Cellophane Hair Treatment: Everything You Need to Know

You’ve surely heard about it but what is cellophane hair treatment really all about? More importantly, is it actually beneficial for you?

At some point during one of your salon visits, you may have heard about cellophane hair treatment. It’s one of the most common hair coloring treatments being offered across many salons. And it still stands to be just as popular despite recent upgrades to other hair color treatments.

What sets it apart from other treatments, though, is how it adds color, shine, and thickness to your hair. Compared to your usual dyes, cellophane hair treatment works to lock in moisture to your hair so your tresses don’t dry out after coloring.

Wanna know more about cellophane hair treatment? Read on.

Cellophane is a semi-permanent hair coloring treatment that adds luster and shine to your hair. It doesn’t make use of harsh chemicals, so it doesn’t damage your hair, unlike other hair color treatments.

Cellophane was a thing of the 90’s— even before hair dyes were in fashion. It was a chance for those with virgin hair to experiment with subtle hues or just add shine and volume to make hair look silky and lively.

What hair types is cellophane hair treatment best suited for?

Asian woman with dark brown shoulder-length hair wearing a white top
Consider getting a cellophane hair treatment if you want to add shine and color to your hair. Credit: Natasha Estelle

A cellophane hair treatment is perfect for those who want to give life to their dry, coarse, or dull tresses. Even those who have frizzy hair can benefit from a cellophane treatment because the treatment makes your hair smoother and more manageable.

But that’s not all. Even those who have just gotten their hair permed, relaxed, or rebonded can enjoy the treatment. Treated hair is usually more brittle after being subjected to chemicals, so a cellophane treatment can help hydrate hair. Plus, it can even prolong the life of color-treated hair!

And although Cellophane is encouraged for treated hair, that doesn’t mean that you can have multiple treatments in one go. Depending on the overall health and condition of your hair, your stylist may suggest letting your hair rest first before undergoing another treatment.

How does Cellophane Treatment work?

woman getting a keratin blowout
Cellophane hair treatments are actually more affordable than most complex hair color treatments. Credit: iStock

Unlike the usual hair dyes that use pigments, cellophane hair treatment relies on silicon-based polymers to coat your hair. These hydrolyzed proteins coat the hair shaft, forming a protective layer on your hair. It also locks moisture in, preventing the onset of dryness and damage.

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Watch out! You may be damaging your hair.

After your hair is shampooed (no conditioner allowed!), your hair is partly dried, and the product is applied evenly on each strand. Heat is required for the cellophane treatment to work, so your head needs to be covered in a plastic wrap and blow-dried for about 20 to 30 minutes. This stimulates the absorption of the proteins in your hair.

The next step is to wash it off with shampoo and follow it up with conditioner. After the cellophane treatment, your hair will feel strong and thick.

How long does it last?

The only downside to a cellophane hair treatment is that it doesn’t last very long.

That’s because the color is just deposited on your hair shaft. It can’t lighten your hair, so in order to get a tinted result, you need to apply a darker shade or one that’s similar to your natural hair color. Clear cellophane, on the other hand, coats each strand in protein to keep it looking lustrous.

Cellophane Hair treatments usually last for 8 to 12 weeks. If you color your hair however, the color disappears faster the more often you wash.

Can I wash my hair after a cellophane treatment?

You can wash your hair a day after getting a cellophane treatment. However, remember that cellophane treatment is a semi-permanent treatment. The more often you wash, the quicker the color and shine disappear. It is recommended that you use a mild, color-safe shampoo and conditioner after getting the treatment to help maintain the effects of the treatment on your hair.

Editor’s tip: Maintain your color-treated hair by switching to TRESemmé Pro-Color Series Color Radiance Shampoo and TRESemmé Pro-Color Series Radiance Conditioner. This duo has anti-fade technology so you can enjoy your hair color for longer. 

