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10 Protein-Free Curl Defining Creams For Protein-Sensitive Hair

You’ve been reading up on protein overload and protein sensitivity lately and you might have diagnosed your hair to have too much protein. Now you’re looking for protein-free natural hair styling products to solve this problem so that you can get back on track to achieving healthy 4c hair.

This is why in this blog post, I will be recommending ten protein-free hair styling products you can incorporate into your hair regimen in order to minimize protein overload.

How do I Know If My Hair Has Too Much Protein?

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 that it’s stronger to withstand breakage and damage. So if you have too much protein in your hair, it will feel too strong and lose its elasticity.

This means that if you pull your hair, it won’t bounce back and it can lead to breakage. 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 such as the ones recommended in this blog post or products with fewer proteins in them while your hair regains its protein-moisture balance.

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 treatments to just once a month or so.

How Can I Tell If I Have Protein Sensitive Hair?

You would know if you have protein-sensitive hair if you find your hair feeling stiff and hard after applying products to 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.

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 protein-free shampoos and follow with one of the recommended protein-free 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

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 them.

However, should you find your hair feeling weak and limp, you can slowly introduce hair products with small amounts of protein in them.

Does Coconut Oil Contain Proteins?

Coconut oil does not have proteins in it. I encourage you to go to your local grocery store and check the nutritional facts of every single coconut oil product in the store. You will find that each jar says there are ZERO grams of protein in the product. If you’re still not convinced, you can do an active search online and look up reputable sources to see if there are any trace amounts of proteins in coconut oil.

I also took it upon myself to look up the database on the U.S Department of Agriculture and I can see that coconut oil has zero grams of proteins.

coconut oil does not have proteins

Why does my hair act like it has too many proteins when I use products with Coconut Oil?

It’s possible that you are allergic to coconut oil or any other ingredients in the hair product. If you find that your hair absolutely does not like coconut oil, regardless of the product brand used, then I will suggest you do away with that product.

Your hair product may also be conflicting with a particular ingredient in the other hair products you have layered in your hair. So before you write off coconut oil, I will recommend pairing different products together to see if you get a better result.

Why Does My Hair HATE Protein?

I’ve read on many platforms where women talk about how much their hair hates proteins. This is absolutely NOT true and I’ll encourage you to do away with that false thinking. Your hair is made up of proteins, so it doesn’t make sense for your hair to hate itself.

What may be happening could be product build-up which happens when you layer too many products in your hair. This is why I recommend shampooing your hair at least once a month so that your hair can start on a clean slate.

Coconut Oil Behaving Like Protein is Junk Science

As a long-term naturalista with a science background, I’ve read and come across a lot of “scientific claims” about hair products that are nothing but junk science. In fact, the majority of these claims have disappeared with time.

So in response to all the comments I get about coconut oil being a protein, I’d like to request some scientific evidence that proves this point from Science journals or a researcher.


protein free curl defining cream


 Protein-free curl-defining creams for protein sensitive 4c 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.

1. Melanin Hair Care Twist Elongating Style Cream

Melanin - protein-free product for protein sensitive hair

Product Claim: This lightweight, elongating style cream is designed to instantly hydrate and seal the moisture into your hair, making it more manageable, while also helping to detangle and reduce knots!
Customer Review:I have stubborn 4c hair that is very difficult to keep a twist out beyond 2 days. Let me tell you, this product is the BOMB! Unbelievable curls that lasted for 5-6 days

2. Kinky-Curly Curling CustardKinky Curly - protein free products for low porosity hair

Product Claim: Curling Custard gives moisture and curl definition, hold, and brilliant shiny hair! Utilizing the humectant properties of the agave nectar, Curling Custard will give weight to your hair, define your curls, remove frizz, provide long-lasting hold and shine without ever being greasy, crunchy, or drying.
Customer Review:I love it! My curls are so defined, bouncy, and have a great shine to them.

3. Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting ButterCamille Rose - protein free natural hair products

Product Claim: Our botanical blend of oils and butters will aid in managing coarse/thick hair, leaving a soft and smoother feel. Softens and moisturizes hair while nourishing the scalp and stimulating growth.
Customer Review:Great slip and twist came out super defined and super moisturizing.

4. Bask & Bloom Mango Castor Twisting Creme

Bask and Bloom - protein free styling product for protein sensitive hair

*This product contains coconut oil (which is not a protein). This post is about “protein-free products.”

Product Claim: The Mango Castor Twisting Crème, like most of our products, contains an herbal infusion to prevent breakage and promote growth. This crème is great for twist-outs, braid-outs, and even protective styling.
Customer Review: “If you’re looking for soft, moisturized and defined hair, the Mango Castor Twisting Creme is a MUST!!! 5 out of 5 stars all the way!”

5.  Miche Beauty Quenched Hydrating & Twisting Butter

Miche - beauty twisting butter

Product Claim: Quenched is made with cupuacu (ku-pu-a-su) butter, a rich and creamy butter, that has moisture sealing properties that keeps hair feeling softer and hydrated for longer. It’s an extra hydrating butter that replenishes and revitalizes dry, thirsty hair. This buttercream can also be used as a light-hold styler to achieve defined and moisturized braid and twist-outs.
Customer Review: “My hair felt very moisturized and soft. And the smell is amazing.”

protein free curly girl products

6. Obia Naturals Twist Whip Butter

Obia Naturals - Twist Whip Butter For Protein-Sensitive Hair

Product Claim: Our one-of-a-kind water-based, pH-balanced hair butter is a triple treat of unrefined Shea Butter, Tucuma Butter and Mango Butter. Twist Whip Butter is formulated to intensely moisturize, seal, add shine and protect your hair.

Customer Review: “I really liked this product it was very moisturizing and thick in the way I love and it has a really good slip to it.”

7. Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Soufflé

Mielle Organics - protein free styling product for natural hair

Product Claim: Bring home this styling twisting souffle for your next twist-out, braid-out, or Bantu knots, and enjoy intense hydration and natural shine! Made with organic ingredients including pomegranate extract, honey, and essential oils, this formula provides the nourishment, definition, and hold that you need for beautiful, healthy styling.

Customer Review:I have used these products for almost a year. I love the way my hair feels and it isn’t heavy. My twists look amazing in or out. ”

8. Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution

Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution - protein free curl defining for natural hair

Product Claim: Use Confident Coils with Jessicurl Rockin’ Ringlets or Gelebration Spray for extra curl enhancement or alone to give tighter curls definition and hold. Distribute evenly through soaking wet hair and scrunch to encourage curls or finger-comb to elongate.
Customer Review: “Amazing product! It gave me great curls that were soft to touch!”

9. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling PuddingCarol's Daughter - best protein free curl defining cream for natural hair

Product Claim: It defines and shapes curls, coils, kinks and waves when they need a little extra control, and it’s thick enough to hold any style but won’t weigh hair down or leave behind a sticky, flaky residue
Customer Review:Leaves my hair feeling soft and actually had hold without giving me that yucky wet look.

10. Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist-N-Shout CreamCurls - best natural hair products

*This product contains coconut oil (which is not a protein). This post is about “protein-free products.”

Product Claim: Looking for the perfect product for the perfect twist/braid out? Look no further. Blueberry Bliss Twist-N-Shout Cream adds the sheen, moisture and definition you crave!
Customer Review: This product defines my curls and moisturizes them to give me a great style (twist outs, Bantu knots, etc.) And it also smells delicious.

Now that you have this list of protein free styling products, I’d like to know which ones you’ve tried? Which one will you be trying? Let me know in the comments section.

Protein-free curl defining products for sensitive hair
protein free curl defining products
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