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Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein? [The REAL Answer]

You ever wondered about does low porosity hair need protein?

Or have you wondered is protein bad for low porosity hair?

Well I did too, and I got to studying like I had a dang college exam in the mornin'...


It's weird:

Some people have major problems with protein on their natural hair and other folks feel like protein treatments (like the Manuka Honey from Shea Moisture) are sent from heaven.

If you're anything like me, you wanna know...

...why does this happen?

Am I protein sensitive because of my low porosity hair?

Well this article will explain exactly what you need to know about your LP hair.

So first:

When gabbing about whether low porosity hair needs even the best protein treatments or not I need to address an issue that many natural-haired women think they are dealing with when they really are not.

Does Low Porosity Hair need Protein? is protein bad for low porosity hair?

Does Low Porosity Hair Make You Protein Sensitive?

So let's really talk about this...

Are you one of those naturals who feels that your hair is protein sensitive?

How common is protein sensitivity really?

Protein sensitivity is not as common as you may think. It's not common at all, to be honest.

More times than not, a negative reaction to protein can be a sign that something else is going wrong.

For example...

These issues could trick you into thinking your protein hair's sensitive:

  • You're using the wrong type of proteins for your hair.
  • You have product buildup.

These common problem often throw "false positives"and make you wonder if your low porosity hair is damaged by protein treatments.

What Does It Mean to be Protein Sensitive?

Many don't really understand what it means to have TRULY protein sensitive hair.

Well here's the answer:

Being protein sensitive means that your hair reacts harshly SOLELY to the strengthening effects of any type of protein treatments.

Someone who is not actually protein sensitive...

...but is experiencing problems, is often suffering from a poor choice of protein treatments and lacks knowledge of their hair need.

Hey sis, heyyy!

I'm Melissa Lee...

Co-founder of NHP. You'd de wise to...

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is Protein Bad for Low Porosity Hair Because of Its Structure?
-  Low Porosity vs. High Porosity

If you're a low porosity girl, I really want you to grasp the point about how your hair is structured. 

Because truly understanding your hair is the key to natural hair journey greatness. 


The curl pattern and structure of everyone's hair is created by chemical bonds called disulfide bonds.

{RELATED ARTICLE: Best oils for 4C low porosity hair]

does low porosity hair need protein - disulfide bondsFind out does low porosity hair need protein...

When you do a protein treatment, like a rice water rinse for example, the purpose of the proteins are to temporarily strengthen and tighten these bonds,

High porosity hair is either weaker or has fewer disulfide bonds, so in other words, it's more open to receiving proteins of various sizes. 

When considering low porosity hair though...

Hair that is lower and porosity has either tighter disulfide bonds, more disulfide bonds, or both situations at the same time.

And if you are a kinky-haired natural woman, your hair automatically has more disulfide bonds compared to women with straighter hair types.

Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein?
Yes, The Right Ones Though...

Just because your low porosity hair might not accept all types of proteins or as many kinds of protein treatments as high porosity hair...

...don't mistakenly think that this means low porosity hair doesn't need protein.

Does low porosity hair need protein? Yes, the right kind of small-molecule proteins..

Everyone's hair needs protein at one time or another.

And here's why:

Because everyone's hair suffers damage and develops weak spots within its structure.

In fact:

Every single time you manipulate your hair you're inflicting some kind of damage to it, one reason we love protective styles for natural hair braids.

Besides that:

Even natural hair women with mostly low porosity hair usually have hair ends that are of higher porosity than the rest of their hair.

That's because your ends have gone through the most wear and tear, causing their structure to eventually weaken and open up.

So, it's common knowledge that for great length retention, you need to pamper your ends.

Factors To Consider Besides
"Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein?"

There are many factors that you need to consider when talking about how your hair will respond to protein, these include:

So as you can see:

Your low porosity is just one aspect to take into consideration, although an important one.

Why Your Low Porosity Hair Gets Dry So Fast & Doesn't Retain Moisture

What Are The Best Proteins for Low Porosity Hair?

Okay, so now that we cleared that up... 

...you're no longer wondering does low porosity hair need protein or not, right?

And you know that low porosity hair types do benefit from protein treatments.

Still though:

You will only reach the pinnacle of your natural hair journey when you understand what type of protein works best with low porosity hair.

I got you sis, don't worry.

So here's the deal:

When thinking about how your low porosity hair sometimes react harshly to protein treatments you have to consider where you fall on the hair porosity chart.

does low porosity hair need protein  hair-porosity-chart-natural-hair-products

The closer your hair is to the high porosity side, the less protein issues you will have.

And that means that women with high porosity hair will find that their hair responds well to many different types and sizes of proteins.

They can do protein treatments more often and see beautiful hair from it.

The closer you are to the low porosity side, the more careful you have to be with the types of proteins you use...

...for low porosity hair there are alot of proteins that are too strong or that have too large of a molecule structure, that's the reason egg protein benefits are short-lived.

One of the best proteins for low porosity hair is hydrolyzed wheat protein oil. It has a small enough molecule structure too enter low porosity hair strands, but big enough molecule size to cover and protect your hair strands.

More good news is

That being TRULY protein sensitive is usually not the real problem.

If you want more information about how to know if you are high, medium or low porosity, please check out our hair porosity 101 page for more information.

Enjoyed "Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein" Article? Meet The Author...


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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