This Slightly Terrifying New Service Shows You Exactly How Damaged Your Hair Is
I colored my hair for the first time when I was 17 years old, and I have never looked back. For almost five years, I tortured it with box dye. Now that I know a little better, I allow a very talented Los Angeles colorist to torture it. (Love you, Matt.) Oh, and I heat-style it a good three times a week.
Intellectually, I understand that bleaching the living daylights out of my hair and then straightening it is not healthy. And aesthetically, I can see that my hair isn’t exactly as shiny as, say, Selena Gomez’s hair or one of Kylie Jenner’s wigs. But I’ve developed a sense of denial strong enough to repress all that. What can I say? I like being blond.
But I’m still sane enough to say yes whenever the opportunity for a reparative hair treatment comes along. So when I heard about Kérastase’s new Fusio-Dose treatment ($30), I was like, Sign me up please thank you. This high-tech, in-salon treatment has a stylist evaluate your specific hair needs to customize a potent repair treatment, which takes effect in just five minutes. It sounded right up my alley.
What I did not realize until I arrived at my appointment at LuxeLab Salon in Santa Monica is that for the process to work, your stylist must snap high-res photographs of your hair fibers to get a close look at just how messed up your mane really is.
By the time my stylist whipped out his iPad, it was too late to back out. I was mere minutes away from having to confront years of hair damage.
To see the photos of my damaged hair (plus, what it looked like after treatment), keep scrolling!
The Fusio-Dose process is like something out of a beauty-centric sci-fi movie (which actually sounds awesome, and if you’re aware of one that exists IRL, holler). On an iPad, the stylist walks you through a survey to get a sense of your personal goals for your hair. Mine were shine and damage repair.
Then comes the Hair & Scalp Profiler Camera, an app that takes a photo of your hair fibers, zooming in 600 times. With this ultra-high-res image, the technology determines your hair diameter, dryness, shine level, and erosion (i.e., breakage).
Using that information, the stylist diagnoses the two most pressing needs for your hair (smoothness, radiance, strength, etc.). Then, he turns to his Fusio-Dose Hair Lab, a colorful chemistry set, complete with vials of four hair “concentrates” (to address the primary need) and five “boosters” (for the secondary need). Your two elixirs are mixed to create a custom “beauty-shot,” which is applied to wet hair in the salon and rinsed after five minutes.
After my photos were taken, the report came back saying that my hair was “very damaged,” or highly eroded. I suppose I knew deep down that this would be the case, but seeing the words on paper (or on screen, as it were) made me cringe, like a doctor had just broken some terrible news about my health—news that I had brought upon myself.
The images also revealed that my shine factor was low, another fact I was afraid to face. My dryness level was listed as "normal," however—the single beacon of positivity in an otherwise failing report.
The four “concentrates” offered by Fusio-Dose include nutrition and softness, color radiance, reconstruction, and tone/body. The “boosters” include anti-damage, hydration, anti-frizz, radiance, and reconstruction.
My stylist and I agreed that in light of my condition, reconstruction and radiance should be my primary and secondary concerns. (By the way, the stylist I worked with was Craig Wcislo, who is a Kérastase genius and an utter delight.)
Wcislo mixed our chosen vials of ingredients. Then an assistant washed my hair and applied the product, after which she administered a heavenly head massage, ending the five-minute wait time all too quickly.
Next, Wcislo applied a heat protectant and blew out my hair (Kérastase doesn’t play around with preventing further damage). I cruised out of the salon with a head of bombshell waves, my hair shinier than it had looked in months.
Use the arrow below to see before and after photos of my hair!
Isabelle Bahravan and Paley Fairman
The “before” photo above (on the left) was taken a few weeks before my Fusio-Dose treatment; the “after” photo (on the right) was taken several days later. The treatment definitely seemed to boost my hair’s strength and shine. And, importantly, it also inspired me to ensure that I’m making the best choices for my specific haircare needs on the day-to-day.
Seeing my hair up close and personal reminded me that laughing off my damage benefits no one. I think of the process as a sort of hair intervention—a forced rock bottom so I could face my reality and start getting better.
Since the treatment, I have started paying closer attention to the hair products I use, making sure that they address breakage and shine, specifically. I have also made an effort to heat-style my hair less often and apply heat protectants when I do.
If you’re curious (and/or slightly horrified) to see exactly how damaged your hair is, find a salon that carries Kérastase products, and ask for Fusio-Dose.
When you see an iPad and start to feel like you’re in a futuristic haircare otherworld, you know you’re in the right place.