Contributed by Chez Vous Team of Associate Salon Directors: Echo Er, Khim Toh, Jamie Seah, Shawn Chia, Sam Chok and Veyond Chong
PART 1: “FRIED” HAIR
Just permed, rebonded or pre-lightened your hair and they now look like stiff straw laid under the sun? When you run your fingers through your wet hair and they are breaking and shedding off? Your hair is abnormally soft and squashy to touch; and when stretched and pulled till it snaps, it did not curl? Most probably your hair is “fried” (severely over processed)!
The next question you’ll be asking is that can “fried” hair be totally salvaged? Unfortunately, the answer is NO.
Fried hair cannot be repaired completely. Most remedies and service recoveries are mostly cosmetic or temporal improvements. Even if the best reparative treatment is performed, at most 40% of the hair can be recovered as the disulphide bonds in the hair has been completely damaged and broken. In addition, hair cannot recover on its own. Hence, the best and most “dreadful” solution is… Cut.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
For hair to be reshaped or for the colour to be lifted, hair bonds have to be broken. As such, chemicals used in pre-lightening, perming, or permanent straightening, will cause the hair to swell, and cause the disulphide bonds in our hair to split. This process eats away the hair proteins, which causes damage and degeneration.
When over processed or wrongly processed, breakage will occur and hair will be “fried”. Without disulphide bonds, hair can no longer be reshaped, retexturized or remedied. As, there are “no more” bonds for a hair stylist to break and remould.
Currently, the technology for fixing or relinking disulphide bonds is still at its infant stage. There are some products, like the ones used in Chez Vous Feed & Fit Hair Treats, that rebuilds the disulphide bonds in the hair. Even so, these products cannot reverse the damage completely. Also, most treatments do not relink the disulphide bonds in our hair. Hence, prevention is better than cure (at least for now).
The above photos amplified the after-fix results. In reality, only 50% of the hair was restored and hair is still rough-to-touch.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR HAIR FROM BEING FRIED?
1. AVOID REBONDING (JAPANESE STRAIGHTENING / RELAXER) THE SAME SPOT MORE THAN TWICE A YEAR
After the first rebonding service, our hair bonds have already been broken, weakened, reshaped and straightened. The challenge comes when we have to fix the newly grown out roots - especially for guests with naturally curly or frizzy hair. Always inform your stylist that all you need is a roots rebonding service. This will prevent another softening process done on already weakened hair; which puts your hair at risk of being “fried”, if processed by an inexperienced stylist.
Over time, your rebonded hair ends might start to look dull and dry. You can choose to refresh them using formaldehyde-free keratin treatments to give your hair the shine, silkiness, strength and manageability you desire. One can try Chez Vous’ award winning Amplified Keratin Treatment ($375 & Up). Our unique formula and process recently won The Singapore Women’s Weekly Best Anti-Ageing Hair Award.
It is a misconception that the more you rebond your hair, the straighter it gets! Rebonding rebonded hair usually puts your hair at risk. And, rebonding “fried” hair usually results in more breakage and damage.
2. AVOID PERMING YOUR HAIR MORE THAN TWICE A YEAR
The reasons are similar to the repeated rebonding. Perming also requires hair bonds to be broken, weakened, reshaped and curled. This will cause hair to lose its strength and elasticity over time. Naturally, there is a limit to how many times your hair bonds can be broken and reshaped.
If you really have to perm your hair more frequently than advised, try to alternate between digital (hot) perm and cold perm; though the latter usually lasts a shorter period of time.
3. AVOID REBONDING OR PERMING ALREADY PRE-LIGHTENED (BLEACHED) HAIR
This is an extremely high risk job and the results tend to be disastrous. Bleached hair tends to be extremely weak and the hair does not have the strength or elasticity to withstand another round of softening and re-shaping.
We have often heard our guests say: “it has been months since I last bleached my hair.” Remember that your hair does not repair or relink disulphide bonds organically. Don’t risk it.
4. NEVER NEGLECT YOUR STRENGTHENING HAIRCARE AND IN-SALON TREATMENT
Strengthening treatments and homecare are crucial in preventing hair from being “fried” as they strengthen your hair from within. As compared to moisturizing treatments that leaves hair soft-to-touch, shiny, and silky, strengthening treatments are rarely used as they are rough-to-touch upon application and the benefits are less visible.
For homecare, we strongly recommend Redken Extreme CAT, a protein reconstructing hair treatment. Shampoo, towel dry, followed by Redken Extreme CAT, leave-on for 10 – 15 minutes, rinse off, followed by a conditioner. The CAT treatment is primarily for strengthening – not moisturizing – and it cannot replace your conditioner. It’s normal to feel that your hair is a little coarse upon application.
Of course, if you’re in the mood to indulge, try out Goldwell Kerasilk Deep Smoothing Mask. This mask is legendary – it has smoothing, moisturizing and strengthening properties all packed in one jar.
Do note that both Redken and Goldwell did NOT pay Chez Vous to say this. We are recommending these products because we have tried many products in the market and we know what works best.
If you frequently go to a salon for moisture-rich hair treatment, try alternating it with protein-rich treatment. This way, you can build your hair strength over time.
Alternatively, try out Chez Vous Award Winning Feed & Fit Hair Treats ($155 & Up). The secret bond multiplying ingredient we use in our Feed & Fit Hair Treats restores your strength internally by linking back certain amount of broken disulphide bonds. Unlike using a conditioner or a hair mask that simply coats the hair with silicone to create a seemingly smooth and healthy effect without actually repairing the hair, the Feed & Fit Hair Treats prevents your hair from breakage by strengthening your hair from within.
