Damage control What to do if your hair is dry, damaged and all-around looking a bit crap

damaged hair

damaged hair What to do if your hair is dry, damaged and all around looking a bit crap

Is every day a Bad Hair Day for you? (Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, but with your hair?)

Maybe you were the victim of an overzealous colourist (it’s happened to me); maybe you tried to DIY with home colour and failed (I’ve also been there); or maybe you just have too much love for your curling iron, flat iron and hairdryer.

Whatever happened—you need some help to nurse those fragile, damaged locks back to health. Yes?

This question was actually posed by not one but two readers lately. And since I’ve managed to recover my locks from a poorly advised 18-month period of trying virtually every hair colour under the sun, I am perfectly qualified to advise you. So here goes…

1. Invest in a shampoo and conditioner SPECIFICALLY FOR REPAIRING DAMAGE.

redken extreme What to do if your hair is dry, damaged and all around looking a bit crapDon’t mess around with plain old products for dry hair. They’re okaaaaay, but what you REALLY want is all the magical ingredient goodness of a damage-repairing shampoo and conditioner duo. When your hair is damaged, it’s lost protein, so that’s what these kids do—they throw that protein right back atcha. I’m particularly fond of Redken’s Extreme line. Anything from Kérastase is also a sure bet—their damaged hair line is called Résistance and I know it well.

At the drugstore, Dove makes a damaged hair line called Intense Damage Therapy… and there is a Pantene specifically for damaged hair too.

2. You know how beauty people always talk about using a deep conditioning masque once or twice a week? LISTEN TO THEM.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme What to do if your hair is dry, damaged and all around looking a bit crapNo seriously. You really need to do this. Most damage repair lines include a deep conditioning/repairing masque as well as the shampoo and conditioner… but if you wanted to pull out all the stops (and have a spare $150 or so), Kérastase’s Chronologiste all-in-one hair treatment is to die for.

Another line worth checking out is Philip Kingsley, now available at Holt Renfrew. He makes a treatment called the Elasticizer Extreme, which is specifically for traumatized hair, and I hear it’s fantastic.


3. Easy on the heat styling, tiger.

tresemme heat protection spray What to do if your hair is dry, damaged and all around looking a bit crapBut you know this. If you can get away with air drying as much as you can for a few months, until your hair is in better condition, it’s a good idea. But if you must use anything with heat-please, PLEASE put in a heat-protective product first. (Not just any old serum—make sure the label says that it will protect against thermal damage.)

No need to spend big bucks either—TRESemmé makes an entire range of stylers with heat-protective benefits, and they’re cheap as chips.

Also: throw out that little nozzle on the end of your hairdryer. It concentrates the heat in a smaller surface area, which means—you guessed it!—more damage potential.

4. Treat your hair like a FINE, DELICATE, SPECIAL FLOWER.

That means easy on the post-shower towel drying. (All that rubbing can cause breakage.) Use a wide-toothed comb—not a brush—when your hair is wet. And as much as I love blow-drying with Ye Old Round Brush, it can cause breakage so try to abstain. The less pulling and tugging you do to your hair, the better.

5. Consider colouring your hair. Yes, really.

I know this sounds counter-intutive, but colour really can make your hair appear a bit healthier because it fills in the hair cuticle and adds shine. I wouldn’t do this if your hair is severely damaged or breaking off though though—in some cases you just need to give it a rest and work on things with the prodz I mentioned above. However, as you’ll see when I post the pics from the Clairol event we did on Monday, a bit of demi-permanent colour (like Clairol Natural Instincts, natch) can make a WORLD of difference.

Just make sure to get the advice of an expert if you’re colouring over a previous colour job gone wrong… this is more of a solution for damaged hair due to heat styling.

And finally… a word about volume

Kiehls Super Thick Volumizer What to do if your hair is dry, damaged and all around looking a bit crapReader G. asked what she can do to get volume, even though she’s using products to repair her damaged hair.

Unfortch… I’ve yet to see any products that both repair AND add volume. (Attention, beauty marketers! New category alert!) Until beauty companies can come out with a technology for this, you kind of have to choose your most important concern. I’d probably stick with the damage repair… all the volume in the world won’t matter if your hair is dull, dried-out and damaged.

