Expert Help for Damaged Hair

Damaged, dry locks are the bane of women everywhere.

Cutting split ends is key to achieving the smooth and bouncy hair you desire; however, there are a bevy of products, from serums to shampoos that can help save damaged hair.

In order to provide you with the most accurate information possible, we put our own heads on the line, testing over 50 products including moisturizing shampoos, deep conditioning treatments, scalp scrubs and more. In addition, we asked Nick Arrojo, owner of the Arrojo Studio in Manhattan and hair stylist on TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” to share his tips on how to get gorgeous locks.

Split Ends
Arrojo confirms that “other than a cut there is no out and out cure for split ends.” Bear in mind that a true end cut, where only the ends of the hair are sheared, can be achieved by taking as little as a half an inch off your length. To keep your do healthy, cut off dead ends every six to eight weeks. Combat unruly split ends between cuts, with a good frizz fighting product. Arrojo recommends his signature Arrojo Defrizz Serum ($15 at

Cheap & Chic
Arrojo has two favorite hair-saving secrets, one inexpensive and one pricey. For bargain hunters, Arrojo recommends pairing a favorite conditioner with a hair net. “Whenever your hair is feeling dehydrated, deflated, dull or just plain old frustratingly hard to style, pack your hair net with around four times as much product as you would for a regular application and put the hair net on wet or damp hair for 10 or 15 minutes. You can remove your hair net, but resist any temptation to rinse the product out; so long as the conditioner is lightweight, your hair will be hydrated, soft, smooth, shiny, and best of all, the texture will be easier to manage, shape and control.”

If you have extra dough to spend, head to a professional and book a deep conditioning salon treatment. “These protein and moisture feasts really do make an incredible difference to the health of your hair, and you’ll be getting it applied professionally, meaning you can just sit back and relax while the professionals do their bit,” explains Arrojo.

In Chicago, head to the Elizabeth Adam Salon and Day Spa at Water Tower Place and book the Rene Furterer Scalp Treatment ($65) or opt for the Damage Remedy Treatment ($20) at Everything’s Relative Salon & Day Spa in Oak Lawn.

Product Picks
After testing over 50 hair products, we found that when it comes to good hair, you get what you pay for. According to Arrojo, most hair treatments take a few applications to manage, style and control, so we tested each product numerous times.

Arrojo says, “If the product you’re using brings back the look and feel of healthy, lust[rous] and shiny hair, you know you’re on your way. And if your hair also becomes easier to style and control, you’re definitely onto a winner.”

Our List of Winners
Best for Curls: Ouidad’s Curl Quencher 8 oz. Moisturizing Shampoo ($15) and Conditioner ($17) makes curls soft and manageable, not to mention frizz-free. The Ouidad collection of products just for curly hair is available online at

Best for Damaged Hair: Arrojo’s Moisturizing Shampoo ($13) and Moisturizing Conditioner ($15) are life savers for damaged and over-processed hair.

Best for Dry Hair: Ojon’s Ultra Hydrating Conditioner ($22 at and Ultra Hydrating Shampoo ($18) infuse hair with a daily dose of nourishing Ojon oil while adding weightless body and shine.

Best for Colored Hair: We now swear by Kérastase’s Bain Chroma Riche Shampoo for colored hair ($32 at and Fluide Chroma Riche Softening Serum ($34), a leave-in detangling and styling serum.

Best Weekly At-Home Treatment: Even ultra-dry hair can shine with a once weekly application of Phyto’s Phytonectar, a pre-shampoo treatment that revitalizes extremely damaged hair ($30 at Sephora).

Best Drugstore Brand: Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo and Daily Deep Conditioner ($6.99 each at Walgreen’s).

About the Author

Carolyn Brundage is the founder of, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty.

Need beauty advice? Email Carolyn at


Image courtesy of: Flick

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