A healthy strand of hair has an equal balance of protein and moisture. Protein provides strength to the hair strand whereas moisture provides hydration. Protein overload occurs when the hair has more protein than moisture. The imbalance then results in dryness and breakage. My hair was severely protein overloaded from a salon visit gone wrong, thus I needed a quick fix to reverse protein overload. This article will focus on just that — how to correct protein overload in hair with salt.
— My Protein Overload Experience —
I arrived to the salon for my regular scheduled 12 week touch up and the fun began. The stylist used the normal protein product – Dudley’s DRC 28. She set the timer and placed me under the dryer. The timer dings but the stylist keeps working on the client sitting in her salon chair — the stylist was applying relaxer to the client’s hair.
I sat patiently going through a range of emotions — *oh she’s gonna come rescue me at any moment * I know she sees me sitting over here * well, after all she’s applying a relaxer, what harm will it cause to wait for a tad bit*
I am very familiar with the power of protein treatments but felt a couple more minutes wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Wrong. My hair reached protein overload in a ridiculous manner. It resulted in extreme hair loss during detangling.
Upon my departure from the salon, my hair felt off but I didn’t have time to assess the situation while driving. Once home, I inspected my hair and it was dry, coarse, brittle and stiff. It was breaking and badly I might add. I conditioned and co-washed numerous times with the best natural products money can buy. My hair remained protein overloaded and continued to break.
— How to Correct Protein Overload in Hair with Salt —
I researched protein/moisture balance to re-familiarize myself with this topic since I haven’t been this far gone on protein in a while. I came across several hair forum threads and articles suggesting adding salt in conditioner to break the protein bonds. This scared me tremendously but my back was against the wall.
With hesitation, I mixed 1 cup TRESemme Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner, 1 tablespoon regular table salt and couple tablespoons of honey. I let it sit for 2 hours and rinsed. My hair softened instantly. Breakage calmed immediately and my hair regained bounce. What a relief.
— Salt Precautions —
Because salt has the ability to break the protein bonds way down, moisture overload is possible. I kept the treatment on my hair for 2 hours because my hair was severely protein overloaded. I gave my hair a slight tug several times during the 2 hour period to make sure it wasn’t feeling gummy or mushy which are signs of over moisturized hair. Over moisturized hair is the exact opposite of protein overload hair. It’s when you have too much moisture in the hair and not enough protein. Just use good judgment when determining how long to keep on the treatment. Using salt to correct protein overload is not a treatment that is widely talked about or documented. Therefore, the lasting impacts to using this method is unknown. Please use with caution as your mileage may vary. I advise using this method only when nothing else is working and you feel this is the only option to restore balance to your hair.