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The Best Protein Treatment for Hair: The 10 That I Personally Use

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for the best protein treatment for hair. I’ve tried a lot of them, and I’ve narrowed it down to 10 that are my favorites and that I’ve personally used.

I’m a woman with a lot of hair. I mean, a LOT of hair. And because of that, I’ve tried my fair share of protein treatments over the years in search of the Holy Grail: the best protein treatment for hair.

Spoiler alert: there is no such thing as the one best protein treatment that will work for all hair types.

EVERYONE’S HAIR IS DIFFERENT! But after trying many different ones, these are the 10 that have worked best for me (in no particular order).

Keep reading to find out which protein treatments made the list and which ones are worth your time and money!

Why You Need to Use a Protein Treatment and the Benefits of Doing So

Two more things before I share with you my favorites…First, I want to tell you about the importance of using a protein treatment for hair because they can make such a difference in how healthy your mane looks and feels!

Second, I want to give you some pointers on how to pick the right protein treatment for your hair.

Protein treatments are an important step in any hair care routine, especially if you have damaged or color-treated hair.

The main objective of using a protein treatment for hair is to improve the mechanical strength of the hair as well as reduce breakage and improve hydration.

They do this by temporarily filling in the gaps in the cuticle that have been created in the protein structure of the hair as a result of chemical treatments, heat styling, mechanical stress, and environmental factors like the sun or dry wind.

In other words, they help to restore your hair’s strength, elasticity, and health that have been broken down by styling tools, heat, and chemicals.

This not only helps to restore the strength and elasticity of your hair, but also helps to reduce frizz and make your hair look and feel softer, smoother, silkier, and overall better-looking hair.

How to Pick the Protein Treatment, According to Your Needs

Now that you know a little more about protein treatments, how do you choose the right one for you?

Well, it depends on what your needs are.

No matter what your hair type is, all hair needs a balance of protein and moisture. Just like anything in life, you don’t want to overdo it with either protein or moisture, so find a product that strikes the right balance for you.

If you have color-treated hair, you’ll want a treatment that contains ingredients like keratin or collagen to help protect your hair against future damage.

For hair that is damaged by bleach, the sun, chlorine (from the pool), high-heat styling, your hair will more than likely need a product with higher protein content.

Do you have dry hair and have tried a deep conditioner or oils and they did not work? You may need a protein treatment. Your hair’s dryness may indicate a need for protein rather than or in addition to moisturizers.

If you’re experiencing hair breakage, your hair probably needs protein because protein is what makes hair strong and helps to keep hair hydrated.

The bottom line is that you need to find a protein treatment that matches your specific needs because there is no one-size-fits-all product.

You should also always read the ingredients to see what’s in the product and how it can benefit your hair before making a purchase.

Now without further ado, here are my top ten favorite protein treatments.

My Personal Favorites (in no particular order)

Now that you know a little more about protein treatments and their benefits, here my 10 favorite products.

Protein treatment for hair - Red Extreme Cat protein treatment

Redken Extreme Cat protein treatment

  • Reconstructs and reconditions without adding any weight to the hair.
  • Adds immediate strength to damaged brittle hair.
  • Contains Amino Acids and Arginine to strengthen and fortify the hair.
  • This is NOT a leave-in treatment or a conditioner; it’s a reconstructing product.
  • It comes in an easy to spray bottle. Follow the instructions carefully.
  • I love this product and you’ll notice a difference after the first use! Worth every penny.
Protein treatment for hair - Curly Junkie Repair ME

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Treatment

  • This product is one of the best protein treatments I’ve ever used.
  • It contains no silicone (for those who are CG friendly conscious)
  • Great for hair that is chemically damaged, fragile, weak, brittle, and breaking.
  • Very moisturizing.
  • It has a light scent.
Protein treatment for hair - Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor

Aphogee 2-Minute Reconstructor

  • Prevents breakage and split ends.
  • Restores the hair’s elasticity.
  • It has anti-oxidant green tea to protect hair.
  • It contains a blend of keratin amino acids, botanical oils, and vitamins to restore strength and softness to hair.
  • It contains silicone and parabens (for those following the CG method)
  • One of my faves. It’s quick and easy to use and only needs to be left on the hair for 2 minutes. I usually use this at least twice a month.
Protein treatment for hair - Aphogee 2-step protein treatment

Aphogee 2-Step Protein Treatment

  • If your hair is experiencing some serious breakage, you need this ASAP!
  • If your is mushy or experiencing hygral fatigue, get this now!
  • If your hair is over-bleached, you need this.
  • This is a heavy and intense protein treatment.
  • This is a liquid formula and it is quite sticky as it dries on your hair.
  • It’s formulated with activated proteins and magnesium which fuse into the hair with the application of heat. So, you’ll need a blow dryer or hooded dryer to use with this.
  • Rebuilds hair structure for six weeks.
  • Stops hair breakage.
  • You will need to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioner right after using this.
  • It doesn’t smell so good, so be forewarned.
Protein treatment for hair - Giovanni smooth as silk xtreme protein hair infusion

Giovanni Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion

  • This is for dry, damaged, or over-processed hair.
  • It contains Shea Butter, Soy Protein, and Macadamia Nut Oil to detangle, moisturize, rejuvenate, and help revive hair’s texture.
  • It’s color-safe, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly.
  • What I like about this one is that it has a lot of slip and it really made my hair feel soft.
Protein treatment for hair - Giovanni vitapro fusion protective moisture leave in treatment

