Helping Relaxed Hair Recover From Protein Overload Damage

I haven’t done one of these in a while. A hair update as a blog post. Lately, I’ve been sharing my hair updates on Instagram or on my YouTube channel.

So what’s so special about this update that I decided to do a blog post? Well, I’ve got some plans for getting my hair back to the healthy state it was in before and I wanted to put it all in writing for you.

For over a year I had been experiencing some hair breakage in areas, my hair wouldn’t hold any moisture, and my hair would look rough and hardly ever smooth. I tried several things but nothing helped.

Helping Relaxed Hair Recover From Protein Overload Damage | A Relaxed Gal

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Then a few months ago I realized what the issue was, it was protein overload. By that time my hair wasn’t in the best shape. I had to get rid of several hair products with protein ingredients and test out several new ones that were protein-free.

After getting rid of the protein overload I made it my business to work on my hair

I focused a lot on moisture. Not just using moisturizing products but also identifying some moisturizing techniques when it comes to caring for my hair.

I worked on putting less stress on my hair because it still seemed fragile. I did this by wearing my hair out more so there wasn't any stress on it. And when I did wear an updo I kept it loose.

I made sure to take care of my scalp by applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil to it multiple nights a week and massaging the oil onto my scalp.

Of course, I stayed away from protein except for the time my hair needed it when it felt mushy and overly moisturized.

I also tried a lot of new hair products trying to find protein-free ones that my hair liked so I could rebuild my hair regimen

Doing all of these things has helped the areas with breakage to grow out because my hair isn’t breaking as it had been. My hair is also looking smoother than it had for months including my ends which had been looking really rough and puffy.

While things are improving overall with my hair I have been noticing that the protein overload did cause some serious damage that still needs to be addressed.

Such as the while the areas that experienced breakage are growing out there was so much breakage my hair doesn’t look as full as it should in some areas. It doesn’t help that I’ve had some new breakage in the front sections that are most likely due to the damage my hair now has from too much protein. As a result, my ponytails look really thin and a little sad. Especially when I compare them to what my ponytails used to look like.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working to figure out what I should be doing in the long term to help my hair recover from the damage it now has. Here’s what I’ve put together as my long-term plan

Finalize my hair regimen

Because my previous hair regimen was full of protein I wanted to start from scratch so I’ve been testing out several hair products. I’ve been testing so many I feel like it’s stunted the recovery of my hair.

It can’t be good for my hair to have to constantly adjust week after week to one or more new products. So I’m going to start nailing down which products my hair responds to best, which ones I need to weed out, and what type of products I need to find.

Moisturize and seal daily

I’ve been doing this in the weeks following my most recent relaxer touch-up and my hair has seemed to really thrive. While I end up using more product it’s better for my hair in the long run.

Baggy my ends multiple times a week

If you don’t know what baggying is you are missing out. I shared how I do this in an Instagram post. When I baggy my ends not only feel great but they look great.

I probably did the baggy method for about three nights in addition to the daily moisturizing and sealing I was doing during the week after my most recent relaxer touch-up and I noticed a huge difference in how smooth and moisturized my ends looked.

Going forward I'll be bagging my ends 1-3 nights a week. I don't want to do it any more than that because if overused the baggy method could cause the hair to be over moisturized and even fungus growth. For the same reasons, on the weeks I baggy three times, I won't be doing it three nights in a row.

Cowash consistently

I started co-washing again because I was working out and sweating multiple times a week. So on weeks when I didn’t work out as much I wasn’t always cowashing. That’s going to change.

Looking back at wash day posts from early on in my healthy hair journey I co-washed a lot more and my hair was thriving. Plus, so many other relaxed hair ladies I follow swear by regular co-washing, and their hair looks fabulous.

I’m currently testing out a particular co-wash product but the jury is still out on whether it’s the one for me. It’s a moisturizing cowash and is protein-free which is what I think is best for my hair right now.

Slowly reintroduce protein

For several months I pretty much stayed away from protein and only pulled out a product with protein ingredients when I felt like my hair was in the space of moisture overload.

The few times I’ve used a shampoo with protein ingredients I noticed my hair felt even better throughout the week so I’ve realized that I need to bring some protein back into the mix. I’ll most likely do this via a shampoo because it’s not a product that I’d apply daily like a leave-in or will sit on my hair for several minutes like a deep conditioner. I won’t be using the protein shampoo every single week. It will probably be every 4 to 6 weeks as a start unless I feel like more is needed.

Take hair vitamins

I’d forgotten about this but for a little while a few years ago I was taking biotin. While I noticed a difference in my nails I can’t say that I noticed any real difference in my hair. But I want to give them a try again but this time using a different hair vitamin to see if that helps my hair grow any faster and improves the overall health of my hair.

So those are the six things I’ll be focusing on this next relaxer stretch to help my hair recover from protein overload damage. I’ll be keeping you updated on how things are going in my Instagram feed and stories so make sure you follow me at @arelaxedgal. I’ll also be sharing my new hair regimen once I have that finalized.