Damaged Hair? These 15 Products Can Actually Reverse It

When your hair feels damaged beyond repair, it's hard not to feel like all you can do is take a pair of scissors and chop it all off. The last time I got my hair highlighted, it felt like a bale of hay, and I all but gave up on trying to revive it. I decided I'd just have to live like that and assumed I'd never know what it felt like to have good hair again.

Luckily for me (and anyone else suffering hair damage), there are many ways to protect your hair and help mend it from major damage. Before you do anything, it's important to figure out why your hair is damaged since different types of damage call for different solutions.

"If the hair is dehydrated or overprocessed from chemicals or overheating with appliances, the best approach to repair the hair is with professional salon treatments combined with at-home treatments over time," says hairstylist Michelle Cleveland. "This works best for this type of damage because the treatments will penetrate inside the hair shaft to help repair the bonds that make up the strength of the hair.

On the other hand, if the hair is broken and split, the best approach to repair it would be to combine both treatments mentioned above with regular haircuts. The reason haircuts work best, in this case, is because once the hair is broken or split at the end, there truly is no way to repair it."

As Cleveland says, if your hair is truly broken and full of split ends, it might be time to schedule a trim—a half inch or so off the ends never hurt anyone. You may also need to space out your coloring appointments or look into trying a new colorist. Otherwise, there are plenty of products out there to mitigate damage. Just look for bond-building products with nourishing and hydrating ingredients like argan oil, peptides, shea butter, and more. I talked to celebrity stylists to get their input on the best products to revive damaged hair, so keep reading for their recommendations.

Best Hair Masks For Damaged Hair

Customer review: "I love this product! Dying my hair left my curls unruly and my hair thinner than usual. Once I started using this, I immediately noticed my hair was thicker and looked a lot healthier. Definitely would recommend to someone who has damaged hair!"

A good haircare routine is crucial to healthy hair, and for celebrity stylist Jennifer Korab, that means mixing in a repairing hair mask. This is her favorite because it contains nourishing olive and soybean oils. 

Customer review: "A little goes a long way! This little beauty refreshes my hair's hydration after a day full of sun at the water park, if I want a more sleek shine or if I just want to treat my hair to look more beautiful. I use it about once a month."

This is another hair mask packed with good-for-your-hair ingredients to deeply moisturize and nourish strands. Hemisqualane, camellia seed oil, and rice protein help strengthen and smooth. 

Customer review: "My hair was so damaged from over-styling and color treatments. This product literally saved my hair. It's like magic. Must try it if you want healthier hair."

This innovative repairing treatment helps mitigate damage in just four minutes. The peptide technology truly helps revive hair. 

Customer review: "My hair was slightly damaged from constant hair dye, and after using this treatment as instructed, my hair feels so silky and smooth again. The appearance of damaged hair has diminished, and my hair looks healthy again! I love this product!"

"[Use] reparative products in the salon during and after color and at home to upkeep the health of your hair," says celebrity stylist and Redken brand ambassador Matt Rez. "I love the Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate range of products, especially the new Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment, as they lower the pH of hair from chemical damage and help repair the cuticle from within to lessen breakage and damage."

Customer review: "I've been using this Olaplex No.3 product once a week for about 4 months, and it has transformed my hair! I've noticed much less breakage and hair shedding, and my hair is growing super fast."

"Olaplex No. 3 is a weekly treatment that you can't overuse," says balayage and color specialist Kevin Kelly. "It's made to help strengthen hair. The proper pH of hair is 3.5 to 5.5. Olaplex No. 3 brings your pH to where it should be to balance unwanted breakage, seal the hair cuticle, and [infuse] natural moisture."



Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Damaged Hair

Customer review: "This is probably the best shampoo I have ever used. I am a natural dark wavy haired Latina who lightens every other month to ash blonde. This is so moisturizing. I have tried other brands around the same price range, but this is by far the best."

Customer review: "This rinse is so effective that as soon as I put the tiniest amount in my hair, I can instantly run my fingers through the silkiness of this product! Has reset my overly processed hair back to smooth perfection."

Kelly recommends this shampoo and conditioner duo for regular maintenance. Filled with proteins, amino acids, and enzymes, this shampoo and conditioner will help rebuild damaged hair and prevent further damage before it starts.

Customer review: "I have curly hair and put it through hell and back with bleaching and color, but I was recommended this, and my hair hasn't been this good since before I started coloring my hair. It's soft and defined."

Customer review: "I like the smell, the texture, and how well it lathers in my hair. [My hair] feels clean afterward and is shiny, healthy, and happy, even after coloring. I 100% recommend."

Korab recommends this shampoo and conditioner to help color-treated damaged hair. With the hair-strengthening protein Keravis and the antioxidant Astaxanthin, it helps curb damage.

Customer review: "I've been using this shampoo for over a year, and the best thing is I don't notice anything. I have naturally curly hair, which I wash about once a week, and then blow out with a round brush."

Customer review: "I love all things Kerastase, and this conditioner does not disappoint. I use it with the length shampoo, and the combo does wonders for my highlighted hair. It's a lightweight conditioner that smooths and hydrates your hair."

Customer review: This serum is amazing! I've been using it for a few months now, and my hair is a lot softer and, not only that, but it got longer! I tried so many things for hair growth—this one really works."

This is one of Korab's favorite lines for damaged hair. Use the shampoo, conditioner, and serum in tandem for the best results. "These are designed to reconstruct hair that has been weakened or damaged due to regular heat styling, chemical services, and other mechanical damage," she says.



Best Daily and Weekly Treatments for Damaged Hair

Customer review: "I have been using this product for years. I have thick, curly, 2c hair that I frequently straighten. This product keeps my hair healthy and less prone to split ends with all the blow drying and flat ironing that I do."

"Repairing damage can be as easy as applying a little oil to your weakened strands a few times each week," says Korab. "While just about any type of natural oil will work, you'll see reparative benefits quicker when you use argan oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seed oil, lavender and rosemary oils, sesame oil, or horsetail extract oil."

Customer review: "This stuff is awesome. I started with a mini size and went back for the bigger bottle a week later. Makes my hair shiny and soft and smells incredible!"

"Prevent excessive heat use at home and make sure to use a leave-in product that has heat protection properties," says Rez. "Redken's One United has multiple benefits and heat protection. My clients' hair feels incredible with this leave-in spray."

Customer review: "A lovely leave-in spray from Briogeo. First, the smell is incredible. It also is great at detangling and makes the hair so soft. My hair also feels more hydrated. I also love that it has UV protection."

Spritz this into hair to help curb damage on a day-to-day basis before styling.