Gelatin Treatment: DIY Protein for Hair

Posted by Elizabeth Alex on

Does your hair feel dry, rough to touch, maybe too soft and mushy? Wondering if you need a protein treatment or when you should do gelatin treatment? I hope my experience and this quick guide will make your curls go boing!

Are Protein Products enough? Why do a Gelatin Treatment at all?

Have you wondered how to strike a protein moisture balance? As a rule of thumb, overly moisturized hair is “too soft” and doesn’t hold the curl. This generally when you now it's time for protein. If it doesn't go BOING like the first video on this post, it's time. 

In my experience of troubleshooting thousands of personal consultations; wavy hair generally needs more protein (for boing!) compared to other hair types.

If your hair is damaged, you'll probably need more protein than healthier hair as well. 

Hair is already made of protein but sometimes if our food diet or product diet cannot compensate for that said protein then an extra treatment like this gelatin DIY can help! Lili says, "The only hair type that “needs” protein is generally heat or chemically damaged (colour) hair requires protein treatments. You can use deep conditioners with protein in it but usually, virgin hair shouldn’t need protein"
This is totally subjective whether you need to do gelatin specifically or not. Read everything to find out!

This is generally when you know it's time for protein.

It depends on what you’ve been doing to your hair, really.
When was the last time you treated your hair with protein?
Perhaps your deep conditioner has strong protein already?


Me? I do not actively do strong protein treatments and mostly use protein-free products. With these habits I know when I need one because hair starts feeling elongated than usual, it gets dry faster than normal and overall it's just rough and Ewww. That's when I am aware. This is what happens when I use protein-heavy products - Too much protein makes my hair dry so I usually just stay away from protein for the most part.

You can add protein in your hair using products with protein but what if you just wanted a quick fix RIGHT NOW? Here’s a $2 DIY to the rescue!

1️⃣ R I C E W A T E R: The protein in here is very minimal, read my Rice Water Rinse Guide here!

2️⃣ G E L A T I N: This has hydrolysed protein which is automatically higher protein content. strengthens hair, also improving overall curl pattern immediately.

I was recently inspired by @ingecurls video in which Inge uses the bowl method; however, this method has been around since @risasrizos posted her YouTube video back in Jan 2015! She says this Gelatin Treatment is an extreme treatment so recommends doing it once every other month only!

  • Find Vegan Alternative to Gelatin on my Amazon store here!
  • Buy Gelatin from on my Amazon store here!
  • Why I do Gelatin Treatment

    I have to confess I am not a DIY person at all BUT here are legit reasons why like gelatin DIY treatment has my attention :

    1. To improve curl pattern - making curls "tighter"
    2. For lasting moisture - so washdays last longer days! #curlsfordays
    3. To improve elasticity - so hair doesn't break easily under any tension

    How I do my Gelatin Treatments

    I always do it on clean hair, which means after shampoo or cowash. Bowl method the gelatin mixture, rinse it out with warm water. Then I deep condition and style as usual. Watch the video below to see the sequence!

    I usually add protein very subtly to my deep conditioner or my gel. Even that Is very lower dose of protein because with practice and experience I have noticed my hair does not do well with high protein. Considering this, you will notice I used only two teaspoons of the gelatin powder in hot water in the video. This was on purpose. Most videos I studied before trying this treatment used the whole box at one go! Use your discretion. 

    Low Gelatin dose

    Using less gelatin in more water allowed me the convenience to apply the treatment easily. I used the Bowl Method, you'll see it in just a minute. There was no cast either. From the research videos, I noticed that gelatin hardens hair stiff! This did not happen with me, although it felt hard and different - but not flagpole stiff if you know what I mean.

    Top ProTip: For a higher dose of protein, use more gelatin and make sure your mixture is jelly-consistency. How hard your hair feels will also give you an indication of the level of protein in your DIY gelatin treatment.



    After gelatin the DC should be protein free or with protein? Ideally you need moisture to balance the protein of the gelatin so use protein-free mask after. But protein-hungry high porosity can benefit from a mask with low protein ingredients as well. Use your discretion.

    Can I mix the hair mask with gelatin and apply? This totally depends on how long you want to keep the mask in your hair. The more you keep any treatments in your hair the stronger it gets for your hair. If you don’t have time to follow the steps, you may do this, but I won’t advice you leave it in your hair for more 20min. Use your discretion as always. 


    Thank you for reading & watching! Please share this with a beauty you know


    Need Help? Ask Liz here


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