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Beauty

Everything You Need To Know About Lamellar Water

This buzzy hair treatment works wonders on all textures.
By Emily MacCulloch
Everything You Need To Know About Lamellar Water

(Photo: iStock)

Trust me when I say I’ve tried all the hair treatments. Having bleached my hair for years, I’m always on the hunt for products that will help restore life and hydration to my locks. While certain hair masks and deep conditioners have helped, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered a new breakthrough treatment that made a huge (huge!) difference in my hair’s health, look and feel.

Lamellar water is a Korean beauty product that landed in Canada just a few years ago, but unlike most beauty trends, this one’s for your hair, not your skin.

After just one use, I was 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 to make the most of it.

A woman with hydrated and shiny hair for an article about lamellar water. (Photo: iStock)
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What is lamellar water?

As its name suggests, lamellar water is a water-based treatment. Because it’s so lightweight, it's able to penetrate the hair cuticle. It targets damaged areas on each strand more easily than heavy hair creams and masks. Working in thin layers, the formula deposits small active ingredients like hydrators and amino acids (for strength and shine).

Then conditioning agents head to the damaged areas on each strand. It “fills” in those spots, leaving your mane looking and feeling like new.

Lamellar formulas won’t overcoat your hair and leave it feeling weighed down thanks to their watery texture. “[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 likens lamellar water to a liquid Band-Aid for your hair.

Can all hair types use lamellar water?

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Because it delivers hydrating and nourishing ingredients to specific areas on each strand, lamellar water is especially helpful for dry, frizzy and damaged hair, or hair that's colour treated or naturally thirsty (think: curly hair). All hair types benefit from the boost in shine and softness and detangling post-shower is a breeze.

While all hair colours and textures can use lamellar water, a formula specifically created for bleached hair, like Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Treatment, can provide dramatic results on chemically treated strands that need 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 hair damage?

Yes! You will see instant results after one use, but lamellar water also work to repair hair over time thanks to a 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?

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Lamellar water is easy to fit into any lather, rinse and repeat routine. While in the shower, shampoo and rinse your hair as you normally would and, once clean, wring out any excess water. 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 might require a double dose. Squeeze the treatment directly onto your hair from mid-lengths to ends. Then, gently work it through with your fingers to evenly distribute the product.

Some formulas may lather a bit or warm up slightly. Apply it evenly throughout your hair, then rinse it out. You can leave it at that and skip the conditioner but if your hair is especially damaged, you can follow 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 lightweight and 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.

Shop our favourite lamellar water hair treatments below.

L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths 8-Second Wonder Water

L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths 8-Second Wonder Water
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Formulated to restore shine and detangle, this lamellar treatment is perfect for those with long locks.

Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Treatment

Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Treatment
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Lightened hair benefits from this restorative treatment created with blondes in mind.

Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shine Rinse Lamellar Treatment

Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shine Rinse Lamellar Treatment

This treatment delivers volume, bounce and shine in just 8 seconds.

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Kérastase K Water In-Salon Treatment

Kérastase K Water In-Salon Treatment

For hair in need of extra TLC, try this in-salon treatment that provides glass-like shine. Be sure to follow up with coordinating products at home.

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