Repairing Rituals

Choosing the best repairing ritual for your hair
September 6, 2015 Michael Johnson

So you’ve got trashed hair that is dry, breaking, over coloured, over bleached, worn out and every other description not suitable for work. You have tried supermarket treatments that have promised you the world, salon professional products recommended by your stylist and even a few home remedies you’ve found online (that have resulted in the same damaged locks, but your general odour now has the distinct smell of mayonnaise). Never fear Ritualist readers!! I am here to sort out your hair woes and get you back on track to gorgeous, shiny and strong locks in time for Summer with a simple Repairing Ritual!

First step in deciding what kind of repairing ritual you need is to figure out why your hair is damaged. Now, most of my clients who use conditioning treatments tend to fall into three categories:

1. They have naturally dry hair (not coloured, frizzy or curly, generally coarse) and are always on the hunt for anything that will tame that mane!

2. They love their colour, especially blonding, and feel as though their hair has become more dry since colouring their hair.

3. They love their Cloud Nine Wand or Glam Palm Irons (insert any other brand here that heats beyond 150C) or blow dry their hair daily and can’t work out why their hair seems to be getting dryer and harder to style. Or they have fine natural hair that feels weak and damaged, possibly frizzy, but they’d like stronger hair that gets more volume!

Now, if you use an unsuitable treatment for your hair, eg: you have heat damaged hair and you attempt a repairing ritual designed to repair colour-damaged hair, you simply won’t get results. Moreover, most clients that I chat to in my studio and all over Australia via email are using the wrong treatment for their hair, so don’t worry, you’re not alone! So, what I want to do is break down for you (as briefly as possible…okay it ended up an essay, I know!) the basic idea behind treating each type of damage and then run through my favourite products to get the issue fixed! First let’s check out an up close picture of a single strand of hair to give you an idea of the difference between dry hair and damaged hair.

The Ritualist Michael Johnson talks hair repair Lipidium

Repairing Ritual #1 – Treating Natural Dryness or Taming Curly or Frizzy Hair

How do I know if my hair is ‘naturally dry’?

Firstly, you don’t colour or heat style your hair. The broad rule with finding the perfect repairing ritual for your hair is treat chemical damage first, then eliminate or minimise sources of environmental (aka heat) damage. Then, once both of these are under control, should you also have naturally curly or frizzy hair, then tackle this with a product that adds moisture. Secondly, if you have curly hair, you’re in the right place. Likewise, if your hair is thick, unruly or frizzy, naturally. Now, fine hair peeps, you need to focus on strengthening those strands with densifying leave in treatments, so check out the Repairing Ritual #3 advice below. How to fix dry curly hair -

What kind of treatments will help moisturise my hair long term?

Since life is sometimes offensively unfair, that gorgeous curl comes with a whole host of natural dryness, which isn’t curable as such, but can definitely be managed a hell of a lot better with the right haircare products. Treatments are a curly girl’s (or boy’s) best friend and the kind of products you want to be looking for will contain deep moisturising ingredients that focus on increasing the hair’s essential fatty acids (which make up the ‘lipid’ or moisture content in the cuticle, or outer, hair layer) and provide a lubrication over the cuticle layer that will flatten the hair’s ‘scales’ to make them shine!

On a budget, but want amazing technology and instant results?

Amika Nourishing Mask has the most revolting packaging I have ever, ever seen. No really. Hideous! BUT this is one of my favourite go to repairing ritual’s for dry hair (and sometimes I even use it on damaged hair after a repairing ritual #1 just because it feels so amazing!) Absolutely give this one a go, I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t think it is next level fabulous and at the low price you will be laughing all the way to the bank with your shiny locks! Packed full of Omega 3, 6, 9 and 7 (yes 7 is a thing and Sea Buckthorn Berry, the main ingredient in amika, is 40% Omega 7) this will resurface and revitalise your hair and scalp and encourage cell turnover and amazing new hair growth!


Money is no object, perfect hair is your goal.

Look, I am a discount bin whore. No really, I loooooove a sale and am constantly amazed at how stingy I can become in retail stores that are having clearances. But anyone that knows me also knows that I am all about quality, so while I would love it if that $30 treatment did the same thing that a $100 treatment does, I think we can take a look at the cost of the ingredients on the back of the bottle and see that that is just not possible.

Enter Alterna Ten Masque – in their own words “the perfect fusion of 10 key elements that transform hair from ordinary to extraordinary.” Yes, they aren’t lying and Omega 3, 6, 9 is found in the Caviar complex that is just one of the technologies in this little miracle worker. Alterna has basically taken all of their best technology after years of clinical studies and packed it all into one product. Worried about the price? Come into the store in Paddington and pay cash that way there won’t be a paper trail to shame you later.

