Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Hair Can't Seem To Get Enough Protein!

Are you one of those people who started using protein treatments (for example, the gelatine treatment from this blog) and find that, at some times of year, the effects wear off quickly. But you don't want to do the whole treatment over  - especially if you're one of those people who leaves it on for an entire hour!

Here's a way to get a respectable dose of protein with relatively litte effort. Keep that low-frizz wave and curl definition going strong.

Do-It-Yourself Protein Additive for Conditioner©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
Mix up this gelatine base (instructions below):
1 packet Knox Unflavored gelatine (or any unflavored gelatin 0.25 oz, 7.25 g or 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup distilled water
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
Mix the gelatine and water (room temperature water) and then pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds - or heat the water to boiling and then add it to the gelatine. Cool until cool enough to touch.

Now - refrigerate this mixture. This is 6% protein.
To use the gelatine - scoop out an equal amount of gelatine mixture as you will use conditioner. If you use 2 teaspoons conditioner (please measure your conditioner to be certain), then use 2 teaspoons of gelatine. Soften the gelatine by heating it slightly (until it liquefies) and mix with the conditioner.

Now you have a 3% protein conditioner. Apply it to your hair as you usually apply conditioner. Leave it on for at least a minute or two before rinsing.

If this is too much protein for your hair (your hair becomes too stiff or overly soft after using it), try using 2 parts conditioner for each 1 part gelatine mixture. For example, 2 teaspoons conditioner and 1 teaspoon gelatine mixture.

I suppose you could add 1/2 cup conditioner to the gelatine after it has cooled a bit, but before it sets, but be careful when you heat the product so it doesn't separate.
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
More Protein, More!
If you like this, but want it to be stronger in the protein department, then make the gelatine base with only 1/4 cup water and proceed - your conditioner will now be a whopping 6% protein.

Good luck!

If your hair begins to be too soft, too stiff or limp then knock it off and go back to whatever you were doing.


  1. I just tried this at the 50-50 mix. So far so good. But one question, how does this work with an product like Neutral Protein filter?. From what I can find, the filter adds keratin, amino acids and wheat proteins. Which protein does the gelatin represent?. I found a decent base conditioner that I would like to customize to medium to Strong Protein conditioner for my needs and I think this might work for me.

    1. Hello MzTeaze,
      Gelatin is hydrolyzed collagen - partially hydrolyzed collagen, so it's a medium-large protein. Gelatin is definitely a "strong" protein, even this additive can be pretty serious stuff. The higher the gelatin concentration, the stronger it is.

      Neutral Protein Filler, hmm. I know people who put a spray-top on the bottle and use it undiluted as a leave-in. It's definitely strong if you use it straight from the bottle and even diluted 50:50 you definitely notice it's there. But the protein size seems to be pretty small. It's less likely to cause a "stiff hair" result than gelatin.

      I think you could really go either way because you'll get a different result from each. If your hair really loves the support it gets from gelatin, you might not be wowed by Neutral Protein Filler. On the other hand, Neutral Protein Filler is ready to go in the bottle and great for hydration and softness - good for when you don't have time to mix up gelatin.

      If you want to add it to your conditioner and put it on the shelf, you would need to add a significant amount of preservative for gelatin because it's not preserved at all. I wouldn't trust a mixture of Neutral Protein Filler and conditioner on the shelf for very long either, it may not stay stable. Good luck!

  2. I really appreciate all your time and efforts and research for this information. While reading I noticed in the chart for absorbing oils into hair that jojoba oil was one not absorbing. I would really love to know if since our hair and nails are auppoaedly 'the same stuff' then does that mean that jojoba wax ester would not penetrate the nail as well? Or are they different enough to be absorbed.
    And I tried the gelatin concoction and my hair loved it.