Anyone who looks around for ways to improve the health of their hair will find a lot of ads for expensive protein treatments at their nearest hair salon.

And in many cases, these protein treatments can really help your overall hair health. Our hair is made of protein, after all, so giving it an extra boost should be good, right?

But while protein treatments can have benefits, they are definitely no heal all for hair problems. For some people, the opposite is true.

Instead of getting stronger, healthier hair, they end up with dry strands and huge amounts of hair breakage.

Let’s look a little more in detail at what protein actually does to your hair, and in which cases you might want to go for that protein treatment.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What does a protein treatment do to your hair?

Question: Does protein repair your hair? Image of a blonde lady with repair tools and a red hat

When you do a protein treatment, the protein in it attaches itself to your hair. This can “fill up” gaps in your hair structure, making the hair stronger and more resistant to damage.

Basically, protein tries to repair your hair.

If your locks are lacking protein, the treatment will also make them look and feel revived: they’ll be more elastic, bouncier, and simply stronger.

Is protein treatment good for your hair?

This clearly sounds as if a protein treatment is definitely good for your hair, right?

But not so fast!

There are exceptions to this, and knowing about this is a fundamental thing in good hair care.

To be healthy, to look and feel good, our hair needs the perfect balance between protein and moisture. And while it’s hard to give your hair too much moisture, you can definitely give yourself trouble by giving your hair protein overload!

dry tangled hair

How do you know if your hair needs moisture or protein?

So how do you know if it’s time to indulge in a protein treatment or if you should focus on moisture?

Generally, you can tell a lot by noticing what your hair feels like:

  • Is it weak and limp? Then a protein treatment can give it its’ bounce back.
  • Is it strong, healthy, and you’re completely happy with how it holds hairstyles? Congrats! You don’t need more protein. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
  • Is it dry, brittle, and breaks and tangles easily? Uh, oh! Your hair has too much protein, and you’ll have to work on getting rid of the protein overload on your hair!

Another way of finding out if your hair needs protein or moisture is to take the so-called “hair strand test”. You’ll need a clean hair of yours, so no products, no conditioner, gel or other things.

Now try to gently stretch it. What happens?

  • If it’s rubber-like, limp, or stretches way more than normal: Time for a protein treatment!
  • If it doesn’t stretch at all and snaps immediately: You need moisture!

How often should you do a protein treatment for your hair?

Image of an open daily planner, women in orange sweater writes in it with a pencil

Alright, let’s say you found yourself in the first category and you know it’s time to feed your hair some protein. The next logical question is: How often does it make sense to do a protein treatment?

The answer, as usual, is: it depends! Do you use products with protein at home? How strongly damaged is your hair? And, most importantly, how does your hair feel for the next few weeks after your first protein treatment? If it feels strong and bouncy again, you don’t need more protein for a while.

If you get some nasty hair protein treatment side effects like increased breakage and that dreaded straw-like look and feel, you know you’ll need to stay away from any protein products for a while.

Even if you don’t use protein-containing products at home and your hair is severely damaged, it’s better to not do more than one protein treatment per month.

The reason for this is that it’s easy to overload your hair, and then you’ll be busy for quite a while trying to balance that out with moisture.

Hair protein treatments you can do at home

If your hair isn’t severely damaged and you just want to strengthen it a little, you don’t need to get a protein treatment at a salon right away.

Instead, you can opt for hair masks or protein packs. To make getting started easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of some easy hair protein treatments you can do at home.

DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Seaweed Strengthening Mask*

This DevaCurl hair mask* is full of different proteins: rice, soy, and wheat amino acids. While it’s rather on the pricey side, reviews gush about the amazing effect this mask has had on their hair. As it’s definitely curly girl-approved, this is the perfect protein-packed deep conditioner for curly manes.

Order it here*!

Shea Moisture Bamboo Extract & Maca Root Resilient Growth Protein Masque*

This Shea Moisture Protein Masque* is perfect for anyone with protein sensitive hair who still wants to do a light protein treatment at home every now and then.

As it combines the protein with deeply moisturizing ingredients, anyone can use it in good conscience to give their hair that little extra strength.

Get this Protein Masque here*!

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein*

If you want to make things easier for yourself, simply get yourself some hydrolyzed wheat protein* and add a tiny little bit to your conditioner when you use it. This way you can use a product you already know and trust and simply pimp it a little bit with protein. Easy, right?

Buy hydrolyzed wheat protein here*!

Greek Yogurt repairing Deep Conditioner Treatments Set of 12*

This Greek Yogurt protein pack* comes in 12 handy packets, ready to use whenever you want to give your mane a little protein boost. It also makes this protein treatment perfect for short trips, where you might want to spoil yourself a little but don’t feel like taking all your conditioner bottles along. And isn’t the packaging cute?

Order the Greek Yoghurt Conditioner treatments here*!

How’s your hair’s protein-moisture balance?

So now that you have the complete info on protein on your hair, where do your locks stand? Too much protein? Too little? And do you still have any questions about this whole topic?

Let me know in the comments and make sure to share this and pin it to your Pinterest hair care board!

Protein and hair: what you should know

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.