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Big gains: how protein can supercharge your haircare routine.

If you have any gym junkie friends, you've probably heard all about the importance of protein for building muscle mass. But let's get one thing straight: protein isn't just for the fitness-obsessed. It's also a key building block of healthy, happy hair.

And don't think you have to start chugging gross protein shakes (claiming they taste like chocolate or vanilla should be a chargeable offence with a maximum penalty) or add a side of porterhouse to every meal. There are protein treatments and shampoos that can do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to making sure this magnificent macronutrient hits your hair.

Read on to learn more about the power of protein treatments for hair, how they can be key to learning how to stop hair breakage, and which products you should bring on your quest to fix damaged hair.


Why does your hair need protein?

Your hair needs protein because, well, your hair is protein. When your body isn't getting enough protein from your diet, it doesn't pass it on to your follicles. As much as we tend to care about our appearance, your body thinks there are more important places for protein to be used. 

The main protein used in the creation and strengthening of hair is called keratin.


How do you know your hair isn't getting enough protein power?

When your internal stocks of protein are low, some of the greatest hits of the hair concerns catalogue can feel like they're played on loop. Unfortunately if you're reading this, there's a good chance you're all too familiar with some of these annoying issues that can be a sign of damaged hair.

  • If you're dealing with fine, limp hair, it could be a sign that you need to pump up the protein power in your haircare routine.

  • Along the same lines as fine, limp hair, thinning hair can also signal a lack of sufficient protein. As you've probably picked up on by now, protein is vital for growing hair. But it's also key for retaining what you have. If you don't have enough protein, you can actually start losing hair.

  • Split ends and hair breakage should also get the alarm bells ringing. Protein helps fill in and repair these little gaps and weak spots in your hair. When you don't have enough of it, you're left with a hot mess that can be hard to get back under control. 

7 of the best damaged hair treatments to check out pronto

So, we've sufficiently scared you with all the problems of sub-par protein levels. But you don't think we're going to let you just sit there and twist in the wind alone, do you? We wouldn't do you like that! Here are seven of the best protein treatments to strengthen and nourish your hair. 

  • Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
  • With an amino acid complex that closely resembles the proteins used to build and strengthen your hair, this is one of the best damaged hair shampoos out there. And there's no fancy directions either – just use it like you would normal shampoo and start reaping the benefits. 

  • Nak Ultimate Treatment
  • This product has a knack for getting frizzy, damaged hair back to its flexible, styleable best. All you have to do is apply it to your wet hair, give it a minute and then wash it out. This treatment is winner for those of you with highly porous hair, boosting hydration levels and strengthening the hair shaft to help wrangle unmanageable hair. 

  • Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask
  • Covering your hair in restorative goodness, the Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask delivers protein back into your strands, so you're not stranded with broken, damaged hair for the long haul. Just spread it all over your hair and scalp and leave on for 5-7 minutes to let this protein-rich formula work its way from the inside out. Then rinse.


    Bonus time! We're also huge fans of the reparative qualities of Biolage hair masks! Learn about our top picks for damaged hair here.

  • Kérastase resistance thérapiste shampoo for severely damaged hair
  • Kérastase has you covered when it's time to call in the big guns. When it comes to damaged hair, this is one of the best shampoos out there. Use this shampoo in your normal washing routine to provide your hair with a protective barrier that envelopes fibres and repairs existing damage.

  • Kevin Murphy Angel Wash
  • Like those lifesaving electrolytes and greasy food after a big night out, sometimes it's all about the recovery. This recovery shampoo is a great option for those with curly hair or those with a penchant for toning their hair, as it has powerful milk proteins that help hair recover from repeated treatments.  

  • Redken Extreme Play Safe 3-in-1 Leave-In Treatment
  • While using hair appliances is a non-negotiable for many, the repeated heating can impact your overall hair health. This treatment from Redken is great for those who use hair straighteners or other heated appliances on the reg. It uses plant proteins to help repair split ends, and has thermal protection properties. Just apply it to clean, damp hair before using your tools.

  • Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment
  • One of the biggest names in haircare in recent years, Olaplex's approach to haircare has revolutionised the game for some. A new addition to the Olaplex range, No. 0 can be used in combination with the cult-fave Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector for the ultimate strengthening treatment. Does Olaplex work? Is Olaplex worth it? The short answer is yes, and the reviews speak for themselves. 

    Here's a strong idea. Put some muscle into your haircare routine with the help of Oz Hair & Beauty's collection of protein hair treatments and shampoos. We promise you won't even be sore afterwards!