How To Fix Protein Overload Hair – Best Curly Girl Products To Use

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Protein overload is when your hair has too much exposure to protein.

As a curly girl, you need protein to strengthen your curls but protein overload can leave your hair brittle and easy to break. Protein is needed to strengthen your hair and helps to maintain moisture in your hair.

This means that a protein – moisture balance is essential for healthy, defined curls and waves.

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How To Tell If Your Hair Has Too Much Protein

Your may have too much protein in your hair if:

  • feels hard and stiff, like straw
  • looks and feels dry & brittle
  • breaks easily
  • tangles a lot
  • doesn’t stretch easy

Causes Of Protein Overload

Protein overload is caused when your hair gets too much protein and not enough moisture. It’s a sign that your hair does not have the necessary moisture-protein balance.

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, however over time, the proteins in your hair break down and get damaged so it needs some help from proteins in products.

But, even though your hair needs protein, too much protein will cause protein overload.

Causes of protein overload :

  • Using products that contain proteins for every step of your curly routine
  • Protein ingredients are high on your curly girl product
  • Your hair is protein sensitive and you’re using protein too often

Moisture Overload vs Protein Overload

If you’re wondering whether you’re experiencing a protein overload. Assess your current curly girl products – if most or all of your products contain protein, you may be adding too much protein to your curls.

This table can also help you figure out whether you are experiencing a moisture or a protein overload.

Moisture Overload SignsProtein Overload Signs
Hair strands stretch with no bounce backHair strands have little to no stretch & break easily
Hair is too elasticLow elasticity strands
Limp hairDull hair
Dry, brittle hairHair tangles easily
Hair feels soft & mushyHair feels rough & stiff
Loose, undefined curlsStringy, undefined curls
Frizzy hair
Moisture Overload vs Protein Overload Signs
moisture vs protein overload signs

How To Fix Protein Overload

To fix the issue of too much protein in your hair, you have to use less protein-rich ingredients. To fix protein overload, the balance between moisture and protein is key.

If you’re experiencing protein overload, then adding moisture to your curly girl routine is key.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but over time, you will get the best cocktail of curly girl products for your hair, and maintaining the moisture – protein balance in your hair will be easier.

1. Stop Using Curly Girl Products That Contain Protein

The first thing you want to do to fix your protein overload issue is to go through your current products and determine which ones contain protein. Stop using these products while you restore the balance between moisture and protein.

Some keywords to look out for to figure out if your curly girl product contains protein:

  • Stengthen
  • Rebuild

Protein ingredients like:

  • Keratin
  • Collagen
  • Amino Acids
  • Quinoa Seed
  • Biotin
  • Hydrolyzed proteins like, wheat, rice, soy, silk (hydrolyzed means that the protein is broken down small enough to penetrate the hair shaft)

You can also check the ingredients of your product on sites like, Curlscan?

2. Use Protein Free Curly Girl Products

Next, temporarily switch out your protein products for protein free, moisturizing products.

Look for water, fatty alcohols, oils, and other moisturizers close to the top of your product’s ingredient list. Keywords like, moisturizing or hydrating can help you identify a moisturizing curly girl product.

Read this post for more moisturizing ingredients to look out for in your curly hair product.

3. Moisture Rich Curly Hair Routine

Lastly, tweak your curly hair routine to add more moisture without overdoing it.

Try this curly girl routine to fix protein overload:

  1. Cleanse with clarifying shampoo
  2. Deep condition with protein-free curly girl approved product
  3. Style with protein free products

Follow a protein free, moisturizing curly girl routine until your hair gets back the optimum protein – moisture balance.

Curly Girl Products To Fix Protein Overload

These are some great curly girl products to try if you’re looking to add moisture to your protein overloaded curls and waves.

As outlined in the moisture overload post, these are some of the keywords and ingredients you want to look for:

  • moisturizing
  • conditioning

You’ll also want to stay away from products with protein products. Look for key words like:

  • Strengthening
  • Building

Curly girl method approved products to fix protein overload:

To purchase on Amazon, just click on any of the products above.

Protein – Moisture Balance

Once you’ve restored the moisture – protein balance to your hair, feel free to start back adding some protein to your curly hair routine, after carefully assessing what your hair needs.

Remember to check the order of your products’ ingredients to see whether it’s higher in moisture or protein.

To maintain the moisture-protein balance on your hair, try to use a good mix of both in your curly hair routine – your wash days and your refresh days.

For example, use a moisturizing curl cream and then a protein gel to style. Using both, helps to keep your hair balanced.

If you prefer protein stylers and you’ve used a lot of protein throughout the week, be sure to use a deep conditioning hair mask on your next wash day. This will help to balance the protein when you add moisture.

I really hope this information helps you if you’re experiencing a protein overload and you know what you should do next. If you have any other tips, please leave them below! I’d love to hear from you.

protein overload curly hair moisture vs protein overload. Moisture protein balance

Before you go, check out these other curly girl posts:

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