Too much protein or too much moisture?

BonniePBonnieP Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
Hi everyone :)

I recently switched to CG friendly products and I’m experiencing some problems. 

First a little background on my hair: While I never heat styled or damaged my hair in any drastic way, up until 3 years ago, I didn’t take care of it properly. When I started to actually try, I still used sulfates and silicones, which I stopped doing about 6 months ago. 

I have been using SM coconut oil shampoo, JBCO conditioner. I still haven’t found a CG approved styler that I love, but I have been using the coconut and hibiscus smoothie from SM and MopTop’s custard. About once a week, I deep condition with either JBCO mask or Raw Shea and Cupuaçu hair mask or a Cantu hair mask.

I think I have low porosity hair (when I spray water on it, it creates little beads and it doesn’t sink to the bottom when I do the other test) I have fine, medium density hair, and a combination of 2c, 3a and some 3b curls. 

Around 3 or 4 months ago, my hair started feeling and looking very weird. It would usually (before I switched products) dry very shiny, soft and defined with little frizz. Now, it is a mess. When I shower, it feels dry and tangly even when I deep condition with no protein and it is wet. It feels wrong and gross. It also stays all clumped together and I have to comb it for it form the curls. 

Then, whether I use styling products or not, it dries very frizzy, some parts don’t even hold the curl or it doesn’t form to begin with. It doesn’t shine like it used to and it is extremely soft to the point that it feels as if I had lost half my hair when I put it all together. 

On the rare occasion that I get it to look somewhat decent, it still looks straggly and the morning after most of it lost the curl and looks extremely frizzy and yet it is very soft.

My question is: is my hair protein sensitive? Or am I experiencing moisture overload? I don’t understand what’s going because it does seem like it might be that and yet most my products contain protein. Do you have any advice? I really need help. 

Thank you.


  • cnic216cnic216 Posts: 157Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    Have you done a protein treatment? What happens when you do? From what it sounds like you might be lacking in protein and that's what's causing your hair to not retain moisture and is creating frizz. 
  • BonniePBonnieP Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    cnic216 said:
    Have you done a protein treatment? What happens when you do? From what it sounds like you might be lacking in protein and that's what's causing your hair to not retain moisture and is creating frizz. 

    Hi cnic216,

    Thanks a lot for your insight.
    I haven’t done a protein treatment because I thought that the problem was too much protein since many of the products I use contain at least one protein. I was scared of making it worse 😅, but now that I think about it, when I deep conditioned with no proteins, it made me hair a lot worse. I also thought that low porosity hair didn’t do well with protein, is that true? 

    I will definitely try a protein treatment, any particular one that you suggest?
  • cnic216cnic216 Posts: 157Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    @BonnieP I have heard that some low po hair can be protein sensitive, but I always took this to mean that if that's the case with your hair, you may only need protein every 6-8 weeks, unlike someone with high po hair (like myself) who can usually benefit from a protein treatment monthly, sometimes even 1-2 times a month. 

    As far as a product I recommend, I haven't found a great protein treatment from any brand that I absolutely love, so I kind of make my own. I buy hydrolyzed protein of your choice (wheat, keratin, silk - you can find them on Amazon) and mix that with a moisturizing deep conditioner of your choice. This way you get the best of both worlds. There will be very specific directions on the package about how much of the product to mix in based on your hair type and how much protein your hair needs. If that's not what you're looking for, I've head great things about Briogeo's Don't Despair, Repair Mask as well as Aphogee's 2 step treatment. If you like the DIY mask, the gelatin mask is a favorite among curlies. Good luck! 
  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Have you clarified lately? It sounds to me like you are probably experiencing build-up. I would clarify with a sulfate shampoo (one that has no silicones).

    Your hair might not like the shea butter in the Shea Moisture products. A lot of people have problems with those products, especially if they have low-porosity hair. I would clarify with a sulfate and then see how your hair responds to the SM products. If your hair gets the yucky feeling again, then you'll know that those products aren't the best ones for your hair.

    Regarding low-po hair and protein sensitivity, yes, low-po hair is often protein sensitive. Sometimes fine hair that is low po can handle protein better than coarse hair that is low po. I have very protein-sensitive hair that is fine, and I can tolerate a small bit of protein in a single product once every two weeks.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,218Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Agree with a sulfate clarifying shampoo. The tangly and frizz suggests build up. I personally like Shea butter but it can build up on hair. 
  • BonniePBonnieP Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    Hey guys, 
    I want to thank you all so much for your help and suggestions. 

    Update: I hadn’t clarified my hair at all since I started using SM. On Sunday, I tried clarifying with a sulfate shampoo and didn’t see much of a difference. After that, I did my usual routine and my roots felt super dry and squeaky. 

    Today, I got my Aphogee 2 step PT in the mail. I figured I would give it a try since I was running out of options. I didn’t feel confident enough to make one of those masks adding the protein myself 😅
    I put on the treatment on a few strands of my hair, those at the bottom that are less curly than the rest even under normal circumstance, because I was bit scared of putting it on all my hair without testing it first and I don’t have the time to wash and dry all my hair today. 

    Well, it worked wonders! I’m beyond excited. Those few locks of hair look great and I dare say curlier than they did before I went through this whole fiasco. There’s no frizz, no dry feeling, no mushy feeling, it is soft but not insanely soft either and the curls look great. I will be applying the treatment on my whole head over the weekend. And I will use all the SM stuff I had bought just every once in a while. I ordered some Bounce curl along with some new stuff to try so I can change my routine and hopefully avoid this happening again. 😆
  • cnic216cnic216 Posts: 157Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    I'm so glad to hear you had such amazing results! 
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,218Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Awesome! Just be aware the ApHogee does have silicone but nothing to worry about if you don't experience problems.
  • tinksaysbootinksaysboo Posts: 543Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Virtuoso
    Yay!  So glad to hear you found something that helped turn things around! 
    2c/3a | low porosity | fine/medium | low/medium density| protein,coconut, and green tea sensitive | Modified CGM

    Low-Poo:  Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream
    Sulfate Wash: Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo
    Rinse Out Conditioner: DevalCurl One Condition
    Leave-In Conditioner: Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
    Deep Conditioner: DevaCurl Heaven In Hair
    Curl Enhancer: Curl Junkie Spiral Lotion
    Gel: Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel
  • KestrelMKestrelM Posts: 15Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Novice
    I remember when I did my first protein treatment. OMG my hair was so soft I couldn't believe it. If that happens to you, yea your hair needed. If your hair is gross afterwards, you don't need protein. Now in my case, I did. The tricky part is now how much is needed for my hair, or in your case it might even be your hair. What I did is that I would slowly replace each of my product (once I was out) with a product that has protein to see how it reacted to my hair. Well it turns out my hair loves it. The only thing that doesn't have it is my leave in and hair milk. Once I learned how much my hair needed, my hair got so much better. The only real way to know is to experiment 

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