As a curly hair queen, you may start to notice excessive breakage in your natural hair. After reading many blog posts and watching countless YouTube videos, you come to realize that you have a protein deficiency in your natural hair. And now you’re on a search for the best protein deep conditioner to use to help rid your hair of this problem.
This is why in this post, I will be recommending ten highly rated protein deep conditioning treatments that are formulated to repair your hair, stop breakage, and even mend split ends in some cases.
However, before I get to recommending products, I’d first like to answer some frequently asked questions relating to the importance of protein deep conditioning treatments on natural hair.
How do I know if my hair needs protein?
All hair is made up of about 90% protein called Keratin. Overtime, due to frequent manipulation such as washing, heat styling, and other hairstyling routines, your hair will start to lose some of its protein structure.
As a result, you will start to notice your hair feeling weak, dry, and breaking excessively. When you start to experience more breakage than normal, it means your hair needs a protein treatment.
Your hair might also need a protein treatment if it feels brittle and dry. Sometimes dry hair might be due to hair damage that can only be repaired with a protein treatment, and not just with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment.
What is the role of a protein deep conditioning treatment?
Protein deep conditioning treatments are formulated with hydrolyzed (broken down) proteins that are meant to fill in cracks and holes on your hair cuticles. They also supplement your hair with any nutrient it may be lacking so that your hair can feel nicer to the touch and continue to grow healthily.
How often should you do a protein treatment on natural hair?
If your hair is severely damaged right now and you’re finding it hard to retain length due to excessive breakage, you can do protein treatments every two weeks. You can space out the treatments every three weeks or once a month when your hair starts to recover.
The reason for this is that you don’t want to have a protein overload, whereby your hair has too much protein. You want to ensure that you maintain a healthy protein-moisture balance.
Is a protein treatment the same as a deep conditioner?
Yes, a protein treatment is a type of deep conditioner you apply to deep condition your hair in order to repair and refortify your hair. There are however a few protein treatments on the market that are stronger than a regular protein deep conditioning treatment. An example of such treatments is the Aphogee Two-Step protein treatment or the Green Beauty Channel Protein Treatment.
RELATED POST: 5 Recommended Protein Treatments for 4c Hair.
How do I know how much protein is in a product?
The majority of the products in this post isn’t enough to classify them as a proper protein treatment. If the protein is listed in the middle or towards the end of the ingredients list, then it means there’s little amount of protein in the product. These products are mainly moisturizing deep conditioners with some proteins in it to help with protein retention and strengthening of the hair to reduce breakage and damage.
Can I do a protein treatment and moisture deep condition treatment on the same day?
Depending on the type of protein treatment you used in your hair, you can get away with skipping the moisture deep conditioning treatment altogether. The reason is that most of the protein deep conditioners I am going to be recommending below are also formulated with moisturizing formulas that will soften and moisturize your hair after deep conditioning.
However, if the product recommends doing a moisture treatment afterward, you should immediately deep condition your hair after a protein treatment, to restore moisture back to your hair.
Can you leave protein treatments in your hair overnight?
I wouldn’t recommend leaving protein treatments in your hair overnight, as some protein treatments are potent and can result in hair damage if you leave them in for too long. I suggest following the recommended time frame on the packaging in order to get the best results from your hair treatment.
How long should you let a protein treatment sit in your hair?
I recommend about 30 minutes or whatever time frame that’s recommended by the product manufacturer.
Do I need heat to deep condition my hair?
If you will be applying a protein deep conditioner in your hair, it’s recommended that you use heat, as heat helps to speed up the absorption of proteins and other hair benefiting nutrients into your hair. If you don’t have a hooded dryer, you can use a cordless deep conditioning cap, thermal deep conditioning cap, hair steamer, winter hat, or a hair towel to generate and trap some body heat on your scalp.
What happens if my hair has too much protein?
If your hair has too much protein, you will start to experience hard hair, lifeless hair, and even breakage. This is known as protein overload. There’s nothing you can do at this point but to shampoo your hair frequently in order to get some of the protein out overtime. You can also counter the “toughness” of your hair with regular deep conditioning with a moisturizing deep conditioner such as the ones recommended in this blog post.
- 10 Recommended Protein Leave-in Conditioners for 4c Hair
- 10 Best Protein Deep Conditioning Treatments for 4C Natural Hair
- 10 Protein Free Shampoos to Offset Protein Overload
- Six Best Times To Moisturize Your Natural Hair For Maximum Moisture Retention
- Five Ways to Keep Extremely Dry Natural Hair Moisturized
- Try These Ten Moisturizing Deep Conditioners For Your Dry Hair
What are some popular proteins I should look out for in my protein deep conditioner?
There are different sources a hair product company can source proteins from. To help simplify things, here’s a quick list of popular proteins found in hair products to watch out for.
- Amino acids
- Hydrolyzed keratin
- Hydrolyzed oat flour
- Hydrolyzed silk
- Hydrolyzed silk protein
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Hydrolyzed collagen
- Quinoa protein
- Rice protein
What are the best protein treatments for natural hair?
This post contains affiliate links which means that I make a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase with my link. Should you have additional products to add to the list, please let me know in the comments section.
If you find a discontinued product on this list, please do let me know so I can keep this post updated. I’d also like to inform you that brands change their product packaging and formula from time to time, which means that the product picture and ingredients list in this post may be different at the time you decide to make a purchase.
