Chemical processing (highlighting/coloring or perming) works because your hair cuticle is being physically transformed by chemicals in order to change the color or texture of the hair. It literally takes the protein right out of your hair. The desired color or texture can be fantastic; but, you will pay the price with some damage. So, you need take very good care of your hair.
Well, the good news is that there is "help" for damaged hair! Protein treatments are the best way to combat damage from chemical processing. Strengthening your hair with protein will protect your hair from breakage. Protein adds strength, but not moisture. So, it is always good to follow up a protein treatment with a moisturizing one.
My "Protein Treatments Series” blog posts will cover a variety of Protein treatments currently available. So, keep an eye out for future "Protein Treatment Series" reviews. I choose these products from my years of testing out various products, doing online research for good reviews, and tips/recommendations from my hair stylists.
The ApHOGEE Two Step Protein Treatment is the strongest and most effective protein treatment that I have used (the "mother" of all protein treatments). It is somewhat tricky to use (and a lengthy process), but the results are worth it if your hair is very damaged.
Background info: My severe-hair damage story:
I found out about this treatment while doing research online after having my hair practically *ruined* by a bad colorist. My hair literally felt like "mush". It’s hard to explain...but, when the cortex of the hair gets damaged, the hair becomes VERY fragile and feels sticky when wet and "mushy". This is the type of damage that most hairdressers would tell you to cut off. Well...luckily I stumbled upon this miracle treatment that, over time (and new hair growth) helped my hair. You can't really "repair" cortex damage. But, a good protein treatment can help manage the problem.
Now that my hair is in good condition, I use this treatment as a preventative measure to ward off hair breakage (especially since my hair is very long). By using this, I can get my hair heavily highlighted with minimal damage. Aphogee recommends doing this treatment one week-48 hours prior to hair coloring or highlighting.
If you do not have damaged hair or do not highlight your hair, then this treatment might not be for you. So, if you have healthy hair...you probably don’t need this. I find the results of the Aphogee 2-step treatment are unparalleled. This is the absolute *best* hair treatment on the planet for severely damaged hair. Severely damaged = breaking off when dry, "mushy"/sticky when wet, or hair that is so damaged that it won't hold color.
Be forewarned readers, this treatment smells REALLY bad! We are talking rancid, somewhat "cat pee" smelling product. So, just consider yourself warned
about the smell! My husband and I jokingly call this the "stinky treatment". But, hey...if it works...!!!
*disclaimer: This product is "for professional use only". I am not a hair care professional, just someone who purchases and uses this product. Please consult a hair-care professional before using this product on your own. Using it after color can strip out your color. So, generally, safe for use *before* coloring or highlighting. This is a VERY strong product please be careful and use caution! Please follow the instructions listed on the product. And, if at all in doubt, please have a professional apply this product.
Tips (for best results):
1. Wash your hair with a detangling shampoo (I like to use Redken All Soft Shampoo).
2. Towel dry hair and gently comb out.
3. Drape a towel around your shoulders and secure (this treatment will drip and you don’t want it on your clothes). I even place an old towel on the floor to catch any drips.
4. Thoroughly shake your bottle of Aphogee 2-step treatment. Saturate your hair with the product and comb through. Try to work quickly as this product will eventually harden. *be very careful to keep product off of skin and do *not* get in your eyes. I keep a wet washcloth nearby to wipe any drips as the product can really irritate your skin...and it will drip.
5. Blow dry hair. This could take between 45 mins-1 hour depending on how damaged your hair is. I usually go about 45 minutes myself. This is important: Do not move nor agitate your hair when drying. Hair will become rock-hard and if you move it while it is hard, your hair will break. Keep blowing it dry until your hair is as hard as a rock. You will know. Just when you think it is hard...it will get *harder*
6. *gently* remove your towel (it will be under your hard hair (which can get stuck sometimes on the towel)
7. *gently* rinse out product in the shower with warm water. Note: do not agitate or move hair until product is rinsed out. Remember to be careful as hair can break as long as it is "hard"...once product is rinsed out you can "move" your hair again just fine! And, I promise, it does rinse out!
8. Towel dry hair
9. Apply a VERY moisturizing conditioner or conditioning masque. I like the L'Oreal Natures Therapy Mega Moisture Cream (this is also from Sally Beauty Supply). Slather on a generous amount of moisturizing conditioner and cover with a plastic cap. I then proceed to cover my hair with a heat-cap (I use the "micro hair cap" that I found online), but if you don’t have a heat cap, a hot towel will do. Leave on from 20-30 minutes.
10. Rinse out conditioner.
11. Optional step: To maximize results before coloring/highlighting. Use Roux Porosity Control. Apply after rinsing conditioner. Leave on a few minutes and then rinse out. This equalizes the pH I believe and helps color adhere better as porosity is controlled.
12. Rinse and style as usual.
Note: you can get most of the products mentioned at your local Sally's Beauty Supply
How it works: The heat allows the protein in the Aphogee to create a bond with your hair and elimate breakage. The packaging guarantees "no breakage for 6 weeks"...and honestly ya'll...that is the TRUTH.
I now do this treatment both prior to and post highlights (and that might be over-kill on my part, but it has been working!)...and my hair is absolutely healthy and VERY long.
Good luck if you try this treatment! And, remember to consult a professional if you have any questions! I know that for me...this hair treatment has been a total "lifesaver" for my hair!
Whew, that was a long post! :) Hope this helps someone out there!!!