What you CAN do, however—after your reparative shampoo, conditioner and protective heat stylers—is use a root-lifting product like Kiehl’s Super Thick Volumizer (probably my all-time favourite volumizer). TRESemmé also makes a thermal protective mousse that would be good too.

They’re not going to be QUITE as effective as if you paired them with volumizing shampoo and conditioner, but if you blow-dry upside down or even just pull all your hair up into a bun while it’s damp and let it air-dry that way, they should give you a bit of lift. (And curl, when you take it out.)

So tell me, guys—

Do you have damaged hair?
How did it happen? (Were you naughty or is a certain hairdresser now your Enemy Number One?)
What products have you used that have worked?


Wednesday, August 18/2010 at 1:44 pm

Great tips!
One question – as far as using a good shampoo and conditioner for damage, do you find there is a big difference between drugstore and salon brands? Is it worth it to buy Kerastase over Pantene?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, August 19/2010 at 6:08 pm

Ahhh this is the question that keeps beauty editors up at night. It’s hard to say. If you ask any hair expert (a neutral one, not affiliated with a certain brand because then they will lie) they will tell you there is definitely a difference with drugstore vs. salon brands. The brands that come up time and time again are Kerastase, L’Oreal Professionel, Shu Uemura, Redken, Oribe.

But then you hear these rumours about all the products being made in the same factory, etc. And you know—L’Oreal, for example, manufactures a TON of hair lines: Garnier, Pureology, Biolage, Redken, Shu, etc. So one would think there would be some sharing between the high and low ends of their offerings.

Also, I visited the Pantene labs in Cincinnati a couple months ago and there is no question that they put an incredible amount of R&D time/money into coming out with products that perform. And you have to think about the economies of scale – because Pantene is a mass brand, that means they’re able to invest that much more in R&D… whereas a smaller scale niche brand can’t.

So I don’t really have an answer for this! I think it just comes down to personal preference and budget. In general, I’ve found the higher end brands to have richer moisturizing ingredients… but again, it depends if you want/need/like that kind of thing.


Tuesday, August 24/2010 at 4:20 pm

I’m using the Kerastase damage shampoo and conditioner. To be honest, the only reason I was willing to fork out THAT much money for it (close to $100 for both after taxes) was because my hair was SO bad that I was desperate to find something that actually worked. I was worried that drugstore brands might not have enough umph to get the job done so I spent the extra bucks. I haven’t tried the drug store brands so I can’t say this for sure …. But for day-to-day maintenance, like if you’re dealing with daily heat styling damage and not something “temporary” like what I’m going thru, I don’t know that you need to spend the extra bucks on the uber good schtuff.


Friday, August 20/2010 at 4:03 pm

Hey Michelle!

Since I seem to have started all this mess (readers, I’m G mentioned in the posting) here’s my story …

First, some BG on my hair. At the time of the “incident” I was just about at the perfect angled bob length. Very short in the back, and about 1.5 inches longer than my chin in the front. You should also know that I have supa fine limp hair. It’s always been in perfect condition — never dry, damaged, oily or anything — just lacking volume. I had coloured it many times in the past, everything from red to dark chocolate brown to chunky blonde highlights with no problems at all … except for maybe colour choice :)

Okay, here we go …

I won a makeover at an Aveda salon in Etobicoke. I figured it was reputable with the Aveda name attached to it, plus I had been going there for years for spa services on a regular basis, and had recently started to get my hair done there as well. They put some chunky highlights in a few months before I won the makeover and my hair looked great, but I figured hey what the heck! I NEVER win anything!!

Long story short: they bleached out my hair … twice … in the same visit … which I’m told is a definite no-no. They put the bleach on all over for about 30 mins. The roots took it well but the rest didn’t so they added MORE bleach to everything except my roots and left me to bake for probably close to an hour. I went from a medium-dark brunette to a platinum blonde and it actually looked great … until my hair started to break off and fall out. My hair broke off at the root where my existing highlights were, leaving me with 1″ pieces all over my head, and the rest became a very dry, brittle mess. Oh, and it turned green at one point, too.

I’ve spent over $1000 since trying to fix my hair with products and salon services. I’m STILL trying to fix it and it’s been 6 months!

