Understanding protein overload and how to reverse it

You’ve probably never heard this before but protein overload is a thing. It is not a fabricated theory. You may have heard that the best way to healthy hair is to maintain the protein – moisture balance. While this is quite valid, it’s dangerous when either of them is lacking or over-abundant as the case maybe. So, yeah a balance is very important. It is the ultimate.

But today, we’re focusing on protein overload and how to reverse it.

Protein overload is basically when the protein – moisture equilibrium is unbalanced. It is as simple as that. When there’s too much protein in the hair, it feels limp, dry and brittle which makes it susceptible to over-shedding and breakage. This could lead to a huge setback you might have a hard time recovering from. You hair will start to fall off and this won’t be pretty.

Now, that we know what it is, how do we identify it?

At the beginning of every hair journey, we always emphasize taking time out to study your hair. That way, you’re familiar with your hair, you instantly know when something’s off. The first step to identifying protein overload is to notice when your hair starts acting up. You’ve tried everything possible and it just won’t bulge. You’ve checked and cross-checked your regimen and everything is intact but your hair isn’t. These five signs to identifying protein overload:

1. Your hair snaps off when you do the hair strand test
2. Your hair is unusually dry/lifeless and brittle
3. Your hair lacks the natural shine/luster that it used to have
4. Heavy shedding and tangles
5. Your hair feels very strawlike and stiff.

Once your hair shows any or all of these signs, then something’s wrong and it needs to be fixed.

So, how do you fix it? How do you reverse it to maintain the balance?

First thing you should know is that this reversal will not happen overnight. You hair won’t return back to its balanced state overnight. It will take sometime usually 4-6 weeks.

The next thing is to take a break from all protein and protein-laden products. You’re gonna need all the moisture you can get and this products will only compound the issue. Sort through your stash with any of these proteins and keep them aside – Hydrolyzed collagen, Wheat protein, Quinoa protein, Soy protein, Rice protein, Silk protein, Keratin, Oat flour, Amino acids etc.

Your most important products will become those with moisturizing ingredients until you get the balance right. When you’re done sorting, you might find out that you really don’t have much left. This shouldn’t be a problem. Once you’ve gotten the balance right, you can go back to using them.

The major crux of this issue is that you need to create a new protein-free regimen solely to reverse the protein overload. You could opt for a bentonite clay as a cleanser and clarifier. This will help thoroughly cleanse the hair whilst removing protein build-up. This is the first step to gradually restoring your hair. Your deep conditioners must be moisture intensive. This is the time to get honey, glycerine, avocados, oils and every other moisturizing deep conditioner. Your leave-in conditioner shouldn’t be left out as well. You will need to source for a protein-free leave-in. To accelerate the process of infusing moisture back into your strands, you can try the baggying method. This is where you moisturize your hair with a protein-free product, cover it with a plastic cap and leave it overnight. ACV rinses can also be used to clarify and regulate the pH.

You get the drift. Every product needed to reverse the protein overload must be moisture-intensive. There should be no trace of protein and your hair will be back to normal in no time.

© Copyright 2016 Ebun Oluwole, All rights Reserved. Written For: Get your Sizzelle on!

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