Trust me when I say I’ve tried all the hair treatments. Having bleached my hair for more than 12 years, I’m always on the hunt for products that will purportedly help restore some life and hydration to my locks. While certain hair masks and deep conditioners have helped, it wasn’t until this year that I discovered a new breakthrough treatment that made a huge (huge!) difference in my hair’s health, look and feel. Lamellar water is the latest Korean beauty product to arrive in Canada, but unlike most K-beauty trends, this one’s for your hair, not your skin.
I first learned about lamellar water at the end of 2019 and the buzz about this magic technology (yes, it’s seriously transformative) has only gotten louder in recent months. After one use, I was fully hooked. But what exactly is lamellar water and how does it make my hair feel so good and look so damn shiny? I chatted with international Redken artist Catherine Allard about this miracle hair treatment, including how exactly to use it.
What is lamellar water?
As its name suggests, lamellar water is a water-based treatment. Because it’s so lightweight, the treatment is able to penetrate the hair cuticle and target damaged areas on each strand more easily than traditionally heavy hair creams and masks. Working in thin layers, the formula deposits small active ingredients like hydrators, amino acids (for strength and shine) and conditioning agents to the damaged areas on each strand and “fills” in those spots, leaving your mane looking and feeling like new. Another plus for lamellar formulas is that due to their watery consistency, they won’t overcoat your hair and leave it feeling weighed down. “[Post-treatment] you’ll find your hair has instant softness and it will be extremely shiny since the cuticle of each strand will be smoothed while the treatment creates an extra layer on the cuticle to boost shine,” says Allard. She describes lamellar water like a liquid Band-Aid for your hair.
What hair types can use lamellar water?
Because it delivers hydrating and nourishing ingredients to specific areas on each strand, lamellar water is especially helpful for dry, damaged hair, whether that damage comes from colour treatments or hair that’s naturally thirsty (think: coarse, curly hair). Not only will all hair types benefit from the boost in shine and softness but detangling your mane post-shower will be a breeze.
While all hair colours and textures can use lamellar water, a formula specifically created for bleached hair, like Redken’s, can provide dramatic results on chemically treated strands that are screaming for moisture. “When you colour your hair you [damage] about 10 to 15 percent of its internal structure and when hair is bleached, it’s around 20 percent,” explains Allard. Then damaging practices post-lightening, like using hot tools and leaving your hair unprotected in the sun, incurs even more damage, which makes using a lamellar treatment at home such a game-changer. Allard goes on to say that regular use may help bring back some of the strength and shine your hair had pre-bleach. Haven’t lightened your hair? You’ll likely still see benefits from using lamellar water.
Does lamellar water *actually* mend damage on hair or just leave a temporary coating on strands?
While you will see an instant result after one use of lamellar water, it will also work to repair hair over time thanks to it penetrating formula that delivers active ingredients and conditioning lipids straight to the areas that need it most inside each strand, not just on the surface.
How do I add lamellar water to my hair care routine?
Lamellar water is super easy to fit into any lather, rinse, repeat routine. While in the shower, shampoo and rinse your hair as you normally would and once clean, wring out any excess water from your strands. Then take a look at your lamellar water: the bottle should have markings to indicate how to measure one application. The recommended dose for mid-length hair is 10 mL; shorter hair might only require half a dose while longer, thicker hair may require a double dose. Squeeze the treatment directly onto your hair from mid-lengths to ends and then gently work it through with your fingers to evenly distribute the product. Some formulas may lather a bit or warm up slightly, FYI. Once it’s evenly applied throughout your hair, rinse it out. You can leave it at that and skip the conditioner but if your hair is especially damaged like mine, you can follow up your lamellar treatment with a conditioner or hydrating hair mask.
Can I use lamellar water every time I wash my hair?
Yes! Lamellar water is so lightweight it won’t build up on your strands over time, making it suitable for frequent applications. The recommended use is two to three times per week.