Worst part: the salon wouldn’t even own up to possibly making a mistake. They totally left me in the dark and didn’t even offer to help me out. In fact, the manager tried to turn things around and blame it on ME, saying that I wasn’t taking care of it. Um, lady … you guys never told me how to take care of it in the first place, even when I asked!! I wrote them a very strongly-worded letter that was copied to Aveda and even THAT didn’t get me anywhere. All I wanted was an apology, and an attempt to try and fix things. But no. Got nada. They completely ignored me and my letter. So they’ve lost me, someone who frequented their salon and spa on a monthly basis, as a client forever, and I tell everyone I can about them every chance I get.

Ahhh …. feels better to get it out. Lol!!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, August 21/2010 at 3:02 pm

Oh wow – I’m so sorry to hear about your terrible experience! And shocked that it was an Aveda salon that did that to you. (Guess that’s the power of the Internet… horror stories can circulate more widely now.)

I wonder what possessed them to put your hair through all that bleaching. They should have at least offered to help correct the problem somehow instead of blaming YOU! (although not sure how much they could truthfully do if hair was falling out… I don’t think you’d trust them putting any more colour near you!). But at the very least you shouldn’t have to PAY for this kind of trauma.

It’s also crazy that Aveda HQ has ignored your letter. (Although their PR dept has never been stellar so it sort of doesn’t surprised me.) Do you have photo proof you can send them?

Unfortunately there’s not too much that can be done for all that bleaching… I’ve had it done myself, although not to that degree, but was told by several hairdressers to just leave it alone. I did end up going dark, which helped camouflage the damage, but it was at least 6 mths – 1 year of using damage-repair products before it felt in good condition again. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just cut it off and let the new hair grow in.


Tuesday, August 24/2010 at 3:57 pm

Ya, since adding the brown pieces a few weeks ago my hair at least looks a bit healthier now. Whether it is or not is another story though. And I THINK I’ve found a salon that I can trust; they didn’t even TRY to touch up my blonde locks. They went straight for the brown and said “let’s fix this mess.” Only time will tell though.

The good news is that I know I look good with a short pixie cut, so if I do get uber frustrated I’ll just cut it all off.


S Lewis
Monday, April 16/2012 at 7:46 pm

Wow…I will never ever go to an Aveda salon after reading that. Thank you for taking the time to share.


Wednesday, April 25/2012 at 5:32 pm

Any time :)


Saturday, August 21/2010 at 9:10 pm

Hey Michelle!

Ah, helpful tips!

My hair is very fine and I have a lot of damage since I use my straightening iron almost daily. (If i don’t my hair looks extremely dry and frizzy and its just unmanageable) I have been looking at some products but couldn’t decide which would be best for my case. Like you mentioned, Redken Extreme would be one of my choices. I also looked at L’Oreal’s Absolut Repair and Joico’s Kpak Reconstruct. I’m just worried that these are made for coarse, thick hair and they will make my hair oily. Do you have any suggestions for me? Shampoos, Conditioners, Leave In Treatments, Masks… Anything!
Thanks a lot!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, August 30/2010 at 2:04 pm

Do you use anything to protect your hair from the straightening iron? That would be the #1 thing I’d worry about first… and also try to ease up on the heat styling if you can, even to doing it every other day. (Do you have to wash your hair every day or can you just refresh it with dry shampoo? I have the same hair type and find the dry shampoo does the trick just fine.) Or maybe you could let your hair air dry (overnight, say) and then just touch it up with the flat iron.

As for non-greasifying damage products – well by their very nature they’re going to be more moisturizing as that’s what your hair needs to repair itself… But I have the same hair type as you and found the Redken Extreme not too bad. Kpak is a little heavy; haven’t tried the L’Oreal Absolut Repair. I think you can go heavier on the mask since you rinse it out and only use once a week – but for daily use you want a pretty light conditioner. From memory the Redken line has this; they also make a really good protein treatment.

Kerastase’s Resistance line is also pretty good – it’s more moisturizing than the Redken, I think, but I was still fine with it. It’s made for “weakened, damaged hair” – not specifically coarse hair.

So – in a nutshell – I think either the Kerastase or Redken lines are excellent choices if your hair is on the fine side.

Anyone else care to weigh in?


