My hair loves protein but my scalp isn't a huge fan

hmr1016hmr1016 Registered Users Posts: 66 Curl Connoisseur
Whenever I use a protein treatment, my hair comes alive but my scalp feels quite itchy and sensitive. The protein treatments I've tried are the DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair and Shea Moisture Bamboo and Maca Root Resilient Growths Protein Masque (I prefer the Shea Moisture--it smells better and gives me much better results). I've also found that skipping out on products without protein leaves my hair kind of limp and squishy, so I'm not sure what to do here. Product recs, application methods, and your own experiences with protein are much appreciated!
Current 2B/2C Routine:
Cleanse -  NYM Curl Talk Shampoo or NYM Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner
Condition - Elucence Moisure Balance Conditioner
Treatments - Olaplex (step 3) or Elucence Moisture Repair Treatment
Style -  Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave In + AG Re:Coil


  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    I’ve never experienced that. Does it happen if you apply from ears down? It’s frustrating to find something your hair likes but skin doesn’t. My hair loves oil and thick products, but if my hair touches my face with them, instant acne. Ugh.
  • hmr1016hmr1016 Registered Users Posts: 66 Curl Connoisseur
    @BrittanyM Yes it even when I apply from the ears down! It's very frustrating. I have the same issues with thick products and oils too. 
    Current 2B/2C Routine:
    Cleanse -  NYM Curl Talk Shampoo or NYM Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner
    Condition - Elucence Moisure Balance Conditioner
    Treatments - Olaplex (step 3) or Elucence Moisture Repair Treatment
    Style -  Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave In + AG Re:Coil

  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    I've never heard of protein having any effect on the skin.  It may be other ingredients in those two products that are causing you trouble.  Deva is a pretty common cause of itchiness and other bad reactions. 

    I'd suggest using a DIY protein treatment with gelatin.  You can control exactly what goes in it that way.  Here's a good basic recipe
    If this makes your scalp itchy, you can then know to avoid collagen.  But there are so many different kinds of protein derived from so many different sources, I don't think you can rule out all protein based on those two products.

    Formerly known as Janiegirl
    2B/2C, fine hair, low density, mixed porosity, protein loving hair
    Current products:
    Changing up my shampoos because I can't find one I like
    Deva Curl One Condition (original formula)
    Innersense I Create Volume
    Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel
  • CurlyLiliCurlyLili Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 69 Curl Connoisseur
    Fermented rice water is also a very nice and gentle protein treatment, that benefits the scalp and hair.
    Type: 3a/3b
    Hair strand thickness: medium/coarse
    Density: thick
    Porosity: low at roots/normal mid-shaft/high at ends
    Sensitivity to protein: no

    Cleanse: DC Low-poo
    Clarify: Build up buster, Malibu-C Un do goo
    DT: DC Melt into moisture, Curly Hair Solutions Pure Silk Protein Treatment, occasional fermented rice water
    Condition: DC One Condition Original and One Condition Decadence
    Style: DC ArcAngel, DC UDG, Curl Keeper Original, Jessicurl Confident coils, Spiralicious, Deva B'leave in

  • BeinDebBeinDeb Registered Users Posts: 583 Curl Connoisseur
    You might should check the ingredients on your products. Although my hair adores protein, certain kinds of proteins will make my scalp itch, too.
  • SojSoj Registered Users Posts: 45 Curl Novice
    edited December 2018
    I'm using Shea Moisture Manuka honey and yogurt protein power treatment.  No reaction to that, and I've had reactions to other products that have significant coconut oil in them.  There is coconut oil in this but its way down the product list and I only use it occasionally.  So far, so good.

    I had a bad reaction to the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus.  Took almost a year for my scalp to get back to normalish.  I tried the SM Shea Butter line and it was ok - but while it didn't cause problems, it wasn't as good for my hair as the Coconut & Hibiscus.  Tried the Mafura/Manuka line and that was a little better but still struggling.  It has coconut oil in it as well so I was leery of it at first but apparently not enough to matter.  I can mix some of the remaining Coconut & Hibiscus with it and I can tolerate that, but if I use too much (of the C&H), my scalp gets irritated again. 

    The hair masque in the Mongongo/Hemp oil line (which I left in for whatever it says on the label and then entirely rinsed out) gave me back some curl and lots of body/volume.  But still uber dry and lacking curl (compared to what it used to be) and definition.  The very first treatment with the Manuka/yogurt protein treatment left my hair moisturized, TRULY moisturized, for the first time in decades.  My hair is soft, the curls are way better, and I've got definition. Still have a little way to go but LOTS better.

    After the Coconut-Hibiscus debacle, my scalp remained irritated.  It got better but was still messed up.  Then I started oiling my hair with hemp oil.  NOT CBD OIL - regular old hemp oil I got from the grocery store.  Not the refined stuff that has no odor, the stuff that hasn't been processed and is green and smells like a cross between dry grass and hay. 

    I'd been using it on my hands for some time - I get contact dermatitis a lot from cheap soap they use in various store bathrooms.  I used to have to use a prescription cortisone cream for that, but one day I got desperate because I had that rash on my hands again and rubbed some hemp oil on it.  It cleared it up right away.  Since then whenever I get that itchy feeling on my hands that means they've come into contact with whatever it is I'm allergic to, I rub a small amount on right away and it not only stops the itching, it never ever ever gets to the actual rash stage any more.

    Once I started using the hemp oil on my hair, my scalp got a LOT better.  Now I make sure to rub the hemp oil into my scalp.  NO MORE DRY ITCHY SCALP.

    I've been using the hemp oil and just leaving it in between washes (but then I'm retired, living in the desert with my high porosity hair, and don't have to go out where people can see me, LOL!)  It helped my hair AND my scalp.  Maybe some hemp oil treatments are in order to relieve the irritation?  I can't say how long you NEED to leave it in for it to help, but it sure hasn't hurt my hair.  It's also not greasy in my hair - seems to soak in really well.  You will have to wash it out.

    I used to use almond oil on my hair, but the hemp oil is less greasy and seems to have a stronger positive effect on my hair. I still use the almond oil sometimes but mostly hemp oil now. I tried sunflower oil as that is supposedly "better" for hair, but it left my hair sticky and gross.  Won't use that again.  YHMMV (Your Hair Mileage May Vary).

  • PyewacketPyewacket Registered Users Posts: 19 Curl Neophyte
    I previously posted about using the Shea Moisture Manuka honey and yogurt protein power treatment. I don't use that any more because it turns out it has hidden silicones in it. The ingredient Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol CONTAINS SILICONES. I only found out about that because while at first my hair got a lot better, it soon started breaking off in clumps and handfuls the way it used to when I was a Pantene addict. I thought I was over-protein-ing. Decided to try a different type of protein after leaving the SM yogurt stuff alone for a long time and seeing no real improvement, so I started looking up the SM ingredients. Lo and behold, SILICONES. I'm just going to add some of the Neutral Protein Filler from Sally Beauty to a conditioner and see if that helps, but last time silicones damaged my hair, it took YEARS to recover. I'm 62. I don't really HAVE years left, LOL!
    3A tending strongly towards 3B
    High density
    ???? Porosity
  • MycoilsMycoils Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 0 Curl Neophyte
    I thought SM products were silicone free it says so on the front of the bottle but I also notice that my scalp becomes irritated two days after using both the shampoo & matching conditioner

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