Janelle (not pictured) says;

Thanks to the information on your site, I’m realizing that I need to do some kind of strengthening treatment on my fine strands. I know that protein treatments work by depositing protein on the cuticle, while henna works by binding to the cuticle and thus strengthening it. My question is, which is better for strengthening? I can’t decide which to choose. I’d love to hear your readers thoughts and experiences.

Great question Janelle! Ladies, which do you like better as a strengthening treatment: henna or protein? Share your tips, photos and advice below!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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70 Comments on "Henna vs Protein Treatments: Which is Better for Strengthening?"

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Henna and coconut cream are amazing. I follow the recipe from Minimalist Beauty, but use coconut cream (instead of milk) and use more coconut cream that prescribed in the recipe. My protein sensitive hair LOVES it!


Henna made my 3b/3c curls extremely dry. I mixed it with coconut oil and water. I’m not too sure why this is so, I have another packet of 100g henna and I will mix it with coconut milk and conditioner next time and hope for better results.


My hair is very protein sensitive and feels like straw when I use it. I just applied my first henna treatment2 days ago and I LOVE it! My hair feels softer and it seems to have loosened my curl pattern a little. The loosened pattern is fine with me because the back of my hair always had looser curls than the front. Now the front and the back are look closer in texture.

I realize you posted this 3 years ago but I wanted to tell you what I have learned through trial and error. Your hair is not likely protein-sensitive so much as moisture deficient. You HAVE TO apply a balancing moisturizer like Aphogee’s Balancing Moisturizer after an intense protein treatment like Aphogee’s Two-Step Protein Treatment. Your hair is made of keratin protein and I can’t imagine it being allergic to itself. It’s also difficult to find a conditioner or moisturizer on the market that has little or no protein in it. If your hair is fine after using those, it is… Read more »
Respectfully,I disagree with your assessment Lika564.One cannot and should not make blanket statements regarding someone else’s hair.I have fine 4C hair which happens to despise the use of keratin/protein treatments of any kind.How do I know? Over the course of being natural for 6 years,i have used MULTIPLE products to condition and strengthen my hair. Alot of those products overtime had protein in it or I tried a protein treatment, and my hair reacted the same each and every time I use any type of protein. It made absolutely no difference that I tried to deep condition after the fact… Read more »
I say experiment around with protein conditioners first before you start using henna on a regular basis. If your hair thrives off of protein conditioners like Apphogee, then listen to what your hair needs and wants. And give it what it needs. However, if your hair is protein sensitive and does not care for much protein AT ALL, THEN USE PURE BODY ART QUALITY ON YOUR HAIR, IN PLACE OF PROTEIN CONDITIONERS, AND THE HENNA WILL WORK IN PLACE OF A PROTEIN CONDITIONER, STRENGTHENING YOUR HAIR, KEEPING IT HEALTHY AND STRONG, BUT STILL LETTING MOISTURE INTO YOUR INDIVIDUAL STRANDS. EVERYBODY’S… Read more »

Uhhh…. why suddenly go into all CAPS after three sentences