Hydrolyzed protein for your hair

Maybe you’ve seen my Instagram photo about hydrolyzed protein, or you feel like that an egg shampoo or rye flour doesn’t do anything for your hair? Maybe your hair stay’s dry, fragile and lifeless? Then I think hydrolyzed protein the solution for you! And do not be afraid, you will remain your own hair. It will not become so straight as after those expensive keratin treatments at the hairdresser.

A while ago I started adding hydrolyzed protein to my homemade hair mask, and the results where amazing! My hair is no longer dry, brittle or frizzy. It feels soft, it shines, my curls are tighter and on top of that: my dry ends don’t feel dry anymore and seem much stronger! In this blog I will explain what hydrolyzed protein actually is, what different kind of protein there is for your hair, what these all do and how you can add it to your own natural hair mask.

Does my hair need protein?

Hair consists out of keratin protein, moisture (water) and binder. If you have damaged your hair; by dying your hair, using heat (a straightener or a curling iron) or by swimming in chlorine water (a pool), the outer layer (cuticle) of your hair can be damaged and become porous. This outer layer protects your hair from influences of the weather, aggressive styling or shampoo. When this protective layer has become porous, there can become some room between the hair scales and the middle layer (cortex). This middle layer is then exposed to the aggressive styling, the weather and shampoo. The hair scales remain open and the hair can hardly hold any vitamins, minerals and moisture. Porous/damaged hair needs extra protein to restore itself.
Does your hair feel dry, fragile and lifeless? Is your hair often frizzy?
Then your hair probably needs some protein!
Before applying protein to your hair, I would recommend to test your hair first. Test the porosity of your hair and do the stretch test to see how damaged your hair is. I often do the stretch test between washes to see what my hair needs at the next wash: moisture or protein! You can read more about the stretch test in my blog.

Hydrolyzed protein for your hair.

Protein is in a number of food products which you can also use to nourish or wash your hair with. For example: egg, rye flour, coconut milk, yogurt and mayonnaise. But unfortunately, the protein in these food products is too big to actually penetrate into the middle layer (cortex) of your hair. Because of this, this protein cannot really restore your porous hair. The protein-rich food products can make your hair feel fuller, thicker and softer, but this effect is temporary and will disappear the next time you wash your hair. This is because these protein particals will only stay on the top layer of your hair.
Hydrolyzed protein is protein which is specially made smaller so that it can actually penetrate into the middle layer of your hair (the cortex) and can repair any damage. And I can tell you that you will really notice this difference! The hydrolyzed protein has made my hair so much healthier! My hair feels soft, it is no longer dry, the frizz is gone, my hair shines, I have gotten more curls and my dry ends are no longer dry. These feel really nourished now! And on top of all this: hydrolysed protein is not that expensive at all! For a few euros (in the netherlands) you can have a bottle which you can add to your own hairmask or conditioner. Are you excited too?
The ‘Green Beauty channel’ in this YouTube video explains more about hydrolyzed protein for your hair.
Because there are different types of proteins, there are also different types of hydrolyzed protein for your hair. Every protein does something different for your hair. I will explain them here:

Wheat protein.

Wheat protein makes your hair strong, hydrated and ensures that the moisture in your hair is retained. Wheat protein is very suitable for dry and damaged hair. Split ends love wheat protein.

Silk protein.

Silk protein comes from one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. It makes your hair wonderfully soft and forms a protective barrier to the hair strands. Silk protein enhances elasticity, makes your hair soft and adds shine to the hair. Very suitable for very dry and porous hair.

Soy protein.

Soy protein is a water-soluble protein obtained from soy. It strengthens and restores the hair fiber by reducing the sustained damage to your hair. Soy protein adds shine and makes your hair soft. It also increases the ability to keep moisture in your hair.


Collagen is good for its elasticity.


Hydrolyzed Keratin is my favorite! It is also the protein that hairdressers use.  Each hair is made of keratin protein. Keratin is the strength of your hair. If you add keratin to your hair, it will strengthen the hair shaft, prevents more breakage, softens the outer layer of your hair, reduces frizz and makes your hair beautiful shiny.
Hydrolyzed keratin makes your hair not straight! Keratin is often associated with straight hair because a lot of hairdressers use this with their wel known keratin treatments. If you try out a keratin treatment at your hairdresser, your hair, will be made straight with a straightener. They use a straightener to burn the keratin into your hair. The heat from the straightener opens the hair cuticles and this way the keratin kan penetrate into your hair. The keratin on itself does not make your hair straight, it is the straightener that makes your hair straight. If you don’t want straight hair or use a straightener, than you can also mix the hydrolyzed keratin with a natural hair mask and use a heat cap to open the cuticles.
You can also add the hydrolyzed keratin to a leave in and use the warmth of a hair dryer to open the hair cuticles so the keratin can penetrate your hair. Don’t rinse it out if you add it to a leave in.

