Homemade gelatin protein treatment for damaged curly hair

I had recently posted on how to figure out if your hair is damaged or if it dry. I did the strand test and found out that my hair was too moisturized and lacked protein. So I was looking for protein treatments for my hair. I checked a few protein masks online, some concentrated protein serums – they were either not available easily in India or I wasn’t very impressed with their protein content. So I was thinking of some natural protein sources. That’s when I came across this gelatin gel treatment and it fit the bill perfectly.

  1. Do your curls look limp and flat?
  2. Do your curls feel too soft and mushy?
  3. Do your curls not hold shape?
  4. Is there a bounce missing in your hair?

Your hair needs protein – How Protein Helps Your Curls + Protein sensitivity. Protein gives body to hair. Gelatin is a brittle translucent powder produced by the hydrolysis of collagen (a protein) extracted from the bones and cartilage of animals. You can buy gelatin here.

Note : For cooking, the vegetarian substitute for gelatin in agar agar (china grass). But that cannot be used for this purpose because it is a carbohydrate not protein. You can look for hydrolysed wheat or oats in your hair products.

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Benefits of using gelatin as a protein treatment

  1. Gelatin is a hydrolyzed protein – Hydrolyzed protein is protein that has been broken down into its component amino acids; which means they can easily bond to the damaged areas of the hair. Large proteins like those found in egg and yogurt may not be able to effectively do that.
  2. Gelatin is easily available and is inexpensive.
  3. Gelatin gel is easy to make and apply.
  4. You can increase or decrease the strength of the protein treatment by varying the ratio of gelatin to water and varying the time left on the hair.

Ingredients for gelatin treatment

1 cup water
1 – 2 tbsp. Gelatin (I used a brand called Bakers). You can buy gelatin here. Use unflavoured and non-coloured gelatin.

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How to make the gelatin treatment

gelatin treatment curly hair

  1. Heat water. Remove from the stove
  2. Mix the gelatin (Use 1 tbsp. for a low strength treatment and 2 tbsp. for a concentrated treatment) with the water and keep stirring till it is completely dissolved. You can use a whisk to prevent lumps.
  3. Refrigerate or freeze till it forms a runny gel

How to apply the gelatin treatment

  1. Shampoo your hair
  2. Apply to wet hair thoroughly and let it sit for anywhere between 2-10 minutes. You will have to find out what suits your hair best by trial and error. Start with 2 minutes and see if your hair gets too stiff. If not you can increase the time.
  3. Rinse your hair thoroughly with water till all traces of the gel are removed.
  4. Follow it with an ultra-rich conditioner or a deep conditioning mask as your hair will feel stiff and hard after this treatment.

Vary the amount of gelatin and time left on hair to find out what suits your hair’s need the best!

Before & After the gelatin treatment

Following the gelatin gel protein treatment, my hair felt crunchy for a day, but I noticed improved curl definition. They were not soft and limp anymore 🙂



  1. Hi can u please tell me which is best shampoo n conditioner for my dry frizzy curls.. My daughter also has curly hair can u tell wat products I can use

  2. Hi Anjana,

    How often can I do this treatment on my hair? My hair frizzes up like crazy even though I am using the following products (2b & c curls): 1. Tressemme botanique conditioner, as i am leave in conditioner, devacurl gel. I did a strand test and saw that my hair stretched and became really thin & deformed in the middle. You think this treatment would help?

  3. Hi Anjana,
    Just trying the gelatin treatment rt now. The hair remained soft beyond 10 mins post application , does that mean anything specific?
    Also wats the maximum time the gelatin can be on the hair( the max)

    Thank you for all your assistance! Your blogs fabulous and extremely helpful! Thank you again. Btw I just started with cgm last month! Always had curly frizzy hair!

    Cheers! Liz

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