The 16 Best Protein-free Shampoos and Conditioners
What is the secret behind healthy and shiny hair?
Here’s what I think.
The right balance of moisture and protein is the best way to maintain strong hair.
Often we hear people complaining about having dry and brittle hair. This is because of an imbalance of moisture and protein in the hair.
While moisture overload can cause the hair to become mushy, too much protein can lead to breakage.
Many of your daily hair care products contain protein, and if you are using them regularly, you may be overloading your body with protein.
Therefore, you can opt for shampoos and conditioners that are protein-free to maintain an optimum protein balance.
How to fix protein overload in your hair?
Avoid hair products with protein
If you use hair products regularly, you have to stop using the ones with protein content.
From stylers to moisturizers and shampoos to conditioners, all have proteins in some form.
Keratin, Amino acid, soy protein, silk protein, etc., are some of the varying forms of proteins that you need to avoid.
(Eg: You should avoid using Keratin Shampoos & Conditioners even they’re so good in repairing damaged hair)
Pay more attention to moisturizing your hair. Try to include products that have moisturizing properties without the presence of protein.
One to moisturize your hair is to alternate between co-washing and shampooing, deep conditioning with heat, steaming your hair, etc.
See some shampoos and conditioners to help moisturize your hair:
- The 25 Shampoos and Conditioners for Dry Scalp
- The 16 Drugstore Shampoos and Conditioners for Dry Damaged Hair
Clarify your hair
Clarifying your hair plays an important role in fixing the protein overload.
Use a clarifying shampoo – one of the specialized shampoos for oily skin to get rid of all the protein and other build-ups from the hair.
Below are our top 10 best protein-free shampoos and conditioners for better hair health:
The 16 Best Protein-free Shampoo and Conditioner
As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
Are you having curls that have gone out of control? Switch to this shampoo for curly hair to tame your frizzy curls and get them back to life.
Protein overload can leave your hair dry, dull, and brittle. With this clarifying shampoo, you can get rid of all the excess build-up from the hair.
It has a sulfate-free and protein-free formula. This clarifying shampoo is all that your hair needs to regain its lost health.
While using this product, you don’t have to worry about your hair getting ripped of its moisture.
It contains natural ingredients like amla, coconut, and tangerine that give a boost to your curls by adding shine and strength.
Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea
Free from paraben, sulfates, and protein, this co-wash is a great way to cleanse and condition your damaged hair.
If protein build-up has turned your hair upside down, then try this co-wash to restore your hair to its best form.
Ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil, shea butter, and aloe work to lock in the moisture in your strands.
Using this co-wash between shampooing will help make your hair more manageable and clarify your strands.
Once your hair is free from residue, it makes a healthy environment for new hair growth.
Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shampoo
Shea Moisture does a wonderful job of getting the right ingredients together to promote your hair health.
Infused with bamboo, charcoal, tea tree oil, and African black soap, this shampoo is all that you need to treat your protein overloaded hair.
This deep cleansing shampoo gives your hair a spa-like cleansing and conditioning treatment without adding paraben and protein.
It not only rigorously cleans the scalp but also gives it a soothing feeling. The shampoo will revitalize your strands, moisturize them and help to fight several hair problems.
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Leave-in Conditioner
This leave-in conditioner from Briogeo is the ultimate product to fight frizzy hair. It has powerful ingredients like rosehip oil, argan oil, and coconut oil.
These ingredients help fight frizz, provide moisture and condition the strands deeply to leave them lustrous and healthy-looking.
The conditioner is made with 96% naturally procured ingredients and is free from protein too.
If you want to do away with protein products for your hair, then this conditioner is what you need.
Free & Clear Shampoo-Conditioner Set
Looking for a protein-free shampoo and conditioner set? This dermatologist-recommended Free & Clear set is the answer.
Free from fragrance, proteins, paraben, sulfates, and dyes, this set is a must-have product if you have a sensitive scalp.
The shampoo aids in removing build-up, scaling, and also clearing out excess oil from your hair.
Club it with the Free & Clear conditioner to get tangle-free hair that is manageable and easy to style. This set will give your hair a clean look and prevent damage too.
Jessicurl Deep Conditioner
If your hair is in serious need of moisture, then opt for the Jessicurl deep conditioner.
It has the goodness of cocoa butter and shea butter that provide tons of moisture to your dull, dry hair.
It is a protein-free conditioner that can reverse the damage of protein overload on your hair and make it shine again.
It has no added fragrance, and this is great if you are sensitive to smell.
So if you want to turn your dull, weak hair into lustrous, strong tresses, then this conditioner is a must-have.
