Best Protein-Free Shampoo

I will be honest. As much as I know a lot about hair owing to my extensive research on the same, it was not always the case. There was a time that my hair was a mess. I had more bad days than I could bear, and I even thought of shaving off my whole head of hair. After all, the kind of stares I was getting were not doing much to help my confidence.

Then I took a keen interest in care practices and why some people look so flawless all the time. I compared this to my then routine that was not only causing breakages but also a change in texture. My scalp felt dry, and it looked like it was on the losing end of a fight. My strands were so brittle that a simple styling procedure would make them break off. At some point, I thought that I was sick or something and must have toyed with the idea of a hospital visit.

Do you know what I found out after reading a lot and experimenting with different regimens? Well, a lot of people will advise you to use protein on your strands, more so when they appear damaged. I followed this advice and would not offer it to someone in a similar situation. There is using protein, and then there is overusing protein. I was doing the latter in the hope of strengthening my strands.

Unfortunately, this only worsened the problem. While my hair may have lacked some protein, I was over-feeding it with proteins. And that was not helping. Read on to find out what I did and what products can aid you when faced with such a situation.

List of Top Protein-Free Shampoos

PhotoProductWeightHair Suitability Details
Shea-Moisture-Baobab-Tea-Tree-Oils-Low-Porosity-Protein-free-Shampoo Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils13 ouncesCurlyView on Amazon
Shea-Moisture-Baobab-Tea-Tree-Oils-Bundle Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Bundle Low Porosity Protein-Free13 ouncesCurlyView on Amazon
Curl-Junkie-Curl-Assurance-Gentle-Cleansing-Shampoo Curl Junkie Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo12 ouncesDryView on Amazon
Jessicurl-Gentle-Lather-Shampoo Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo8 ouncesDry and DamagedView on Amazon
Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo8 ouncesDry and DamagedView on Amazon

Review of the Best Protein-Free Shampoos

Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils

Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils

General Overview

Below, I will mention some things about low porosity hair that will relate to this shampoo. For one, product buildup can cause low porosity. And a way to deal with this would be by investing in a clarifying shampoo. It cleanses away all the residue on your scalp, and it makes it easier for you to have healthy growth. Also, it keeps greasiness at bay. Unlike many clarifying shampoos in the market, this product is free of sulfates. As such, you will not need to worry about damaging your scalp by drying it out. And when you finish shampooing, you can enjoy this shampoo’s fresh scent. The icing on the cake is that it is color-safe and is thus suitable for use on color-treatment.

This package comes with a hydrating conditioner that is sure to add moisture in your curls. After you finish shampooing, conditioning it is the next step if you wish to avoid breakage. Apply a quarter-sized amount of the conditioner on your scalp and let it rest for a bit before rinsing it off your head.


Q: Does this shampoo work in thickening thinning patches?

A: Yes, if you have thinning patches, this clarifying shampoo will pave the way for new growth. It also adds volume, making you look like you have fuller tresses.

Q: Who can use this shampoo?

A: It works best for people with curls.

Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Bundle Low Porosity Protein-Free

Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Bundle Low Porosity Protein-Free

General Overview

Unlike the package above, here you only get the shampoo. It works in clarifying your scalp such that you are free of dirt buildup. In doing this, it creates a healthy environment in which your hair can grow. It also stimulates the scalp, paving the way for an increased growth rate. It helps to note that this shampoo is free of sulfates and will thus not dry out your scalp. Its color-safe property makes it an ideal choice for people with color treatments.


Q: Will this shampoo soften my strands?

A: Yes, it hydrates the strands, leaving them smooth and more manageable.

Q: Can I use this product on relaxed hair?

A: It would not be advisable to do so as this product is best for people with curls and dryness.

