I've Been Bleaching My Hair for a Decade—These 3 Products Reversed the Damage
I've Been Bleaching My Hair for a Decade—These 3 Products Reversed the Damage

I've Been Bleaching My Hair for a Decade—These 3 Products Reversed the Damage

Welcome to Deep Reviewsyour one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.

The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting the RevitaLash Thickening Shampoo ($38), Thickening Conditioner ($39), and Hair Volume Enhancing Foam ($152). 

I first bleached my hair a few months into my freshman year of college, back when ombré and balayage competed with each other for the number-one spot in the hair industry's heart. Before that initial appointment, I had pretty dark brunette hair that was naturally wavy and refused to grow past my shoulders, likely because I spent so much time pressing it between two steaming-hot metal plates. (Who wasn't straightening their hair on a daily basis in 2014?) Since I seemingly couldn't have the long hair I'd always dreamed of, I figured the next best thing was to go blonde.

For about two years, I slowly but surely made my way from having ombréd hair to being blonde—like blonde blonde. In 2016, in order to keep it looking healthy, I chopped it off, resulting in a beachy bob that I kept at chin length for another four or so years. I loved it at the time, and it made bleaching my hair easy and reasonably inexpensive, especially after I'd moved to New York City, where a salon appointment could set you back as much as two weeks' worth of rent for an overpriced studio apartment (or is that just me?). Even so, I still wanted long hair just as much as I did when I was 18. I'd never had it before, making it all the more enticing. 

In lockdown when I couldn't cut or dye my hair and generally refused to heat-style it, I saw a small amount of growth, prompting me to focus my efforts on finally figuring out a process that worked for me and my chemically treated blonde hair. For months, I tried out different products that were supposed to help with growth and thickening, using masks and oils that never made a huge difference. It wasn't until last year when I went on a press trip with Neiman Marcus and brought home tons of beauty products that I tested something out that appeared to have promise: RevitaLash's Thickening Shampoo ($38) and Thickening Conditioner ($39). The products lasted me about two months, resulting in a genuinely significant (for me at least) amount of growth and increased thickness. At the time, though, I couldn't be sure if it was RevitaLash's products or something else in my routine that led to the changes I was seeing in my hair, so when I ran out of the duo, I just started testing out another brand's lineup that I had received at one point or another. 

When my results stagnated once again, I zeroed back in on RevitaLash, deciding that it was time to dive into the research and figure out whether or not the company's hair line could actually be my saving grace. The obvious first step was a fresh dye job done by my favorite colorist in New York City, Becca Kraeger, and a clean haircut performed by the great Jason Zeren—both of which I had done at Spoke & Weal in SoHo. That way, I could see exactly how much growth there was at my roots, the damage there was at the ends, and the thickness of my hair throughout when I finished my testing period. Now, eight weeks and many applications of RevitaLash's three-product thickening line later, I can say with certainty that a saving grace it absolutely is

For starters, my hair is significantly longer than it has ever been, and this is without having to stop bleaching it, which so many people have suggested I do, and using my trusty Dyson Airwrap. It's also thicker, something I always notice when I put it up in a ponytail to work out. But those aren't the only outcomes I've noticed since I started testing out RevitaLash's Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner as well as the brand's award-winning Volume Enhancing Foam. For such a long time, I had no shine, and my hair would lose all of its oomph after one day. Since I implemented these products into my routine, however, I can now go two or three days before a wash without losing any volume or shine. 

When I do have to wash my hair, I use a little more than a quarter-sized amount of both the shampoo and the conditioner, really lathering in the shampoo. I absolutely despise it when I try to put shampoo in my hair and feel like there are no bubbles at all. This product couldn't be farther from that. It really thickens up, and if you don't think you used enough, just add some water, and it should do the trick. The conditioner completely detangles my hair, so I don't have to rip my comb through it in the shower, thus losing more hair. It also doesn't leave any sort of greasy residue like some other conditioners that I've tried in the past. The foam is what the brand swears by for the most significant results, so I've really tried to focus on using that every time that I get out of the shower, separating my hair with a comb, placing one pump in each section, and rubbing the product into my scalp before styling or air-drying. That said, the brand recommends using it every single day on wet or dry hair, which makes me think I could have even more growth if I followed the directions more diligently. 

I completely understand that this isn't exactly a cheap product line, so reservations are expected and absolutely welcome. To provide further reasons for you to follow my lead if growing and thickening your hair is also a big concern of yours, I spoke to two haircare experts who shared with me details regarding the actual science behind RevitaLash's line, the best ways to use the products, and the possible side effects that come with adding them to your regular hair routine—Claire Larsen, RevitaLash's global master educator, and Kyle Sheehan, a freelance hair and makeup artist. 


