Hair Care

The Why and How of Protein Conditioning

ApHogee's Two Step Protein Treatment

Last week I talked a bit about why I added Aphogee’s Two Step Protein Treatment to my hair regime. This week I want to give a much more in-depth explanation and suggest products you could try for similar(although watered down) benefits.

Why is Protein Conditioning Important?

Why would you consider a protein condition?

Answer: Because it might help reduce your breakage.

Your hair is in a balance between moisture and protein. As long as everything is balanced, your hair is good, easy to manage etc. But once it’s off, it’s crazy. Also, the longer your hair gets, the older and more fragile the tips; it wouldn’t hurt to give your tips a boost once in a while. Protein treatments can literally turn around dying hair and make it much stronger.

So now, what are proteins? Proteins are long chains of amino acids held together by peptide bonds. Imagine a string with beads on them; the string is the bonds and the beads are the amino acids. protein hair conditioning


We can see that proteins are usually really big. Because of this size, they have a hard time adsorbing (sticking and forming temporary bonds) with hair. So they have to be broken down to tinier chunks called hydrolyzed proteins. For example the weight of a unit of egg protein, like the ones found in a lot of egg conditioners, is 33,800-40,500 Atomic Mass Units(amu) [From Molecular Weight of Egg Albumin by F.W Bernhart].

However the size of [Hydrolyzed] protein that is most useful to the hair is about 2000 amu. At that size hydrolyzed collagen for instance is able to adsorbed a lot more(depending on hair damage) and temporarily fix split ends at a 2.5% concentration. [Page 153, Proteins for Conditioning by Schueller and Romanowski]. So if you want to get a lot more out of proteins, I’ll always suggest looking out for hydrolyzed proteins like collagen, keratin and wheat.



How Do I Incorporate Protein Conditioning into My Routine?

How? Easy, you consider the three levels of protein conditioning I have below and pick which will work for you  😎

 ApHogee's Two Step Protein Treatment 1. ApHogee’s Two-Step Protein Treatment.

$22.63 for 16 ounces or $1.41/ounce

Like I said last week, it’s super potent. ApHogee has hydrolyzed collagen as its second ingredient but also contains hydrolyzed vegetable proteins too. It is intended for once in a while use, depending on damaged your hair is. I’m planning to use it once every three months or even less, and unless your hair is super-damaged, that should be more than enough for you. Trust me, it works! 


ORS Replenishing Conditioner

2. ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner

$8.49 for 12.25 ounces or 69 cents/ounce

Hydrolyzed collagen is its 5th ingredient so I’m not expecting it to be present in more than 5%. This is a conditioner you can use more frequently, maybe twice a month; and at that price, why not?!

VO5 Clarifying Conditioner Kiwi Lime

3. Vo5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Conditioner Kiwi Lime Squeeze

$1.19 for 12.5 ounces or 9.5 cents/ounce

This conditioner has a really low collagen content(around 1 or 2%) so it’s perfect for use as a weekly or even bi-weekly conditioner. I could see people using this to co-wash.

Other Products to consider that have low protein content: TRESemme Keratin Smooth Deep Treatment Masque(5.75pounds for 10.14 ounces or 0.56 pounds per ounce) and OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Conditioner($7.99 for 13 ounces or 61 cents/ounce).

That’s all for now. I hope you found this helpful as you continue your hair journey  😆


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