5 Protein Conditioners for Natural Hair

Protein Conditioners are a very important part of a healthy hair regimen. They help to maintain the Moisture Protein Balance of hair for strong hair that is resistant to breakage. Below are some of the top ranking Protein Conditioners. 1-2 are rinse out conditioners with light protein concentrations while 3-5 are more concentrated protein deep conditioners  For further reading: Proteins and Natural Hair.

Why Are Protein Conditioners Important?

During regular maintenance of your hair such as shampooing, you will naturally lose a small percentage of protein each time. Your hair regimen should minimize and replenish the loss of protein. It is also important to eat protein rich foods. Finer hair textures will have less protein than others. Therefore, it is more important for them to superficially add protein by using a protein conditioner.

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About Tamara

Tamara is the Founding Editor of Natural Hair Rules!!! Natural Hair Rules (NHR) was originally created as her personal hair journal. Since its creation in 2008, it has grown to one of the top natural hair/beauty blogs online today.


  1. Hi:) Wonderful information!!!
    Do you prefer the Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor or the Queen Helene Cholesterol Conditioning Cream?

  2. jessicavazquez says:

    Best I have ever used is the Karmin 😀

  3. The cholesterol is a Great Pre-Poo. It make my hair feel stronger and moisturized. I have to use it as a pre-poo because it doesn’t rinse out clean.

  4. Ion rec instructor is my favorite, even when I was relaxed.

  5. I’m going to try Protein deep conditioning next time hopes it helps to keep my hair healthy

  6. So i’m relatively new to natural (a little over a month ago i stopped doing extension added protective styles but stopped relaxing in summer of ’13) and love the site. I’ve been reading up a ton on all the articles about protein, protein/moisture balance, and deep conditioning related to moisture or protein. My hair felt kind of mushy the last time I washed it so I think i’m going to do my first protein deep condition the next time I wash it. I’m just wondering how this fits in with the loc method? Are the steps shampoo (i know you said don’t deep condition when you co-wash), then protein treatment (I’m going to try the mayonaise leave in) then rinse it out and then use the O and C of the LOC method? Also, can i still pre-poo with coconut oil before doing a deep conditioning treatment? Thanks!

  7. Vanessa Smith says:

    I have very kinky hair and shrinkage bad trying to find conditioner that works for me. Plus I need to find good moisturizer I’m just starting out also would like something to help define my curls help!!

  8. Vanessa Smith says:

    I have very kinky hair and shrinkage bad trying to find conditioner that works for me. Plus I need to find good moisturizer I’m just starting out also would something to help define my curls help!!

  9. Aubrey Organics is an amazing protein deep conditioner. I’m not fond of the smell but it gets the job done. I also purchased the ORS Hair Mayonnaise to give it a shot (product junkie…)

  10. Having a rough patch. I bc in 2011 and my hair is fine but only forms up into an afro after each wash (90% shrinkage). So I get no laying of the hair like I want. So thinking about just cutting/shaping “afro”. The twist outs, braiding, are on actually fine hair so they are too small to get that full effect that I want.

    This article has me now going back and grabbing some protein to see if that will help. Like Tiffany, I received the GBP in my CurlKit, but didn’t know what to use it for. So I will try the protein step to see if my hair gives me a better sign.

    I would like to keep the length, but I can’t do anything with it like it is.

    What exactly does Keratin products do to natural hair? Was thinking to use to loosen my coils a bit.

  11. Ive been told Queen Helene Cholesterol Cream is a moisturizing conditioner now i am completely confuse, could you help enlighten me on this

  12. what about good ole jerry redding? i add it to my deep conditioning about once every 2 months..I normally use cholesterol mixed with creamed avocado/honey/mashed bananas/aloe vera juice (really whatever I have on hand)

  13. Hi! I’ve bought Keratin 2 minute reconstructor because my hair is fine and weak and I tell that it works. But last week I read that I must use it once a month, because cause breakage. How and when can I use it?
    Thanks you in advance,

  14. I just started going Natural, and i really need some hair products that really suits my hair type but the problem is that i stay in Argentina, i’ve searched for products everywhere here but can’t seem to get any which blends with my hair. please help!

  15. Do you think kera care intensive restorative masque is a suitable protein conditioner? I plan to mix with one egg and apply after which i’ll condition with humecto, would love to know your thoughts!:)

    • Kera Care Intensive is more of a moisturizing conditioner. I don’t recommend mixing an egg with any deep conditioners. Try any of the 5 Protein Conditioners Listed Above.

  16. Foxybrown says:

    I’ve used Hair Mayonnaise for years. Relaxed and natural. Now I mix in an egg and some EVOO when deep conditioning with it.

    • Naturalhairrules says:

      Me too! Hair Mayonnaise keep my hair strong when my hair was relaxed and color treated.

      • Tamara, are you referring to the ORS Hair Mayonnaise in the article above?? And can you explain why you are okay with the “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate” listed in the ingredients?? Thanks!

        Also, WHICH ONE of the 5 products would you recommend for DEEP MOISTURIZING CONDITIONER. Looking for something for MOISTURE and LITTLE protein for my daughter’s hair after swimming/braids…

  17. I received the GPB Balancing Conditioner in my CurlKit last month. I was very hesitant to try it due to my previous bad experiences with protein conditioners. However, I figured that after two color sessions in six months my hair could use a little boost. I was pleasantly surprised to get soft, well conditioned hair after the first use. I would recommend it for finer hair textures that need an occasional treatment.

  18. GingerBella says:

    I use the cholestoral conditioner currently on my hair and my daughter hair.

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