Benefits of and Concerns about Cellophane Hair Treatments

What is Hair Cellophane?

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The hair cellophane treatment is a popular shine exchanging service that is also known as a hair gloss treatment. Hair cellophane works by coating the cuticle with silicon-based polymers that add glossy shine to the hair. The product is available in a clear and tinted formula.

Hair cellophane treatments work best on dry, coarse, and dull hair. The hydrolyzed proteins and silicone in the formula seal the cuticle, helping to reduce hair porosity and preventing hair strands from turning frizzy. This treatment is often performed after a perm, relaxing, or hair rebounding services to condition dry ends, refresh color, and add a protective, shiny finish.

A cellophane hair treatment doesn’t straighten hair, but it relaxes curls slightly and helps achieve straighter hairstyles when you blow dry or flat iron your hair. The effects usually last 6 to 8 weeks.

When used on curly hair, the cellophane treatment adds shine, detangles and enhances curl. When used on healthy straight hair, a cellophane hair treatment works as a shine enhancer and/or a semi-permanent color service. The manufacturer’s claim is that this treatment has no side effects (we will return to this issue later).

Effects of Clear Cellophane Hair Treatments

In a cellophane hair treatment, clear cellophane coats the cuticle with polymers, giving the hair a boost of shine while hydrolyzed proteins strengthen the hair. This treatment does not change natural or dyed hair colors, but it can make colors more vibrant by putting a shiny, clear coat on hair strands. A cellophane treatment also helps preserve and prolong the life of color treated hair.

After a cellophane hair treatment, hair will look healthier, thicker, and shinier than before. This treatment also helps with detangling, reducing frizz, and preventing split ends.

Cellophane Color Gloss Treatments

A colored cellophane treatment is a semi-permanent color gloss treatment. It deposits semi-permanent color on the hair shaft and leaves hair looking lustrous. However, this treatment cannot lighten hair. To get a tinted result, a treatment the same color as the hair, or darker, must be used. A cellophane color hair treatment works great for refreshing color between professional color services. The darker shades provide good gray hair coverage. The deposited color fades gradually with every wash.

Here are some advantages of cellophane hair color treatments over permanent dye treatments:

  • Cellophane color is a good color revitalizer for people who want a subtle color change.
  • This treatment is perfect for people who are sensitive to regular hair dyes.
  • Cellophane color won’t leave hair dry and brittle like permanent hair dyes do.
  • This treatment is great for covering a small percentage of gray hair.
  • Blonde shades of the cellophane hair treatment help remove brassiness from hair that has been dyed blonde.
  • Cellophane color is a great color revitalizer for permed and relaxed hair that can be over-dried and damaged by using a permanent color service.
  • With a cellophane color treatment the color gradually decreases, without the appearance of root lines.

How to Apply a Cellophane Hair Treatment 

Cellophane hair treatments can be done in a beauty salon or can be performed in the comfort of home by carefully following the instructions.

You will need gloves, a tint brush and bowl, and a disposable shower cap. The process can be messy if you use colored cellophane. Putting Vaseline around your forehead and ears is recommended.

Steps:

1) Wash your hair properly using a clarifying shampoo, but don’t use conditioner. Blow dry your hair until it’s about 75% dry.

2) Divide your hair into 4 sections.  Start at the back and work forwards. Apply the product, making sure that your entire head is saturated, and comb it through to evenly cover each hair strand.

3) The cellophane product requires heat to work. Cover your head with a plastic cap and sit under a hair dryer, or use a conditioning heat cap, allowing the product to set for 20 to 30 minutes. You can also use a blow-dryer, but make sure to evenly apply heat over your entire head. If your hair is healthy and has low porosity you can extend the heating time.

4) When the heating step is over, allow the hair to cool completely and rinse with plain water. Wash the hair with a color-safe shampoo and condition as usual. You can then style your hair as you want.

After a Cellophane Hair Treatment

This treatment requires very little maintenance. Since it gradually washes away over time, use a mild color-safe shampoo. Washing too frequently and using harsh shampoos can cause the effects to fade faster. You are free to go swimming in chlorinated, as well as in sea water. The treatment actually helps reduce dryness and damage that can be caused by chlorine and salt water.

Is Hair Cellophane Safe?

Cellophane is a safer version of hair dyeing because it only deposits non-oxidative pigments on the hair shaft, unlike other color services. Manufacturers claim that cellophane treatments are “hair-friendly” gloss treatments. Cellophane treatments can be used on hair that has already been colored and can be applied immediately after a color service. The treatment can also be applied the same day, following a relaxing service. But is it absolutely safe for you?

This popular hair gloss formula can include parabens, which are suspected to have an effect on human health when used in cosmetic products. Check the label before purchasing to ensure that the manufacturer has replaced these preservatives with a safer alternative.

Medical disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

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