ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor

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As you know, I’ve been experiencing some breakage and decided to revisit protein treatments after an eternity of not doing them. You see, although I only learned of the theory of protein sensitivity last year, I knew something in certain types of conditioners targeted for relaxed, damaged, ethnic hair made my strands hard to the touch and rigid in movement. And, I didn’t like that. So, I’ve pretty much avoided them my entire life, even when I was relaxed.

Protein Sensitivity: A Misconception?

However, after Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did a couple of posts about protein treatments, describing their purpose, how they help her hair and how to properly use them, I realized that I might have given protein conditioners a bad rap. She did this post, The Shocking Truth About Protein, which was very informative and stressed something that I’ve never read before about protein treatments. They must be followed by a moisturizing conditioner! Well, why didn’t they say so?!?! Until reading this and the instructions on the 2 Step ApHogee treatment, I’d never seen a protein deep conditioner include directions that it should be followed by a moisturizing one! I have read about moisture and protein balance and that it’s easier to correct over moisturized hair with a protein treatment than to correct a protein imbalance with moisturizing treatments. However, I still didn’t put two and two together in that a protein treatment should be immediately followed by a moisturizing conditioner.

Revisiting Protein the “Right Way”

So I decided to take a leap of faith and give protein a shot at the title. I picked up the ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor and used it last Wednesday. I wanted to wait until I manipulated my dry hair before giving you all my review. Let’s start with a breakdown of the ingredients, claims and directions:

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Behenamidopropylamine Behenatem Stearolkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cocodimonium Hydrolyzed Hair Keratin, Hydrolzed Mucopolysac Charides, Sodium Coco Collagen Amino Acids, Wheat Germ Fatty Acids, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Arachidonic Acid, Squalane, Avocado Oil, Acetimide MEA, Panthenol, Wheat Germ Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sulfur, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium 10, Linoleamidopropyl PG Dimonium, Chloride Phosphate, Tallowtrimonium Chloride, Nonoxynol 10, Cocoyl Sarcosine, Sorbitol, Fragrance, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben (emphasis added).

What They Say: Apply on clean hair in shower and rinse to treat brittle hair with cuticle damage and moderate breakage. ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor is a powerful, one step treatment that should be used for home use, between salon visits. This concentrated blend of keratin amino acids, botanical oils, and vitamins does wonders to restore strength and softness to hair that requires a deep, penetrating treatment. It is recommended on tinted, bleached or relaxed hair. ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor helps repair damage caused by chlorine and hard water. It soothes irritated scalp and may be applied following each shampooing until the healthy condition of the hair is restored.

Directions: Gently shampoo hair with ApHOGEE Shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and towel as usual. Squeeze 1/2 ounce into palm. Using fingertips, work evenly through hair and into scalp. For maximum penetration, cover hair with warm towel, or plastic cap, for two minutes.

I highlighted the two “hydrolyzed” ingredients because I recently read this BGLH post, All About Protein Treatments, that stressed an effective protein treatment must contain hydrolyzed proteins as those are the only ones that are the correct size to adsorb, yes adsorb, to the cuticle and patch areas of damage. Adsorb, with a “d,” means it “sticks to and forms a temporary bond.” So, when I was looking for a protein treatment, I was reading the ingredients to look for this. The article also indicated that the hydrolyzed protein should be in the first five ingredients. It actually is the 6th and 7th in this ApHogee treatment. However, since I had read reviews of this product and have seen a lot of people use this over the last year on the hair boards, I figured they fell high enough to be effective. Also, two hydrolyzed proteins at the 6th and 7th positions made up for it not being one at the 5th in my mind!

2/25/12 Edited to add: I pulled the above ingredients list from Sally’s and the same was at Folica. However, when I inspected my bottle due to some comments below, the ingredient list was different! The formula I used is not the same as above. The protein falls at the 7th and 8th positions, mineral oil is at the 5th and there seem to be many other ingredients. I can’t find the ingredient list that matches my bottle online. So, I will update with the actual ingredient list from my bottle when I have time. Sorry for any confusion ladies!