Monday, August 30/2010 at 2:11 pm

I also have very fine hair that gets oily quickly, I’ve tried L’Oreal Absolut Repair leave-in and didn’t like it! It gives my hair a weird texture when it dries with it on it – like you can feel the product on it, not very soft at all. I’d go with Frizz Ease or the Kerastase/Redken instead, maybe just on the ends if it gets really oily.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, September 1/2010 at 2:14 pm

Yeah, I’m not big on leave-ins either (didn’t realize that’s what the L’Oreal product was… as I said, I haven’t tried it). Usually way too heavy for fine hair and I hate that crispy texture you’re talking about… ugh!


Sunday, November 25/2012 at 2:42 pm

My bleached out, frizzy, super dry hair came back to life after using the Shielo Hydrate Conditioner, with their Antioxidant Leave in Protectant. I have very thin hair, and this is light enough that it doesn’t weigh it down like most products do. My hair is sleek and shiny after every use.


Tuesday, September 17/2013 at 2:03 pm

I have learned that the shampoo you use is really important in regards to ingredient’s first off, sulfate’s are a no no. They are what give the lather to your shampoo and also in the meantime strip your hair of vital moisture. Squeaky clean is not a good thing. So know that you won’t get a large lather from your sulfate-free shampoo and that it is a myth that your hair is not being properly shampooed without a large amount of lather the less lather the less damage. If your hair is damaged especially Don’t shampoo daily or know that you are not helping your situation in the least. With dry shampoo available and other things you can do to keep your hair looking great for at least 48 hours. If you must shampoo daily just wash around hair line or scalp but avoid ends and/or more damaged areas of your hair. Also daily heat is in my opinion a definite NO you can’t restore healthy hair while continuing to do the things that damage it and expect a good result. Sorry just my opinion. I have done a lot of investigating into different things you can do to treat damaged hair, and protect healthy hair from damage. I now have completely changed up my routine as a result.


Tuesday, August 24/2010 at 4:06 pm

@Barbie: I’m using L’oreal’s Absolut Repair Mask and it hasn’t made my hair oily at all. I use it about twice a week, leaving it in for about 10 mins. It leaves my hair super soft … which unfortunately means it’s hard to do anything with it. I try to use it at night so my hair is a bit more manageable in the mornings. I’m almost out of it though, and will likely try the Redken line after.

I’d be interested to hear from Michelle on this one, too. Also, is it a bad idea to keep “switching it up” with the hair treatments/masks/shampoos? Will switching cause my hair even MORE heartache?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, August 30/2010 at 2:10 pm

Oh good! Someone who has tried the L’Oreal mask. Glad to hear it isn’t too greasy!

As for switching up treatments – no, I don’t think you can damage your hair this way. And I don’t really believe you need to use all products from one line (except sometimes in skincare when there are actives that could trigger a reaction).

What IS damaging are all the things you DO to your hair (eg washing too much, heat styling, colouring, tugging/pulling/rubbing it too vigorously). As long as you’re gentle and putting moisture back in the hair with your conditioners and masks, then no – I think you’re fine to switch things up and rotate different brands.

And of course – lots of people are of the school of thought that your hair “gets used to” certain products too. I think this may be because of build-up – switching it up removes it and causes your hair to look better again.


Tuesday, August 24/2010 at 9:53 pm

Thanks Gimped! I will likely to try the line out then. And good question, because I’m always switching up the products I use!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, August 30/2010 at 2:12 pm

Me too! Hazard of the job :-)


Wednesday, August 25/2010 at 1:01 am

wow thats really bad what aveda did to the person above, I’ve bleached out my dark hair before and I would never recommend it to anyone.
Especially since the salon I went to (zampino the not so glamorous studio) the hair dresser didnt even explain to me how to properly care for my hair when its been highlighted blonde!
Unless your rich and famous and have the time to hire someone to wash, condition blow dry your hair out every other day dont bleach it out!

I would recommend using oil I use hot olive oil on my hair once a week, my hair use to be extremely dry and limp and damaged from all the coloring now its grown out i haven’t colored it since and the oil is actually making my hair look healthier and it grew out pretty fast. the only thing thats a pain is you have to shampoo twice in the shower to get all the oil out after.


