Hair Care for Post Treated Hair

If the only thing keeping you from trying the latest trends in hair color or chemical styling is fear of irreparable damage to your locks, worry not. Hair care brands know how fun it is to play with your tresses (it is after all your crowning glory), and they've made sure to pack plenty of protective and restorative properties in their products.

Here's a cheat sheet on what to do to keep hair healthy and shielded from potential damage from salon chemical treatments:

The treatment: Chemical hair straightening

What it is: "A chemical applied to hair 'loosens a spring' from the hair shaft causing it to stretch and straighten," explains Center for Aesthetic Studies hairstyling instructor Tony Dusich. These chemicals combined with a heated hair straightener alter your natural hair texture to make it straighter.
Damage risk: "Because of the stretching effect, chemically straightened hair is prone to breakage and split ends," says Dusich.
Damage control: To maintain strong locks, Dusich recommends a deep conditioning treatment with keratin. "Make sure to concentrate on the mid-length and ends, because those are the more damaged parts of your hair," he adds. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and do deep-conditioning treatments at least once a week to fortify hair. "Make sure to end each shower with cold water, which helps seal hair cuticles," Dusich recommends.

The treatment: Digital perm

What it is: Popularly known as a "digital perm," a hot perm differentiates itself from a typical cold perm via the use of a chemical to set curls combined with hot rods. Digital perms result in looser curls and require less styling product. It also adheres better to coarser hair textures.
Damage risk: Because perms add more curl and kink to the hair, be on the lookout for frizziness, dullness and breakage.
Damage control: To keep curls shiny, glossy and manageable, make sure to look for a shampoo and conditioner tandem with dimethicone or silicone derivatives. These help coat and seal your hair's cuticle, which keeps hair smooth and soft. (What's a hair cuticle? Run your fingers through a strand of your hair, that coating is the cuticle. A healthy hair cuticle should be smooth to the touch.).  Since hair was also subjected to chemicals to alter texture, a deep conditioning hair mask once a week is a must to keep hair strong.  Curly hair can get heavy due to product buildup so make sure to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to flush out any residue, which could result in lackluster tresses.

The treatment: Hair color

What it is: A mixture of ammonia and peroxide are applied to hair, together with color to alter hair's natural pigment--making it lighter or darker or adding complementary highlights or lowlights.
Damage risk: "Colored hair is prone to dullness, looking 'over-processed' and rougher," says Dusich.
Damage control: Chris McMillan, a Hollywood fixture in hairstyling (he's known for doing Jennifer Aniston's hair) shares an at-home treatment guaranteed to help soften "hay-fried hair".  He writes for Allure his recipe: Combine two tablespoons each of a rinse-out conditioner, leave-in, deep conditioner and hair mask in a bowl.  Using a wide-tooth comb (to avoid hair breakage), comb mixture through clean, damp hair (concentrate a dollop on ends, which tend to be more parched and damaged), and wrap head with a hot towel.  Doing this once a week makes hair much softer.

The treatment: Hair bleaching

What it is: Latest hair color trends seen on the runway and on the streets involve going various shades of blonde--platinum to strawberry--and doing an ombre (a two-toned gradation of color) ranging from subtle light brown on brown to wilder hues like brown with hot pink tips.  Natural brunettes have a harder time going blonde or pink because hair has to be stripped of dark pigment first before lighter color can adhere to locks.
Damage risk: "High amounts of peroxide are required to bleach hair, which can really cause distress to hair.  The lack of pigment can make hair look parched, thin and stringy," says Dusich.
Damage control: Fashion blogger, photographer and model Tricia Gosingtian is no stranger to bleaching her locks to maintain her blonde mane.  "I bleach every two months and have it dyed/toned every three months," she confirms.   She likes to keep her hair healthy-looking and lush by using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner meant for colored hair.  "It's important to look for color-treated specific hair products to keep your color intact," says Dusich.  Tricia also makes sure to coat her hair with a heat-protective product before using heating tools.  "I also make it a point to apply an intensive conditioning treatment at least once a month," she adds.

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