Why Does Black Hair Need Protein Treatments And Reconstructors?

Short relaxed hairFind out the importance of protein in black hair care

To understand why black hair requires protein treatments, you must first understand what the purpose of protein in the hair is. Hair is made up of Keratin a kind of protein. When hair undergoes any chemical service or is damaged by misuse of heat tools, protein is lost hence the hair loses some its elasticity or strength.

By using products that contain protein in them, you improve the hair’s elasticity and strength properties. Very curly and kinky hair tends to be dry and quite fragile even in its natural state. With the addition of relaxers or colour services, the hair tends to become weaker. Using a protein based conditioner improves the health of the hair immensely and should be applied to any regimen.

Depending on the kind of protein used in the hair product it can perform a variety of functions. Here are some examples:

Hydrolyzed Human Hair Keratin – This is the most potent of the proteins and matches the keratin in hair exactly. It keeps the hair pliable and strong.

Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein – The protein has been broken down so it can penetrate all layers of the hair better and as such is excellent for deep conditioning. It also keeps the hair pliable and strong.

Silk Protein – Silk is the strongest natural fibres and has very small molecules that can penetrate the hair shaft. It is excellent for deep conditioning as it’s known to soften the hair.


Animal Protein – This will generally just coat the hair shaft and repair damage on the outer layers.

Vegetable Protein – This absorbs more easily into the hair without leaving any build up on the hair shaft.

Wheat Protein – Used in many conditioning products, this is a moisturizing and strengthening protein which also improves the hair’s ability to maintain moisture levels.

Collagen Protein – This increases the elasticity of the hair.

Protein treatments range from relatively light to quite strong. The light proteins include protein shampoos and conditioners and protein reconstructors. They can safely be used weekly without adversely affecting the hair. A good light protein is Motions CPR Protein Reconstructor. Strong proteins on the other hand are neither shampoos nor conditioners. Their sole purpose is to impart protein to the hair so they are referred to as protein treatments. Good examples are Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment and Nexxus Emergencee. These should only ever be used when extreme breakage is being experienced or where breakage is anticipated e.g. before a chemical service. Their recommended use is every 6-8 weeks and should always be followed up with a moisturizing conditioner. See the article on how to choose a conditioner.



15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair


About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


  1. 1

    If I use a light protein deep conditioner on my hair – such as a homemade recipe using youghurt do I need to use a mositurising deep conditioner afterwards?

    • 2

      No it’s not absolutely necessary. I always go by how my hair feels so if it feels a bit dry after then I would do a quick wash out co-wash as I rinse the yoghurt out.

  2. 4

    Do I have to use a light protein conditioner or will adding an egg to my regular moisturizing condition be fine or better?

    • 5

      Egg is a good protein treat once in a while but it does not take the place of a conditioner. Basically it does not have hydrolyzed protein like in conditioners which means that the particles of the egg are not able to penetrate all areas of the hair strand as well as a protein conditioner.

  3. 6

    What type of light protein would you suggest to use twice a month for relaxed hair?

    • 7

      I like Joico K pak reconstructor, KeraPRO Restorative Treatment, Aphogee keratin 2 minute reconstructor and when I was relaxed I loved Motions cpr conditioner

  4. 8
    mrs bless says:

    Yes quick question what is a good color for natural hair to hide the gray I have got black color in now but it
    didn’t do any good it came back within a week time please help.

    • 9

      I would say henna/indigo mix as a first choice because it’s all natural. As an alternative herbal/powder colors are permanent. I’ve used Bigen on lightened hair before and it doesn’t fade.

  5. 10
    MegaShorty17 . says:

    Hi, there i have a question so I did certain things as a teen that I regret now that I’m 20 I used to have extremely curly hair and I didn’t feel comfortable with my hair type like when I straightened it one drop of water touching my hair or going out at night and then within an hour it’d be back to being those typical kinky curls I always had through out my life. So I continuously used to bother my mother and ask her why does my twin sister and older sister get to have their hair done and relaxed specially (was jealous over “that special treatment they got”) and all I do is simply shampoo and condition my mom never gave me a direct answer she just said you don’t need it like that! at the time I was 14 so I put matters into my own hands decided to do my own thing! went to the store with my friend bought a box of relaxer went to her house (had no clue how to put it on neither did she) tried our best to follow the instructions and finished it (this sounds really dumb I know but i thought once u put on a box of relaxer it will be in your hair forever just once getting it done and i was set for the rest of my life the straight hair i wanted yaaay! etc but since then my hair has never been the same cut it almost bald mini afro fail still hard to comb through then started relaxing again after giving up. and within the last year i took a break off relaxer after finding out that it triggers me to have seizures at times (just the nasty smell) so i haven’t put on relaxer for like 7 months then decided to try it again last month cuz boy was hard to deal with non relaxed hair and I’ve noticed my hair grew way longer went from my chin to my shoulders! what’s your suggestion to getting back to natural hair that people “once had or as they say baby hair” ?? i don’t know what to do! cant rewind time was just being curious and man did it kill me

