­ly. The dam­age slow­ly began to appear at a time when I thought my hair was real­ly thriv­ing. I am so mad at myself but this nat­ur­al jour­ney is a process, and nonethe­less I would nev­er go back! Any­who, I used to be a fan of Aphoghee when I was permed. I used it for a while dur­ing my nat­ur­al… Read more »

My hair start­ed break­ing after I did hen­na. I am going in for a trim (or cut if need be) tomor­row. I have pret­ty coarse strands so not sure what that means.


Hen­na tends to have the same affect as a pro­tein treat­ment, so it is impor­tant to fol­low up with a mois­tur­iz­ing cond­tion to find the right bal­ance of pro­tein & mois­ture.




I have mixed a kind of pro­tein treat­ment togeth­er a few times be for i col­ored my hair. I used egg, mayo, olive oil, and hon­ey it actu­al­ly worked real­ly well for me but i only did it every cou­ple months. Real­ly felt an improve­ment in my hair aside from the smell. lol


You have more advan­tage of pro­tien if you eat it, then when you used it for exter­nal pur­pos­es. Because the hair grows from your scalp, and there it is cre­at­ed with ker­atin, fat­ty acids, vit­a­mins, min­er­als etc. Treat­ment on your hair is actu­al­ly an extra care.


This is inter­est­ing. Can pro­tein vit­a­mins help?


I agree 100%. A good diet is the most impor­tant beau­ty treat­ment! The old say­ing “You are what you eat” is true.


Not too sure about that


Very inter­est­ing, thanks!


I always thought I was pro­tein sen­si­tive so I don’t use any pro­teins. But read­ing this I won­der if I just tried the wrong ones.

Also, I have very strong and long nails nat­u­ral­ly. Is that any indi­ca­tion on how much pro­tein you should use?