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What is a Hair Treatment and When Do You Need One?

Avatar • Jan 19, 2012


Forum Member Feeling Moody

Via Virtualhaircare.com

So your hair is in bad shape, its splitting or breaking off at worse or dry and frizzy, what should you be doing? Getting a treatment is the answer but which one and why? First of all know your basic facts on what a treatment is:

Treatments are often confused with conditioners, or the term “conditioner” is used as a generalisation to categorise four different types of strengthening and moisturising products. True conditioners are “surface acting in that they provide temporary protection and strength to the hair. They are a bit like a sheath, in that the product does not penetrate the hair, it provides a microscopically thin protective film giving smoothness and combability. This is different to treatments which penetrate the hair, restoring and maintaining internal strength.

Conditioners are generally used every time you shampoo whilst treatments are applied either by you or your professional hairdresser when needed (no more than once a week normally).

The two types of treatments are:

  • Reconstructors which make the hair stronger and are generally protein based. These are for you if you have chemically damaged hair (i.e. from a perm or colour) or breaking or weak hair. They are often a combination of protein and moisture as pure protein treatments used incorrectly can leave the hair brittle. After using this type of treatment don’t expect your hair to feel great as they work internally and you may still need a conditioner to make your hair feel smooth. They are most often found at the salon and used during chemical processes. Don’t use protein based treatments within a week either side of a colour as they can cause colour to fade or not ‘take’ properly in some instances.
  • Moisturisers the most common type of treatment, balance the moisture content of the cortex (middle of your hair). Great for frizzy, dry hair and those of you with curly hair that lacks bounce. Will treat all damage conditions from chemical to physical (i.e. from colouring to over drying or heating your hair to sun damage).

On the other hand, conditioners are:

  • Rinses and acidifiers used to close the cuticle and seal the hair i.e. make it feel smooth and easily combed. If you have coloured hair a conditioner is a must with every shampoo to lock in your colour and make it last longer. Also if your hair is mid to long they are also necessary to nourish those areas that the natural oils just don’t get to. Really only those of us with very short non chemically processed hair don’t need a conditioner.
  • Thermal protectors (Conditioner/finishing product) are used to prevent heat damage before it starts. If your hair is prone to damage or you use heated appliances on you hair regularly make sure your styling product contains this type of protection.

So how do I apply them properly?

As with most products, treatments should be applied using the instructions on the pack or by your professional hairdresser.

The amount needed also varies greatly depending on the product and how much hair you have.

Do not leave treatments in your hair for longer than instructed, especially if using a protein-based treatment as these will have no extra effect, and may even make your hair brittle.

If your hair is in really bad shape a twice a week treatment may be needed, but generally for fair to poor conditioned hair once a week is recommended. For general maintenance go to once a fortnight or once a month.

Remember your hair can only take in so much extra nourishment, over doing it on the treatment side means you are wasting your money as it is simply rinsing down the plug!

When you need to treat your hair:

Certain times of year and weather conditions or the various stresses and excesses that we put our hair through can lead to damaged/dry hair, and because a treament does not work over night it is a good idea to either do regular

Ladies, do you do hair treatments? How frequently and for what purpose?

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anewmeeP
8 years ago

I usually do an egg/mayo protein treatment every wash day which is basically every three weeks (for the winter). I’ll do a deep treatment about every other month bc i fell out of the habit and didn’t see the difference from just a rinse out. I never co-wash though (never tried). I also started using apple cider vinegar every wash. So my routine is: protein, cider rinse, shampoo, condition, leave-in, style. Occasionally I’ll change it up a bit. I really want to do a hot oil treatment, but it would be too many steps so i just add to my… Read more »

Asea
Asea
8 years ago

I do, faithfully! My hair is really really fine and pretty porous so I try to keep a good moisture/protein balance. I pre poo with an oil mix, then I cowash and DC every week religiously. My staple DC’s are Aubrey’s, Miss Jessie’s Sweetback + add shea butter (with heat) & Giovanni Nutrafix. Once a month or so I do a double protein treatment: I use Jherri Redding protein without heat and rinse, then use Nexxus Emergencee with heat. It’s taken me 3 years being natural to perfect this lol. And my hair is thriving after a long bout with breakage… Read more »

Shanae
Shanae
8 years ago

Have you all heard of a keratin treatment. I recently decided to grow out my perm and my hair stylist suggested it. I don’t want more chemicls in my hair or something that is going to delay me seeing my natural curl pattern (although I still plan to wear it straight sometimes). I saw that most treatments have formaldyhide in them which is totally out the question, but supposidly this one doesn’t have it. Any suggestions? Help this newbie to natural out! 🙂

Lorraine
Lorraine
8 years ago

Shanae,

I don’t have any suggestions. However, it can be difficult to know for sure that the keratin treatment that you choose has no hazardous chemicals.

My recommendation: the old fashioned way of a press comb. Electrical versions are now available. Alternatively, a siliconed lined straightener. Please read the article on the link below:

http://www.haringey.gov.uk/safety-fears-over-hair-straightening-treatments.htm

Shanae
Shanae
8 years ago
Reply to  Lorraine

Thanks Lorraine!
This reinforces my decision to let my natural process happen naturally 🙂 It’s funny because you are right, I pressed my hair the other day and go soo many compliments on it! Somebody asked me, “did you get a touch-up” lol. I am so excited about this process.
Thanks for the article, I am going to post this on my fb page.

Lorraine
Lorraine
8 years ago

Thank you Shanae!

CC
CC
8 years ago

I would love to see some examples of moisturizing treatments that aren’t conditioners. I don’t do protein treatments — they make my coarse hair hard & brittle. But I’d love to try treatments that that offer deeper moisturizing than moisturizing conditioners.

linda
8 years ago

I still haven’t get it how to go natural i really really want to grow my hair natural somebody please help me

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7 years ago

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Jessica P
Jessica P
7 years ago

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I tried many different hair conditioning products, only to be left disappointed. Many of the other hair oils I tried either did nothing for my hair, or left my hair incredibly greasy. Shielo’s Oil is the first conditioning treatment that has left my hair silky soft and shiny without weighing it down.

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