The 5 Best Hair Treatments
If you're anything like me, your skin-care routine gets all the glory while your hair habits are a little lacking. But between heat styling, UV damage, coloring treatments, and general wear and tear, your hair is subjected to just as many (if not more) stressors as your skin. That's why it's so important to use one of the best hair treatments every once in a while, just as you would a face mask. And luckily, these at-home options don't even require a trip to the salon.
Whether you're trying to revive hair that's been damaged or you're just looking to improve your hair's overall health, the ingredients you want to look for are largely the same. Like an amped-up version of your conditioner, a good hair treatment will include several multitasking ingredients to protect, strengthen, and hydrate your hair. Common moisturizing ingredients to look for include sweet almond, jojoba, and argan oils, and panthenol (aka pro-vitamin B5). Proteins, like keratin (which is the type of protein your hair is mostly made of) are another go-to used in hair treatments. Other popular proteins include wheat, silk, and soy — all of which offer slightly different types of support, but generally, will help strengthen and protect hair, increase its elasticity, and enhance shine.
The application method is where hair treatments vary the most. A hair mask that you apply in the shower (directly after shampooing your hair and, in most cases, in place of conditioner) is the classic choice. But you can also opt for a leave-in treatment, or, an overnight treatment that can be washed out the next morning.
Whether you're looking for a mask, a serum, a leave-in, or something else entirely, you'll find it in this roundup of the best treatments for stronger, healthier hair.
1. Best Wash-Out Drugstore Hair Treatment (& The Best For Travel)
If you're looking for an in-shower treatment to revive your hair, the Pantene Intense Rescue Shots help repair hair that's been damaged from excessive heat styling and chemical processing. These single-use ampoules come in two packs of three, making them a super convenient option to keep on hand for travel. The concentrated formula was designed to be used after shampoo and conditioner and can be applied from root to tip. Each ampoule contains a blend of glycerin, pro-vitamin B5, and lipids to strengthen hair, restore moisture, and protect against future damage.
2. Best Leave-In Drugstore Hair Treatment
Prefer a leave-in hair treatment? The L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge gets rave reviews — and it costs less than $10. The formula uses ingredients like sweet almond oil and hydrolyzed wheat protein to nourish and repair hair that's become dry or damaged. It also serves as a heat protectant for temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is often necessary if you use hot tools like a blow dryer or flat iron. Expect softer, healthier-feeling hair and, over time, less breakage and split ends.
3. Best Hair Mask
For a more traditional hair mask, the Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask is one of my favorites for a weekly pick-me-up. It smells amazing, it's cruelty-free, and and it has a rich consistency that will actually have you looking forward to mask day. Even better, it really works to leave hair silky smooth and shiny after just one use. The formula includes both jojoba oil and sea buckthorn oil, which are both naturally full of vitamins and fatty acids that help nourish and protect hair. Amika also included pro-vitamin B5 in the formula for more moisture and shine. Plus, this one huge tub will last you ages.
4. Best Treatment For Bleached Hair
If you have color-treated hair, chances are you're already familiar with Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector (or at the very least, you've heard everyone from your colorist to your bleached blonde BFF sing its praises). While the Olaplex treatment can be used on any hair color, it's particularly beloved by those experiencing the breakage and brittleness that can often occur after bleaching your hair. Developed by scientists, No. 3 works on a molecular level to repair broken bonds and strengthen weakened hair. Not only does this immediately leave hair feeling softer and healthier, but it even protects it from future damage. For more hydration and protection, the brand included ingredients like jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamin C in the formula, too.
5. Best Keratin Hair Treatment
Keratin treatments don't get more fun (or convenient) than these iridescent capsules from Remilia Hair. Each capsule is packed with a serum that's infused with damage-repairing keratin amino acids, which are the building blocks of the keratin protein that makes up each strand of hair. Additionally, these capsules include pro-vitamin B5 and hydrolyzed silk protein to help moisturize hair, increase shine, and prevent future damage. The capsules are biodegradable, plant-based, and pre-measured with one treatment's worth of serum, which is activated when you twist off the top.
6. Best Overnight Hair Treatment
When you can't be bothered with a daily leave-in treatment or in-shower mask, there's the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector. Think of it as the last step of your skin-care routine, except you only need to use it once a week, so there's really no excuse not to. The cruelty-free treatment is formulated with Living Proof's patented Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA), as well as amino acids and time-released conditioners, which all work together to lock in moisture, reduce frizz, boost shine, and leave your hair softer and more manageable come morning.
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