Whether you plan to rock the Classic Blue Pantone color of the year, or dye your roots neon in Billie Eilish fashion, it’s important to give your hair a little hair TLC. Here are some healthy hair tips and an overnight hair mask to help damaged hair heal.
A History of Hair Alteration
Although 75% of American women dye their hair, altering hair color and appearance is not a new concept. Ancient Egyptians used henna to tint hair red while Renaissance women bleached their hair using potassium or sodium hydroxide and sunlight. The Romans dyed their hair black by applying a paste of vinegar fermented leeches and sitting in the sun to let it bake. Permanent waving, invented by Charles Nessler in the early 20th century, used to be an all-day tortuous process involving hot borax solution which often resulted in scalp burns and even hair loss. Hair technology has come a long way since then but even today bleaching, coloring, relaxing, perming, and waving, all cause chemically-related hair damage.
Brief Hair Anatomy
To understand hair damage, you need to understand the basics of hair anatomy. The outer portion of the hair shaft is called the cuticle which acts as a protective and hydrophobic (water repelling) shield. The cuticle is responsible for the appearance and texture of the hair. Each cuticle is cemented to the inner portion of the hair, the cortex, in a downward, overlapping fashion. When the cuticles are healthy and aligned, they provide healthy hair with sleek and shine. The cortex is composed of keratin filaments bonded together by hydrogen bonds and strong covalent disulphide bonds which give the hair strength. The cortex is responsible for hair strength, elasticity, and structure and contains the melanin responsible for natural hair color.
The Science Behind Chemically Damaged Hair
Let’s talk about hair damage with an outside-in approach. Bleaching, coloring, perming, and relaxing hair rely on radical chemistry that physically alters the state of the hair. Chemical treatments remove the 18-MEA lipid found on the surface of the cuticle responsible for water repellency. When removed, the hair is less lubricated and absorbs water more easily resulting in frizzy hair and more breakage. Chemical treatments can delaminate cuticles from the cortex, causing them to lift, crack, or break off exposing the vulnerable cortex. This also means more trips to the salon to restore your fading hair color. Bleaching, coloring, permanent waving, and relaxing hair not only affect the integrity of cuticles but affect the integrity of the cortex. Chemical treatments break the disulfide bonds between the keratin filaments within the hair cortex resulting in decreased hair strength leading to hair breakage and the dreaded split end. Time to face the facts, all chemical treatments damage your hair. As Lizzo says, “Truth Hurts.”
Hair Salvation: Hydrolyzed Protein
But don’t despair you can reboot your hair. You don’t need to spend your lunch break with a pair of scissors cutting away at split ends or wear VSCO girl scrunchies to prevent hair breakage or purchase silk pillowcases. Your salvation is in the form of hydrolyzed proteins, proteins that have gone through hydrolysis and been broken down into smaller amino acid sequences called peptides. Protein is made of amino acid building blocks that are cemented together in chains of a specific sequence. Hair is more than 90% protein, predominantly keratin protein, and when hair becomes damaged it loses some of its protein. The Chemical Conflict mask replenishes lost protein with hydrolyzed proteins. Hydrolyzed proteins are highly substantive repairing ingredients that can diffuse into the cortex and reestablish broken hair bonds restoring hair strength. This is the basis of “bond-building technology.” Hair strength, a consumer term, translates clinically to resistance to breakage. You obtain stronger hair by repairing the hair from within, the cortex, as well as on the surface, the cuticle.
Overnight Miracle Hair Mask: Chemical Conflict
The bond-building Chemical Conflict hair mask uses breakthrough reparative proteins to repair inside and out, bringing hair back to full health. The Chemical Conflict mask clinical results speak for themselves: 97% less split ends, 76% stronger, 184% more hydrated, 57.4% more shine, and 145.3% more flexible. Let’s meet some of the superstar proteins that provide these amazing results. Move aside wheat protein for some truly unique and efficacious alternatives.
Sustained Release Hydrolyzed Carob Protein
The Chemical Conflict mask contains a sustained release hydrolyzed carob protein that increases hair strength and elasticity and repairs damage caused by mechanical, thermal, and chemical processes. The hydrolyzed carob protein consists of varying sized peptides and free amino acids ranging from 300 Daltons to over 5,000 Daltons to both penetrate the hair cortex and envelop the hair shaft in a protective veil. The unique cationic matrix (positively charged encapsulation system) allows the active ingredient to remain on the hair fiber for an extended period. The hydrolyzed carob protein hair mask can actually give chemically treated hair more strength than virgin, healthy hair!
Biomimetic Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein
Biomimetic keratin protein is created through novel proteomics technology to match the amino acid sequence of keratin protein found in the cortex and cuticle of the hair. It elevates traditional keratin protein treatments to another level. Since it is biomimetic and replicates protein in the hair it targets the most damaged areas of hair allowing for intelligent repair. It improves hair porosity and keeps your hair color lasting longer.
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
hydrolyzed vegetable protein penetrates the cortex of the hair to replenish lost protein and provide structure while lubricating the cuticles. It addresses three important aspects of healthy strength: tensile strength (elasticity), bending modulus (flexibility), and cuticle abrasion (lubricity). It delivers three times the strengthening as panthenol reducing damage caused by chemical treatments, environmental stresses, and styling practices.
So don’t let the fear of hair damage limit your self-expression and confidence and visit any Village Salon to get some major hair rehab. Simply work SAVE ME FROM’s Chemical Conflict mask through damp clean hair as a nourishing overnight. After as few as three uses, studies have demonstrated an up to a 97% reduction in split ends. Now your lunch time can be for lunch!
Krissie Gerrard is a biochemist and cosmetic formulator for SAVE ME FROM Scalp + Hair Repair with a background in both research and development and product development. She partnered with leading contract manufacturers to develop skin and hair care brands including Bliss Color and Orlando Pita Play, directing both formulation and clinical testing. She worked as the senior formulation chemist at a contract manufacturer developing formulas for prestige brands found at Sephora and Ulta. She studied hair biology through the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and writes newsletter articles for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
SAVE ME FROM pushes her knowledge and expertise to the limit to formulate products with unique textures, specific hair concerns, new technology, and great clinical results. krissie.gerrard@envycc.