My Review

Okay, now that we have all that out of the way, I’m finally going to give you my review!! So, I used the ApHogee last Wednesday on wash day. I popped it open and took a sniff. I expected a chemical smell, but was pleasantly surprised when it had a light fruity scent, kind of like piña colada to me! After shampooing and rinsing my hair, I applied the ApHogee liberally. The directions indicated to use 1/2 an ounce. However, I suspect that I used closer to an ounce given the length of my hair. The treatment was a translucent white color and the consistency was about that of a lite salad dressing. It wasn’t thick, but it wasn’t overly runny, so it was easy to apply and distribute. I was careful not to manipulate my hair too much and just smoothed it down my hair in 6 sections. I left it in about 10 minutes, though the directions say 2-5. This was not intentional, I was just making my DC to follow the ApHogee, so ran over the 5 minutes.

Once I finished making the DC (warmed JessiCurl Weekly Deep Treatment w/coconut oil, olive oil and honey), I rinsed my hair thoroughly with lukewarm/cool water. Of course, I immediately noticed that my hair felt harder, but it also felt heavier. Then I gently applied my DC. I left that in for about 30-45 minutes with heat and rinsed (I did my entire wash day rituals in the kitchen sink as I had no interest getting in and out of the shower that many times!). Then I styled in the TnC that I posted about here.

What I noticed about the styling session and completed style was that my hair still felt harder than usual and wasn’t as shiny. So, I was not sure if I deep conditioned long enough. It wasn’t super hard though and some olive oil cooking spray helped with sheen, so I kept it moving (Rece also told me later that night that it won’t feel as soft as normal after a protein treatment, even with a moisturizing DC. She said, that’s why she used to alternate ApHogee with the ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Pak). In regard to decreased breakage during wet styling, I can’t give you a read on that because I can never tell. However, I can tell you now, a week later, that I have definitely seen an improvement!! I did a dry twist out on Wednesday night, after 3 days of the TnC and 3 days of an updo. I dry detangled my hair and though I saw a couple of broken hairs, it wasn’t as much as I’d been seeing. I could also tell that my hair was withstanding the manipulation a lot better. It really did feel stronger! But here’s the real kicker. I know this is not supposed to be connected, but y’all, my hair shed after a week of not doing my hair was NOTHING for me. I was astonished by the little amount of hair that I saw!

So yeah, I’m kind of sold now. I definitely think I will be incorporating a protein treatment into my regimen every 6 weeks or whenever my hair seems to be breaking easily when overly soft. Okay, gotta go! I’ll leave you with the results of my dry TnC!

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Have you avoided protein because you believe that you are protein sensitive? Do you think that you’ll revisit the use of protein if you are experiencing breakage?

42 responses »

  1. I currently use this product to avoid breakage and it works great. I’m currently in my third month of transitioning, but i have always used this product once a month when I did perm my hair and i just used the ApHogee Moisturizer afterwards.

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  2. I am transitioning but used the 2-Step Reconstructor faithfully while relaxed and that stuff works miracles!! My hair would be so tangled before applying it and the tangles would literally melt away after application. It never made my hair feel hard. in fact, my hair felt better BEFORE I would apply the moisturizing conditioner to it. Then again, my hair (at least my relaxed hair) love(d) protein!

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    • Isn’t it funny how our hair can respond so differently?!?! My hair always felt hard with any type of protein conditioners and also with any cholesterol ones too, even when I was relaxed. Like, I tried the egg and mayonnaise homemade conditioners and my hair didn’t like either. Or, should I say, guess I needed to use a moisturizing conditioner after them!

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  3. Yeah, you know I should have mentioned that the moisturizing treatment after won’t kick in for full soft hair immediately. It takes a couple of days but the good thing is it’s temporary while the protein/moisture balance is leveling out.

    Since you don’t damage your hair over and over with heat styling and chemicals, every 6 weeks or even 8 should be sufficient.

    The other Aphogee treatment is so STINKY! I use that one though because while it stinks, it absolutely works. I only do it when the hair is breaking really badly which it hasn’t done so much now that I’ve cut out the chemicals and heat styling.

    By the way, did you get my Zuresh review?

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  4. Oh I almost forgot. For the first time I’ve seen it listed on the directions for a protein conditioner that it must be followed with a moisturizing conditioner. Guess which protein treatment?……….Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner!

    Yes, they say it on their label directions:

    Wash hair with Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo. Apply protein conditioner generously to towel dried hair and place plastic cap on head. Apply heat. Leave conditioner in hair for 20 minutes to an hour. Rinse thouroughly and follow with a protein-free moisturizing conditioner for 15-20 minutes. Rinse thouroughly and style as normal.

