We’ve all been there: it’s usually shortly after a chemical process, or maybe after your hair color has faded for a few weeks–that place your hair is just fried. The ends are dry and splitting, maybe even far up the shaft. The cuticle, the protecting layer surrounding the inner hair environment [called the cortex], is damaged. All chemical treatments such as bleaching and coloring, perming, and relaxing affect the cuticle, which is what changes the look of the hair. However if the cuticle is overly affected, bleached too long or relaxed one too many times, the outcome is, well, crispy looking.
This is where a good hair masque can come to your rescue! These wonder workers can be bought at your favorite salon or beauty supply store, and they help immensely by “masking” the damage done to the cuticle. Usually they come in a small tub and look like a cream. They are different, though, from say a styling cream infused with ingredients like cocoa and/or shea butter or coconut oil. No, these creams are generally more potent and more expensive, and should be used with care as to how the instructions explain to use them.
The reason they should be used carefully is this–the first treatment, especially if your hair is in pretty bad shape, will awe and astound you. Generally they are used after shampooing and conditioning, depending on the brand and the instructions; sometimes a stylist might perform the treatment for you. Your hair, depending on its condition, will immediately appear smoother and softer, as the scale like cells of the cuticle which have been scorched by chemical treatments lay down, relax, and appear overall healthier and happier. But here is the catch–overuse will cause a buildup on the cuticle, because after all you are using a “mask”, something that lays on top of the hair and helps protect the cuticle and give the appearance of smoothness. If you overuse this super treatment you will begin to notice the buildup, as your ends look dull and dry once again and your hair seems stiffer. Most masques recommend use once a week, and less and less as the hair condition improves.
This summer, enjoy the gorgeous hair you want! Find a masque that works for you by researching or asking a stylist for their personal recommendation. And nothing goes with your perfect hair better than your perfect outfit– shop Brooks Brothers for amazing looks for less and slay this season!