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Protein packs a wallop of strength and shine into African American hair. Hair that's been through the ringer -- or relaxer or dyes or other harsh chemicals -- is prone to dullness and breakage. Regular protein treatments bring your hair back to a healthy status quo, so you can pull off whatever texture or style you please.
Your hair is made of keratin, a naturally occurring protein. When you relax it, the chemicals that take out the kinks also degrade your keratin, so the hair is dull and brittle. Protein infuses life back into the strands, leaving your hair resilient and shiny again. Even if your tresses are natural, every bend in those curls is a weak spot on the strand. Protein helps natural hair avoid breakage, too -- which is particularly good for ladies growing in their 'fro.
Protein benefits African American hair that's limp, lifeless or inelastic. By strengthening your mane, protein puts a healthy amount of spring back in your hair, so you can comb or style it without worrying about it falling flat or breaking. Hair that's beginning to thin -- either from damage or genetics -- looks thicker and healthier.
African American women can find shampoos, conditioners and masks that have the protein hair needs. Masks or deep conditioners give hair the quick fix it needs to get back on the road to beauty. For hair that's extremely damaged, apply a deep conditioner with protein about once a month under heat. Finish with a moisturizing conditioner. If your hair is healthy, try a lightweight protein conditioner once a week.
Protein is a great go-to for African-American girls, but too much of a good thing is no good for you. Overuse of protein actually has the opposite effect of deep monthly or light weekly treatments. Too much protein will make your hair brittle and lead to breakage. Follow the directions on any products you buy for healthy, shiny and elastic hair.