How Protein Affects Your Hair

              The biggest challenge I faced after starting my healthy hair journey was monitoring the protein and moisture balance. My hair was doing fine in the beginning. But over time, I started to notice excessive breakage. My hair felt hard and crunchy after each wash. And no matter what I did, I could not get my hair to stay moisturized. I can say without any reservation that my breakage was due to using too much protein on my hair. Or as some would say, "I suffered from protein overload." A diet low in protein can also damage the hair. Your hair can get its protein either internally or externally. The important thing is to know when enough is enough.

How protein affects your hair

             When your hair is in its natural state (not chemically treated), little protein is required for it to thrive. According to WebMD, Not eating enough protein can result in shedding and breakage. If the body does not have enough protein to function properly, it will save protein by sending the hair cycle  into the resting phase. If you've been wondering why your hair stopped growing lately, this just might answer your question. From your hair all the way to your last toe nail, protein is very important. The protein found in the hair is called Keratin. Keratinocytes are responsible to make this protein because it is essential to hair growth. When Keratin is not present, the hair becomes dull, brittle, and susceptible to breakage. Chemicals in certain hair products and hot hair tools can also cause the hair to lose its protein. Not eating a diet consisting of 2-3 servings of protein a day can lead to hair damage and breakage. Did you know that protein can affect the hair texture? According to a study published in the "Journal of Investigative Dermatology" in February 2011, binding protein determines whether the hair is curly or straight.

Protein from different hair products

            Hair care products with added protein are formulated to strengthen the hair shaft. Keep in mind that some hair products will coat the hair instead of adding protein  to the hair shaft. In order for the hair to get the amount of protein necessary, the cuticle layers must be lifted. If you have thin hair, heat can be used to ensure the complete penetration of the protein.

  Protein from your diet
             According Dr. Lawrence Shapiro, a hair transplant surgeon based in Florida, eating whey protein can be very beneficial for the hair.  He  conducted a study in March of 2010 on the effects of drinking a whey protein beverage made from concentrated whey protein and other nutrients. The results of this study is listed on his website. Whey protein can also be found in some shampoos. TREsemme moisture rich shampoo used to contain whey protein, but the latest formula doesn't. My daughter had a severe allergic reaction to this particular shampoo a few years ago because she is allergic to dairy products.

           In conclusion, as you learn the texture of your hair and how much protein it needs, eating a protein rich diet or adding regular protein treatments to your hair regimen,  will help you retain your length. The biggest setback that I had to deal with since I started my hair journey was caused by protein overload. I hope you learn from my mistakes.




  1. Such an informative post Nerline! You mentioned this when I had my hair debacle a couple of months ago. It really made me think! My hair is growing back, but I have to be so careful. Thanks girl.

  2. Awesome post. My hair loves protein but protein overload is no joke.

  3. Wow Nerline I learn so much with this post about the important of needing protein on the hair and how you could be allergic to a particular shampoo if you are allergic to dairy this is great information an eye awakening. Great job.

  4. You are such a Good hair Ambassador. My Niece just found out about protien overload and was discussing with me last week.She too was on overload. Kudos Sis!!

  5. Protein overload is difficult to deal with! Using a pinch of salt in conditioner helps to reverse the overload but who wants to do that if they don't have to? No one. Therefore, balancing protein with moisture is very important yet one the hardest things to figure out.

    Jay of

  6. Thanks for this detailed & informative post. I've been having a bit of hair problems so I'll have to check my protein to see what I should change. :]

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  7. This is a very informative post. I really wish my hair was in better condition. I never know which products are good and I'm pretty sure my diet has something to do with it also.

  8. Very informative post and I like your list of references.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Another well written and informative post just packed with good stuff!

  10. Very informative post, my hair loves protein, especially silk protein. I think finding that moisture protein balance is one of the most difficult task on a hair journey.

  11. Very informative post, Nerline. I guess I need to up my intake of protein daily. I don't get enough. How much protein do you eat in a day?

  12. Dicas maravilhosas amei, bom final de semana.

  13. I love your informative and detailed post about the hair. I always learn something new. Thx for all the work you invest in these post, Nerline.
    lots of kisses

  14. Reading this article reminds me of how I have neglected my hair! Nice read and your hair is healthy! enjoy your weekend.

  15. Great and enlightening post Nerline. My hair texture definnitely changed lately too. As I thought it was lacking protein & keratin I started using a keratin series from Kerastase. My hair feels much better now, but you are right I have to be careful not to overload my hair with product, which is why I use only a little bit of product at evry hairwash. Now they are growing much better again and the texture feels better too. Thanks for these great tips!


  16. Interesting post!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!! and my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  17. I appreciate the scientific breakdown of this post. Do you think that dietary protein is more beneficial to hair than hair treatment applications?

    1. The idea of the body sending the hair growth cycle to the resting phase when we don't consume enough protein scared the Jesus out of me. I would say that eating enough protein is more important because of that reason.

  18. I had no idea that protein can have an impact on your hair health. Thanks for sharing this, Nerline. Have a great afternoon!

  19. Very informative Nerline, thanks for sharing and I'm living the new theme

  20. Here I thought protein is actually good for the hair. Thanks for the education, sis. I will definitely watch my intake and not go overboard.


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