A protein treatment delivers much-needed nutrients and moisture to worn-out manes. Even though a protein treatment might be a vital part of our haircare routines, figuring out what’s in them, if there’s a difference, and which is best for you, can be confusing. To answer all our questions on protein treatments, we tapped Mirza Batanovic, Eufora’s Style and Salon Director who has been a hairstylist for 19 years and an educator for 14 years. Below, he shares what a protein treatment is and how to find the best protein treatment for your hair.
What Are Protein Treatments?
“A protein treatment basically restores the missing protein in your hair,” explains Mirza. “Proteins are part of the hair structure (building blocks, if you will). Any time we color our hair, use hot tools, or partake in chemical services, we deplete the protein balance in the hair.
If your hair feels dry, brittle, or has breakage it’s usually due to a lack of protein in the hair, and blondes are the most susceptible because bleach removes the most protein.
Some proteins restore the strength and elasticity of hair (quinoa, keratin, wheat) and some proteins restore moisture (soy, vegetable protein).”
Considering all the different types of protein, there are a few paths you can take to choosing the right one for your tresses. “At Eufora, we use a balanced protein system consisting of quinoa, soy, and wheat proteins. This combination drives the proteins deepest into the hair structure to replace the missing protein. Our system is also molecularly structured to penetrate the hair, where others using protein from sheep’s wool or synthetic proteins, just lay on top of the hair and only fix the problem temporarily. We also use vegetable proteins in some cases where moisture is the need. Our entire Nourish line contains the balanced proteins for all hair types.”
How to Find the Right Protein Treatment for Your Hair Type
Whether your hair is fine or thick, coarse, or medium, protein doesn’t necessarily affect the hair in terms of weight, or Mirza explains, at least not the protein system at Eufora. “Because we use natural proteins, they go where they’re supposed to in the hair. For example, our amazing Fortifi Protein Spray basically fills in the ‘gaps’ of protein in the hair but doesn’t have the ability to over ‘proteinize’ or weigh the hair down. So, any hair type can use it. Fine-haired girls may want to steer away from too much soy protein in hair products as it’s meant to add shine and weight to the hair. A lot of synthetic proteins also weigh the hair down and can create buildup on the hair which causes split ends and ‘white bulbs’ on the ends of hair.”
If you have dyed or treated hair, or if the hair is damaged, you need to be using a protein treatment to recover your hair to a happy state. “Chemicals remove the natural protein from the hair and leave it porous and dry. Thus, a deep conditioning salon treatment post color; and great leave-in treatments for at-home make all the difference. For example, we have stronger conditioners in the salon to give you an instant punch of restoration and then take-home treatments to maintain,” Mirza notes. You want to ensure you use both kinds of protein treatments, and that you’re getting the right kind of protein. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to restore all proteins missing from the hair. So first a strength treatment for damage should always be followed by a moisture treatment as well. Once the hair feels stronger and less fragile, you can move on to moisture only,” he adds.
Which Protein Treatment Products Should You Use?
With all this talk of the right protein treatment, we couldn’t help but wonder, what happens if you use the wrong protein treatment? “Nothing really, with our protein system at least,” Mirza notes of the Eufora brand. “Hair needs all kinds of protein treatments so if you use the wrong one, say moisturizing when you need strength building, your hair will be perfectly fine and feel softer for a few days. But once that treatment washes out, you’ll notice the strength is still missing. It’s almost like eating dessert before dinner: it won’t kill you, but it’s not the right order. Understanding the products and what’s in them is crucial. Just buying online won’t work, because most non-pro products use one synthetic protein to fix all the issues for every hair type which isn’t right. Not every hair type needs the same balance of protein. And it’s not long-lasting in terms of fixing the issue.” You want to make sure you’re really treating the problem.
How often you use a protein treatment depends on the amount of damage you cause to your hair. “If you color once a month but don’t use bleach, then a once-a-month treatment is fine. The more you bleach or chemically alter your hair, the more often you need to treat it. My blondes do weekly treatments at home, and their salon treatments with their color (six to eight weeks), and the more hot tools you use the more you need to restore the protein. And yes, even a Dyson is a blow dryer. It’s a great one, but it’s still applying heat. At Eufora, even some of our styling products have quinoa protein to help protect against damage while curling the hair.”
In terms of product recommendations, Mirza recommends the following Eufora products: Fortifi, Urgent Repair Treatment, Leave-in Repair Treatment, Elixir One, Retain, and the entire Nourish line.
Finding the best treatment for you is as simple as asking your stylist. “If you’re not sure what is missing from your hair, just pop into your salon and ask. All hairdressers should be able to identify the type of treatment that’s best for your circumstances. And if they can’t, run. Find another stylist ASAP,” he says.