The Only 11 Products That Actually Fix Hair Breakage, Damage and Split Ends
Remember that one episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte was concerned that her hair looked too shiny? I've never had that concern in my life. Given that I've practically bleached and heat-styled my hair to death, damage, breakage, split ends, and an overall not-so-soft texture are my particular hair concerns. And I'm not alone.
Even though my fellow Byrdie editors have different hair types, textures, and lengths, breakage is something we all deal with. According to Nunzio Saviano, owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City, over-colouring, highlighting, hot tools, and infrequent conditioning can all lead to damage. Of course, laying off the colour and hot tools are good preventative measures to take, but sometimes you need to bring in the big guns.
Which is where these products come in: Using the right restorative hair treatments, masks, and oils actually heal and moisturises the hair from the inside out. Looking to repair your broken strands? Here's how Byrdie editors do it—keep scrolling to the find the hair-breakage treatments we swear by.
"When I used to have a whole head of bleach, this was such a lifesaver. I would slather it into my hair and leave it on overnight. It strengthens strands by adding in any lost amino acids during the hair dying process; my hair would feel silky soft once I rinsed it out. Like better than new."
"I’m obsessed with this shampoo and the Pureology Hydrate Conditioner ($30). Since I've been using it, my hair has been smooth and more manageable. I leave my hair to dry naturally and this duo makes light work of fighting frizz too."
"I absolutely love this protein-rich treatment. It's super lightweight, so doesn't weigh down my fine hair or make it feel greasy and the mixture of jojoba and meadow foam seed oils leave it feeling smooth and healthy."
"This is a staple on my bathroom shelf. This mask is great when I have more time and my hair needs a little TLC. I tend to get more split ends in the summer when I've been out in the sun, so this intensive mask helps to nourish my ends and improve my hair strength."
"This is one of the only protein-packed masks/deep conditioners that mends my fragile ends without leaving them too brittle or overly proteinated (if that's not an actual word, I just made it one). Since I only wash my hair twice a week, I'll use this every two weeks in lieu of my usual conditioner, comb it through with a wide-tooth comb, let it marinate for 10 to 30 minutes (it's a hard-core formula, so I wouldn't leave it on any longer than that), and rinse! Since integrating it regularly into my routine, I've definitely noticed less fallout and breakage."
Leonor Greyl Masque Quintessence Deep Nourishing Treatment Mask ($209)
"Yes, I know $200 for a hair mask sounds borderline obscene, but I haven't tried any other mask that makes such a noticeable difference in my hair. I have an oily scalp and dry ends, and this mask is my once-every-two-weeks treat for my split ends. If you regularly heat-style your hair or have hair that veers toward the dry or brittle side, this mask will change your life (or at least your ends). It turns your tresses butter-soft and never disappoints."
"The day I stop talking about this mask is the day I perish (or finally shave my head). My colourist, Matt Rez (hey, Matt!), introduced it to me two years ago, and I haven't used another one since. My hair is bleached to high heaven, and whenever it starts to feel crunchy and brittle, I apply this product to clean damp hair, leave it on for 30 minutes, and rinse. Its lotus flower– and ceramide-laden formula binds the hair cuticle and cortex, leaving it so much shinier and healthier. It doesn't weigh down my fine strands, but would totally work on thicker hair too. Holy-grail status."
"If you have colour-treated hair, Olaplex's at-home treatment 100% deserves a place in your shower. Apply this science-backed, colourist-approved restorative treatment to wet hair (before shampooing or conditioning), and leave it for as long as you like before continuing your hair-washing routine. The product strengthens the hair from the inside out to reduce breakage big time."
"Shu Uemura's Essence Absolue Overnight Serum is a more intensive version of the brand's Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil. It's meant to stay in all night (I usually do a full day into the night, to be honest). It repairs damage while you sleep, and really soaks in to strengthen, soften, and prevent breakage."
"I use this oil-cream formula whenever I really want to let my hair soak for a full day or so. It's thick (but not heavy or gross) and really penetrates even the driest, most damaged ends of my colour-treated hair. I apply it wet or dry, depending on my level of laziness, and slick my hair up in a bun. Then, I let it sit for a full 24 hours, breathing in the herbal-scented essential oils. When I wash it out, my hair is both softer to the touch and visibly smoother along the ends."
"For the first time in my life, I'm using a dry shampoo that doesn't make me wince—that's because the botanical blend of rose powder and anise extract sops up oil without leaving any weird residue. Whereas I used to smooth and spray in two or three products to breathe life back into my waves, Playa's Endless Summer Spray delivers a flawlessly beachy texture in mere seconds. And the Ritual Hair Oil—easily my favourite item in the collection—is the perfect remedy for dry ends, flyaways, and general hydration. (It also smells heavenly.)"
If you're at the end of your tether with hair breakage, then add one of these editor-approved buys into your routine.