Thanks to things like stress, pollution, heat styling, colouring and over-washing, hair damage is pretty inevitable. It often manifests in dryness, split ends, frizz, flyaways and eventually breakage. By that point, you've probably already tried numerous oils, serums, masks and anti-breakage shampoos in a bid to restore vitality to your lifeless lengths. It goes without saying that your hair routine would be so much easier if there were one single treatment that could do all of that, plus impart a glossy shine, deep hydration and volume. Enter: Hair Filler.
Dreamed up by Belle Cannan, hairstylist at Salon Sloane in London, Hair Filler does exactly what you'd expect it to: plumps up limp and lacklustre hair, providing it with noticeable body and structure. Unlike actual filler, however, there aren't any needles involved. Instead, the treatment – a mask mixed in-salon to cater to your individual hair needs – enlists 100% hydrolysed keratin, hair proteins and minerals. When applied to damp hair and placed under heat for 30 minutes, the ingredients are said to penetrate the hair shaft and 'fill' in the gaps resulting from damage, making breakage less of an issue. Think of it as scaffolding for your hair with an added dose of shine, strength and a super soft feel afterwards.
But does it work? R29 sent along Junior Art Editor, Meg O'Donnell, to try it.
My hair before the treatment was rather flat and limp. I used to have really thick hair but this year I seem to have lost a lot of the volume and the texture has completely changed. It’s naturally a little wavy and I get quite a bit of frizz the day after a wash, but I do relatively nothing with it post-shampoo and conditioner – oops! I’ve been trying to grow it for a while, so I hoped this treatment would give it an extra boost in length, too. After the treatment was applied, my hair was wrapped tightly in clingfilm while I sat under a dryer, but I’m not entirely sure of the importance of this. The treatment itself was left on for around half an hour, so I guess that could be achievable at home in front of the TV, but I wouldn’t fancy going to a salon to have this done more than once a week.
Overall, the result was softer and less frizzy hair which felt sleek and looked really shiny, but I really think the blow-dry helped. I left the salon feeling very delighted with my head. I met my fiancé in Tesco afterwards and he was appalled by how many hair flicks I fit into the space of one food shop."
Unlike keratin hair treatments or Brazilian blow-dries, the treatment, which starts at £60, isn't painstakingly blow-dried into the hair and there aren't any harsh, strong-smelling chemicals which break the hair's bonds and alter the structure or pattern of it permanently. It simply gives hair a quick boost, so it's compatible with all hair types, whether curly, kinky, wavy or in between, and especially useful for special occasions.
The treatment is currently only available at Salon Sloane in London, but with shiny, healthy lengths on most people's hair agenda, it shouldn't be too long before the rest of the industry catches on. In the meantime, try L'Oréal Professionnel Smartbond Step 3 Conditioner, £17.40, once a week. Similar to Olaplex, it helps fortify brittle strands as a result of colouring, heat styling and other stresses, and works its magic in 1-3 minutes. Redken's Extreme Play Safe 450, £21.50, is a protecting and strengthening treatment in one. While it is activated by heat, it shields hair from temperatures up to 230°C, reducing the potential for breakage during styling. Toni & Guy's Damage Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, both £7.19, also moisturise deeply and leave hair soft to the touch.