Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, your curls are dry and prone to breakage? If you’ve tried the regular fix its with no success, your curls could be experiencing protein overload. This occurs when there is no longer a good balance between the protein and moisture in your curls. Your curls will feel brittle, like they don’t come clean and dry.
How do you know you have protein overload?
Pay attention to the symptoms. If your curls feel extra dry, there’s a change in their texture or you’re experiencing a lot of breakage or shedding, you could have too much protein.
How to fix it:
Fortunately, this isn’t a permanent condition! However, there is a specific process you should follow and you can’t expect an overnight fix. Depending on how damaged your curls are, repairing them can take anywhere from four weeks to six months, so you’ll need to be patient. To start, remove any products that contain protein in the ingredients from your curl care regime. Protein can show up under the names of keratin, wheat, rice, soy or quinoa protein, amino acids and silk protein, amongst others, so be mindful of what’s in your products. Once you’ve done this, you can strip down your regime to help begin restoring the balance to your curls.
Cleansing: If you haven’t been shampooing, you’re going to want to add back in a cleansing or clarifying shampoo to help rid your curls of build up.
Deep conditioner: You can pick up a gentle product for deep conditioning or opt to use a homemade masque to help rebalance your curls.
Leave in conditioner: If you’re not using one already, a leave in conditioner can help maintain moisture. Apply it after you cleanse and mix it with water to help combat the dryness caused by overload.
Styling products: You’re going to have to check and select products that are free of protein. For the first few weeks, try to avoid over styling or over manipulating your curls to allow them time to heal. Putting your hands in it too much can cause delicate strands to break.
Seal: Once you’ve added in a moisturizing product like deep conditioner, you’ll need to make sure you’re sealing your ends to keep that moisture in. Instead of your usual go to like coconut oil, select hydrating and healing products like aloe vera gel, which can be gentler on damaged curls.