How to Use Protein Hair Filler

Protein strengthens hair and increases elasticity, making it harder to snap.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Protein -- the stuff your hair is made of -- protects, strengthens and fills in the gaps created by damage when applied to your hair in liquid form. It's called filler partly because it fills in the gaps, making further chemical services possible. Just try to perm your hair without it. If your hair really needs it, you may be left holding your hair in your hands ... literally. Whether you use it the next time you color or add it to your daily routine, you will see that it makes a difference.

As an Additive and Filler


Squirt protein filler on perm-wrapped hair after you rinse off the perm solution and blot the hair. Don't be stingy with it. Leave it on for a few minutes and blot excess with paper towels. Apply neutralizer and finish processing the perm according to instructions.


Prevent color fading and grabbing by filling your hair with protein before a color service. Spray the stuff on your clean, dry hair, paying particular attention to those dry, dead ends. Apply the color directly over the filler and process as you would normally.


Pour 1 oz. of protein directly into your relaxer before you apply it to your hair. Adding protein to relaxer prevents damage and increases shine and manageability.

As a Conditioner


Spray a good amount of protein filler on your hair after each shampoo. Use it in addition to your regular conditioner. Spray it on like you would a leave in, comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb, and style with the stuff still in your hair.


Spray protein filler on wet hair and cover with a plastic cap for a deep-conditioning treatment. Apply heat for 15 minutes. You can use your hand-held dryer; just don't heat the same spot while ignoring the rest. Maintain an even temperature over the entire surface of the cap. Rinse with cool water when finished.


Add 1 oz. to your regular conditioning treatment to turn your treatment into a conditioning cocktail to die for. Mix it in and finish with the treatment according to the directions for the particular treatment you're using.

Tips & Tricks


Protein filler helps but it's not a miracle worker. Some hair is just too damaged. Even with protein, some hair will snap and disintegrate under pressure. Don't put chemicals on hair that already shows signs of breakage.

You can purchase protein filler at any beauty supply and anywhere else professional products are sold. Ask your stylist whether they carry a line that includes a protein treatment that you can take home with you.


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"Milady's Standard Textbook of Cosmetology"; Milady, et al.; 2008

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