When To Use Protein Deep Conditioners & 10 Best Protein Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair

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Protein deep conditioners should be a vital part of a healthy hair care regimen especially hair porosity hair.

Our hair is made up of 90% protein aka keratin as well as amino acids. Protein strengthens and repairs hair helping it to grow stronger and longer.

However, protein is lost in the course of chemical treatments, heat application manipulation and undue stress on the hair. 

Highly porous hair can also benefit from protein deep conditioners. Read What is Hair Porosity for more on highly porous hair.

Protein deep conditioners help to restore strength to hair and continues strengthening hair over time preventing breakage and hair loss.

Protein deep conditioners also repair, reconstruct and rebuilds hair.

However, you shouldn’t automatically apply protein deep conditioners for no reason.

5 Types of Protein for Hair

1. Collagen

This protein is derived from bovine bone and cartilage. Some people get these benefits via bone broth as well.

It improves hair elasticity and makes hair softer and more pliable.

2. Keratin

This protein is primarily for strengthening hair and restoring protein loss from hair.

It also coats the hair shaft and prevents further protein loss from hair. It is similar to the protein found in hair.

3. Silk Protein

The primary purpose of this type of protein is to soften and moisturize while strengthening hair. It is aka silk amino acids.

4. Wheat Protein

This protein adds strength and retains moisture. It’s in-between strong and mild, and the type of protein my hair likes best.

When I look up protein deep conditioners, I look out for this ingredient in the top 3. Ideal for protein sensitive hair types.

5. Soy Protein & Plant Proteins (Oat & Corn)

This type of proteins is sourced from plants and vegetables and provide moisture retention, protect and seal, add shine, body, and manageability.

This type is of protein is also ideal for protein sensitive hair types. I went into greater detail about protein in 365 Days of Moisture for Dry & Parched Hair.

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How to Choose the Best Protein Deep Conditioners for Your Hair

All hair types and textures can benefit from protein deep conditioners. However, the type you use depends on what is going on with your hair.

Strong Protein Deep Conditioners

Hair that’s being damaged by chemical treatments and heat application needs protein deep conditioners the most.

The treatments will restore the natural protein that’s being stripped from your hair.

If your hair falls into either or both of these categories, a weekly protein deep conditioning session is recommended with a strong protein deep conditioning session every 8 – 10 weeks.

Mild Protein Deep Conditioners

If your hair is healthy and just stressed from over manipulation while styling hair, then a mild protein deep conditioner every few weeks is best.

The strong deep protein conditioners will be too much for your hair otherwise.

Listen to your hair and feel your strands. My hair is very healthy and I only do deep protein treatments 2 – 3 times a year.

I also apply henna and indigo every 12 – 16 weeks, which plays a significant role in strengthening my strands as well.

10 Best Protein Deep Conditioners for Damaged Curly Hair

I have graded the protein deep conditioners below from 1 – 5 with 1 being mild and 5 being the strongest protein deep conditioner.

This is based on my experience as well as reviews from curlistas around the web.

They might have a different strength level when applied to your hair but this acts as a good reference point for you. 

1. AG Hair Cosmetics Conditioner Deep Reconstructing Treatment – 2

AG Hair Cosmetics Conditioner Deep Reconstructing Treatment

SEE REVIEWS HERE

2. ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor – 3

ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor

SEE REVIEWS HERE

 

3. Aphogee Two-step Treatment Protein for Damaged Hair – 5 

Aphogee Two-step Treatment Protein for Damaged Hair

SEE REVIEWS HERE

4. Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner – 3

Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner

SEE REVIEWS HERE

5. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask – 3

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

SEE REVIEWS HERE

6. Curly Hair Solutions Pure Silk Protein Deep Moisturizing Treatment – 3

Curly Hair Solutions Pure Silk Protein Deep Moisturizing Treatment

SEE REVIEWS HERE

7. Curl Junkie Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment – 2 

Curl Junkie Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment

SEE REVIEWS HERE

8. Giovanni Smooth as Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion – 4

Giovanni Smooth as Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion

SEE REVIEWS HERE

9. Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream – 3

Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream

SEE REVIEWS HERE

10. Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner – 4

Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner

SEE REVIEWS HERE

Do not overdo deep protein treatments. Just because they work so well the first few times doesn’t mean you should use them frequently.

Overuse can lead to stiff and dry hair, which will inevitably lead to breakage. Always listen to your hair needs.

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