This Is The Absolute Easiest Way To Reverse Hair Damage

So you can get back to curling and blow-drying.

Check out your hair for a sec. Is it looking dry, frizzy, or dull—or even breaking in some spots?

By Deanna Pai, Prevention

You might have a protein problem. 90% of your hair is made up of protein—but a constant barrage of styling and treatments (like that summer you decided to go platinum blonde) can sap away at hair's natural protein levels to leave behind damaged locks.

That's why stylists and dermatologists (and even Kim Kardashian!)  are obsessed with protein treatments. “They strengthen hair, protect it from excessive moisture loss, make it feel thicker and look shinier and, to an extent, repair damage,” says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, of Wexler Dermatology in NYC. They usually come in the form of conditioners, serums, or masks containing high levels of proteins to help repair broken proteins in your hair to make it stronger and healthier.


Protein treatments aren’t necessarily new—but the formulas have been refined and improved in recent years to deliver the best possible results. And, depending on your level of hair damage, you may need a different intensity. If you overdo it on the protein, your hair can become stiff and, ironically enough, prone to breakage. So we’re breaking down what type of protein treatment is best for you—and how to avoid going overboard.

DIY Treatments

Best for: Naturally fine or slightly damaged hair.

Search for “DIY protein treatments” on the Internet and prepare to feel overwhelmed—because there are a lot to choose from. These are your best bet if you have minor hair damage, because a formula whipped up in your kitchen can only do so much.

Fair warning: Many recipes rely on eggs, egg whites, or a combo of both—so expect it to get messy. Try a recipe that incorporates a protein with some sort of conditioning oil so you can restore both protein and hydration to your locks. This one pairs olive oil and egg yolks, and while messy, can help make hair feel almost instantly softer. You can also mix up Greek yogurt with honey and coconut oil to make a deeply conditioning hair mask. (Just be sure to use plain, unflavored yogurt—you don't want blueberry or strawberry chunks lingering in your hair!)


"Remember to rinse thoroughly or hair will feel rough, stiff, or tangled from the protein residue,” says Fusco.

Protein Packs

Best for: Hair moderately damaged by coloring and bleaching.

A protein pack is basically a souped-up hair mask. These often have a blend of ingredients, like keratin and silk proteins, that give your hair a double-whammy of repair. “Some have coconut oil, which is proven to penetrate and strengthen hair and can make it a bit more flexible,” explains Perry Romanowski, cosmetic chemist and co-founder of The Beauty Brains. Palmer’s Deep Conditioning Protein Pack ($2, has both. Meanwhile, the protein in it may help prevent further damage—so if you intend to keep coloring your hair, try doing this once a month.

Deep Penetrating Treatment

Best for: All kinds of serious hair damage, from years of bleaching to daily wrangling with a flatiron.

[post_ads]These treatments are all about the protein—and they’re intense. “Hair damaged by bleach or color will see the most improvements [from a deep penetrating treatment],” says Perry. It’ll also help if you’re constantly fighting a frizz halo. Try a formula like Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Hair Reconstructing Treatment ($12,, which is infused with a black rice extract rich in glutamic acid—an essential amino acid often lost as hair becomes damaged. Used weekly, it’ll help repair and fortify hair. Don’t forget to factor in the after-care, too. “For any at-home treatments, a thorough rinsing followed by a deep conditioner is best,” says Fusco. Try Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Masque ($4,, which restores moisture and softness to hair.

See at more: Prevention


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Women's Magazine: This Is The Absolute Easiest Way To Reverse Hair Damage
This Is The Absolute Easiest Way To Reverse Hair Damage
So you can get back to curling and blow-drying.
Women's Magazine
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