GIOVANNI Vitapro Fusion Protective Moisture Leave-in Hair Treatment

  • This is a leave-in protein treatment.
  • Penetrates damaged hair and infuses each strand with organic protein-enriched botanicals.
  • It fuses the best parts of vitamins with the essential elements in protein to create soft, manageable, beautiful hair full of moisture.
  • Vegan formula and cruelty-free.
  • I like to use this if I need a little extra boost of protein between the more intensive protein treatments. It’s a spray-on treatment and I use it right before applying my styling products.
Protein treatment for hair - Green Beauty real protein

Green Beauty Real Protein

  • For damaged and/or dry hair.
  • It penetrates hair to patch up the damaged areas.
  • Safe for color-treated hair.
  • This is a liquid formula.
  • It contains 1 protein only – organic hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • What I love about this product is that you control the amount of protein to use. This is a liquid formula that is to be mixed with a conditioner.
Protein treatment for hair - Mielle organics babassu & mint deep conditioner with protein

Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner with Protein

  • This is a deep conditioner that contains protein.
  • Great for dry, damaged, and/or color-treated hair.
  • It contains Babassu Oil to help strengthen the hair shaft and reduce breakage.
  • It contains amino acids that will help to strengthen your hair.
  • This is one of my favorite deep conditioners.
  • Mint Extract to refresh and invigorate the scalp. It has a light minty smell, which I love!
  • Protein Complex to help fortify and rebuild the protein structure of the hair.
  • This always leaves my hair feeling strong and super soft. Love this stuff!
Protein treatment for hair - Briogeo don't despair, repair!

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!

  • This is my HG protein deep conditioner.
  •  It is for those with dry, damaged, or color-treated hair.
  • It’s been clinically proven to decrease hair breakage after two uses.
  • It has also been clinically proven to boost hair strength, shine, and silkiness and improve the long-term health of damaged hair.
  • Formulated with rosehip oil, B-vitamins, and algae extract, this hydrating, antioxidant-rich formula restores essential moisture to dry, brittle, colored, or over-processed hair.
  • The strengthening protein in this formula is keratin.
  • Formulated with 97% naturally derived ingredients.
  • Safe for color-treated hair.
  • It smells like freshness with a floral scent. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it’s a really nice smell.
Protein treatment for hair - Green Rawkyn

Green Rawkyn

  • This is a silkening plant-based protein mask.
  • It’s formulated to provide protein while moisturizing and softening your hair.
  • It does not contain silicones, PEG, parabens, or mineral oil.
  • It literally smells like chocolate chip cookies.
  • I like to use this protein mask when I feel like my hair needs a little extra love. I like to leave it on for about 10 minutes. It makes my hair feel so soft and silky!

FAQs

How do I know if my hair needs protein?

All hair is made up of approximately 90% keratin, thus protein is essential for hair growth and maintenance.

You can lose some of the protein structure in your hair over time due to chemical treatments, environmental factors, and rough mechanical styling.

If your hair is experiencing dryness, breakage, feels dry and brittle, it may need a protein treatment.

You can also do a strand test to determine if your hair needs protein. To do this test, take a small section of hair from the roots to the ends and gently tug on it. If the hair breaks easily, then it likely needs a protein treatment.

How often should I use a protein treatment?

The frequency with which you need a protein treatment will depend on your hair type and the condition of your hair.

Some people only need a protein treatment every few months, but those with very dry or damaged hair may need one more often.

Light hair protein treatments should be used once a week for the first month to restore the hair’s strength and elasticity. After the first month, protein treatments can be reduced to every 6 weeks.

For heavy protein treatments, it should be used once per 4-6 weeks.

It’s critical to follow the directions that come with the product as well as seek expert advice from your hairstylist if you’re not sure.

Can I use protein treatments every day?

No, overuse of protein treatments can actually make your hair more brittle, so it’s important to find a happy medium that works for you.

If you’re not sure how often to use protein treatments, ask your stylist for advice.

What is the difference between a protein treatment and a deep conditioner that contains protein?

A protein treatment is a product that is specifically designed to temporarily add protein back into the hair, while a deep conditioner that contains protein will also moisturize and hydrate your hair.

Protein deep conditioners are used to infuse hair with hydrolyzed protein and sometimes ceramides.

Deep conditioners that contain protein or protein-rich deep conditioners are also referred to as treatments because they help strengthen weak hair and increase the hair’s elasticity.

Should you use heat with protein treatments?

It depends on the formula of the protein treatment. Some protein treatments should not be used with heat, while others can be used with a little bit of heat.

Always follow the instructions on the protein treatment you are using.

Should I wash my hair before a protein treatment?

Yes, for best results, protein treatments should be used after shampooing your hair.

I have color-treated hair – can I still use protein treatments?

Yes, you can use protein treatments on color-treated hair, but be sure to follow the instructions.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it for today, my friends! I have given you my 10 favorite protein-containing hair products.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful and that you’ll give protein treatments a try in your own hair care routine.

Remember to always… let your hair be your guide!

Thanks for reading!

Do you have a favorite protein treatment that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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