Friday, May 18, 2012

Science-y Hair Blog's Gelatin Protein Treatment

Science-y Hair Blog's gelatin protein treatment (A.K.A. IAgirl's protein treatment) is a popular PT that is cheap and easy to make. The original recipe and many tips and tricks and options are listed on Science-y Hair Blog's Recipe Page.  This is the link to the curltalk gelatin PT thread. 

The protein in gelatin is hydrolyzed collagen protein.  This is the same protein used in Aphogee 2-step and Nexxus Emergencee.  Size matters with protein, you want hydrolyzed. Amino acids are too small and most food proteins, like egg proteins, are too large. (some experts say large proteins can eventually make their way into hair) The gelatin protein treatment is popular on the Wavy Hair Community and Curltalk.  If you decide you like it, you can buy a big box of Knox gelatin at Walmart.

Blow dryer method tips:  If you need a hard hit of protein, use the blow dryer version of this PT. IMHO it works as well as Aphogee 2-step,but without the horrible stench.  If you do the blow dryer version, start with your blower setting on low.  Once your hair has set (like jello) and no longer blows around, you can crank your blower setting up to high.  When you try to rinse this PT out, it will seem like it doesn't want to rinse out.  Give it a minute or two for the gelatin to rehydrate.  Then it will rinse out with a little work.  When it is rinsed out, your hair may feel rough or hard.  This is normal.  A deep treatment will make your hair feel normal again (unless your hair is over proteined).  See my video on how to do the blow dryer version of Science-y Hair Blog's Gelatin Protein Treatment at the end of the post.

My Gelatin Protein Treatment Testimonial
My routine before Science-y Hair Blog's gelatin PT was:
Overnight coconut oil prewash every time I washed, spritz and condish method every time, and cowash most days. I did this summer and winter. Even with all this effort, my hair was barely moisturized in summer and almost moisturized in winter.

After doing IAgirl's/Science-y Hair Blog's PT for a few months:
In winter (low to very low dews) I only have to do an hour-ish of coconut oil prewash. I can also skip a day if I want, and I couldn't before. I no longer spritz and condish. My hair is properly moisturized.
In summer (normal dews) I don't use coconut oil very often, I don't spritz and condish, or cowash and my hair is still moisturized.  I can also use a less moisturizing conditioner in the summer.

This PT has just made my life so much easier. I was working so hard to keep (or almost keep) my hair moisturized before. Now I feel like I'm off the hair treadmill. I know that the credit goes to IAgirl's/Science-y Hair Blog's PT because I was CG for a year before trying this PT. My hair had already had time to recover from sulfates and heat styling.
Thanks Wendy of Science-y Hair Blog for creating this protein treatment.

My recipe and method for the gelatin PT:
Gelatin PT (My more moisturizing version)
1 tsp + 1/8 tsp gelatin (half packet)
1 T water
1 T honey
1 T oil (half coconut and half olive)
1/2 T conditioner (Renpure Organics, red bottle)
1 T yogurt
(I no longer add citric acid, based on advice from WS.  Protein likes a more neutral base.)

Dissolve the gelatin in the water.   Add honey and coconut oil so they will dissolve/melt.  I warm the water in the microwave.  This takes only seconds.  Keep an eye on it because it will boil very quickly and can boil over in a small container.   Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

To begin with, I shampoo or cowash.  Then I towel dry hair and apply PT.  I leave this on one hour, but you can leave it less time.  Read the original recipe in the above link for more options.  Rinse and towel dry.  I use either Renpure Organics Conditioner (red bottle) for 10 minutes or Curl Junkie Repair Me (or another DT) for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  I only need Repair Me in the dry winter.  Rinse and style as usual.
This is a video I did showing how to do the blow dryer version of Science-y Hair Blog's Gelatin Protein Treatment.  
Part 2.  Not much to see here, I just rinse out the protein treatment. 


  1. How often do you do this PT? I just tried it yesterday and it was AMAZING!!!!! My frizz is gone! I want to get my hair back into shape, but I don't want to over protein.

    How much should I do it at first to get my hair back into a state of normalcy?

  2. I'm glad it worked so well for you. How often you should PT depends on your hair type. The real answer is you should PT as often as you need it. Once the positive effects of a PT wear off, it is time for another one. For fine and/or porous hair, once a week is common. For medium hair, the time in between may be more like once a month. Keep in mind this is a stronger PT then most store bought PTs.
    If you do end up with too much protein, it is fairly easily fixed. Lay off protein and add lots of moisture until your hair returns to normal.

  3. Ok. I have used it in the shower for 5 minutes each time for two times of washing my hair now, and it still feels amazing! I don't want to use it too often, but if it isn't feeling awful, maybe I should continue until it behaves as I don't want it to? The shampoo ( a mixture of a sulfate free and sulfate shampoo) nor the conditioner nor the mousse that I use has protein in it...

    Do you think that if I leave it on for longer then I won't have to do it as often?

  4. Yes. If you leave a PT on longer, you will not have to do it as often. The longer a PT is on your hair, the more protein works its way into your hair's cortex. I leave the gelatin PT on an hour. You can work you way up to one hour. If after doing the PT for an hour you still feel you need more protein, use the blow dryer method on the Science-y Hair Blog link. The blow dryer method is a good way to give your hair a kick start to getting enough protein. You may also double the amount of gelatin. See this link if you find your hair needs lots of protein.

    I would say keep adding protein until your hair seems to reach its protein limit. If your hair has too much protein, it will let you know (feel rough, hard, straw like). Once your hair has enough protein, do regular PTs to maintain that protein level.

    Adding protein in your other products may work for you as well. Protein is most effective in things that are left on the hair such as leave in conditioner and styling products. It is least effective in shampoo which is on your hair less then a minute.

  5. Thanks for sharing these useful information! That is very helpful. It presented me a number of ideas.

    Hair Treatment

  6. If the reasoning for adding the citric acid or vinegar is to keep the gelatin in a more hair-friendly form, it might be worthwhile adding in the citric acid or vinegar before adding the gelatin, so that the gelatin goes into an acidic environment?

    1. I'm not a chemist, so I really don't know. I suspect it would be better to add the citric acid or vinegar with the gelatin. I also suspect there would be only a small difference in the final results between adding the citric acid or vinegar right away and adding it 30 seconds to a minute later.

  7. If you have very dry skin, you may also have very dry damaged hair. In order to combat this problem a moisturizing hair treatment on gelatin-protein basis will help a lot; the solution to treat damaged hair usually starts from staying away from using heat or harsh chemicals on dry hair.

    1. I totally agree. A big part of the Curly Girl method (mentioned at the top of the post) is don't chemically straighten (or chemically curl) your hair and avoid heat. If you have dry skin, you are more likely to have dry hair. Some people have dry hair and have oily skin.

  8. Thanks for this hair treatment and the video is really very informative. Due to this video the procedure of this treatment has become very easy.
    physiotherapist bergen county , physical therapy bergen county

  9. Thank you for sharing the preparation method to solve the hair problem issues. generally how long does it takes to resolve the problem ? like i'm having a very damaged hair due to pollution. my hair is fully rough and there is a lot of hair fall ? please suggest
    protein for hair

  10. Yeah proteins are necessary for our body for our hairs. taking good diet is also a best solution for hairs.