Meet The Best-Kept Secret For Shiny, Healthy Hair
Dreaming of lustrous, shiny locks right out of the shower? Lamellar treatments are just the ticket—no matter your hair type. We’ve got the lowdown.
One of the things that makes the beauty industry so exciting is constant innovation: there is always a new ingredient, product, or technology to discover, with the promise of instant or long-lasting results (or both!). And although oftentimes, those results are highly subjective and can vary wildly depending on the person, every once in a while, a new kind of product comes along and really shakes things up—like lamellar hair treatments.
I first heard of lamellar technology when I was invited to try the Kérastase in-salon K Water treatment and was pleasantly surprised by how my hair felt afterward. But then again, soft and shiny hair is almost a given when leaving the salon. Fast-forward nearly two years, and I now have two lamellar treatments on rotation in my hair care stash and will definitely be replacing the bottles when they’re empty. Intrigued? Here’s all you need to know.
What Are Lamellar Treatments And What Do They Do?
A lamellar treatment is a liquid that looks and feels a lot like water, but actually contains ingredients that give you smooth, soft, healthy-looking locks. “It smooths and treats dry, damaged hair, while adding incredible, intense shine,” says Annie Hayes-Fiedler, colorist and extension specialist at Salon True in Los Angeles (@anniehayeshair). Contrary to many thick masks and other traditional treatments, lamellar formulas only take a few seconds to work their magic, and are super lightweight.
How Exactly Do They Work?
It’s no surprise that lamellar water is originally from Korea, like many other beauty innovations of late. Filled with ingredients like protein, amino acids, hydrators, and conditioning agents, the product works in thin layers called “lamelles”. “Lamellar water seeks out the damaged areas of your hair and fills in the gaps for maximum shine benefit,” explains Hayes-Fiedler. The result: a softer, shinier, more nourished, and hydrated mane. Plus, not only do lamellar treatments give you instant results, but they can also provide longer-term benefits that go beyond the surface since the actives penetrate your strands.
What Hair Types Benefit Most From Lamellar Treatments?
All of them! But especially people with “bleached, highlighter, color-treated, or naturally coarse or curly hair,” says Hayes-Fiedler. “Lamellar water loves, and was made to hydrate dry or porous strands, and add seriously luscious shine to hair that is lacking, whether because it’s naturally dehydrated, color-treated, or just damaged from heat or the sun,” she elaborates.
How Do You Apply Lamellar Treatments?
It honestly couldn’t be easier. Unlike other treatments or masks that require you to carve out a chunk of time in your schedule (I’m looking at you, 20-minute deep conditioning masks and bond repair treatments!), lamellar water works in mere seconds. After shampooing once or twice (depending on where you fall on that debate) and rinsing, use your fingers to gently remove any excess water from your strands. Then, apply the recommended dose of lamellar water—most bottles have markings on the side indicating how much to use—and watch in amazement as it magically detangles your hair.
“You can apply lamellar water all over, or just on damaged areas,” says Hayes-Fiedler. If your hair is on the thicker side, you may want to use more than one dose to ensure your mane gets the full benefits. “After rinsing it out, you can follow up with a mask or treatment for extra moisture or conditioning, but it is not necessary,” adds Hayes-Fiedler.
How To Try Lamellar Treatments For Yourself?
The Kérastase K Water treatment is available in certain salons; it’s a great add-on option when you go in for a cut, blow-dry or color. But if you’d prefer to try a lamellar treatment at home, there are many options that are easy to find in stores and online. For example, the L’Oréal Paris Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water Lamellar Hair Treatment is widely available and retails for a mere $10. Two more options: the Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Water Treatment and Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shine Rinse.
While they all boast similar ingredients, the Redken product’s formula includes Centella Asiatica, an ingredient beloved (especially in the Asian beauty world!) for its healing properties. It makes sense since the Redken product is marketed specifically toward hair damaged from highlighting, bleaching, or coloring.
I personally use both the L’Oréal Paris and Matrix versions. Both yield similar results—i.e. shiny, soft, frizz-free strands—although their fragrances are different. There is a big discrepancy in price between the two (the Matrix product costs twice as much as the L’Oréal Paris one), but it’s important to note that while both come in 6.8 oz. bottles, the recommended dose for the L’Oréal Paris treatment is 20 ml, and just 10 ml for the Matrix one. So, in the end, it works out to pretty much the same thing—the Matrix version is simply more concentrated, so you need less of it for similar results.
Have you tried lamellar treatments? Did they work for you? Is there another hair product that really knocked your socks off? Share in the comments!