Shea Moisture Protein-free Shampoo
This shampoo is an organic shampoo that boasts no protein, no paraben, and no sulfate formula to revive your hair health.
It has all-natural ingredients that promise to take care of your strands by nourishing them appropriately.
You can use this as a daily clarifying shampoo that cleanses your scalp and revitalizes the hair.
It comprises spearmint extract, tea tree oil, and baobab oil that nourish, moisturize, and cleanse the strands efficiently.
The shampoo boosts the scalp’s health while also adding luster to your strands and providing the required hydration.
If your hair has been lately feeling protein overdosed, then it’s time to treat it with this effective shampoo.
As I Am So Much Moisture Conditioner
Is your hair dry, dull, and lifeless?
One of the reasons can be too much protein in all your hair products.
You can combat this problem with this protein-free conditioner from As I Am So Much Moisture.
This conditioner has a glycerin-based formula that is excellent for providing lots of moisture to your dry hair. It also has natural botanical extracts that will make your hair soft and smooth.
If you want a conditioner that will hydrate your strands and bring them back to life, then this product will come to your rescue.
TGIN Triple Moisture Conditioner
Even if you have the most dried and damaged tresses, this protein-free conditioner will successfully transform them.
It has a wonderful formula that combines shea butter and sweet almond oil that provide moisturization to the strands.
It also consists of argan oil that smoothens the cuticles and seals moisture in them. This makes your hair shiny and also promotes healthy growth.
Using this conditioner will leave your tresses looking soft, clean, and fresh after every wash.
It is free from paraben, sulfates, and proteins too.
Include this conditioner in your hair care regime to protect your hair from damage and save it from too much protein.
Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Shampoo
Do you like to restore and revitalize your damaged tresses? We’ve got you a very effective product that will cleanse and soften your hair from the roots.
Carol’s Daughters shampoo is a wonderful product that is free from paraben, sulfates, and proteins. It moisturizes the dry strands and brings them back to life.
With ingredients like almond oil, aloe, shea butter, coconut oil, etc., this shampoo wonderfully transforms your hair.
These powerful ingredients provide strength to the hair and aid in its healthy growth.
If you are seeking a protein-free product for your hair, you can blindly trust this shampoo.
Giovanni Echo Chic Conditioner
Over-processed and stressed hair can go from bad to worse. Dryness, brittleness, and loss of shine can make your locks appear dead.
Get your hair back to life with the Giovanni hydrating-calming conditioner.
This protein-free conditioner is a powerful blend of perfectly balanced ingredients that hydrate and calm the hair.
With plenty of botanical extracts and organic oils, this conditioner makes your hair sparkle and shine.
This is also a pH-balanced conditioner that smoothens out the frizz and conditions the hair without losing pH.
With this conditioner in your hair care routine, you can expect soft, smooth, and manageable hair.
DevaCurl Ultra Creamy Conditioner
To give the best treatment to your hair, opt for the DevaCurl creamy conditioner. It helps to make your tresses more manageable, soft, and shiny.
Essential ingredients like olive oil and botanical extracts provide ample moisture to your hair.
They nourish dry hair and help to keep it healthy. It is free from paraben, sulfates, and proteins too.
The product conditions the hair without weighing it down, and hence, you can use it regularly to keep your tresses shining.
Aunty Jackie’s Oh So Clean
Drench your dry tresses in this lather-rich moisturizing shampoo to get a sparkling shine.
With ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil, this protein-free shampoo will easily become your favorite haircare product.
The super-rich ingredients help to untangle your hair, reduce frizz, and also increase its softness. It helps to moisturize and hydrate the dry strands and provides them with deep nourishment.
Just like its name, the product will render your scalp clean and eliminate all the build-up. It is wonderful to smell and free from paraben and sulfates too.
As I Am Hydrating Conditioner
Use this intensive hydrating conditioner to have soft, strong, and beautiful tresses.
With several beneficial ingredients like coconut and sugar extracts, sugarcane, green tea, lemon, shea butter, vitamin E, etc., this conditioner is just right.
It provides deep, intensive hydrating treatment to the hair and makes your curls healthy. The conditioner will repair your damaged hair and make it shiny.
If you have split ends, the conditioner will successfully eliminate them and also strengthen the weak hair.
So don’t wait anymore. Include this protein-free conditioner in your hair care regime and see your tresses go from dull and dry to healthy and shiny.
Kinky Curl Natural Moisturizing Shampoo
If your hair has become dry from repeated treatments, then it’s time to get back the moisture.
With the Kinky Curl shampoo, you can say goodbye to dull hair and welcome lovely-looking tresses.
