Are you suffering from dry, breaking hair from a protein treatment gone wrong? This article will teach you how to reverse protein overload in your natural and relaxed hair to halt breakage and restore moisture.
6 Regimen Hacks for Reversing Protein Overload
My hair is no stranger to protein overload and it took years before I learned how to properly balance protein and moisture. One of the worst situations I’ve experienced happened when a stylist left a strong protein treatment on my hair too long. My hair was dry, brittle and breaking! This incident helped me to come up with some ways to quickly reverse protein overload.
Baby Your Hair!
Be very gentle with your hair until it recovers because excessive manipulation will only lead to additional breakage.
Moisture Only Regimen!!
Stay away from protein based products until moisture is restored to your hair. Using products containing the slightest bit of protein may worsen the protein overload. Therefore, sticking with a moisture only regimen is important to regaining the right moisture levels within your hair.
Baggy Your Hair!
Baggying your hair is an excellent method for restoring moisture. Simply mist your hair with a moisturizing spray and/or apply your favorite moisturizer before tossing on a plastic processing cap for a couple of hours. The plastic cap will create a greenhouse effect. After about 15 minutes, you should notice water droplets forming inside the plastic cap. This greenhouse effect provides moisture to your dehydrated hair. Be sure to seal in the moisture when you remove the plastic cap!
As a word of caution, baggying is a great and effective technique when used properly. When done is excess, it can lead to moisture overload and damaged cuticles. Therefore, don’t overdo it by leaving your hair damp for hours. Baggying for a few hours each night or every other night is sufficient until moisture levels are restored.
Co-Wash to Restore Moisture!
Co-washing gives the hair a boost of hydration which is needed when experiencing protein overload.
Steam Your Strands!
Steaming your hair is a great way to force feed moisture into your strands. It gently opens the cuticles to allow product to deeply penetrate and provides additional hydration to your hair.
Related: How to Steam Your Hair Without a Steamer.
Add Salt to Your Deep Conditioner!
Adding 1 tablespoon salt to your deep conditioner will break down the protein bonds in your hair and will quickly reverse protein overload. Be sure to read the article, How to Correct Protein Overload in Hair with Salt. The last time that I used this treatment, I deep conditioned with a mixture of 1 tablespoon regular table salt, 1 cup TRESemme Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner and a few tablespoons of honey. If you give this a try, it’s very important that you stir the conditioner mixture really well to dissolve all salt crystals so that it does not damage your hair.
Each time I do this treatment, I am left with soft, balanced hair! That said, you can easily get moisture overload if you overdo the treatment by using too much salt or leaving it on for too long. I kept my treatment on for two hours because my hair was severely protein overloaded.
Use good judgment when using this treatment. Do note, I only use this treatment when nothing else works because it is not widely used or talked about within the hair community, thus long-term effects to the hair are unknown. Therefore, I play it safe and only use it on an as-needed basis.