I'm not sure about you, but to me, it feels like my hair is always going through something. Whether it's just plain dryness, breakage, or recovering after some kind of chemical treatment, I can confidently say my strands always need some extra care. Lately, I've really been trying to embrace my natural texture after heat styling for so long—which isn't easy, because my curls don't always cooperate and err on the dry side. Whenever I need a boost (which is almost all the time), I turn to a good hair treatment like a true beauty editor.
Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for any concern you can think of. I decided to try a few out for heat-damaged strands because that's my wheelhouse at the moment. But don't worry. I wouldn't leave the rest of you hanging. I also asked stylists what hair treatments are best for bleached hair, split ends, and relaxer-damaged locks. If you're curious about my thoughts and would like to scope out some healing therapy for yourself, keep reading below for the best treatments for damaged hair.
Best for Heat Damage
It's no secret that hairstylists unanimously love Olaplex. However, hairstylist and educator Samantha Harman shared a pro tip I'd never tried before that works wonders for heat damage. "I love mixing Olaplex No. 0 and No. 3 together. The No. 0 acts as a primer to No. 3 and really strengthens the benefits," she shares. Following Harman's advice, I tried it and wow. My hair is already on the dry side, but now I immediately use both when washing after heat styling. It does decrease dryness tenfold, and I think that will only continue with more use.
I'd heard great things about Ritual's hair oil for frizzy, damaged strands, so I decided to try this one for myself. Let's just say I wasn't disappointed. Now, to be transparent, it doesn't work great as a deep treatment, but it is a winner for everyday use to help soften dry strands in addition to using a hair mask a few times a week.
Best for Bleach Damage
K18's leave-in repair mask is literally designed for bleached hair. Its patented peptide technology actually repairs damage from color services but also can be used for heat deterioration. It restores a lot of bounce, strength, and smoothness to strands with repeated use.
Oribe is another brand beloved by stylists for its impressive and luxurious formulas. This Bright Blonde Radiance Repair mask features the brand's signature complex that defends hair from oxidative stress mixed with a blend of moringa, olive, and sunflower oil to help provide damage repair and hydration.
This is a great treatment to use in between service appointments, as it can increase strand strength and resilience. It features Redken's gentle conditioning complex with cica to promote healthier and stronger hair.
Best for Split Ends
It's been a while since I've gone in for a proper haircut (oops). So of course, prior to using this treatment, my hair was sporting a bit more damage on the ends than usual. Granted, you can't fully repair split ends without cutting them off, but you can help to seal them up a bit with a product like this. The balm contains wild-orange and white-cypress extracts, which help protect hair from the inside out. It acts as a nice salve to the hair if you're in between cuts and will help prevent future split ends from forming after you go for a trim.
Hairstylist Michelle Cleveland loves this mask because it's your ticket to expensive-looking hair sans split ends. "This mask is weightless and great for all hair types—even fine and thin hair. It penetrates deeply to help strengthen, repair, and renew dehydrate strands," she says.
Gel treatments aren't just for your face—they work wonders for your hair, too. This powerful protein-infused gel rivals a salon treatment and is formulated to replenish amino acids in severely damaged strands. It's great for sealing up ends that are looking a little scraggly.
Best for Chemical-Relaxer Damage
If you're ditching chemical relaxers in favor of sporting your natural hair texture, stylists love Design Essentials products for this. The brand's Deep Moisture Masque is a deeply penetrative treatment with almond and avocado in it to strengthen and soften damaged, brittle strands. It also helps ease the detangling process.
Taliah Waajid makes some of the best products for natural and relaxed hair out there. If you're in desperate need of a damage treatment to restore strength, this is the one for you. It has shea butter, honey, and banana, which soften strands and lock in moisture.
I've been a longtime fan of this creamy deep conditioner from Bread Beauty Supply. It's one of the best brands out there that formulates its products specifically for natural hair. The rich hydration of this mask makes this another perfect option for anyone starting their natural-hair journey.