1. Cellophane hair treatment makes your hair shiny

Cellophane hair Asian woman with long dark hair smiling
Get shiny locks with cellophane hair treatment.

More than just a hair coloring process, a cellophane hair treatment also adds a whole lot of shine and brilliance to your hair. This is perfect if you feel as though your hair is getting dryer by the minute. With cellophane hair treatment, you’ll leave the salon with silky, lustrous hair along with the color of your choice.

2. It takes less time to finish compared with other treatments

Asian woman with brown medium-length layered hair
No need to stay at the salon for hours for a cellophane hair treatment. Credit: Dennie Ramon

On top of it being more cost-effective than other more complex treatments, having cellophane hair also requires less time as well. You don’t need to sit for half a day (or even the whole day) at the salon for this treatment. Apart from the process of applying cellophane on your tresses, you’ll only need about 30 minutes of leaving the cellophane on before taking it out and rinsing it all out. All in all, this process will take an hour and a half at most, depending on the length and thickness of your hair.

Editor’s tip: Even if you’ve had cellophane treatment, it won’t hurt to make sure that your hair stays nourished, shiny, and frizz-free. Do this easily with a drop of Cream Silk Standout Straight Leave-On Cream. Just apply it from mid-length down to the tips of your hair to get smooth, healthy-looking locks with minimal effort. 

3. Your scalp and hair shafts are left unharmed

Cellophane hair: Asian woman with long dark brown hair smiling outdoors
Worried about damaging your hair? You don’t need to be when getting a cellophane hair treatment.

The best part about going for a cellophane hair treatment is how it doesn’t damage your scalp and roots like usual dye treatments do. The process is confined to just the hair strands. It doesn’t reach the shafts, leaving your scalp untouched by the treatment itself. It also doesn’t contain peroxide or ammonia, so your hair remains as silky smooth and healthy as it was before you got the treatment.

Editor’s Tip: Consistency is key in getting that shiny and lustrous hair you’ve always wanted. Set a weekly date to give your hair some extra TLC using TRESemme Keratin Smooth Treatment Mask. Applying this regularly helps keep the effect of your cellophane hair treatment last much longer. It also provides extra nourishment that your hair could definitely never have too much of.

4. It’s great for testing out a new hair color

Asian woman with long dark brown hair with blung bangs wearing an orange top
Try out a new hair color sans the long-term commitment. Credit: Natasha Estelle

If you simply want to dip your toes in the world of hair color, a cellophane treatment lets you do just that. It gives you a new hue without the long-term commitment. This lets you get accustomed to having brown or red hair before you decide to color your hair for good. And if you happen to dislike the new color you got from cellophane treatment, you wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with it for a long time.

5. It can help cover roots and gray hair

Asian woman with long black hair wearing a sleeveless top
Say bye to white hair with the help of a cellophane treatment. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Got those gray or white strands that seem to pop out of nowhere? If you’re merely covering these, a cellophane treatment is a more practical and less costly solution compared with having your hair dyed.

Cellophane hair treatment is a great and safe way to color your hair without damaging it because of the absence of the use of pigments. It is the cellophane’s color itself that adds color to your hair. This, however, is also the reason why the color doesn’t last very long.

Asian woman with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a long-sleeved top
The color from a cellophane hair treatment gradually fades over time. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Cellophane treatments are also known to be a gentler alternative to hair coloring. However, it also contains parabens. When you check the ingredients of cellophane hair treatment, you’ll see parabens as propylparaben, methylparaben, and butylparaben. Parabens are a type of preservative that is used to prolong the shelf life of many beauty products by preventing bacteria from growing. But parabens are also believed to be linked to cancer. With this in mind, you might want to exercise extra caution when getting cellophane hair treatments, or at least put a few months interval in-between treatments so you limit your exposure to these ingredients.

With all these in mind, you can make an informed decision before you get a cellophane hair treatment. Just like other hair treatments, there are pros and cons. At the end of the day, you know best what works for you and your hair.

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