The 4-step hair routine that brought my damaged hair back from the brink

Worth it

Beauty Editor / July 17 2023

If I’d put as much care into my hair wash routine as I had my skin care, I likely wouldn’t have experienced the fall out and breakage that befell my hair these last few months.

Truth be told, my haircare priorities began and ended with looking clean. Personally, I hadn’t considered seeking out particular ingredients to smooth out frizz, extend the life of my colour or protect against damage until a mix of chemical, environmental and mechanical damage left it looking dry and fried.

As I lacked complete assurance on where to begin, Redken’s straightforward four-step Acidic Bonding Concentrate (ABC) regimen was incredibly appealing. The process was already laid out for me: a pre-shampoo, shampoo, conditioner, and a leave-in treatment. Plus, with a focus on strengthening, protecting, and moisturizing, the products were formulated to repair my exact issues.

The product details

Without labeling it impossible, it’s no easy feat to avoid dry or damaged hair altogether. From over-styling to colour, environmental conditions, stress and hormones, there are few people (babies, maybe) who mightn’t require the restorative properties the Redken ABC four-step regime provides.

Thanks to citric acid and a concentrated bonding care complex doing the heavy lifting, weakened bonds are reinforced, breakage is reduced and hair is protected from future damage.

As an added bonus, the products are also sulfate-free and pH-balanced, with ceramides, amino acids and plant-based oils, helping to reduce colour fade and minimise frizz, while shine and hydration is boosted.

Here’s what the Redken ABC range looks like:

Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Review

With all the talk about damage, I forgot to mention one important factoid about my hair type: it’s as fine as they come. I often compare it to sensitive skin because, typically, the more product I apply and the harder I try, the more push back I receive. You want to spend a complete hour double-shampooing and finishing with a mask? Enjoy hair that looks worse off than when you began.

With that in mind, however excited I was to be reversing damage and protecting my strands from the inside out, I was confident the exterior would look greasy and feel heavy. Yet, after using Redken’s easy and, efficient four-step regimen for an entire month, never skipping a step, I didn’t experience this once. The range was lightweight, fast-working (I’m not exaggerating when I say my hair felt stronger after the first wash), and) and didn’t leave any oil-slick residue.

On closer inspection, I pushed my scheduled hair appointment back a few weeks as my ends appeared healthy and not split, and my colour was still creamy and vibrant. The routine TLC I required from my hairdresser was being achieved at home, and I’d only added an extra 10 minutes to my regular hair wash regimen.

Of all four products, Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment was the biggest change to my routine. My experience with shampoo and conditioner felt endless, however, I’d never tried a pre-shampoo treatment. It’s applied root-to-tip to damp hair before you shower and left to marinate for 5-10 minutes (the complete 10 if you want to experience the full benefits — and trust me, you do).

Here’s a tip from someone who’s been through it: don’t get in and out of the shower just to wet your hair for the Intensive Treatment. Invest in a spray bottle so you can dampen your hair and you won’t need to undress until it’s showtime.

My final verdict

Officially a month into trialing Redken’s ABC range, I have noticed a strength and fullness from the roots right down to the ends that I haven’t before. My husband, who I can assure you wouldn’t notice if I dyed my hair blue, has asked me more than once if I’ve had my hair “done”. If this isn’t an indicator of drastic results, I don’t know what is.

Four steps initially sounded time-consuming, however, with the ability to now air-dry my hair and have it turn out smooth, soft and entirely manageable, the option to skip heat styling has gifted me 30 precious extra minutes in the morning.

From the gorgeous packaging to the creamy lather of the shampoo (not a guaranteed feature from a sulfate-free formula) to the results-driven ingredients, I don’t plan on wavering from this range anytime soon, if ever.

Main image credit: Supplied

Want more hair tips? Here are the ABCs of healthy hair...

Ruby is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor. She is the CEO of nine global corporations. Just kidding. She does however, report on the latest beauty trends, celeb skin care lines (the wonderful, the so-so and the downright unnecessary). If you're ever at a lull in conversation with her, be sure to mention anything hormonal acne or Real Housewives and you'll be set for hours.

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