Tips for a natural hair mask with hydrolyzed protein.

There are plenty of different natural products that you can use as hair mask. 
  • Honey
  • Aloe vera
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • The different Ayurvedic hair herbs (Brahmi, Bhringaj, Ashwagandha, Amla, Neem, Hibiscus, Shikakai)
  • Yogurt
  • Coconut milk
If you want a cleansing hair mask, add an whole egg to the mask. You can also add some oil to the hair mask if you have very dry hair. I would only use a few drops of oil. And you can also mix it up! For example, make a delicious hair mask with honey, yogurt and a fine oil that you love her.


If you want to make a natural hair mask with hydrolyzed protein, then you should first wash your hair with a natural product. Do not use acid or cold water after washing! Make sure that the hair cuticles are slightly open so that the hair mask and the hydrolyzed protein can penetrate your hair better.
To determine the amount of hydrolyzed protein that you should use, you should think about a number of things:
  • What is the porosity of your hair? 
  • Have you dyed your hair in recently?
  • Do you often use heat on your hair?
  • Did you swim in chlorine water?
  • Was there any hydrolyszd protein in one of the hair products you used before?
The above factors are very important and have a very strong influence on the  amount of protein in your hair. And especially if you have already used products with hydrolyzed protein, you may not even need to use protein at this moment. It may be that your hair is dry and frizzy because your hair needs more moisture.
I’ve already said it before, but do the stretch test before you use hydrolyzed protein for your hair. Observe how your hair reacts to the stretch test! 
  • Does your hair break off when you try to stretch it? Then I would definitely add a big amount of hydrolyzed protein to your natural hair mask. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of hydrolyzed protein.
  • Does your hair stretches, but it does not completely restore itself to the original form? Then I would use a little bit less of hydrolyzed protein. Start with 1 or 2 teaspoons of hydrolyzed protein (depending on the size of the teaspoons) 
Devide the hair mask into wet hair and make sure it covers your hair well. Put your hair up and use a showercap or some foil and let it sit for about half an hour. Rinse your hair thoroughly!
You can use a heat cap or a warm towel if you want an even better effect of the hydrolyzed protein. Warmth ensures that the hair cuticles will open and remain open. This way the good nutrients of the hair mask and the hydrolyzed protein can really penetrate your hair even better.
Be aware: Too much use hydrolyzed protein can also make your hair fragile, frizzy and dry.  You should stop using it when you notice this and apply moisture to your hair. You can use flaxseed gel, aloe vera gel, tea or coffee. Don’t you feel like messing around or trying it out yourself? Come over and visit me for a personal natural hair treatment! You will also receive a consultation with personal advice for your hair.
Have you ever added hydrolyzed protein to your own natural hair mask? Let me know what your results where?

Do you want to stay inspired and receive nice tips or triqs? Or do you just want to be immediately informed when a new blog is online? You can follow me on my Facebook page @natuurlijkehaarverzorging or follow me via my Instagram account: @rachel_naturalhaircare

13 Replies to “Hydrolyzed protein for your hair”

  1. Thanks so much for the breakdown and info!

    I usually use just oil to deep condition my hair. Instead of mixing it with a deep conditioner or the treatments listed above, can I mix a bit of the hydrolyzed protein with just oil itself? (like almond oil or avocado oil, etc.)


    1. Hi Ruby,

      I don’t know if the hydrolyzed protein is then able to penitrate your hair because oil puts a seal over your hair.
      Your hair also needs water next to oil. So maybe a good idea to change it up with a hydrating hairmask?

      Greetings Rachel

  2. That makes a lot of sense! I actually tried it with just oil the other day – I have low porosity hair, so I always have to use heat to deep condition. After about 20-25 mins, I took off my heat cap and my hair did feel a little hard, so I think the protein did penetrate a bit? But you’re right, it’d likely work better in a hydrating hair mask – I’ll try that next time, using some of the examples you listed.

    Thanks so much for your help! 🙂

  3. Can you tell me how do I make my damaged dry frizzy and wavy hair soft manageable ? What hydralized protein will help?

    1. Hi Meenal,

      When you have dyed hair, than can hydrolyzed protein really help. Otherwise your hair needs more moisture en you should use more moisturized products or hairmasks.

      Greetings Rachel

  4. Hi my name is constance will it work good on woman of color an also I do a honey treatment in my hair so can I mix it in the honey.

  5. My hair has been falling/breaking off for months now after keratin heat treatment.tried biotin and lots more.

    1. Hi Marion,

      To much protein can make your hair brittle. You have to add more moisture to your hair to restore the balance.
      Try some hair masks to add more moisture to your hair.

      Greetings Rachel

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