    • 11

      Hi there! As far as I’m aware, people don’t generally have their full grown up texture until they are out of their teens. That’s to say that babies have very soft hair and as you go through your adolescent years the texture of your hair changes to it’s final adult texture. You cannot go back to the baby soft hair of your youth but there are things that you can do to improve your texture right now.

      Mostly that involves deep conditioning with heat every single week for at least 30 minutes each time. Heat allows the maximum amount of moisture into your strands helping soften your texture. You should expect to start seeing results after 4-5 deep conditioning sessions.

      Why on earth would you continue to put relaxer in your hair when it’s giving you seizures??

      • 12
        MegaShorty17 . says:

        hey thanks for the reply! Now that I cant get the hair I once had as a kid/teen of course it’s hard and sad to accept it! but that’s life!! Im trying to Avoid relaxer but its really hard when your hair is hard to handle after awhile your just like ughhh but so far Im doing well with avoiding it! and yes I have done some stuff that could put my life at risk over image/looks too caught up at the moment! but proud to say I just got braids done the other day with partially weave and my real for the first time ever! 2 days ago took like 9 hours so worth it cause Im trying my best to do other things with my hair/be creative for it to look good and not go through things I will regret like coloring and relaxing etc and it interfering with my health while I was there the lady at the salon said getting weave and my real hair braided together wouldn’t effect me in a bad way by any means cause she didn’t use glue or chemicals just braided them together and she used boiling water for the ends (to not unbraid after words) yeah I know kinda weird but she also said braiding the hair helps it grow which im pretty happy about! but yeah thank you for the suggestion I will deep condition it and try to think outside the box on doing my hair! which kind of deep conditioning would you prefer for others? (most suggested/used)

        • 13

          Hi again hun. Might I suggest youtube as a resource to teach you different ways to style your natural hair. Seriously there is no shortage of tutorials on braid outs, twist outs, curly afros, updo’s and braided styles.

          Braiding definitely helps hair retain length better because you are not constantly messing with it but of course they are not really a long term solution. The best solution is to learn how to do your own hair as it is. By handling your hair that’s how you learn how it behaves and what it needs. Good luck.

          • 14
            MegaShorty17 . says:

            hey thank you for the tips!

          • 15

            hey I was just wondering do you need a reconstructor in your hair or just a strong protein and light protein like ors replenishing conditioner for just two weeks and strong protein for the whole month replacing the protein treatment

          • 16

            Either depending on which point of your regimen you happen to be. A strong protein is done every 6-8 weeks as a treatment to keep your hair resilient and reconstructors and light proteins every few weeks or as needed to top up the tank.

  6. 17
    Monique 718 says:

    I bought a deep conditioner about three weeks ago and i wanted to know how often should,u deep condition? I still experience some braking so how do u know if u need a stronger deep conditioner? and do i deep condition before i co- wash or after?

    • 18

      3 weeks is not nearly long enough to correct damage to hair that may have been over-processed or distressed to begin with. If your hair was in that situation, breakage will not stop completely until the unhealthy hair is all gone and the hair that is growing now which you are treating better grows longer. I suggest 3 months at a minimum to assess progress. Deep conditioning and co-washing are not done together, you are supposed to choose one or the other. In your case pick deep conditioning as you have only just started caring for your hair.

  7. 19
    Lyssathequeen says:

    Thank you for these awesome tips about growing my hair.!!!! Can you use hair protein and the hair vitamins as well to grow the hair out and this is an awesome blog I will recommend to my Family and friends, Hope to hear from you

  8. 20

    i started using mix of oil like olive oil,almond oil,castor oil,eggs,honey and garlic every night before sleeping and wash off in the morning.It’s gonna affect my hair alreay damaged by washing everyday? I did this mixure to grow my hair and i’m trying to see after one month how long it can be.I do the mixure and wait for 30mn bfore applying but in between i take break every two days,I apply for two days,then take break for 1 day then start again.
    Thanks for your answers in advance

  9. 21

    Courtney, read this. It’s great information!!

  10. 22

    Thanks Heather Miller

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