I have some good news and bad news. While there are several hair-care ingredients that can, to some extent, help shield hair from damage (that's the good news), once hair is damaged by aggressive heat--styling, chemical processing, or other rigors, it doesn't recover. Eventually, as more styling or sun damage is inflicted on the hair, the ends (which always show the most wear) need to be trimmed away (that's one of the reasons seeing your hairstylist for routine trims adds new bounce to hair). Recovery just isn't possible.
The nanosphere technology used in the Bain de Terre Recovery Complex products below sounds impressive but like all conditioning-type ingredients (Bain de Terre uses plant oils), they just have a Band-Aid effect on hair. The damage remains once these ingredients are shampooed out, meaning they don't have any sort of lingering recovery effect on hair. However, for making damaged hair temporarily look and feel better, they work quite well and are definitely recommended, which is good news. It just doesn't have to cost this much to get great results, and that's even better news. [More Bain de Terre reviews are contained in the January/February 2006 issue of my Cosmetics Counter Update newsletter.]
Recovery Complex Anti-Frizz Shampoo for Coarse Hair ($8.99 for 10.1 ounces) can be a good shampoo for anyone with thick or coarse hair that is dry to very dry, be it curly or straight. This ultra-emollient shampoo contains a gentle detergent cleansing agent along with plant oils and waxes, in addition to silicone and other conditioning agents.
Recovery Complex Anti-Frizz Shine and Hold Hairspray ($10.99 for 8.85 ounces) is an aerosol-propelled product that provides a medium to firm hold and contains several conditioning agents, including plant oils, wax, silicone, and wheat protein. It's a good choice for conditioned control and leaves hair easy to brush through. It does add a nice shine to hair, and is best for normal to dry hair that is normal to coarse or thick.
Recovery Complex Anti-Frizz Smoothing Creme ($10.50 for 5.1 ounces) is an outstanding, fairly rich styling cream for dry to very dry hair that is coarse, curly, or thick. Its blend of emollients, plant oils, waxes, silicone, and water-binding agents covers all the pertinent conditioning bases, while being lighter than you'd expect. Used alone or mixed with a styling product (the Creme offers no hold), it makes hair soft, smooth, and shiny without overt greasiness. This product does provide a degree of heat protection, but that certainly doesn't mean you can use straightening irons or blow dryers without risk.
$$$ Recovery Complex Anti-Frizz Shine Serum ($12.99 for 1.7 ounces) rises above many standard (and a few pricier) silicone serums thanks to extras such as rice bran wax, plant oils, and detangling agents. This is enthusiastically recommended for dry to very dry or lackluster hair that is coarse, thick, or curly, and a little goes a long way.
Source: Paula Begoun