Did I ever tell you about the time I was hooked on the world’s most asshole-y hairdresser? Dude was a snide, handsy creep and took ten hours to give you a hair cut but when he got it right, you walked out looking like a million bucks – which is pretty much what it cost to see him. When he got it wrong, however, it was baaaaaad. Soooo baaaad, you guys. And you never knew what you going to get – not because life was a box of chocolates – but because Erratic Hair Dude was a major drug addict.
I’m sure I’ve told this tale before, but one time, EHD was sooo off his face that he forgot me in a bleach bath. (Yep, I let him do my colour too.) The result was hair as white as whatever he was hoovering up his nose. The kind of hair that had the texture of candyfloss. The kind of hair that was almost impossible to detangle without breaking when wet. The kind of hair that made you a freakin’ expert on all things hair repair-y overnight. Like, seriously. Ignore anyone who tells you they’re a trichologist. I have a hard knocks phD(rama) in hair repair, okay?
Because I’m a giver, I’m going to condense all my
wild nights of tearful Googling research into a crash course for you. Is jy reg?
When hair is damaged, be it due to chemicals or heat styling, it loses keratin, the protein that essentially makes up your hair. The structure on the inside of the hair shaft looks like it’s been nibbled at by evil good hair hating mice and the “scales” that cover it aren’t lying flat. It’s these ruffled scales that create a rough texture that allows moisture to escape from your hair as well as your eyes via fits of hysterical tearfulness.
Now here’s the sucker-punch. Your hair CAN’T repair itself. Keratin does NOT grow back. You can only grow fresh, healthy hair from the root.
While growing out the damage you can do two things: 1) Get your rich dad to pay his dodgiest factory workers to kneecap the hairdresser who hurt you. 2) Fortify, re-hydrate and seal your damaged hair strands with protein, lipids and silicone.
The protein bit is important. While it can’t permanently replace the keratin that you’ve lost, it can bind to it and act a bit like Polyfilla. Ingredients to look out for include keratin, wheat protein, silk protein and collagen. Often they’ll be ‘hydrolised’ which is really just a fancy word for ‘made smaller so they can penetrate the hair shaft’. As for lipids, this is anything moisturising like plant butters and oils and silicone is just mos silicone. The latter is the ultimate sealant that’ll smooth down those scruffy scales, trap your newfound lipids and help you fake a healthy-looking shine.
As none of these vital reparative ingredients are expensive there is NO NEED to blow your budget on a R2000 hair mask. The savvier way to roll is to rather bite the bullet and get a professional in-salon treatment that promises to repair broken hair bonds. Once that’s done, snap up a pocket-friendly mask that serves up the holy trinity (keratin, oils and silicone) for a snip. Something like the effective yet #budgetbabe gems that are Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Oil Replacement treatments (R94,99, Clicks).
I’m still roaming around Asia (where finding a hairdresser who understands blonde hair is tough) but am blonder than ever thanks to blasting my hair with bleaching spray. That plus a string of overchlorinated resort pools could’ve had a terrible effect on my hair but it’s actually looking and feeling great thanks to two of Schwarzkopf’s new treatments – Ultimate Oil Elixir (yellow tube) and Ultimate Repair (black tube). Both contain very similar ingredients, including the magic trio that is keratin, oils and silicone and I honest to God can’t tell them apart. The only real difference I can spot between the two is that Ultimate Repair contains almond oil and Ultimate Oil Elixer contains almond PLUS argan oil. Whichever I use, the end result is the same. Swishy, shiny, easy-to-detangle and healthy-looking hair. The only one that didn’t work for me was the Million Gloss (blue tube) as it was a bit too heavy on the silicone side of things. Not great for me as I’ve got very fine hair that gets weighed down easily, but BRILLIANT for anyone with dry, frizzy hair type.
Anyhoo, let’s get this competition going, shall we? I’m giving away a Schwarzkopf hair care hamper tailored to suit your hair type worth R750! To enter, just leave a comment below telling me about The Worst Hair Cut/Dye Job of your Life and what you did to overcome it. Six months in a hat? Medicinal G&Ts? Be brave, my darlings. I want to hear your stories of survival.
This competition is now closed. Congratulations to winner Ashini Padayachee.