Wednesday, August 25/2010 at 11:56 am

Same thing happened to me with the aftercare stuff. I asked my stylist a number of times what I needed to do to take care of my new hair and she said “do what you normally do.” Really? You JUST stripped my hair completely and I can go home and use my volumizing shampoo like I normally do?? At one point she DID recommend a purple shampoo, and that just gave my porous hair a blue hue. Then when that clearly wasn’t working and my hair turned GREEN I went back to speak to the manager and she put on yet another chemical to strip out the green and sold me a bunch of expensive Aveda products and told me to try that for a week. Did nothing to prevent the green from coming back so I returned them, and then the manager disappeared and wouldn’t help me.

What is it that stylists don’t get? We pay them to do our hair because we can’t do it ourselves. We put our trust in them that they know what they’re doing and won’t let us walk out of the salon looking like a trainwreck. We need their help with products/techniques so we can do what we need to at home. But why is it SO hard to find a stylist that can actually DO both of those?

Some days I feel like my hair would be better off if I pulled a Britney Spears ….


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, August 30/2010 at 2:19 pm

Wow, crazy that the purple shampoo actually tinted your hair! I’ve never heard of that happening.

Please don’t pull a Britney though! While yes, I think a good chop can do wonders, that’s pretty extreme! What you need is a good stylist to take you under his/her wing and give your hair some TLC over a series of appointments… probably will take you 6-12 months to get it back in proper condition.

Finding that person is the hard part though! I wish I had a longer list of people to recommend – one you might try is Jeff at Angst. As per my post last week, I was just in there and he told me to stop getting all-over base colour and just do highlights. So he’s pretty low-key and pretty clued-in about not damaging your hair.

Anyway just a thought!


Tuesday, September 17/2013 at 2:12 pm

I have learned that the shampoo you use is really important in regards to ingredient’s first off, sulfate’s are a no no. They are what give the lather to your shampoo and also in the meantime strip your hair of vital moisture. Squeaky clean is not a good thing. So know that you won’t get a large lather from your sulfate-free shampoo and that it is a myth that your hair is not being properly shampooed without a large amount of lather the less lather the less damage. If your hair is damaged, don’t shampoo daily or know that you are not helping your situation in the least. With dry shampoo available and other things you can do to keep your hair looking great for at least 48 hours why would you? If you must shampoo daily just wash around hair line or scalp but avoid ends and/or more damaged areas of your hair. Also daily heat, is in my opinion, a definite NO. How can you restore healthy hair while continuing to do the things that damage it and expect a good result? Sorry just my opinion. I have done a lot of investigating into different things you can do to treat damaged hair, and protect healthy hair from damage. I now have completely changed up my routine as a result.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, August 30/2010 at 2:14 pm

Oh interesting about the oil treatment, Kat! That’s amazing that it has helped repair your hair. Maybe a good option if people don’t want to splurge on the salon stuff :-)

As for bleaching – yes, a few years ago when a hairdresser convinced me to go solid-colour blonde my hair got horribly damaged. NEVER again. But right now I have highlights and my hair is fine. I think a little bleach is okay in small doses…


Saturday, May 7/2011 at 5:31 am

Redken is an awesome line. I have never had any negative comments to say about it. It works great and is always a go-to line if my locks are craving more of a treatment haircare line. Love it!!!



Saturday, October 8/2011 at 10:30 am

Great article! I’ve got a big problem. Whenever I let my hair air dry, it dries all frizzy, dull, and unhealthy looking. I’m afraid its from how frequently I use heat on my hair. I blow dry and straighten almost every morning, but now even the ends of my hair are looking frizzy and dull. I have some split ends and breakage and I do use heat protecting spray! HELP!


Tuesday, December 13/2011 at 9:03 am

Hi my hair is dull and lifeless and it’s falling out. I am on thyroid medication and after a few months I notice this horrible change in my hair and now I’m trying to get back to the way it was full of bouncy curls or when blowed dryed it also had bounce at the tips and now nothing but burnt thin looking hair. Help anyone???