Repairing Ritual #2 – Treating Coloured, Bleached or Chemically Treated Damage

How do I know if my hair is ‘chemically damaged’?

Firstly, you colour, bleach, highlight, balayage, perm, straighten your locks. As I said previously, if you fit this category and have hair that feels dry, brittle or ‘just won’t grow’ then you are probably desperate for a repairing and strengthening treatment. You can use this every time you wash for extremely damaged hair, once a week for hair that is normal to damaged and being coloured regularly, or ad hoc for those of you who are all or nothing (ie: you’d never coloured your hair until Kim K went blonde, then you followed suit and now don’t know yourself).

The hottest repairing ritual in haircare right now

Olaplex, olaplex, olaplex….yup everyone is talking about it and it is one of the first times the term ‘game changer’ isn’t just a marketing ploy. Olaplex No 3 Bond Perfector is a take home treatment product that works by re-linking broken di-sulphide bonds (they come in pairs) that give the hair its internal strength. These bonds are broken by colouring, perming and bleaching and while most will rebond after the service, some will not and the more services you have on your hair, the more of these bonds will become unlinked. The bottom line is this: if too many of these bonds cannot re-link after the chemical service then your hair breaks.


Olaplex is not like your traditional treatment, both the science and the application. You apply Olaplex Bond Perfector to clean ‘towel dried’ hair (no need to pre shampoo if you have washed in the last 24 hours). Now the reason for having a little water in the hair is simply to aid in application so I tell my clients to simply go to the bathroom sink and run some water through their hair directly from the tap. One bottle of Olaplex will give three generous applications to long hair (past shoulder length) so apply roots to ends first with your hands and then comb through once to evenly distribute the treatment. Olaplex Bond Perfector must process a minimum of 10 minutes. If hair is compromised, 20+ mins is recommended. I’ll say it again people – you must shampoo Olaplex out of the hair – this is not your usual treatment-instead-of-conditioner product! Et voila, super repairing ritual made easy!

Repairing Ritual #3 – Treating Cooked, Worn Out, Old or Fine Hair

How do I know if my hair is ‘cooked’?

You have a straightening iron in your hands right now don’t you? Okay, jokes aside, you love to give your hair the workout, be it smoothing your do or getting volume in fine hair by endless blow drying and teasing. You are your hair’s own worst enemy and now it is time for a little giving back. What does your worn out barnet need? Strength, but not the protein and moisture combo in Repairing Ritual #2 that will weigh down fine hair and over-do-it on heat damaged hair. You need some hardcore protein in your styling ritual and leave-in treatment/styling/heat protecting hybrid technologies are your new best friend!

568635_xlargeFor Fine, Limp, Lifeless Locks

Yes, I know you think that all product weighs your hair down. Yes I know that you think conditioner is a rookie error. Yes I know that Schwarzkopf Extra Care Extra Strong Hold Lacquer and a good teasing comb are the only styling products you need (these fine hair types, aka my mum, aren’t probably reading this so maybe share on their wall). But how about you trust me for a minute and let me let you in on a little secret – the volumising leave in conditioning treatment that actually gives you volume!! Yes friends, my favourite cocktail for prepping fine hair and treating its long history of domestic violence is first applying a generous helping of L’Oreal Serioxyl Densifying Mousse (a leave in treatment for fine hair and hair loss), followed by both L’Oreal Serioxyl Denser Hair Serum and Thicker Hair Serum. Pop the mousse all over your locks after getting out of the shower. Then apply the denser hair serum on your roots and scalp and it is literally viagra for hair, awakening to visibility 1700 more hair strands on contact! Follow with the Thicker Hair Serum to the lengths and ends before blow drying in! Do this every time you style and email me if you don’t see amazing results. No seriously, send me hate mail, I won’t be holding my breath!

Alterna Anti-Breakage Spray at The Ritualist Paddington Sydney

For Hot Tool Welding Hair Torturers

I won’t deal with why you have such a need for control, since I am unqualified to do so and this post is already long enough, but suffice to say you love to torch your hair. Be it that morning ironing ritual, or even several top ups in the office bathroom as the day goes on, your hair is starting to look drier and drier after every wash and you seem to be finding it harder and harder to beat it into submission. Welcome to your new best friend ladies!! Alterna Bamboo Thermal Protection Anti-Breakage Spray is a heat protection and treatment in one and makes your hair 87% stronger after only one use. Yes that is actual clinical testing and none of this ‘9 out of 10 women (who work for L’Oreal) would use Product X again…’ ‘science’….. in short, your life and your hair is about to change for the better.

Okay that’s it from me and my Repairing Ritual Manifesto. If you have any more questions or want to beat me over the head with your supermarket hairspray (again, that’s probably just my mum) then jump onto our team page for my contact details or drop into our new Paddington store Mondays through Saturdays!



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