(Last Updated On: September 4, 2020)

Protein overload and protein sensitivity is actually a thing. When you use products with too much protein in it, you can easily end up with hard hair that feels dry and tough. An average naturalista can use up to five products on a single wash day and if each hair product has large amounts of protein in it, you can have protein overload.

That is why in this blog post, I want to share ten protein free shampoos you can incorporate into your hair regimen. Before i get into product recommendation, I’d like to answer frequently asked questions about proteins in natural hair.

How do I get rid of protein build up in my hair?

If you have a build-up of protein in your hair, you can cleanse your hair with one of these shampoos and follow with one of the recommended moisturizing deep conditioners in this post.

What are some popular proteins I should look out for in my hair products? 

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

How do I know If I Have Protein Overload Hair?

Your hair will feel weighed down, dry, dull and stiff if you have too much protein in your hair. You see, proteins strengthen the hair so it’s stronger to withstand breakage and damage. Therefore, if you have too much protein in your hair, your hair will feel too strong and with less elasticity. Which means that if you pull your hair, it wont bounce back and it can even break. While strong hair is good, hair that is too strong is not healthy.

What Should I do If I have Protein Overload?

You can temporarily switch to protein-free hair products or products with fewer proteins in it while your hair regains it’s protein-moisture balance. And should you have protein sensitive hair, you can hold off on hard protein treatments for a few months while your hair restores its balance. Also, if you have protein sensitive hair, you don’t need to do a bi-weekly protein treatment. You can reduce your protein treatment to just once a month or so.  

How Can I Tell If I Have Protein Sensitive Hair?

As someone who used to have protein sensitive hair, I can tell you that it’s not a good feeling. You would know if you have protein sensitive hair if you find your hair feeling stiff and hard after applying products on it. If you find your hair feeling this way, you should inspect the ingredients list on your product to see if it has ingredients such as soy protein, keratin, vegetable protein, collagen, silk, just to name a few.

My Thoughts on Proteins in Hair Products

Your hair is made up of 90% protein, so you really don’t need to use too many products with protein in it. If you keep your hair in its natural state without hair color and you stay away from heat, you can go months without using hair products with excessive protein in it. However, should you find your hair feeling weak and limp, you can slowly introduce hair products with small amounts of protein in it. 


10 Best Protein Free Deep Conditioners For Natural Hair  

10 Protein Free Leave-In Conditioners

10 Best Clarifying Shampoos to Remove Build-Up

10 Best Glycerin Free Styling Products

You can also check out our other Product Recommendation Posts HERE

*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.* 

Ten Recommended Protein-Free Shampoos for Protein Sensitive and Low Porosity Natural Hair

1. Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Oh So Clean! Moisturizing & Softening Shampoo (12 Oz.)protein free shampoo for low porosity hair

Product Claim: Treat your chronically dry hair to this lather-rich, deep moisturizing hair bath. Enriched with Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, tresses become super clean, soft, hydrated and easier to comb.
5 Star Review:I really like this shampoo. It is very luxurious and really cleans my hair

2. Qhemet Biologics Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea

protein free natural hair shampoo

Product Claim: Produces a rich lather and contains wheat grass, barley and alfalfa to condition hair and scalp and gently remove debris and build-up. SLS-free.
5 Star Review:This is the best cleanser for my curls. My hair felt great after this. It doesn’t strip my hair natural oils but definitely get rid of product build up.

3. As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo (8 Oz.)protein free shampoo for low porosity hair

Product Claim: Curls lost their shine and not behaving the way they should? Make a clean start with As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo, a clarifying, sulfate-free cleanser that removes old, dulling residue without drying out your hair. Moisturizes and prevents hair from drying out and becoming rough and unmanageable.
5 Star Review:My hair felt clean but not striped of moisture. It’s definitely a keeper

4. CURLS Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo (8 Oz.)protein free shampoo for low porosity hair

Product Claim: Are your curls dull, limp and lifeless? Purify curls weighed down from buildup, debris and unwanted chemicals. Pineapple extract nourishes as grapefruit extract adds sheen while removing buildup.
5 Star Review:Best clarifying shampoo I’ve ever tried.

5. EDEN BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo (8 Oz.)protein free shampoo for 4c hair

Product Claim: Designed to remove dirt and oil build-up while replenishing the hair and scalp’s natural moisture balance.

5 Star Customer Review:This shampoo is very moisturizing. It cleaned my hair and scalp without stripping.”

6. Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo (8 Oz.)protein free shampoo for curly hair

Product Claim: Gentle Lather Shampoo creates a creamy, luxurious lather without leaving your hair dry after use.
5 Star Review:I was able to detangle while wet and my hair felt clean and soft.”

7. Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo (8 Oz.)What is the best shampoo for low porosity hair?

Product Claim: This exclusive blend of mandarin orange extract will gently clean your hair and scalp of dulling buildup while sea kelp will help maintain proper moisture balance.
5 Star Review:This product left my hair feeling clean! without being stripped.

8. Design Essentials Honey Creme Moisture Retention Shampoo

protein free shampoo for natural hair

Product Claim: Our Honey Crème Moisture Retention Shampoo is a super preserving shampoo that gently restores needed moisture to dry or damaged hair.
5 Star Review:I love it! My hair is soft and doesn’t have a residue feel after washing.”

9. Uncle Funky’s Daughter Rich & Funky Moisturizing Cleanser

protein free shampoo for 4c natural hair

Product Claim:  A ‘truly’ sulfate-free, foamy cleanser that delivers loads of moisture and detangling effects. Long-lasting, concentrated formula with a clean, fresh natural scent..
5 Star Review:Rich & Funky always leaves my curls poppin! I LOVE this shampoo. I use it not only on my hair, but my daughter’s hair too! ”

10. Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo. 8oz.What products are good for low porosity natural hair?

Product Claim: Finally a way to get your hair and scalp really clean with natural ingredients, gets down deep into the scalp to remove buildup.
5 Star Review:My type 4 hair loves this shampoo.”

Which protein free shampoo have you tried? Which one will you be trying? Let us know in the comments section.