Fried Hair Rehab

Our program comes to the rescue for women at every price point

Sun damage, coloring, flat-ironing ... you've demanded enough from your stressed hair. Find out how to bring health back to it, thanks to advice from of a panel of hair pros.

By Alexandra Drosu

Dry, damaged hair SYMPTOMS: Split ends, frizzy hair "Go outside with a mirror," says Prive Salon stylist Jennifer Negrette. If your hair doesn't shimmer in the light and has split ends, you have a case of hair that's been exposed to excessive heat. To confirm, take a strand of hair and tug on it. "Brittle hair will snap," says Guy Riggio, a stylist at the John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles. If this is the case, heat damage has sucked the moisture out of your locks. DIAGNOSIS: Dry, damaged hair R X : DIY: Reach for the olive oil, says celebrity hair stylist Mark Slicker. The next best thing? Neem oil, a moisturizing treatment. "Glob it on and go for a walk in the sun," says Slicker. The heat makes oil penetrate your hair for better conditioning. But Negrette warns: "Be careful if you have fine hair. Oil can weigh it down." Instead, add a teaspoon of light oil, like avocado, to your regular conditioner. OVER THE COUNTER: Use a deep-conditioning treatment once a week. Negrette's favorite: Kerastase Masquintense ($53, ). It's pricey but more affordable than weekly salon treatments, Negrette says. If your hair needs more TLC, temporarily retire your blow-dryer and follow these tips from Riggio: Towel dry hair. Slather on a leave-in conditioner like Rene Furterer Fioravanti No-Rinse Detangling Spray ($22, ). Twist hair into a bun on top of your head, leaving your bangs and the hair framing your face out of the bun. Let air-dry. "The top knot acts as a roller," Riggio says. "When you take it down, your hair will have a nice wave to it." SALON: "Get a good haircut," Riggio advises. "Dry hair can be brought back to life with conditioning treatments, but brittle ends need to be removed," he says. Have a trusted stylist take off as much of the damaged hair as possible because split ends are a sign of deeper damage. "Brittle hair spreads like a virus up the shaft of your hair." Product build-up SYMPTOMS: Ashy tone, but healthy strands Check your hair in natural light and ask yourself if it lacks shine. Then, run your fingers along a strand. Does it feel soft? If you answered yes to both, skip to the diagnosis. If you're not sure, wrap a couple of strands around your fingers and rub together. "If it feels like sandpaper or breaks mid-shaft, your hair is dry," Busby says. If that's the case, go back and follow the prescription for "split ends, frizzy hair" symptoms. DIAGNOSIS: Product build-up The most telling clue to this problem is the fact that your hair still feels okay; it just looks lifeless. R X : DIY: To remove product buildup and add shine, vinegar works wonders. Fill a cup with equal parts vinegar and water and use as a shampoo, Busby suggests. (Avoid getting it in your eyes.) Use it twice a month max and follow with a moisturizing conditioner. OVER THE COUNTER: Use a clarifying shampoo, such as Phyto Phytocitrus Restructuring Shampoo ($22, ), Busby says. Condition as usual. For a more intense treatment, deep-condition with a product like Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Mask ($36, ) every other week. "Jojoba oils are great for adding sheen," Busby says. Finish dry hair with a protecting serum, like Phyto Phytolisse Finishing Serum ($30, ). "It adds shine, and helps bring back luster." SALON: Get to a stylist for a dose of semi-permanent color. "Semi-permanent color can give hair a rich, warm shade without damaging it," Busby says. "It adds shine and body." The color lasts six to eight weeks and fades without roots. Chlorine damage SYMPTOMS: Heavy, limp hair If you spent serious time in the pool last summer, you might have a case of swimmer's hair. The chlorine and minerals in treated pool water turn hair dark and oily, but the damage can go even deeper. Slicker recommends this elasticity test: Remove a strand of wet hair and pull gently. "If it doesn't spring back to its original state, your hair is lacking in protein," Slicker says. DIAGNOSIS: Chlorine damage "Heavy chlorine exposure can cause sebaceous glands to overproduce oil, making hair more oily," Slicker says. Positively charged mineral deposits in the water latch on to your negatively charged follicles. In addition to the chlorine-green tinge, minerals can cause hair to appear slightly darker and feel heavier than normal, Slicker says. R X : DIY: First, remove mineral buildup. Clarifying shampoos can strip color-treated hair, so Slicker recommends this old school remedy: Mix 1 oz. of baking soda with 7 oz. of warm water. To treat severe damage, add 1/4 cup baking soda to your regular shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and apply conditioner. OVER THE COUNTER: For unprocessed hair, a clarifying shampoo like Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three ($11.95, find salons at ) is effective. Look for products containing EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid) and use them up to twice a week, Slicker advises. "It helps remove mineral deposits." SALON: Visit a salon for a protein-and-moisture conditioning mask. Ask your stylist to top it off with a clear or color-pigmented gloss. "Gloss fills hair and seals in protein and moisture," Slicker says. Plus, it won't further damage fragile hair. Sun damage SYMPTOMS: Faded color, wispy strands, colorless ends Because color-treated hair fades gradually, you might not even notice how far your hair has traveled from its original shade until it's really noticeable. Emily Wheeler, a colorist at Cowboys and Angels Hair Salon in San Francisco, Calif., suggests lifting your top layer of hair and comparing it with the color underneath. "If there's a big difference between [the two] then you know that it's faded." DIAGNOSIS: Sun damage Like fair skin, color-treated hair should be protected from the sun because it breaks down the chemical bonds in color molecules, which makes hair look bleached or faded. Sun-stripped hair also feels frizzy and hollow, Wheeler says. R X : DIY: First, add moisture. "Conditioning treatments smooth the hair down and make it feel more supple," Wheeler says. Look no farther than your refrigerator for this treatment: Put mayonnaise on your hair and let it soak in while you're showering. For added shine, Wheeler recommends rinsing hair with a light beer. (Dark beer can stain lighter hair.) OVER THE COUNTER: Color-formulated conditioning treatments, like Bumble and Bumble Color Support Conditioner ($27.95, ), jumpstart the recovery process. "It's not too heavy and it helps repair the hair," Wheeler says of color-depositing products. She also warns against using protein-packed treatments: "Too much protein makes hair crunchy." Retail hair glosses like Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Boosting Glaze ($8.99, ) are a good temporary fix for getting your hair back into shape, Wheeler says. She has two rules for using at-home tints: Stay within one shade of your color and read the label thoroughly. "Don't use a product with ammonia or peroxide," warns Wheeler. "If you have to mix two bottles, it's permanent color." 3 Ways to Update Every Haircolor Luxe vs. Less Hair Care 17 Hairstyles That Take Less Than 10 Minutes Subject Subject Subject Message Message Message /content/package/c_rehab/
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older comments

