How to work with protein filler
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If you’ve dyed or permed your hair just a little too much, you’ll know the signs of damaged hair. Your hair absorbs water more, meaning it has a weird wet noodle-like texture when wet. It probably takes forever to air dry. When it does dry, your hair looks and feels like straw. Also, your hair color may absorb well in some places, but not others. Or the color bleeds out super fast in general. That’s when you’ll need protein filler.

What is protein filler

Perms and color treatments break down the protein bonds in your hair. That’s what makes the hair shaft more porous and weak. So protein filler just basically fills those gaps in the hair with protein bonds. Hair then looks far smoother and healthier. It will also make the hair shaft stronger and help prevent future damage.

Types of protein filler

If you feel your hair could really use some TLC after chemical treatments, there are several types of protein fillers to look into.

Conditioning protein filler: This is your basic type of protein filler. It’s used before and/or after you apply color. It contains no color and can be added to dyes you mix yourself with separate peroxide. You can also add it to a spray bottle and just spray it in your hair. Or you can use it to spot treat the most damaged areas, like split ends. A popular product is Colorful Neutral Protein Filler.

Spray protein filler: Newer to the market is protein filler meant to be just sprayed in, almost like a leave-in conditioner. Many people just spray these in after they wash their hair. One of the most popular types out there is Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler Treatment.

Color protein filler: These work like a conditioning filler, but also add color back into the hair, as their name suggests. These are typically used when you’ve bleached your hair blonde and you want to go back to black or brown. They tend to come in the primary colors: red, blue and yellow.

These work by adding all the primary colors back into the hair. For instance, you’ll have yellow from the blonde, so you’ll need red and blue for brunette shades. You may want to consult someone at your local beauty store if you’re using these types of products or see a stylist, as the specific measurements and shades can get tricky based on what shade you’re going for.

A popular brand is also Colorful Protein Color Filler, which comes in preset shades for what color you’re trying to achieve, like “warm brown,” “red red” and “platinum.”