Identifying protein overload

Identifying protein overload

Have you heard the phrase ‘protein overload’? are you doing everything right but your hair has changed and you don’t know why. Read along to see if this might be the cause of your brittle, broken and dull hair that knots easily.


Protein Overload is when the protein/moisture/hydration balance has become unbalanced. Yes, your hair is mainly made up of protein and you definitely need protein to have healthy, luscious locks but in this case too much of a good thing, too often, can become bad thing. Especially if you aren't stripping it through colour. If you all of a sudden notice your hair changes from healthy to dull, dry and brittle, all most like a coating covering your cuticle, it may be your experiencing Protein overload.


If you find you hair has changed dramatically, rather quickly, with no other changes to hair products or your health then it may be time to visit your chosen stylist to look a little deeper at what you are using on your hair.


Here are a few things to watch out for if you think ‘protein sensitivity’ might be what you are dealing with:

  • Unusually dry, and brittle hair.
  • Hair breaks easily.
  • Stiff hair without any movement or flexibility.
  • Dramatic hair shedding.
  • Tangles easily.
  • Dull and lacking natural shine.


Note that some of these hair attributes can also be due to lack of protein so always consult with your hairstylist before you start a new routine.


Now that you have identified protein overload or sensitivity here is how to quickly bring your hair back to its former glory.


Firstly, let’s talk about a method I swear by for making sure your hair nutrients are balanced; LOC method. This method insures you have hydration and protein from your liquid and it's absorbed by the cortex (not on the cuticle) that its moisturised and sealed by your oil and that your cream can provide the nourishment and protection needed. Using this method makes sure that the hydration, moisture and strength you add from your haircare is going directly where it needs to go to keep your hair health on pointe.


Your hair can definitely bounce back from protein overload but it may take time, it all depends upon how long your hair has been experiencing these changes. Don’t give up if you don’t notice changes overnight. Some times your hair can bounce back within a few washes where others can take up to six months. This is because your cortex needs hydration and your cuticle needs moisture. Because your cuticle has a build up of protein and it's not allowing your strands to be nourished.


First look at the ingredient list of all your haircare and look out for obvious or hidden proteins.


  • Hydrolysed (wheat, oat, soy rice, silk, vegetable, keratin, collagen) protein
  • Wheat protein
  • Quinoa protein
  • Soy protein
  • Rice protein
  • Silk protein
  • Keratin
  • Oat flour
  • Amino acids
  • PG-Propyl Silanetriol (silicone modified wheat protein)
  • Cocodimonium Hydroxpropyl (Hydrodrolysed wheat protein)

So now you have identified them look where they are on the list and how many forms of protein there are. The higher up the list the higher the % in the product. Don’t be alarmed of Protein close to the bottom these will provide balance once your hair has bounced back to normal. Be careful of words like repair these can make you feel like you are going to fix your damaged hair but these are usually a protein-based word. 


Now in saying 'be aware' of protein also be aware that it's important to still use protein, but the best type you can use is a Hydroylsed protein, this is because the moleceule has been broken up very small and it can actually reach the cortex instead of sitting on your cuticle causing damage.


You want to find products with humectants (they draw hydration/moisture in to the hair) but in order for Humectants to work their best in your haircare they need to be sealed by a natural oil  to stop them drawing moisture away from the hair. It's all about balance.


That’s why here at HALO we make sure we have the proper balance so you don’t have to worry. If you are unsure of what your hair needs or feel like your hair is unbalanced read on to see if we can help you change that.


But don’t be scared of Protein as I said earlier your hair is mainly made up of protein; around 90% and you definitely need it, but creating balance is important. Let’s look at how you can create balance with HALO


Hydrated HALO range provides Nourishment and Moisture to help lock in Hydration.

Kinks, curls and coils provides slip for tangles and knots and light weight moisture for those of you that are wanting nourishment without as much weight.

Pick your shampoo out of the above ranges for your scalp type and conditioner for your lengths.

Hydrated Hair oil gives the hair flexibility, shine and seals in hydration (something protein overload takes away) This little multi- tasking oil is a must to bring your hair back to life. It can be used as your Pre-treat, Oil for your LOC method and your finishing product for sealed shine.

Now let’s show you a program to ensure your hair gets in top form quickly.

Hydrated Oil; apply this generously to dry hair and really massage in to scalp and work through ends. Re-apply once it has soaked in. You can repeat this step until you feel like your hair can’t absorb anymore oil. Leave overnight or all day if possible.

Extra step if you are really serious; apply hydrated pre treat and leave on for at least 20 mins.

Shampoo scalp gently but thoroughly, rinse and repeat. Towel blot hair and apply chosen Conditioner, leave for 10mins at least, longer if you have time. Green house method will allow deeper penetration of oils and butters in conditioner. Rinse.

Now we use the LOC method to apply our next 3 products; Tangled toner for hydration, Hydrated oil for flexibility and reapply conditioner as your multi-tasking leave in.

I’d recommend at this stage to not apply heat as that will strip the hair of that much needed moisture. But what can I say I love my heat tools so please if you must always apply your Hydrated Heat HALO before any styling.

On curls also add your ‘curl me gel’ as your final step then apply Tangled toner to refresh on dry hair then scrunch in Hydrated Hair oil

On straight hair reapply Hydrated Hair oil for shine.

I hope these tips help you understand your hair balance better. But please remember everybody’s hair is different and unique and I always say at first if you are worried about the condition of your hair always speak and listen to hairdressing professionals first. We are the trained professionals and to be honest I think I speak for most of us, we love to help when it comes to creating ‘your healthiest hair possible’.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.