How to Get Salon-Perfect Hair Without Going to the Salon
Whenever the phrase "hair damage" is thrown around, it's often in relation to dry, brittle, bleached blonde hair. However, if you blow dry your hair or get bi-monthly glosses at the salon, your hair can benefit from a protein bond-building hair treatment.
"Any time you decide to color your hair, whether you're using any sort of lightening or permanent base colors, they all have ammonia in them and will change the pH level of your hair," says celebrity colorist and Redken ambassador Cassondra Kaeding. "This opens up the the cuticle and will damage and break down the proteins of the hair. You need something to go in there to heal and seal the hair, and that's where bonding treatments come in."
While color treatments and heat-styling are common causes of damage, Kaeding points out that the minerals in the water where you live and UV rays can also throw off the pH balance of hair and break it down. So, essentially, everyone can benefit from incorporating a bond-building product into their routines.
These concentrated treatments are like patching the holes in the walls of your rental apartment before move-out day: they work by repairing the hair from the inside out. While the restructuring process happens over time with continued use, bond-building products do offer some instant gratification. Once hair is dry, it will be shinier and smoother.
Whether you opt for a traditional mask or a shampoo with bond-building technology, it's important to follow the directions on the product in order to get the best results.
Ahead, seven of our favorite bond-building treatments that repair and revive dull, dry, and brittle hair.
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OGX Restoring + Bonding 'Plex Salon Technology Shampoo
Cut down your in-shower routine with a shampoo and conditioner infused with bond-repairing technology. At just $8, this OGX shampoo is a solid drugstore option (it also has a matching conditioner). The formula includes a cross-linking polymer called cystine, plus vegetable proteins to help reverse damage from color treatments.
To shop: $8; amazon.com
Formulated for all hair types, this amika conditioner works to repair dryness and split ends that are the result of coloring sessions or daily heat styling. On top of bond-building technology, the nourishing formula contains vegan proteins and sea buckthorn berry to help reinforce weak strands.
To shop: $22; sephora.com
Redken Acidic Perfecting Leave-In Treatment for Damaged Hair
While coloring your hair and using hot tools can cause damage, the reality is that your hair's pH gets thrown off every time you wash it due to minerals in the water. That's where Redken's leave-in treatment can help. The formula is acidic in order to rebalance the pH level, in addition to a bond-building complex that reinforces weakened hair. While this leave-in strengthens and revives hair over time, it instantly smooths and boosts shine. For optimal results, use in conjunction with the corresponding shampoo and conditioner.
To shop: $30; ulta.com
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair 3-in-1 Sealing Serum
If your hair is in need of a little TLC, this bond-repair serum works in-between wash days. Packed with nourishing and strengthening amino acid and lipid blend, run through your mid-lengths to ends for extra hydration and protection
To shop: $38; ulta.com
There's a reason why celebrities, top colorists, and beauty editors won't shut up about Olaplex: the treatment repairs and strengthens the bonds of hair from the inside out. This is the at-home version of the game-changing treatment professionals use during color services at the salon.
"It's best to always follow the product instructions as far as frequency but it is important to remember that you can use Olaplex as often as you'd like and that Olaplex can never be overused due to the fact that every time it touches your hair it strengthens it and repairs damage," says Chad Kenyon, celebrity colorist and Olaplex ambassador.
For added benefits, you can incorporate Olaplex's other haircare products in your routine, including the shampoo, conditioner, and hair oil.
To shop: $28; sephora.com
For anyone who hates hair masks because they add 10 minutes to your shower, may we suggest this product from IGK? The innovative spray is applied to dry hair pre-styling or can be used as an overnight treatment — no rinsing required. Powered by bonding technology and vegetable silk proteins, the mask repairs and strengthens the hair while simultaneously boosting shine and reducing frizz.
To shop: $34; sephora.com
In Common Crystal Cashmere At-Home Kit
Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri are the two celebrity hairstylists behind your favorite stars' hair colors, including Selena Gomez and Hilary Duff. The pair developed this two-step system to provide an at-home version of the treatment they give their color clients at Nine Zero One, their salon in LA. While both steps can be used solo, they revive hair texture better together, thanks to a blend of plant-based oils and silk proteins.
To shop: $50; incommonbeauty.com
Bumble and bumble Bb.Bond-Building Repair Treatment
This treatment is the main course of Bumble and bumble's Bb. Bond-Building collection. The weekly treatment strengthens hair and repairs damage by building new bonds. It also protects against future damage, as well as smooths the cuticle for a super soft and shiny finish. Bonus: this in-shower treatment only needs to sit for five minutes before rinsing it out.
To shop: $34; ulta.com