Dry hair, split ends, frizzy tresses? If any or all of these sound familiar, you likely have some damaged locks. While the damage comes in varying degrees, it’s important to nip it in the bud before it splits further and further up the hair shaft, meaning most hairstylists would recommend scheduling a trim in the near future. However, if you’re looking to rehab your tresses without making a trip to the salon, we've got the scoop on the best serums, leave-in conditioners, and de-frizzers for you.
Celebrity hairstylist and creative director of ATMA beauty Sheenon Olson and Aussie's celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko share their favorite at-home hair repair products. And for good measure, we threw in a few of our faves, too.
Extend the time until your next trip to the salon and turn your damaged strands into healthy tresses with intense moisturizing masks formulated with restorative natural oils, heat-protecting balms that won't weigh down even the finest of locks, and deep-conditioning shampoos formulated with shea butter to tame natural and curly tresses.
This treatment is a lifesaver for damaged tresses. According to Olson, "It not only lowers the pH of the hair, which keeps the hair from losing moisture, but it also helps to repair the disulfide bonds in your hair." Translation: hydrated and stronger, more elastic tresses.
This is Olson's all-time favorite treatment mask for all hair types and for all of his clients. "It noticeably repairs your hair's elasticity so the hair has a more youthful feel," he says. The combination of natural extracts and Oribe's bio-restorative complex "is amazing for adding moisture and smoothing over-processed and damaged hair."
L'Oreal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm ($7) is an inexpensive option that harnesses ceramide to address weakness, roughness, dullness, split ends, and dehydration. There's also Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask ($8) with olive, meadowfoam seed, and sweet almond extracts to revitalize hair.
Redken All Soft Heavy Cream ($21) moisturizes and detangles without weighing hair down or leaving residue. This deep conditioner is great for de-frizzing damaged hair.
Polko says a repairing shampoo and conditioner are essential to treating damaged tresses. She recommends this Aussie shampoo. Pair it with Aussie 3-Minute Moist Deep Conditioner ($3) for a dynamic duo.
Those with curly or natural locks can give SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein Shampoo ($9) a try, as it breathes life into dry and/or frizzy tresses. For people with thin, fragile locks, Kiehl's Damage Repairing & Rehydrating Shampoo ($20) douses hair with moisture without diminishing volume.
Looking to strengthen your strands? Olson, recommends using a protein treatment on your tresses. ApHoge, Olson's brand of choice, makes a formula that "closes down the cuticles of your hair while adding protein to strengthen," he says. This sounds well and good, but he also notes that the smell of the product is not for the faint of heart.
To protect your tresses from further damage, give Oribe's nourishing oil a try; it hydrates strands while also protecting from hot tools and UV rays. Although this oil works best on thick or dense hair textures, Olson has a suggestion for fine-haired ladies too: Oribe Balm d'Or Heat Styling Shield ($45), which similarly works to deliver moisture while simultaneously protecting strands.
Another cult favorite is Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($40), a de-frizzer that tames flyaways and smooths wet hair that might frizz up or break while combing.
This styling cream is perfect for in between washings to gain another day. The water in the product brings back any waves you may have created with an iron that have fallen flat, and the olive oil in the product adds the perfect amount of light gloss, toning down any dry ends or frizz.
Living Proof No-Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream ($38) is buzzy thanks to OFPMA, a patented moisture-controlled molecule, discovered by the brand's scientists, that blocks humidity while smoothing the hair's cuticles.
Looking to protect your tresses from further damage? Check out our favorite drugstore thermal protectant products.