DIY Hair Protein Treatment: Gelatin Hair Mask

Our hair are made up of proteins and with daily wear and tear, our hair strands tend to lose its strength and get damaged. Applying heat or chemical treatments damage our hair more and weaken the strands. Heat and chemicals are not the only culprits in causing damage to our strands. On a daily basis our hair are exposed to pollution, sunlight, dirt and many other environmental causes that damage our hair. The damage caused by environmental causes might not be as severe as in case of heat or chemical treatment, but damage due to both reasons must be replenished by applying protein treatments on our hair.

When we apply protein treatment to our hair, the strands soak up the proteins from the mask/treatments. The protein helps in strengthening the hair and helping in repairing the hair damage by filling up the damaged regions if the strands. It also reduced further damage and breakage of hair by providing strength.

How often should a protein treatment be done?

This depends on the level of damage that you hair has been through. If you have highly damaged hair (heat damaged or chemically damaged hair) or more hair breakage, then you can use more frequent protein treatments.

My suggestion:

Start with monthly once if you have normal hair.. you can also increase the time between two treatments to upto 2 months. Our hair does not need protein treatments as much as deep conditioning ones.

If you have damaged or very brittle hair, even weekly once protein treatment would do good. You can also alternate between deep conditioning treatments and protein treatments if it suits your hair.

Purpose of this is to strengthen hair so it must be used sparing if your hair is not much damaged. Too many protein treatments can make hair dry (Curly and wavy hair require even more moisture and conditioning) hence we should always apply deep conditioning treatment following a protein treatment.


What to use for protein treatment?

For protein treatments we need not go any further than our kitchen. There are so many products that are usually available in our kitchen that work as a super good protein treatment ingredient for our hair.

The most famous DIY ingredient used for protein treatments is egg. However, there has been some debates regarding proteins in egg being too large in size to enter our strands and not being much beneficial in repairing hair damage. But there are zillions of people for whom applying egg mask works wonders. However, I am keeping egg mask for another day..Today, I wanna make you aware of this awesomely protein packed ingredient which is highly effective for hair treatments and gives excellent results. The super ingredient is (as you would have guessed by the title) Gelatin!!


Why Gelatin for protein treatment?

Gelatin is basically hydrolyzed form of collagen and is super packed with protein. Our hair being made up of protein, adding up extra protein on top adds strength. Additionally, since the protein is hydrolyzed, it is small in size and is easily absorbed by our hair and gets into the strands and provides strength and resistant to breakage.


What type of hair needs gelatin hair pack the most?

It is super good for hair that is brittle, fine, breaks easily or is damaged. The protein in gelatin forms bonds with the hair and  gives it strength, masks damage and helps hair in whithheld strain to an extent without breaking.


Now onto the recipe and how to use!


Things Required:

  • Gelatin (Unflavoured) – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 1/2-1 cup (hot water)


Steps to follow:

  • Take the gelatin in a bowl and slowly add hot water (hot water makes it easy to dissolve the gelatin)
Curlacious_Gelatin Protein Hair Mask_India_CurlyWavy
Gelatin Powder


  • Stir continuously and dissolve the gelatin completely. As this was the first time that I tried, I was not sure of the consistency that I would get on dissolving the gelatin in water. What I noticed was that the water had become a little viscous. Initially, it was very liquid-y so Iadded extra gelatin to get the consistency a little better. Remember that gelatin gets swollen and takes the consistency of a jelly on cooling so do not add too much.


  • Let the mix cool down a little and then place in refrigerator for 10-15 mins. At this stage you can add the ACV or any extra ingredients that you want. You want the consistency to become thick and jelly like but not very solid; otherwise it will be difficult to apply. (I kept it in fridge and got super busy. By the time I got it out, it had thickened too much!! So I added a little warm water and made the consistency a little jelly-like…it got all messy by the end!! You can also let it stay out in room temperature to loosen up a little)


Curlacious_Gelatin Protein Hair Mask_India_CurlyWavy
This is how my gelatin pack looked after it was set (A little too hard)! You can let it stand for few minutes or add warm water


  • Section your hair and apply the hair mask evenly on all strands coating each strand thickly and sufficiently with the gelatin hair mask


Curlacious_Gelatin Protein Hair pack_India_DIY CurlyWavy
Coat all strands properly


  • Keep the mask on was 10-15mins. Some prefer to keep it for longer or till it hardens on the hair. I put on a shower cap for 10mins to give that warmth. Then kept it on for 15mins more. By then it got a little dry on my hair.


  •  Rinse it off thoroughly


  • Follow it up with deep conditioning treatment.


  • I did not have time to apply a deep conditioning so after rinsing it off I conditioned as usual and left a good amount of conditioner in and followed up by a mild coat of shea butter. Shea butter is supposed to lock in the moisture in hair and is supposed to work as a conditioning treatment (or so I think !! :-D)


  •  My hair did not feel dry afterwards and hair was pretty much fresh and full of life the next day. 🙂



  • This is the most basic gelatin hair pack. Usually a teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar is added to this mix. Also, many additional ingredients can be added to provide moisture, for e.g. conditioner, oils, essential oils etc. But i prefer only gelatin. I will be adding Apple Cider Vinegar the next time I use gelatin protein pack.
  • Always use the unflavoured gelatin.
  • If you keep it in fridge for too long and it becomes too solid, you can either let it stand at room temperature for few mins till is loosens up or add little warm water and mash it up!!
  • Should always follow a protein treatment with a deep conditioning treatment. Here is one quick fix if you want a recipe.
  • If you are short on  time, leave in a lot of conditioner and follow up with deep conditioning or oil your hair following day or in the same weak based on how dry your hair feels post protein treatment.
  • This is a big No-No for vegetarians. In case you did not know, gelatin is extracted from animal by-products. In case you are looking for a Veg protein treatment (i.e. without egg or gelatin) then try this recipe: DIY Protein Treatment


Hope this helps. If you have damaged hair then you should totally try this out. Gives a superb boost to the hair. 🙂


Did you try gelatin protein treatment for your hair? Please feel free to share your comments, feedback and suggestions in comment below or at the forum here. The forum needs a very simple procedure to sign up which is totally safe and secure. You can also login using your Facebook account and we do not access or post anything on your timeline! 🙂


Would love to hear from you. Please do leave a comment.