Thursday, March 1/2012 at 6:51 pm

Help ..I recently had surgery with general anesthesia. …now my hair is fried
It is so dry &frizzy
The texture is different
I lost my curls
I don’t want to cut my hair because I think it will look bigger & more frizzy
What should I do?
Did u ever hear of this happening?
Thank you,


Saturday, May 5/2012 at 12:35 am

well here’s my story, I discovered a straightener and usedit at it’s highest setting for two years! and never used anything at all to prevent heat. than I dyed my hair red every month or so! my hair hasn’t really grown in the past year or so. I’ve invested in glue in hair extensions and had to cut out glue matts that were stuck in my hair. Leaving me with blad’ish spots and pretty much no hair! I wear clip in extensions but they’re so expensive and they are too healthy looking for my horrible damaged hair! I just want healthy hair again. My hair is extremelyyyy unhealthy! I’m willing to do almost anything to have healthy, growing hair!! Please give me advice, will these products really work the best or is there something better??


Saturday, May 5/2012 at 12:39 am

by the way, I used Aussie’s 3 minute miracle deep conditioner and it helped my hair a bit!


Tuesday, May 15/2012 at 9:22 pm

I used to have long shinny beautiful thick hair, I cut it and years later it never grew back the same. then I got a little crazy and wanted it blonde after I died it black. My hair now is burnt and dry and super ugly. Im frustrated and I really dont know what to do or use. I hardly use the iron only on friday and then if I have something on sunday and on friday it got messed up ill do it again but thats hardly never. during the week i let it dry and ill pick it up or if it looks a little good ill let it down but its horrifying. Its burned and broken everywhere. but i still want to keep going blonde cause im still not to the blonde I want. but i need products that are going to make my hair healthy, shinny, and thick again. PLEASE HELP!


Monday, December 17/2012 at 2:35 am

DON’T DO IT AGAIN! Trust me. I dyed my hair black last year and a few months ago I tried bleaching the black out of my hair myself and it FRIED my hair. My hair broke and FELL OUT. I had long hair down to the middle of my back and had to get it cut boy short because they couldn’t save it. My hair is thin now, still badly damaged and very very slow growing. I lost count of how much money I’ve spent and am still spending on trying to fix my hair.
Long story short: don’t mess around with bleach on your own, if you must, go to a salon and prepare for serious damage control on your hair and lots of money.
Let your natural hair color grow out and just get the black cut off gradually, that’s your best and safest bet.


Diane Jones
Thursday, January 3/2013 at 5:28 am

Just had my hair colored at my regular salon which is a high $ salon. Was put under the dryer for 10mins. My girl actually commented how healthy my hair was and I did not get it cut this time, I am trying to let it grow. After her putting me under the dryer my hair is dry brittle flyaway no shine and when wet it is a ball of mess that is hard as you know what to even get a comb in it. Have not talked to salon owner yet but it is coming. Any help you can give is appreciated.



Tuesday, February 5/2013 at 4:11 am

Oh my god this happened to me 5 months ago and I am still really suffering. My biggest tip to you is stop coloring!!!!!!! Whatever hairdressers tell you leave it alone for at least 4 months! I went to another hairdresser who assured me it was fine to colour darker it has just gotten worse! Get a great deep conditioner and use it as your normal conditioner. Stop using heat products! I wish I had taken more care when it first happened because I think I could have reduced the damage! Good luck and make sure you call the salon to complain! Xx


Monday, May 13/2013 at 12:09 am

I am 48 and going through perimenopause. My hair was becoming dead and lifeless before I decided to try to bleach the color out of my hair (which was a disaster). I did such a poor job I had to get an expert to fix it. I am happy my hair is no longer black, but it is no longer healthy. The best I can describe it is, ‘old lady cotton candy hair’. It’s dry and feels horrible.

I have been doing what everyone suggest, using good products, coconut oil, not heat styling…if I do blow dry, I use only the cool heat. My hair’s such a disaster I must wash it every other day at least.

I have tried Wen, Pantene Keratin, and now Got 2 be Oil-Licious shampoo and conditioner by Schwarzkopf. It’s like my hair soaks up the moisture but still looks dry and dull. HELP!