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    • I would like to try that one … but I don’t want to pay shipping! I wonder if the BSS that carries my JBCO has that now? I’ll have to check the next time I’m there.

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  5. Woosh…the sound of this PJ running to the BSS to purchase! LOL! Shelli everytime I visit the blog I find myself in the BSS. I am going to try it on wash day and let you know my thoughts. LOL.

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    • Etoile – You are such a PJ!! You probably don’t even have any breakage! LOL!!

      Rhonda – From what I’ve read, the protein really isn’t supposed to have anything to do with shedding, so don’t get your hopes up! I wasn’t expecting that and we’ll see if it still looks like less hair when I get around to washing it again. Also, you know, we are prone to shed more during the Fall. I’ve read that multiple places over the year and most recently on CurlyNikki (post was up about it a day or two ago). You’d think we’d shed more hair in the Spring, going into Summer right?!?! Weird.

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  6. Hello All,
    Please forgive if my question seems a bit off, I am a newbie, there’s soo much info about protein I get confused. Currently I henna monthly, I am attempting to maintain a protein/moisture balance. And I have been eyeing the Aphogee reconstructive treament. My question, can you do both henna and Aphogee within the same month or no? Thanks.

    Vida

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    • Vida, you can but if you henna and your hair isn’t breaking why would you want to do a protein treatment? You should really only do it when your hair NEEDS it. Especially an Aphogee which is a pretty strong protein treatment.

      IMHO, if I did a henna I’d wait a month before doing a protein treatment and only if my hair were breaking. You don’t want to overstress your strands since henna acts somewhat like a protein treatment. Just my opinion. Shelli may feel otherwise.

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      • Vida, I do agree with Michelle in that I was planning on alternating my hennas and protein as I don’t want to overdose my hair on strengthening treatments. Also, as Michelle indicated, if you aren’t having any breakage and your hair doesn’t feel too soft (over moisturized) or ragged (damaged cuticle), then it doesn’t sound like you need to do a “scheduled” protein treatment. For me, because I don’t do henna on my full length anymore, I was thinking of doing one more treatment two weeks apart from my next henna (which I hope will be soon). But, I would do the henna on my roots and the protein I would concentrate more on the lower half of my hair, especially the ends. So, in this way, I’m not doing a henna and a protein treatment on the same hair within 2 weeks time. Again, as Michelle says, I think you have to be careful not to overdo protein and henna when used in conjunction in your regimen. I found that I probably need to use protein since I wasn’t using a full strength henna on my length anymore.

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        • Thanks guys. You’ve been a big help. Since the henna treatments my hair no longer breaks off, which is great for me:-)
          There is just a tremendous wealth of info on natural hair, I wasn’t sure whether I needed to do both for strengthened hair. So since I have a stash of henna I will continue to use it for my protein treatment. Thanks again.

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  9. I initially avoided protein after a homemade yogurt protein treatment I got off of YT. It didn’t really seem to help, and I didn’t like how it made my hair feel hard. But after reading your review and doing another homemade protein treatment earlier this week with better results, I think I’ll try the ApHogee next. Thanks for the post! :)

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    • I have the same question, and the hydrolyzed protein doesn’t show up till the 10th and 11th ingredient on the list. Has anyone noticed any difference in their results because of this??

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      • Sounds like it! I just got my 2 minute in November, but I just pulled out the bottle, because I got the ingredients list online (I try to do that as much as possible as it’s a lot of work trying to retype a list). And, mine has mineral oil too as 5th ingredient! It also has amodimethicone (but that’s in the list above too). The proteins fall at 7 and 8, not 6 and 7 like above. This is/was the first time I used this reconstructor and it seems it may be the same formulas you ladies have. I’d say, give it a try and see how it works for you. If it doesn’t, return it!! :)

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  15. Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor is good and a light protein treatment. Nexxus emergencee suggest that after you use the protein treatment you follow with a moisturizing conditioner. Nexxus Emergencee is comparable to the Aphogee full strength Protein treatment but doesn’t smell and is not hard on the hair.
    I am leaning now more towards natural protein treatments using egg, my favorite conditioner and my favorite oil in equal amounts.