Curl Junkie Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo

Curl Junkie Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo

General Overview

This gentle shampoo is free of sulfates and thus works great in cleansing the scalp without drying it. It contains essential oils that hydrate the scalp and keep it looking smooth and shiny. The formula is lightweight and does not weigh down the hair. Thus, for people looking to moisturize their curls, this shampoo would be a great start. Following through with a hydrating conditioner will also help. It has a coconut scent that is neither too mild nor overpowering.


Q: How often can I use this shampoo?

A: It is gentle, and you can even use it daily. However, note that you should only shampoo when necessary to avoid drying the scalp.

Q: Does this shampoo contain silicones?

A: No, it is free of harmful ingredients such as parabens, silicones, and sulfates. You can use it on color-treatment.

Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo

Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo

General Overview

This mild formula works in cleaning the scalp without stripping it of natural oils. As such, it will not feel dry after washing, and you can easily manage your curls. This shampoo lathers with ease and forms a cream that is easy to apply and massage onto the scalp. For people who do not like strong scents, this product would be a good idea. It does not contain added fragrances and will thus not emit a strong smell.


Q: Is this shampoo cruelty-free?

A: Yes, no animal testing has taken place regarding this shampoo.

Q: What is the consistency of this shampoo?

A: It is much thinner than other shampoos available on the market. However, it lathers well such that a little goes a long way.

Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo

Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo

General Overview

If you shampoo with hard water, it is only a matter of time before you start experiencing problems such as drying and itching. As such, you need a shampoo that can work with this water. This product works in softening hard water such that you will not have buildup left on your scalp. You can rinse out the salts as well as the dirt in one wash.

While it has satisfactory results, it does not rely on powerful ingredients, and it is quite mild. You will thus not have to worry about stripping your scalp of natural oils. It contains sea kelp, which works great in hydrating hair, ensuring that there is a balance in the moisture content. 


Q: Can I use this shampoo on my low porosity hair?

A: Yes, it works in removing buildup, and this positively affects the health of your hair. The frequency of use, however, will depend on the state of your hair.

Q: Can this shampoo work on color-treatment?

A: Yes, it is color-safe and will thus not strip you of pigment or natural oils.

What did I do? 

Now, we get back to how I dealt with my bad hair days.

During my research, I learned that I could undo the harm I had caused by being careful with the products that I use. Back then, I would buy anything with protein in it. But it was now time to give my hair a form of detox by checking the ingredients in my hair products. For one, I used hydrating shampoos and conditioners that worked in moisturizing my scalp. To put it lightly, my scalp was parched, thirsty, or anything else that is close to it. I had starved it of water, and it was now time to replenish the same. In doing this, I also removed the excess proteins, and over time, I saw the results. I am not saying that protein is bad for your hair now and then. However, if you go all in like I did, you will not like the results.

The ingredients in the shampoo matter a great deal. I opted for natural hydrating components such as avocado and olive oil. While I still use protein now and then, I am now more careful as to the extent of this use. I do not want to go back to dryness and brittleness. If you are experiencing such an issue, I will take you through some helpful tips as well as products that could work for you.

Low Porosity Hair

If you have low porosity hair, the chances of proteins building up on your strands are high. That means that you are more likely to suffer from hair breakage than other people. But how can you tell that your hair has low porosity?

Well, let me start by defining what low porosity is before we get to the telling signs. Low porosity refers to when the hair bonds are tight, such that receiving moisture can be a problem. You could be using the best products on the market to hydrate your hair, but the results are less than satisfactory. It points to the porosity of your hair as it cannot take in the water. And this also means that nourishing ingredients will not do much to help the situation. For this, you need to use alkaline products that work in lifting the cuticles and aiding absorption rates.

Signs of low porosity

Now, we can get into how you can know that your hair has low porosity.

For one, it will resist hydrating products. You will invest in a deep conditioner that promises to moisturize your hair, but you will not enjoy the results. In no time, it will look like you do not pay much attention to your hair. I have been there a few times. You spend so much time and money on care routines, yet it looks like you really could not care less. It hurts, but it could be a sign of low porosity.

