6 Signs Your Hair Needs a Protein Treatment

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 09/23/22

It’s possible for your hair to lose protein, and when this happens, your hair feels brittle and prone to breakage. There are many benefits to using a protein treatment on your hair, including strengthening, nourishing and providing shine. 

Protein loss is mostly due to hair products, heat styling, diet, and other environmental factors. 

You might have to trim off damaged hair or grow it out after getting to the root of the issue!

The question is… how do I know if my hair needs protein?

In this article, you’ll learn to look for signs your hair needs protein treatments. Also, you’ll learn to distinguish which is better for your hair – protein or moisture treatment.

6 Signs Your Hair Needs Protein

To help you out, we’ve listed the top hair conditions that you should look out for when your hair needs protein. 

1. High Porosity Level

When hair is super porous, it looks frazzled, coarse, and dry. Hair with high porosity has tears and gaps on the strands, which quickly exposes the hair to stressors resulting in weak hair. 

As a result, the hair loses its moisture more quickly than normal, which leads to frizzy and tangled strands.

In this case, protein treatment can help fill in those gaps to hold the moisture longer and strengthen your strands to avoid breakage. 

2. Low Elasticity

Hair elasticity is important as it determines the overall strength of your hair. 

When curly and textured hair stretches a lot before it breaks, it’s missing protein and also a sign of low elasticity. Healthy hair should return to its natural state after being stretched!

That said, you should learn to perform the elasticity test to determine whether or not your hair needs a protein treatment.

3. Increased Shedding and Breakage

It’s normal to lose 100 strands of hair every day. However, if you lose more hair that doesn’t come from the root, that might be a case of protein deficiency.

Breakage can be due to protein or moisture loss or chemical treatments and also can be linked to elasticity issues.

Protein treatments can not only retain moisture loss but also prevent unnecessary hair loss. 

4. You Get Color Treatments

Hair color and bleach are loaded with chemicals that alter the bonds of the hair resulting in damage.

Your hair’s pH level rises due to chemicals that cause the hair cuticle to rise. When the cuticle is raised up longer, the cortex of the hair is exposed, which makes it prone to protein loss and damage.

Protein treatment is necessary for color-treated hair to keep your strands strong and healthy.   

5. Hair Feels Gummy

When hair feels mushy and sticky, it could be due poor hair support system or too much moisture, which makes the hair texture feel funny.

Or worst, if your hair has suffered from too much lightening and starting to feel like bubble gum, then it’s another case of protein deficiency!

There are various salon treatments for this kind of hair condition. Protein treatment is amongst the most effective!

6. Hair Looks Limpy and Stringy

Limp hair is a sign of protein deficiency. You might think your hair just needs a bit of styling product to bring it back to life. In some cases, you may resort to using styling products to temporarily solve the issue. Unfortunately, it’s not going to solve the problem!

Protein treatment could work in bringing back your full and bouncy natural hair. Protein contains amino acids that play a key role in reviving extremely damaged hair. 

However, you should be careful as too much protein can also damage your hair shaft resulting in weak hair strands. 


You should know what signs to look for in hair that needs protein. Identifying signs of protein loss in your hair is something that you should learn to quickly address hair issues. 

An occasional protein treatment is something that you should incorporate into your hair care routine. Treatments are generally recommended to be done once a month but can vary based on your hair condition. Protein treatments are effective, and they work well in strengthening your strands and preventing hair damage.

Important: Protein overload can cause adverse effects such as dry, brittle, and damaged hair. Proteins called keratin can strengthen your tresses but when overused it weakens the hair shaft resulting in split ends and damaged hair. 

Read this article to learn more about the best protein treatment for hair. 

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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