In 2016 I had a bad run in with a poorly skilled salon that ended up with my hair being overly processed.. repeatedly. Since then “rescuing” my hair has been one heck of a journey. I’ve tried so many products from drug store to high end and these are the ones that have stayed in my regimen. My head hair is one of the most important places on my body aesthetically. It’s been an emotional journey dealing with this situation but at least now I know to appreciate it better when I get it back to normal. That’s right after two years, it’s still not “back to normal” or even remotely close to the length that it was.
NEXXUS humectress ultimate moisture protein complex
Just like your body your hair needs protein to stay healthy. Protein treatments boost the hair with a variety of nutrients and proteins to help reconstruct and strengthen hair strands. But that can get expensive if you’re going to a salon every single time. I opt for buying protein rich masks and this is a great one that I found at Target. Depending on your hair length (mine is barely touching shoulders) this packet can last you 5+ applications. I do a protein treatment once a month.
RAHUA omega 9 hair mask
This is an amazing mask that I use during every hair wash! You apply it for 10-15 minutes after shampooing and follow it up with your conditioner. It leaves hair feeling instantly soft, even after heat styling.
LIVING PROOF restore shampoo + conditioner
When you have virgin or lightly damaged hair you can pretty much get away with using any shampoo or conditioner. Unfortunately with hair that’s been beaten down repeatedly it needs a lot of extra love and care. The Living Proof brand is the best hair care I’ve come across for me but the restore line specifically takes care of damaged hair very well. I noticed the difference in just one wash. I’m currently almost done with the shampoo and will probably switch to a thinning/hair loss shampoo to take care of other needs.
LIVING PROOF prime style extender
Now this step you don’t necessarily need but it helps my hair retain whatever hairstyle I’m donning that day. My hair used to be pretty thick but now it’s much thinner which makes it really hard to hold a curl or volume. Hair primer works just like a foundation primer would, prepping your hair for any other styling products you are going to apply. I can even apply it at my roots, it’s not oily at all.
LIVING PROOF restore perfecting spray
This is a 2-in-1 spray that conditions and heat protects! I apply it from the mid length to the ends since my hair is on the oilier side. It’s important for anyone to heat protect but especially if your hair has damage on it. We want to try to reduce as much future damage as possible. I know a lot of articles will tell you to give up heat styling all together but that’s just not practical, at least not for me anyway. Applying this on the ends also adds moisture. For people who have bleach damage the term “broom hair” probably rings a few bells.
DRY BAR 100 proof treatment oil
It’s no news that oils are really great for your hair! It’s beneficial even for people with oily hair, just watch how much you put on and where you put it. I have many different hair oils in my bathroom closet (argan, macademia, almond &etc). I also want to mention that I am not into the whole coconut oil movement, it’s not happening for me. This particular treatment oil is the best I’ve come across thus far. The main oil in it is Kalahari Melon Seed Oil. It contains a high content of essential fatty acids (linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids) known for their regenerating and restructuring properties. I apply a drop into my hands and then work it onto my ends.
LIVING PROOF blowout styling + finishing spray
Usually I steer clear of hair sprays because many leave thin hair feeling heavy, sticky and crunchy. I prefer using finishing sprays because of those reasons. They are basically light hold hair sprays. Working sprays work similar as well and those are applied before styling. I mainly just use it when I am curling my hair or if I need a little more texture.
LIVING PROOF perfect hair day dry shampoo
My holy grail dry shampoo and nothing tops it! It does absolutely everything it says it will. I try not to wash my hair too often but I exercise daily. I’m not talking about walking on the treadmill either. I weight train and occasionally incorporate HIIT so I’m definitely sweating after a session. This dry shampoo really helps soak up the sweat and smell and leave my hair feeling refreshed between washes. When I straighten my hair I also use it to add a little volume.
This will probably be the most painful tip to read but hair strands are dead cells. It’s not like when you burn your arm and it begins to heal itself. Once those strands are chemically burned and damaged they are not going to “heal themselves” and there is no product out there that will do that either. All products do are help not make it worse and provide temporary relief and moisture to the damaged strands. The best thing you can do is cut your hair. I’m not saying you need to shave it all off at once, but start by trimming your ends periodically. Your hair will grow out and eventually with these trimmings you will be left with healthy hair.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!! Do your research on the salon and stylist that is going to come near your hair with bleach. If they don’t use Olaplex RUN FOR THE HILLS. Just because a stylist graduated hair school does not mean they are an expert with bleaching. Don’t be fooled by salons that use the words “expert” or “master” either. ASK what kind of training they’ve been through for ombres or balayages. Those aren’t normally taught in hair school and are classes they take to further their education. Unfortunately small towns and cities are the worst with this. If you’re in the new york area I know two AMAZING colorists with major experience and clients to prove it.
BEFORE HAIR DAMAGE
AFTER HAIR DAMAGE
2 YEARS LATER
Healing is a lengthy process, after 2 years my hair is still short. There was so much damage! And due to the bleaching my hair does not hold color for very long. I dye my hair back to it’s regular color every few months. But it fades out after a few weeks. I’m getting there though! I cut my ends every month and my hair is currently ALMOST at my shoulders, I can do a small ponytail but I’m waiting for the day that I can put it up in a bun haha.