Next, once you finish rinsing off products, you realize that it takes a lot of time to dry. You see, when it absorbs water and other ingredients from the shampoo and conditioner, it dries fast. As the water evaporates, the hair is also feeding on it. But where you have low porosity, it is barely taking up anything. That means that you have to sit out in the sun. And where you are in a hurry, you are likely to reach for that blow-dryer. 

Also, when you use styling products on your hair, they seem to sit there. Usually, when you apply a moisturizer to it in the morning, very little should be visible at the end of the day. That owes to your hair, taking up the nutrients all day long. But with low porosity, little or no absorption takes place. That means that all those oils go to waste, and you end up washing them off before they serve their intended purpose.

When it takes in nutrients, it grows faster, and it looks and feels healthy. It owes to the elasticity in the strands. It makes styling an easy task, and you will not have trouble managing it. Hair that is devoid of nutrients will be inelastic to some extent. If you try styling it, breaking off is highly likely.

Also, have you ever had to use heat to activate products you have used on your hair? If you can relate to this, low porosity may be the cause. Your hair cannot take in nutrients without the added help, and this can give you a hard time. So if your hair has one or more of these telling signs, you could end up with protein buildup. And breakage follows after this, thus begging the need for less protein.

Why do you have low porosity?

Realizing that you have a problem is one step to the solution. Also, it helps to know why you are facing something as it can help you nip it in the bud. For example, you realize that you have an acne breakout because of those sodas you have been downing. In this case, you would cut back on the sugars. In the same way, you need to know why you have low porosity for you to deal with the problem effectively. Does this make sense?

A number one cause of this condition is your genes. Genes play an essential role in our lives. If your father is short, you will likely be short. If low porosity runs in the family, you could have it. It helps to look into your family tree to figure out who else has suffered the same. They could help you with the regimen they used to fight the problem. As much as genes are a part of who you are, resigning to bad hair is not the only option here. You can invest in good hair products and deal with the problem before it worsens.

The other major cause is the lack of proper cleaning techniques. Yes, you probably wash your hair every day, but that does not mean that you do it right. Regular shampoo on its own will not get rid of all the buildup on your scalp. Now and then, you need to clarify your scalp and hair to get rid of any residue. Note that this should not be too frequent as it could dry out your hair. 

Commonly Asked Questions

Does shampoo have protein in it?

Not all shampoos have protein in them, but some formulations work in adding protein to the hair. Protein shampoos work best for people with dry and damaged hair. This damage can owe to too many chemicals in the hair or the use of color-treatments. The use of heating equipment also takes a toll on your hair’s health, and you could end up needing protein shampoo. Weather elements are also to blame for this damage, more so when you do not use protective products. The sun is an enemy- remember that, and you will be fine. You can use protein shampoos when your hair is frizzy, weak, thin, dull, or lifeless. However, note that these shampoos can also worsen the state of your hair. As such, only use protein shampoo when and if necessary.

Are Jessicurl products protein free?

Yes, this company focuses on the production of botanical products that are gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. They have high concentrations such that a small amount goes a long way. They are free of proteins and contain oils that work in moisturizing your hair without weighing it down. They are also free of glycerin, and they work great for people living in humid environments. For curly people, these products allow you to take extended breaks between washes without damaging your curls.

What shampoos have protein in them?

Tons of shampoos have protein in them. Note that these are only useful when battling dry and damaged hair. But they are not ideal for frequent use as they could be damaging. Examples of brands investing in protein shampoos include Redken, Aveda, and Sukin. 

What does low porosity shampoo do?

Low porosity shampoos work in nourishing your hair and sealing the cuticles such that the strands can hold on to moisture. They make management easier, and your strands look healthier and feel stronger.

Bottom Line

While having low porosity hair can be difficult, there are many ways in which you can ensure that your hair regains its health. By using the right products and cleaning techniques, you can say goodbye to dry hair. All the best!

About the author

Bridget Stein

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