If you're recently feeling like your hair won't DO anything, it could be due to a range of issues. Everything from shower water to new styling products can throw your hair routine off. There's one aspect of hair health that's not as frequently discussed, however.
Much like your body, protein is one of the crucial building blocks of healthy hair. Your hair needs protein to look and feel as strong as possible. When your hair has enough protein it looks shiny and has major body and bounce. If you feel like your hair is not living up to its full potential, it may be time to ask yourself: Does your hair need protein?
While your hair gets a lot of its protein from your diet if your hair is lacking protein, you may have to take a more direct approach. Not sure if your hair is lacking protein? Travis Parker, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador, is here to school you on how to identify if your hair is lacking protein and what to do about it.
How do you know if your hair needs protein?
Parker says there are five common signs that your hair is lacking protein:
- Your mane looks stringy and limp.
- Your locks are more easily tangled than usual.
- Your strands lack elasticity.
- Your locks look dull.
- Your hair feels gummy.
Many things can compromise the protein in your hair, including day-to-day wear and tear. However, Parker says he almost always sees a lack of protein after mishandled chemical treatments or on a client whose diet lacks protein. If you think your diet is to blame, be sure to make an appointment with a doctor.
If you’re unsure if your hair is lacking protein, reach out to a trusted hair care professional. A quick trip to the hair salon should be able to identify the root of your problem.
How to restore the protein in your hair.
Once you know your hair is lacking protein, it’s a pretty easy problem to solve. Start by swapping out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system with a protein-based formula. Parker recommends L’Oreal Professionnel’s Inforcer Shampoo and Conditioner whose strengthening, anti-breakage formula is infused with vitamin B6 and biotin for instant reduction of breakage.
Opting for a hair care system with a protein-based formula is a good start, but the stylist says you’re going to have to enlist the help of a professional if you really want to rehab your locks.
“I highly recommend an in-salon concentrated protein treatment such as L’Oreal Professionnel Powermix Force about every four to six weeks in addition to your regimen at home,” he says.
Even though professional protein treatments can help your hair look and feel it’s best, too much protein can wreak havoc on your locks. Your stylist should know what treatments to administer and how often, but Parker says as a general rule people with coarse or thick hair need protein treatments more often than people with fine or thin hair.
Protein is crucial in maintaining healthy hair, but too much of a good thing has its consequences. Too much protein can make your strands feel stiff, making them more prone to breakage. If you’ve been packing on the protein-based products and notice your hair beginning to harden, Parker suggests swapping out your protein shampoo and conditioner for a moisture-based range. The stylist recommends the L’Oreal Professionnel Nutrifier range.
Sound like your strands are in need of a protein treatment? We’ve rounded up six of our favorite protein treatments from the L’Oréal portfolio of products.
The Best Protein Hair Treatments To Try Now
Mizani Strength Fusion Intense Night-Time Treatment
Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that can benefit from beauty sleep. With Mizani’s Strength Fusion Intense Night-Time Treatment, you can sleep your way to healthy-looking hair. This intense overnight hair treatment is formulated with shea butter and vitamins to dramatically strengthen dry, damaged hair.
Mizani Strength Fusion Intense Night-Time Treatment, $10.00 MSRP
Kérastase Résistance Masque Therapiste Hair Mask
Is the lack of protein making your hair look a little worse for the wear? Add Kérastase Résistance Masque Therapiste Hair Mask to your hair care routine. This mask for weak, over-processed, and damaged hair is formulated with a wheat protein derivative that helps to repair the flexibility and elasticity of damaged hair, restoring uniformity and smoothness
Kérastase Résistance Masque Therapiste Hair Mask, $59.00 MSRP
Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray
If you don’t have time for a hair mask, add Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray to your routine. Formulated with Pro-Keratin and kilk, this treatment for damaged hair is targeted to care for over-processed, weak, or fragile hair. When used as a system with the Keratindose Shampoo and Conditioner, the formulas provide nourishment and cleansing while balancing moisture for over-processed hair.
Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray, $23.00 MSRP
Redken Extreme Length Primer Rinse Out Treatment
If your hair is lacking protein you may have a difficult time reaching your length goals. The Redken Extreme Length Primer Rinse Out Treatment will help to restore the protein missing from your mane and help to strengthen hair to reduce breakage and help you achieve down-to-there-hair.
Redken Extreme Length Primer Rinse Out Treatment, $24.00 MSRP
L’Oréal Professionnel Gold Quinoa + Protein Absolut Repair Mask
This editor-approved repairing mask formulated with gold quinoa and protein instantly resurfaces your mane for shiny, smooth strands.
L’Oréal Professionnel Gold Quinoa + Protein Absolut Repair Mask, $25.00 MSRP
L’Oréal Professionnel B6 + Biotin Inforcer Mask
If you love the what Inforcer Shampoo and Conditioner do for your mane, complete the anti-breakage collection with this B6 and biotin infused hair mask.
L’Oréal Professionnel B6 + Biotin Inforcer Mask, $22.00 MSRP
Interested in more professional hair care advice? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.