It is comprised of ingredients like Mandarin orange extract and Sea Kelp.
The presence of these ingredients in the moisturizing shampoo not only eliminates build-up from the scalp but also provides moisture.
It makes your strands squeaky clean so that your hair feels light and beautiful. This sulfate-free shampoo is just what your damaged hair needs to restore its shine.
Mielle Organics Hydrating Conditioner
Are you looking for a protein-free, organic, and hydrating hair product? The Mielle organics conditioner is just what you need.
Indulge in the dose of deep moisturizing effect with this organic conditioner from Mielle organics.
It is composed of nourishing ingredients like mongongo oil, organic almond, and sacha inchi.
It is a protein-free composition and hence, a good choice if your hair is damaged due to overuse of proteins.
The conditioner will deeply moisturize your hair and provides it with some much-needed hydration.
With this conditioner, you can restore your hair health and bring back the shine and softness.
The all-natural and organic formula provides all the essential nutrients to your strands and sets them glowing.
Also see: How does shampoo affect the environment?
What factors should you consider for the best protein-free shampoo and conditioner?
Every protein-free product is different.
So, aside from ensuring the product you’re getting is protein-free, you’ll also need to pay attention to several factors. These include:
- Your natural hair – Your natural hair plays a huge part in deciding which product to buy. If you have relaxed hair, you’ll want something that can also prevent frizz and flyaways. If your hair is naturally curly, you can focus on something that will prevent dryness and breakage since it’s prone to that.
- Ingredients – If you’re sensitive to fragrances, steer clear of products that have those. Or, if you’re allergic to coconut, check if your shampoo has virgin coconut oil. That’s because manufacturers tend to use coconut oil in exchange for protein. Align the ingredients of your product with what you want to happen with your hair too. So, if you’re dealing with exceptionally dry hair, ingredients like avocado and olive oil are great options.
- Price – You should consider the price alongside how often you plan to use the shampoo. If you have protein-sensitive hair, then it might be your main shampoo. As such, you might want something that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. But if you won’t be using it as much, then you might be able to afford something a bit pricier.
When Should You Use Protein-Free Shampoo and Conditioner?
The times when you should use a protein-free shampoo and conditioner are when:
- You naturally have low-porosity hair – This also means you have protein-sensitive hair, so your hair won’t respond well to protein treatments. Instead, you might feel like your hair is stiff and hard after you apply products. That’s because low-porosity hair will hardly absorb moisture — and protein will only suck the moisture out of the strands, causing brittle hair.
- You have protein buildup – This is caused by too much protein and not enough moisture on the scalp. Even if you don’t have low-porosity hair, protein buildup will still be a problem. You’ll notice it if your hair is dry, brittle, and harder to style than it should be.
How Often Should You Use Protein-Free Shampoos and Conditioners?
Generally, you should use your protein-free shampoo and conditioner two to three times a week.
However, the goal is to maintain the right balance between protein and moisture. Because of that, depending on your natural hair, you may need to use protein-free products more or fewer times than the average.
What Proteins Should You Avoid in Hair Products?
The proteins that hair products contain depend on where the company sources them.
Because of that, some common proteins you should be wary of in your hair products include:
- Amino acids
- Rice protein
- Quinoa protein
- Hydrolyzed proteins
- Oat flour
- Silk protein
- Soy protein
- Wheat protein
How Should You Fix and Get Rid of Protein Overload in My Hair?
If you’ve noticed that you have protein overload hair, there are several ways to counteract that.
Some things you can do to fix protein overload are:
- Regularly soak your hair in warm water and use clarifying shampoo.
- Trim around two inches of split ends where protein might have accumulated.
- Don’t use heat styling tools, hair dye, or any other protein treatment as long as your hair is showing signs of damage.
How Can You Moisturize Your Hair Without Protein?
There are many trusted protein-free shampoos on the market these days — and most of them will also moisturize your hair.
However, some will only act as a gentle cleansing shampoo to create a healthy environment that will encourage new hair growth.
In these cases, you can follow up your hair care routine with a protein-free conditioner for moisturized hair.
If your hair is showing signs of protein overload then it is time for you to welcome protein-free shampoo and conditioner.
If you are dazzled by the number of options, this list can help you pick the best one.
I have shortlisted some of the top shampoos and conditioners that are protein-free. Including them in your hair care routine will help to eliminate the excess protein in your hair. Thus, you can get beautiful and hydrated strands that sparkle.
So don’t wait any further. Your search for protein-free shampoo and conditioner ends here.
Pick the best-suited product for your hair, and you can thank us later!!
Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist
I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!