So your hair is in
bad shape, its splitting or breaking off at worse or dry and frizzy,
what should you be doing?
a treatment is the answer but which one and why?
of all know your basic facts on what a treatment is:
Treatments are often
confused with conditioners, or the term "conditioner" is used
as a generalisation to categorise four different types of strengthening
and moisturising products. True conditioners are "surface acting
in that they provide temporary protection and strength to the
hair. They are a bit like a sheath, in that the product does not
penetrate the hair, it provides a microscopically thin protective
film giving smoothness and combability. This is different to treatments
which penetrate the hair, restoring and maintaining internal strength.
Conditioners are generally
used every time you shampoo whilst treatments are applied either
by you or your professional hairdresser when needed (no more than
once a week normally).
The two types of treatments
- Reconstructors which
make the hair stronger and are generally protein based. These
are for you if you have chemically damaged hair (i.e. from
a perm or colour) or breaking or weak hair. They are often
a combination of protein and moisture as pure protein treatments
used incorrectly can leave the hair brittle. After using this
type of treatment don't expect your hair to feel great as
they work internally and you may still need a conditioner
to make your hair feel smooth. They are most often found at
the salon and used during chemical processes. Don't use protein
based treatments within a week either side of a colour as
they can cause colour to fade or not 'take' properly in some
- Moisturisers the most
common type of treatment,
balance the moisture content of the cortex (middle of your
hair). Great for frizzy, dry hair and those of you with curly
hair that lacks bounce. Will treat all damage conditions from
chemical to physical (i.e. from colouring to over drying or
heating your hair to sun damage).
On the other hand, conditioners
- Rinses and acidifiers
used to close the cuticle and seal the hair i.e. make it feel
smooth and easily combed. If you have coloured hair a conditioner
is a must with every shampoo to lock in your colour and make
it last longer. Also if your hair is mid to long they are
also necessary to nourish those areas that the natural oils
just don't get to. Really only those of us with very short
non chemically processed hair don't need a conditioner.
product) are used to prevent heat damage before it starts.
If your hair is prone to damage or you use heated appliances
on you hair regularly make sure your styling product contains
this type of protection.
So how do I
apply them properly?
As with most products,
treatments should be applied using the instructions on the pack
or by your professional hairdresser.
The amount needed also
varies greatly depending on the product and how much hair you
Do not leave treatments
in your hair for longer than instructed, especially if using a
protein-based treatment as these will have no extra effect, and
may even make your hair brittle.
If your hair is in really
bad shape a twice a week treatment may be needed, but generally
for fair to poor conditioned hair once a week is recommended.
For general maintenance go to once a fortnight or once a month.
Remember your hair can
only take in so much extra nourishment, over doing it on the treatment
side means you are wasting your money as it is simply rinsing
down the plug!
When you need to
treat your hair:
times of year and weather conditions or the various stresses and
excesses that we put our hair through can lead to damaged/dry
hair, and because a treament does not work over night it is a
good idea to either do regular