Thanks for the tip.

by nicky22 Friday, June 21, 2013 at 05:27PM Report as inappropriate


by jessicaviolett Friday, May 31, 2013 at 04:00PM Report as inappropriate

I'm so excited to try Neem oil and see if that helps my dried out locks.

by kati_morris Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:48PM Report as inappropriate


by EricaF123 Friday, December 28, 2012 at 11:28AM Report as inappropriate

Bumble & Bumble products are amazing!

by robyne00 Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 03:56PM Report as inappropriate

I've hear about using mayonnaise, but I'd never thought to leave it on the hair while showering - that would make it easier to use. Very useful tips! Thanks!

by flirtygirl214 Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 05:29PM Report as inappropriate

great tips to have

by LittleBunny Monday, July 30, 2012 at 09:52PM Report as inappropriate


by Nicole2814 Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 06:52AM Report as inappropriate

Excellent tips; although there are cheaper products that are just as effective as the ones mentioned. There's honestly no need to spend $50 on a deep conditioner when you can simply add oils to a cheaper deep conditioner for the same effect. I really liked the neem oil fact. I just recently found out about that while browsing through my local Indian grocer. It smells horrid and the scent stays with you for about 2-3 days but it works wonders!

by tatiahna_allen Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 08:42PM Report as inappropriate

Use as much hair protectants to keep hair as healthy as possible and extend the time between cuts.

by TBjunkie Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 12:13AM Report as inappropriate

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