For others like me, protein overload can happen little by little, and without you even realizing it. What I found is tricky about protein overload are some of the symptoms mimic other hair issues such as dry hair.

My hair had five of the six symptoms mentioned above so I was noticing changes in my hair but I thought it was going through a dry patch and the breakage was due to over-processed relaxed hair. Some of that was true but the main cause was protein overload.

How to fix protein overload

Protein overload is easy to get but not so easy to fix. It takes some persistence, consistency, and patience. In fact, as I’m writing this post I’m still working on fixing or correcting my protein overload. It’s been about a month and I’ve made some great progress but I still have a ways to go. Depending on how overloaded your hair got it can take a few weeks or months to fix it.

I’ve been working to reverse my protein overload for about a month now and have been doing a few things that have been working and getting my hair back to normal. Here are my four tips for reversing protein overload.

1. Stop using hair products with protein

The first thing you need to do is identify the products you’ve been using that have protein and remove them from your hair regimen. Most protein-based ingredients have the word protein in them. Others don’t, ones like keratin, yogurt, and amino acids. While not comprehensive, here’s a list of protein ingredients I see a lot in hair products

While it’s not technically a protein you’ll also want to avoid coconut oil because it helps to slow down protein loss. This makes your reversal of protein overload harder.

One thing to keep in mind is that typically the first 10 ingredients listed have the highest concentration. So if the protein is down near the bottom of the list there’s less of it. But that still doesn’t mean it won’t make your protein overload worse. I noticed that some of my hair products had the protein listed near the bottom but I didn’t want to take any chances so I still set them aside.

2. Get protein-free hair products

This sounds easier than it actually is. I had to a lot of searching on several sites online to find some products on my hair. During my search, I was not only looking for hair products that didn’t have protein, coconut oil but were moisturizing.

So I started reading the ingredient lists thoroughly and looked to see if the product talked about strengthening the hair which is a key indicator it has protein.

How to know you hair has too much protein and how to fix it | A Relaxed Gal

3. Clarify your hair

One of the protein-free products you should get is a good clarifying or deep cleansing shampoo. It will help to remove some of the excess protein from your hair as well as any build-up.

This isn’t a shampoo that you should use on a regular basis but is good to use for that initial shampoo and then as needed going forward.

4. Focus on moisture

The focus should not only be on moisturizing products but also on moisturizing techniques. In addition to the clarifying shampoo, you’ll want to have a moisturizing shampoo as well as a moisturizing deep conditioner and leave-in conditioner that are protein-free.

Some other things you can do to add moisture to your hair is

As I mentioned before fixing or reversing protein overload can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It all depends on how overloaded your hair is and how quickly you recognize the problem and how aggressively you work to reverse it. 

You do have to be careful though that you don’t go overboard and end up with moisture overload. At some point, you’ll need to start rotating back in some protein so you have a moisture and protein balance.

Have you ever experienced protein overload?

What protein overload is and how you can fix it. | A Relaxed Gal
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