Ahh… so my first professional haircut in five years was more than just a haircut. It was a crash course in how my hair regimen was the cause of the severe damage and breakage I was experiencing. From the start of the year I noticed that my hair was having some breakage on the left hand side towards my nape, and that my hair texture was changing. It was becoming dry and brittle and I was confused by what was causing this. Then the growth rate changed on half of my head and I was experiencing extreme shedding. Thats when I knew it was time for a professional discussion.
What was the cause? Protein Overload! I was using too many products that were protein based, and I was thinking in my mind that I wasn’t using enough protein. So what is the first thing I was told to do before putting one more single thing on my hair? Check the ingredients in my products. My stylist Vincenzo was very explicit when he stated that I should be focusing on strictly moisture for the next few weeks and detoxing my hair of all of the excess protein it has on it. To do so I would have to stop using some products for good, stop using some products for a while, and readjust my hair care regimen. Not only did I need moisture based products but I needed products with ingredients that would be good/work well for my hair.
Here are the protein free products I’ve decided to give a try/swap into my hair care regimen. These products work for protein sensitive hair as well as women who are dealing with a low tolerance for protein like me due to protein overload.
Protein Free Products For Protein Sensitive Natural Hair
To get the excess protein out I would have to cleanse my hair more rigorously for a few weeks. I’m usually simply a cowasher but since I’ll be shampooing (sulfate free of course) for a little bit I’m going back to my tried and true simple pre-poo formula. (there are some other great DIY pre-poo recipes that you can find here as well)
Avocado + Olive Oil + Honey: Three moisture based ingredients all found in the comfort of my kitchen. I used to do these pre-poo treatments over night during my transition and of course in my laziness and desire to not have to clean up (avocado can get/ be messy) I stopped using avocado all together. Terrible mistake because I had some of the best/fastest hair growth when I was paying attention to the careful moisture/balance in my hair care regimen. So I’ll be pre- pooing before I get to the cleansing step of my regimen.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Panthenol, PEG-50 Shea Butter, Polyquaternium-72, Polyquaternium-11, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol
*Alikay Naturals Coconut Milk Shampoo: This is the one I’ll be using initially as I already have it in my arsenal.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera Juice), Vegetable Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk Powder, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Oil), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Botanical Blend Ingredients
Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Mandarin Orange Fruit, Organic Marigold Flower, Organic White Willow Bark, Organic Sea Kelp, C14-16 Olefin, Sulfonate And Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Derived), Citric Acid, Sea Salt, Phenoxyethanol, Natural Fragrance
As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner : I’ll be heading out to purchase this. I used to use it a few years ago when I was experimenting with CoWashing and it was the only one that I found to be a decent counter part for Wen. It can be found online and in your local drug stores.
Key Ingredients: Tangerine, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Saw Palmetto and Phytosterols<p> </p> Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cetyl Alcohol², Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol², PEG-40 Castor Oil, Stearlkonium chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil², Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract¹, Quaternium-18, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene, Methylisothiazolinone
Rinse Out Conditioners
Ingredients: Aqua, cetyl alcohol (from coconut), alcohol denat. (38b, lavender), glycerin, adansonia digitata (baobab) seed oil, fragrance, citrus granids (grapefruit) extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), inositol, panthenol, biotin, polygonum multiflorum (he shou wu) root extract, arctium lappa (burdock) root extract, avena sativa (oat) straw extract, equisetum hyemale (horsetail) extract, tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) leaf extract, saponaria …
Eden Body Works Jojoba Monoi Revitalizing Conditioner : I recently purchased this a few weeks ago before I knew I was protein sensitive due to protein overload because I’ve been wanting to try Jojoba Monoi products. I’ll let you know how great this conditioner works for my hair in its current condition in an overall review in the upcoming weeks.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Coco Nut Oil, Tiare Flower, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Camomile) Flower Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol , Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid
Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii ( Shea Butter)*, Argan Oil, Coconut Oil*, Behentrimonium Chloride, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5) Avocado Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica ( Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil
Ingredients: Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil², Coco-Caprylate², Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin¹, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Phytosterols¹, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract¹ (Green Tea), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract¹, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract¹, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Fragrance/Parfum, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase, Abies Balsamea (Balsam Canada) Extract¹, Limonene
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Coco Nut Oil, Tiare Flower, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-11, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Camomile) Flower Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor)Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol , Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid
(Avocado + Honey)* I Put this in parenthesis because this mix can also be used for your pre-poo or deep conditioning. And obviously it isn’t bought in stores as a product but if you are truly worried about having some hidden proteins in store bought products this is the safest route1!
Leave In Conditioner
Ingredients: Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut)¹ and Phyllanthus emblica (Amla)¹, Cetyl Alcohol¹, Citric Acid¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit (Saw Palmetto) Extract¹, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract¹, Propylene Glycol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract¹, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract¹, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root¹, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene
Ingredients: Organic mango extract, organic slipper elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, *behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.
Ingredients: purified water, castor oil, olive oil, organic aloe vera gel, behentrimonium methosulfate (emulsifier), coconut oil, olive squalane, optiphen (preservative), cetyl alcohol
As I Am Twist Defining Cream: I’m heading out to buy this as I’ve heard /read rave reviews and I can find it in my local beauty supply and drug stores.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Acetamide MEA, Betaine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Triethanolamine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Carbomer, Phytosterols, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Powder, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Powder, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Fruit Extract, Ceteareth-25, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide PEG-15 Disulfate, Laureth-23, TBHQ, Methylisothiazolinone, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool.
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Polyquaternium 7, dl-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Phenoxyethanol, Vegetable Glycerin, Alcohol denatured, Carbomer, TEA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Fragrance
Ingredients: Water, Blueberry Leaf Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates Copolymer, Carbomer, Polyimide-1, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance (Essential Oil of Chamomile), Hexyl Cinnamal
Have you tried any of these products before? Or know of any other protein free products that should be added to the list? Drop your comments/ suggestions in the comment box below!
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*disclaimer: affiliate links are present within this post but do not alter or change my honest opinion/review of the products mentioned above*
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.