5. AVOID PRE-LIGHTENING YOUR HAIR WITHOUT UNDERGOING A PROTEIN-RICH PRE-TREATMENT
From Silver-grey hair to Ombre and Balayage, the recent hair colour trends require some form of pre-lightening. Do yourself a favour - undergo a protein-rich pre-treatment before pre-lightening. Alternatively, add a conditioning shot into the pre-lightener. This way, the risk of your hair being “fried” can be reduced.
6. NEVER GO FROM BLACK TO BLONDE WITHIN A DAY
Lightening your hair colour is a journey you’re going to have with your stylist. Avoid going from black to blond within a day. Start from medium brown, light brown than blonde over a course of few months to safeguard your hair and minimize the risk.
7. AVOID USING HENNA DYES THAT CONTAIN METALLIC SALT
This is every hair dressers nightmare! Please note that there is no such plant called “blonde henna”, “brown henna” or “black henna”! The plant, Henna, has only one dye molecule – red-orange. In most cases, metallic salts must be added to henna to alter the colour.
Hair bleach, permanent hair colour, and permanent perm or rebonding solution are a disastrous combination with henna that contains metallic salts. When combined, these can result in green, purple and “fried”.
Though some henna advocators have claimed that the technology has evolved and it is safe to use various “henna” colours, many salons in Singapore are still wary of henna-dyed hair. So many hair dressers have unknowingly “fried” their guests’ hair because even the guests themselves did not know that their “henna-dye” contained metallic salt.
8. AVOID USING KERATIN TREATMENTS THAT CONTAIN FORMALDEHYDE
Formaldehyde related compounds seal your hair externally to promote manageability, shine and smoothness. However, it affects a stylist judgement when it comes to subsequent chemical services such as perming, rebonding and pre-lightening. This is because many stylists will face difficulties assessing the inner structure of your hair during processing, hence risking over processing your hair.
A great alternative is to use Keratin Treatment that uses glyoxylic acid technology instead of formaldehyde. It reduces the risk of clouded judgement for subsequent chemical services significantly.
9. ALWAYS INFORM YOUR NEW STYLIST ABOUT YOUR HAIR HISTORY
For a professional hair stylist to make an accurate diagnosis and assessment, they will have to rely on you to give a thorough update about your hair history. Your hair history will affect the type of services recommended, products used and processes embarked on.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOUR HAIR IS “FRIED”?
In the unfortunate event that your hair is “fried”, what should you do? As mentioned previously, the current technology cannot completely recover “fried” hair. That said, the following can help to alleviate the problem to a certain extent.
Yes we know. That’s the most dreaded answer one wants to hear. Unfortunately, chopping the damaged portion off it the best solution. Alternatively, trim your hair once every 3 weeks.
There are hundreds of treatments in the market. To spot an effective treatment in the market that will really help improve your hair condition (at least for a short period of time), look out for these ingredients:
Keratin is one of the main ingredients of hair. When hair lacks elasticity and strength, Keratin can be added to repair and rebuild hair’s inner structure. That said, most Keratin treatments requires high heat to process. Hence, opt for a strengthening pre-treatment prior to Keratin Treatment and use low heat to prevent further damage.
> Simulated Cell Membrane Complex (CMC)
An oil based ingredient found in hair. When hair becomes fried, weakened and dehydrated, it loses CMC which helps retain the moisture within hair cortical layers. By adding CMC, dehydrated and distressed hair is then able to retain moisture and keratin temporarily.
> Collagen or Lipids
A protein which adds strength and support to skin cells. When applied to fried hair, it creates a veil on the cuticles surface which locks in moisture, adds softness and deters frizz to a certain extent temporarily.
> Silk Peptide
Creates an even veil of protection on the hair’s cuticle to add shine and resistance. This ingredient also protects the “fried” hair from daily stresses such as thermal styling, UV rays and brush friction.
This super moisturizing ingredient for severely damaged hair. It helps to repair the CMC water pathways to retain moisture inside the hair temporarily.
These ingredients can be found in Chez Vous Red Carpet Hair Treats ($225 & Up).
Yes, you read that right! Darker colours can “reduce” the damage visually. Also, one can opt for a clear acid colour to gloss the hair to make it look seemingly “healthy”. The gloss will also enhance manageability and reduce frizz temporarily.
Unfortunately, for guests with fried hair, your daily styling routine just got a lot worse! To smooth those frizz and unwanted flyaway hair, mix KMS Free Shape Hot Flex Crème (size of a 20 cent coin) with two drops of KMS Tame Frizz Taming Crème to towel-dried hair. This combination gives one lasting and smoothing style for even the most style resistant hair. It also provides heat protection, resists humidity and prevents breakage. Use a hair dryer, low to mid heat to blow it smooth with a downward motion. Avoid using a round brush or a flat iron on “fried” hair.
REST & RESTORE
Swear off styling tools including curling and flat irons! Also, stay away from any chemical processing, which will only weaken hair further.
Yes, homecare helps, or should we say the correct homecare helps. As, mentioned, Redken Extreme CAT and Goldwell Kerasilk Deep Smoothing Mask are your best bet!
Takashimaya Ngee Ann City Podium
391 Orchard Road, #05-05, S238872