How to Save Fried Hair

Updated on August 21, 2018
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Brittany is a nocturnal crochet queen who has an obsession with writing, dubstep, and dancing. Rockhurst University Alumni 2012.

When It's Summer...

Bleaching season is upon us once again. Droves of women flock to their hair stylists, beauty supply stores, and drug stores to go blonde for the summer. But, as we all know, there’s a heavy price your hair could pay for the summer thrill. That’s right- your beautiful mane can become a frizzy, dried and fried nightmare in a single bleaching process. But, have no fear because this article will help you fix up your locks, so you can get sun-turnt in all your gorgeous, blonde glory this summer.

fried hair
fried hair | Source

No matter how bad it seems, damaged hair can always be fixed. (Admittedly, sometimes the treatment has to be a little extreme). I've been platinum blonde for the majority of my life and have learned some valuable lessons about how to completely destroy your hair. I’ve also learned how to save it from certain death. Below you will find my perfect hair resurrection recipe. These are products and processes I've personally used to restore my hair's magnificence after ruining it with bleach.

Hair Resurrection Recipe:

  1. A Trim
  2. Protein
  3. Moisture
  4. Continued Longevity & Prevention

Healthy bleached hair
Healthy bleached hair | Source

Start With a Trim

My recipe starts with a trim. This is a crucial step because you can eliminate the pieces of your hair that are obviously not going to be making a comeback. No one likes to lose a lot of length after freshening their color, but sometimes its necessary. No matter how beautiful your color is, having bushy, crunchy ends will ruin its look. Snip it off, embrace your inner Elsa, and just let it go. I like to think of it as a sacrifice to the hair-gods of old, angry with my over use of bleach they demand a tribute. And, in return, they grant me gorgeous, healthy regrowth.

Protein Power

Next, it’s time to pummel your hair with protein.

A little hair science:
Your hair is made up primarily of the protein called keratin. The keratin proteins overlap each other and form bonds.The bonds form chains. These chains, when unbroken, keep your hair sleek and healthy looking. When you bleach your hair it expands the cuticle to strip all the pigment from the strand. It causes the keratin protein bonds to break, leaving hair porous, split, and brittle.

That means in order to heal your hair you need to re-bond the keratin chains. Simply put, you need to use a protein/keratin treatment on your hair weekly. It will help fill in the gaps left by broken bonds, making your hair stronger and more resistant to snapping off. Though no protein product will permanently reverse the damage caused by bleaching, with weekly use they will consistently deposit proteins into the broken chains to keep them filled in until its time for another trim.

A word of caution- take care not to use them more than once a week. It's like they say, "too much of a good thing is a bad thing." Overuse of protein products can actually have a reverse effect and make your hair more brittle.

Here are some suggestions of the best protein treatments I've used personally to get you started:

  • Olaplex Number 3 - Yes, of instagram infamy. But it really is worth it. It's available for $28 on their website (olaplaex.com).
  • Redken Extreme Anti-Snap - This product has been around for years, and in my opinion is still one of the best. Plus, a single bottle lasts forever. It's around $20 and is sold in a variety of salons like Beauty Brands and Ulta, or online at Redken.com.

  • Its a Ten Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin Spray - This stuff will make your hair feel like it's a virgin again. It's $23 for 10 oz bottle and is sold at a huge variety of stores and at itsa10haircare.com.
  • ApHogee Two Step Treatment Protein for damaged hair - This product is amazing for the price. At only $6 you get both a generously sized protein treatment packet and a separate moisturizing treatment. You can find it at walmart, Sally's, and online.

  • Mayo - Since it's made up mostly of eggs mayo works perfectly as a protein shot for your hair. Just take a palm sized amount and slather it on your head after a shampoo. Leave in on at least ten minutes and rinse.

Hello, strong hair!

Drench It

Step three is moisture. Protein alone will not save your hair. It needs moisture too. The purpose of moisture in hair is to hydrate the keratin bonds and combat all the dryness the bleach, treatments, and styling leave behind. Hydrating hair will enhance its softness and ability to stretch.

Below are my favorite moisturizing products:

  • Joico KPak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor - The first professional reconstructor I ever used, and I still think it's one of the best out there. You can tell a difference in the feel of your hair after the very first use. It's around $20 and sold at professional salons and online at joico.com.

  • Bed Head Dumb Blonde Reconstructor Conditioner- Technically sold as a reconstructor, I find it works best as a regular conditioner instead. I stock up on it during Beauty Brands annual liter sale. But you can also buy online at Tigi.com.
  • Morrocanoil Intense Hydrating Treatment- Another product I love because you can tell a noticeable difference in your hair after a single use, and it lasts forever. You can pick this up at stores like Sephora or online at morrocanoil.com for around $50.
  • Hask Henna and Placenta Super Pack- This is a super inexpensive treatment (around $3) that can be found at Walmart, Target, Sally Beauty, and online. A package will last through more than one use and delivers a moisture shot to hair. I glob it on heavy and leave it for 20 minutes to take full advantage of the product.
  • Coconut Oil- Sometimes the simplest of products can do amazing things. This is true of coconut oil. Options are endless on this one; pure coconut oil, OGX Coconut Milk Serum, hot oil treatments, and infused hair masques. Usually, these products are very affordable, readily available at a variety of stores, and do a great job smoothing hair (they just may take a little longer to see results).

Combine your weekly protein treatment with a deep conditioner and your hair will thank you in no time by snapping back into proper healthy-looking form.

Continued Longevity and Protection

Lifestyle changes characterize this section. Taking care of your hair naturally, without expensive products, can have a huge impact on your tresses.

Some final tips and tricks:

  • Let more days go by between washes. This lets the natural oils build up in your hair keeping it moisturized and protected. Shampooing dries hair out so the longer you go in-between cleansing, the better off your hair will be.
  • Try to abstain from heat styling. This includes blow drying, flat-ironing, or curling. Think of alternative ways to get the look you want without having to resort to heat styling. For instance, instead of drying and curling your hair like usual, put in some rollers and let your hair air dry. In place of blow drying and flat ironing every day let your hair dry on its own and then flat iron. Conversely, you could learn to style your hair without any irons. Simply style your hair while blowdrying, and set the heat to medium or low instead of the hottest setting. There are many ways to get creative for continued hair health. If using heat is unavoidable always use some type of heat protection spray before styling so you don't inflict additional assaults on your already sensitive 'do.
  • Go longer between bleaching sessions. Try an ombre style or highlights in place of pure platinum blonde; they require much less maintenance and, in turn, cause less damage to your hair. Never bleach over previously bleached pieces of hair- this is the single biggest mistake people make when maintaining their blonde.
  • Use some type of protection while chemically processing your hair. Many salons have products they can use while lifting hair that will make it easier on your strands. There are variations of the infamous Olaplex, like Redken PH Bonder, and others. Ask your stylist if they have some options similar to these that you can take advantage of. Be sure to ask about in-salon argan oil or conditioning treatments as well. If you do your hair yourself you have options as well. There are dupes of salon quality bonders available for at-home use that are sold at stores like Sally and Amazon. (L'Oreal makes one.) Beware buying online though, read the product reviews, and always buy from a reputable source to ensure you’re getting a quality product.
  • Finally, consider a daily vitamin. Eat healthy, protein rich foods. Healthy hair starts with a healthy body.

Whoever said “blondes have more fun” was right, but they should have said “blondes have mastered hair science.” If you follow the systematic approach of protein, moisture, and maintenance you'll have heavenly hair again in no time.

If you have any other tips or tricks for bringing fried hair back from the dead, please leave them in the comments.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Brittany

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