Monday, May 13/2013 at 1:21 am

Hi Kelly,
I really feel for you because as you can see from my comment above I have been there! It was just awful. Your hair sounds like it has been over processed like mine was. And I used to describe it as cotton candy hair!!! Okay firstly there is light at the end of the tunnel. I struggled with it for months trying to repair it but I finally accepted it wouldn’t actually ever fully recover (mine was VERY badly damaged) – I had to wait for it to grow out or cut it off. But there are things you can do to make it FEEL better to touch! I very gently massaged lots of jojoba oil in the night before washing it and I found Redken All Soft Heavy Cream fabulous and used it every time I washed – normally leaving it on for 30 minutes under cling wrap and wrapping it in a hot towel. And then loaded it with Argan oil when damp. Be very gentle when it’s wet. I found protein treatments only did more damage so I had to stay away from coconut oil treatments for example, as it made it more brittle. I dealt with it for about 6 months then got so fed up and cut it off into a pixie cut. Wow what a relief! Felt amazing – and have never got so many compliments on my hair! It still took a few cuts for it to be 100% after the pixie because the damage was done to my roots but it’s now finally back to what it used to be as the damage has either grown out or been cut off. Love it. And DO NOT COLOUR IT. I haven’t coloured it for MONTHS and I’m loving my natural colour. When I coloured it soon after it was over processed it started to fall out and break off even worse – even though the hairdresser told me it wouldn’t. Do you own research – hang in there and it will get better. Hope this helps xxx


Stephanie St.John
Monday, July 22/2013 at 4:51 am

I noticed someone put their Aveda review on here. So I am deciding to do the same.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: I am naturally blonde, I guess about a 9 on the color chart. Two years ago I dyed my hair brown. Recently I decided to dye my hair back blonde so I don’t have to do the roots every month. (I always used boxed color, so going to a salon was all new to me). I grew out my roots about 3 inches and my brown had a band of dark/medium brown, and the rest was a light golden brown. When I went to get my hair done, it was very healthy- healthier than its ever been. and it was past my shoulder blades.

CALLING FOR AN APPOINTMENT: First off, when you call for an appointment- you actually call a call center in Denver. Not the city and state you live in. We asked to come in for a quote, they person on the phone said it wont be necessary. After making the appointment they said, “In total, it will cost $75 and they wont use more than 3 bowls.”

AVEDA: This experience is at the Aveda Student Studio. (school).
The instructor came over and sounded like she knew what to do.
All in all, I was there for 9 HOURS!!!! They used 10 bowls of color correction on my hair. They bleached it 3 times in the same day, within a few hours. They used 3 bowls of hair color after it.
13 BOWLS IN TOTAL! 13!!!!
I do not have super long hair, or even thick hair. My thickness is about a medium thickness- more leaning to thinner.
That was an obscene amount!
I went from about a 4(?) to a 7. I asked to be a 9/10. Right now, I have this horrible dishwater blonde/brown color.
They wanted to charge us $200! AT A SCHOOL! It wasn’t anywhere near the color I wanted, so they wanted me to come back in 3 weeks to get it done again. FOR $100 MORE!! I would be fine if they told me to come back to finish/fix it. But NO. They wanted me to come back every three weeks (spending $100 each time) for the next 3 months, just to MAYBE get the hair color I wanted.. UHM WTF.
In total it would’ve been about $800.
If I knew I was going to spend that much, I wouldn’t have gone to a school – I would’ve gone to a high class salon. And would’ve gotten my hair the color I wanted THAT DAY.

AFTERMATH: We are in the process of getting our money back, cause that is BULL. We went to an actual salon to ask what they would’ve done- the hairdress was at a loss of words when we told her how much product they used. She felt so bad for me.
She told us to come in next week to get my hair fixed, she said it will be $85 in total (she gave us $15 off too) and it would only take 2 hours (time includes washing and blow drying), and she would only use about 2 bowls.

MY CURRENT HAIR: Right now, I have that nasty dishwater hair color, it is about 3-4 inches shorter and looks all choppy from my ends breaking off.
Surprisingly my hair isn’t as damaged as it should’ve been from using that much product. So I am grateful.
But my hair is so damaged, and they wont admit what they did was wrong! They wouldn’t even fix it, unless we paid them the same amount! SHE EVEN SAID SHE WOULD USE THE SAME AMOUNT AGAIN. I would be bald. Im shocked that im not right now..
Anyways, they didn’t admit fault, offer to fix it, or even offer me product to fix my hair.

