If you’ve ever suffered with damaged hair, no matter what the cause, you’ll know how incredibly frustrating it is to try and repair. It can feel like an uphill battle where the only true solution is to cut the hair off, losing precious inches and starting again. But before you take that drastic step, here’s some products I can recommend to help at least try and get your locks back in top condition, while also making the most of what can be really difficult hair to style and enjoy.
I’ve really hammered my hair over the years. I got my first set of highlights at about 12/13 (I was always really grown up for my age) and from there I’ve never not coloured my hair. I started with a few highlights, moved to a lot of highlights and then on to the colour changes that the teenage years seem to allow as standard. I’ve been all shades of brown – light and dark. Full blonde (yes, even with these hugely black looking eyebrows!) and various shades of bronze and mahogany. The most stand-out one was a dark red/brown with ketchup coloured highlights all the way through at about age 18 for a brief period. And all this isn’t to mention the numerous times I thought I could do something amazing at home, got box dyes and ruined my hair, calling my loyal hairdresser at ungodly hours in tears asking to help me fix what I’d ruined. Or the time I tried to bleach it myself and went bright pumpkin orange – yes that happens folks, it’s not a myth. Don’t try this at home. And the hair extensions that were awful and badly fitted…safe to say I’ve had a huge amount of hair-horror stories over the years. I’ve never really left my hair alone so it’s no surprise my hair really struggles these days.
In the past few years I’ve been growing my hair. I previously had a short and sassy bob cut which I adored and fully intend to go back to at some point now my wedding is done. I’d been growing it back, primarily for the wedding and finally got my hair to the perfect ash-tone blonde with a root stretch (basically my natural ash brown at the top then about 4/5 tones of blonde from the bottom upwards.) Stupidly I made one error in judgement about 6 months before the big day and ruined my colour. Two years of working to get to the perfect colour was gone and I was so gutted. Fortunately my hairdresser is amazing and spent a LOT of time working to get it back to what I wanted and we kind of did, well as close as possible in time for the big day. But to do that I had to bleach my hair every 5 weeks for 3-4 months before the wedding. We knew there was a very large chance it would ruin the condition and tried everything to avoid this. My hairdresser was amazing and used as many things as she could to avoid this, but I knew it was inevitable as the right colour was so important to me. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
So pre and post-wedding my hair was dry, brittle and pretty much dead at the ends. I used anything and everything to work against this and now a month afterwards I’m feeling better about it’s condition, and for the first time I feel like cutting it all off might not be the only solution. And it’s all thanks to some really great products I’ve been using to boost the condition of the hair itself, while also using others to maximise the way it looks. If there’s one thing that damaged hair does, it looks pretty pants. It’s lack of health means it’s hard to style because heated stylers don’t help at all, and as someone with thin, fine hair anyway, I’ve found it so hard to get my hair looking nice.
So if you’ve ever suffered with damaged hair from anything – over colouring, over treatment, over styling etc then I hope the following products will be a great place for you to start your hair repair journey, as well as help you style it better while you work towards healthier hair.
Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector
I can’t remember where I first heard about this, in the salon I think. But it did take me quite a while to purchase it because of the price tag – £32 for 100ml is pricey! (Since located here for £24.) However when hairdressers rave about something like this, I couldn’t not invest. After all, rebuilding the health of my hair is an investment to me. Olaplex No.3 is an extra step in your hair care regime. It’s not designed to replace shampoo or conditioner, and there are other products in their range to do the same jobs as those if you want. But rather, No.3 is a miracle hair product that works in addition to normal washing.
You apply it once a week as a pre-shampoo treatment which is left on for a minimum of ten minutes – or for the ultimate use, try it as an overnight mask. It’s unlike any other repairing treatment you’ve tried because it works to seek out the damaged bonds in your hair and repair them. So whether your hair is damaged from chemicals, heat or anything else, Olaplex will find the damage and repair it at a molecular level. Kim Kardashian is apparently an avid fan, so if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for us right?
Champo Pitta Shampoo & Conditioner
Founded on the Indian rituals of cleansing, soothing and massaging the hair, the Champo range of products have three Dosha’s which are like hair star signs and you take a quiz to find out which one you are. I am Pitta, which was totally appropriate because it’s the selection designed for volumising.
A little bit of everything that someone with fine hair needs (me) this duo works to inject some volume into your hair, which can be so useful in helping to style damaged locks. Getting some volume and shape is key to being able to enjoy your hair, even when it’s not at full health. But not just about volumising, the Pitta range also cleanses the hair and helps to protect it from further breakage. So it’s great for those of us working to rebuild their natural hair health.
Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast
Living Proof is another range I knew I’d have to feature on this post because their products are amazing. Their Full Dry Volume Blast Spray is epic and one I’ve used multiple times in the past year. Seeing as I’m trying to use as little heat in my hair styling as possible, to help stop creating further damage, good styling products are key to creating texture. This dry spray goes on after drying the hair, and is sprayed directly into the lengths of the hair to create volume and texture that’s like a blow dry. It also acts like a hairspray for hold too, so that’s another product you can cut down on. I find that using this in the lengths of my hair helps to create a boost of life that looks natural and makes hair appear thicker. It’s ideal if you also have long, limp hair.
John Masters Mask For Damaged Hair
Another great healing treatment for hair is the John Masters Mask for Damaged Hair. Which contains natural honey that sucks in and seals moisture and natural hibiscus which is rich in amino acids to repair the individual hair. This hair mask can be used twice a week and I’ve had it for nearly 2 weeks now, and used it 4 times. It goes on after shampoo and is left on the hair for about 5 minutes a time. (I just clip my hair up for a few minutes and leave it to work.) I don’t apply to the roots, just the mid lengths and tips, as it’s too rich for my fine hair right at the top, but at the bottom it’s been really impressive so far.
Great for hair that’s dry and damaged, it’s really been useful in adding more moisture to my desert-dry hair ends. After each use of this mask I notice the ends feeling and looking softer and less brittle and dry, which is exactly what I want. First impressions of this brand are really, really good.
Manta Hair Brush
One product people always forget to switch out of their hair care regime when it comes to dealing with damaged hair, is their brush. You’d be surprised how much more damage the wrong brush can cause to your hair. You need something that’s soft but effective and the Manta brush seems to be a good choice for both. It’s designed to mould to your hand and your scalp, and it’s made of this flexible-type material which makes this easy.
If your hair is thin, damaged and/or lifeless then this brush will be more cautious while running through the strands and it’s less likely to cause further breakage because it reduces hair tension as it goes through.
So if you’re on the ‘repair damaged hair’ journey of rebuilding the health of your hair like me, then these are some of my top picks for helping that process. I have hated the down sides of struggling hair, as anyone would, but this mix of products helps to heal hair while also giving you options for styling and making the most of it – even in those in-between months when it’s still not fully there.
**This post contains some gifted items but as ever all opinions are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclaimer page for more details.