It’s also worth noting that brands sometimes change their product formula for reasons best known to them. This means that the product formula might have changed by the time you decide to make a purchase. If such happens, please let me know so I can keep the post updated.
Key Proteins Found: Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Silk Amino Acids
Product Promise: This hair mask has been formulated to penetrate the hair shaft and infuse your hair with high-quality vitamins and nutrients to transform your hair into its most optimal and healthiest state. Enriched with biotin, green tea, and carrot oil, this product will immediately begin to repair and restore dry and damaged strands.
Customer Review: “My type 4 hair was breaking off. This product did wonders, I noticed the difference right away.”
Key Protein Found: Silk Amino Acids
Product Promise: Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner is a premium, humectant-based deep treatment for delivering maximum moisture to dry, damaged hair. The honey pulls moisture from the air into the hair and locks it into each strand for ultimate moisture replenishment and retention. Penetrates deep into the follicle to nourish and revitalize weak, dry, thirsty hair.
Customer Review: “I love the smell and how it glides through my hair as it deeply penetrates my hair shaft”
Key Protein Found: Hydrolyzed Silk
Product Promise: Penetrates hair shaft to transform dry, brittle hair through an intensely moisturizing botanical blend of coconut oil and shea butter to deliver softer, stronger hair. Protects against protein loss and breakage to leave hair soft, smooth and hydrated.
Customer Review: “My hair stopped shedding after using this mask. Made my hair really soft and manageable. I love that it has natural ingredients that will not harm my hair.”
Key Proteins Found: Biotin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Product Promise: This curl reconstructor works deep to detoxify hair, removing buildup and strengthening strands by restoring protein in the hair. This gentle formula moisturizes the scalp and smooths the hair cuticle. Promotes hair growth and a healthy scalp. Restores protein in hair to promote healthy hair growth, shine, and softness
Customer Review: “I have used this product every other wash day for about a month and a half. My hair is high porosity, dry, brittle, and easily frizzes. Since using this product my curly pattern has become more defined without any product, it holds moisture better, and appears to be stronger.”
Key Protein Found: Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Product Promise: After Dark is a melt-into-your-hair overnight mask that provides deep moisture and love to your tresses. This mask helps to optimize vibrancy, fortify strands, and shield hair against future damage.
*The instruction on this product states to leave the product in your hair for ten minutes, so you don’t have to deep condition your hair overnight to get best results.
Customer Review: “This product really changed my hair for the better. Locks in moisture and prevents breakage. My hair feels so soft after using TPH products.”
Key Proteins Found: Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Silk amino acids
Product Promise: Our Avocado Infusion Restorative Conditioner is a delightful treat for your hair. Avocado oil & silk amino acids work together to restore moisture, nourishment, and strength to the hair. It leaves the hair soft, silky, and moisturized.
Customer Review: “ I am so pleased with the consistency and how it drenches my 4C hair. I could tell that this conditioner was serious when I first put it on my hair, and I started singing. I left it in overnight and could actually see curl definition after rinsing. I had not seen THAT before. I thought well dang, If my mama had had this when I was in elementary school, I wouldn’t have gotten a perm so early. Thank you for creating a product that makes me excited to use and makes my hair feel soft and conditioned.”
Key Proteins Found: Certified Organic Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
Product Claim: Deep penetrating, intensive, reparative deep conditioning hair mask guaranteed to prevent breakage, repair damage, and enhance growth. Formulated with certified organic blueberry extract, aloe leaf juice, and chamomile extract clinically proven to repair, protect, restore, and grow your curls. Soften, detangle, moisturize, condition, and hydrate your curls while repairing damage, protecting against breaking, and encouraging hair growth.
5 Star Review: “I am so happy I found a staple deep conditioner. It’s thick, penetrates, leaves my hair soft, and smells divine. If I had to only bring one item to an island it would be this.”
Key Proteins Found: Keratin amino acids, Keratin, Hydrolyzed keratin, Hydrolyzed collagen, and Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin.
Product Promise: Give damaged, over-processed hair a miracle makeover with HASK Keratin Protein Smoothing Conditioner. Infused with hydrolyzed keratin to reduce frizz and block humidity, this conditioner gently smoothes and detangles leaving even the most unruly hair soft and revitalized with incredible shine.
Customer Review: “It made my hair feel nourishing, and moisturized. My hair did not frizz either.”
Key Protein Found: Hydrolyzed wheat protein.
UPDATE: The brand owner Julian Addo informed me on LinkedIn that the amount of protein in this product is not sufficient to be a full protein treatment and is more of a moisture-based deep conditioner. For a full protein treatment, please try one of these products.
Product Promise: We purposefully crafted a treatment that would be nourishing to your strands and scalp at the same time. Essential oils and butters were selected to work in unison, boosting anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The combo adds strength and shine to your hairs cuticle for optimal styling.
Customer Review: “I love it! smells great, detangles and moisturizes my hair very well, and leaves my hair soft. I live in a dry climate so my hair appreciates the hydration from the conditioner.”
Key Proteins Found: Hydrolyzed Collagen, Keratin, and Hydrolyzed Keratin
Product Promise: This moisture-rich formula gently detangles, smoothes, and replenishes hair to its optimal moisture level from root to tip. Proven to reduce hair breakage up to 87%.
Customer Review: “I really love this conditioner, it’s truly an amazing product! Especially for my dry and damaged hair! Now it makes my hair easy to brush and they feel so soft and smooth! I totally recommend it!”
Which protein deep conditioner have you tried? Which will you recommend? Which one will you be trying? Let me know in the comments section.