I would never EVER go to Aveda.
My mom uses Aveda products, and has gotten a few good haircuts from there. So this seemed like a great option…. Boy was I wrong.
I almost don’t know what to do to fix this. Im holding back tears when typing this. They really messed up my hair.

I just thought I would post this just to let you know, it has happened to more than one person.



WTF, guys?
Saturday, August 17/2013 at 12:49 am

So…you know that all of you ripping on Aveda are actually ripping on salons that use Aveda products, right? You think the Aveda CEO or the creators have contact with the stylists who are jacking up your hair? Don’t think so.


Sunday, August 18/2013 at 11:50 am

I’ve been dying my hair since I was 14. I believe in prob the last 10 years or so, I have been fighting extremely dry, brittle,and hard to manage hair. The only time it was half way healthy was when I was pregnant with my 4year old. I recently dyed my hair half blonde with brown underneath. Now I’m having a hard time getting any moisture back into my hair without it being stiff (or) oily (or) just dry and frizzy. Is there anything natural that is proven to work? I just trimmed the ends, tried products for dry, frizzy hair, as well as a heat protecting leave in conditioner.

Sincerely single wanna be hot mama of 2!


Tuesday, March 4/2014 at 4:25 am

I have thin, fine hair that gets oily after a day without washing.
I don’t use heat, styling products, colour..

I am currently using Redken Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner and also the CAT treatment spray – and I am STILL getting horrible split ends that travel half way up my hair.

I also get a regular trim EVERY 6 weeks..
I’m not sure what else I can do?



Neicy Wagner Geis
Thursday, July 17/2014 at 11:30 am

My hair is dull, damaged and just dry! Its always been pretty healthy and could take just about anything until just recently. I’ve been a different shade of red almost my whole life and my hair was thick, healthy, wavy and long. A few summers ago I wanted to get away from the red and try to get back to my natural color which is a light brown. I’ve been going to an aveda salon for about 3 years now and my stylist was able to get close to my natural color pretty easily (I let my roots grow out and the red fade a lot before that visit hoping to minimize the damage). We went with an hombre that time and it looked great, for a while. I did use a flat iron a bit and didn’t think it was doing much damage because the iron makes it so smooth.
Til one night at dinner on a rooftop patio and my husband says “Oh no honey, what’d u do to your hair? Did u catch it on fire???” Umm, no. Tgats the last time I straightened it. Since then, I’ve been very gentle to it, deep conditioning, bought great shampoo, never been a blow drier anyway and went to my girl and said “Off with the fried bits, no more hinbre, I want healthy beautiful hair again despiteth color!”
Well…I’m bored. And its STILL not healthy! I’ve been babying it like crazy andbut its just plain dull and only looks good the first day I wash it.
I guess my question to you is, how can I add some dynamic, deep rich looking color to my hair without damaging it further? I’ve been going months between color so I feel like my roots could handle some lowlights and I’ve got some natural honey highlights showing up from the sun and would like to enhance those. Does that sound safe or would u have another recommendation? I ask my stylist, (an old friend who I love) but she isn’t very helpful with recommendations for the next step.
Thanks for your help :)


Friday, July 18/2014 at 4:14 am

Hey there!

So I’ve been dying my hair since I was 12, nothing hectic just some blonde highlights or shocking red highlights until the beginning of this year I decided I want purple hair.
My natural hair colour is dark brown and it’s about medium thickness and length.
I was at the salon for about 4 hours chatting up a storm with my hairdresser while he did my hair. He used only one bowl of bleach and one bowl of purple. It took about 20 min to lift my hair to platinum blonde and I left the purple in for about 3 hours.
I use argan oil on my hair everyday, I don’t touch it with heat, I use a biodegradable non-sulphate shampoo, I only use hair masks and leave them in for about 10 min, I also only wash my hair once a week (it sounds gross but you get used to it) and my hair is looking super healthy, I still have a lot of wave in it and it’s very bouncy. Only thing is my ends tend to go brittle if I don’t moisturizer them enough.
The point of my short story is basically to say that if you use the right products and the hairdresser knows what they’re doing you won’t end up with a mess.
Though this article gave me some wonderful ideas! From the comments I read I’ve also learnt a great deal (not to accept makeovers like I was just about a few moments ago)
Anyway good luck to all the ladies/gents out there!
Have a fabulous day :)


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