RevitaLash; @kylesheehanmakeup

What to avoid when trying to grow longer, thicker hair: "Be careful with heat-styling, and treat your hair as gently as possible, in general, when it comes to brushing and towel drying," Larsen says. "Essential nutrients both internally and topically are also so important to ensuring you have gorgeous, fuller-looking hair." 

How this collection promotes hair growth and thickening: "The idea behind our Volumizing Hair Collection is to protect existing hair and encourage volume and body," says Larsen. "Scalp health starts with the right shampoo and conditioner—they should work synergistically and be designed specifically for the needs of fine and thinning hair.

How RevitaLash's Volumizing Hair Collection differs from others on the market: "We created our Thickening Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner with specialized ingredients to optimize scalp health by cleansing and fortifying hair while protecting it from environmental stressors," Larsen says. "When used together, these phyto-infused formulas fortify the cuticle and work to improve hair-shaft thickness. This unisex collection is a simple three-piece regimen. Our real star of the lineup, the Volume Enhancing Foam, is extremely lightweight and can be applied morning or night."

How to use the three-step regimen: "Use the Thickening Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner as frequently as you typically wash and condition your hair, leaving each of these formulas on from the scalp to the tips of the hair for at least one to two minutes and massaging in circular motions before rinsing," Larsen suggests. "The Volume Enhancing Foam, on the other hand, should be used daily whether hair is wet or dry. Depending on the length of your hair, you can pump this onto your fingertips or directly onto the scalp before massaging it thoroughly into the scalp and roots of the hair. This is a leave-in product and should not be rinsed out, so from there, you can style your hair as normal or hit the pillow, depending on the time of day you prefer to apply it." 

What to watch out for when using thickening products like these: "Most thickening hair products focus on opening the hair cuticle to have the hair appear thicker and fuller, which is only a surface-level treatment. It's best to find one that nourishes the scalp and future hair growth because that is where you will see future results," says Sheehan. "Pay attention to how your hair feels. With the cuticle of the hair open, your hair can release moisture, color (for color-treated hair), and be more prone to damage. For bleached hair, your cuticle is already damaged from the bleaching process, so be aware this could be damaging your hair more. Focus on heat protectants always and definitely moisture. Rosemary oil is great for the scalp and future hair fullness and growth. Finding a hair mask that can restore hair moisture while also treating the scalp with rosemary oil can really boost your success when using these products."

How long until users can expect to see results after using the line: "Individual results will vary, but users will be thrilled with seeing instant benefits that increase over time," says Larsen. "In a four-week consumer study with 33 participants using our Volume Enhancing Foam, 97% said their fine hair looked and felt fuller and more voluminous, 94% said thinning hair looked thicker, healthier, and nourished, and 85% said that their fine, thinning hair around their hairline looked fuller and is less brittle."

Shop more RevitaLash products:

For a limited time, Dermstore is offering a $40 discount on the travel-friendly version of RevitaLash's Volumizing Hair Collection, which includes all three products that were reviewed above. Run, don't walk. 

This product has a whopping 56 five-star reviews at Dermstore, one of which says, "I have always had long lashes but noticed them thinning and getting shorter with age, so I decided to try this serum. After a few months, my lashes were long and thick. I have recommended to several friends who have had the same results. I will never stop using this serum!" 

One SkinStore reviewer says, "After years of over-plucking (thank you, 1970s) coupled with age, my brows had become sparse and straggly looking. I always had to use products to fill them in and was constantly trying new things in an attempt to make them look fuller and more even. I also tried brow lamination and tinting, which is effective but doesn't last long and becomes very costly to keep up. So after reading about RevitaBrow, I decided to try it. ... I wish I had taken before and after pictures because the results are incredible. I began using it in early December and began to notice a difference after about a month. Roughly three months after starting, my brows are now full and thick again. I no longer have to use *any* products on them! RevitaBrow is expensive but definitely worth it, and it lasts a long time. I highly recommend it."

One Dermstore reviewer says, "So happy that RevitaLash made this. [It] grew my lashes thicker and longer. No more itchy and burning eyelids! One tube lasts 3-4 months."

Dermstore reviewer called this product the real deal, saying, "My [brows] were sparse and unruly. But after a few weeks using this 3 times a week, the hair has become quite soft, and there's some new growth and thickness."