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  16. This stuff saved my hair!! I over deep conditioned the last month (thinking it would make my hair super healthy) not so! It made it turn into mush I couldn’t even touch my hair! (No I don’t dye my hair!) so apparently you can over condition. :S I tried Joico the deep penetrating kpak reconstructor. It didn’t do a thing and I used it more than I should have! So a last resort I bought this stuff and my hair is gmail ready stronger and much less breakage but best if all not “as” mushy when it’s wet anymore! A LIFESAVER. I lost a lot of hair from breakage so I hope I can get my thick hair back again over time but truly this stuff has restored the lost protein back into my hair. I live learned not to over co fiction anymore. Who knew it could wreck your hair that badly it would break?!
    LOVE Aphogee!!

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  17. I’ve avoided protein too. I find that my hair feels hard when I use it so I just avoided it. I have also heard that if you hair has low porosity (I suspect mine does) that you should stay away from it. I need to continue doing my research to determine if my hair will benefit from it.

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  18. Help…..needed
    I have highlighted hair and Ive been dying it blond over my highlights as I did not want highlights again. However, it was ok till now but at the moment Im having a nightmare….every time I brush can see little hair all over, its like breaking up, its split and it falls….it has also become very dull and generally its medium neither thick or thin. I was reading about Aphogee protein reconstructor but i do not have the slightest idea on how to use it at home ( saloon I could not afford it). PS. i have to dye it blond as Ive gone quite grey. can anyone please tell me how and which one to use….i desperately need help….im sorry but im new to all this hence all these questions….thank you

    donna

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  19. forgot to mention its shoulder long and at the moment im using john frieda frizz ease shampoo and conditioner and serum ( i use serum at times when i really really need it)
    donna

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  20. Interesting post! I’ve been going to the salon a lot lately to recover from some damage inflicted earlier this year. I went to a new salon yesterday that prefers to work with naturals and transitioners although they do provide perms. The first thing the stylist recommended was a protein treatment! I just gave myself a henna treatment last thursday so I declined. I also thought she was just selling services b/c I was new but the more I think about it, the area that broke off should be a lot longer now.

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  21. I just used the shampoo for damaged hair by Aphogee &’it was great but afterwards I put the 2 minute protein treat mention in & followed it up with the balancing moisturizer & my hair was so badly tangled I was horrified, I could hardly comb it & i lost a ton of hair :( Will not use that again. I do like the protein leave in conditioner & the keratin with green tea. I have sent an email on the Aphogee website to see where I went wrong. I’m devastated..

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  22. Hi,
    I’ve found that treating it as a deep conditioner does way better for my hair then leaving it on for the 2 or 5 minutes it says. Try deep conditioning with a plastic cap and heat. I find my hair feels soft afterwards.

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    • Thank you for sharing. I had been avoiding protein and shedding is definitely a problem for my hair. So I will be incorporating this into my routine now.

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      • No problem. Actually, the Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin treatment is not the full protein treatment, Aphogee has a Two Step Protein Treatment where u apply the protein first (and it HARDENS your hair) and then follow up with the moisturizer step. If you YouTube that one you’ll see the difference. It makes your hair really hard so you’ll definitely notice the difference in strength between thie 2 Min Keratin product and the 2 Step Protein. This one is way milder, it can beused as a deep conditioner every 2 or 3 weeks. The 2 step protein should only be used on a monthly basis as needed by your hair.

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  23. I read your reviews on the 2 Step protein treatment and watched your youtube video and thought to myself, ok I can do this. I bought the products yesterday and tried them today. OMG I am so impressed, this stuff is amazing. I tried box braids in June and my hair broke severely, I have been trying everything to get my curly locks back to life and I think this was the right fix. Thanks so much for sharing you wealth of knowledge…

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    • That’s awesome!! So glad that it worked for you!! Yes, I saw an immediate difference after using the 2 minute treatment. I haven’t used the 2 step since the first time, but it worked very well too! Glad that it helped you and thanks for the feedback! It is greatly appreciated!

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      • I’m confused. I used the 2min reconstructor last night and my hair wasn’t hard at all. When I washed it out my hair was soft, silky and felt amazing. I first washed with Mane n Tail Olive Oil Dandruff Shampoo with a little Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in, then applied the 2min reconstructor and covered with a shower cap for 5mins. Rinsed that out, sealed my ends with a castor/jojobal oil mix and combed through with my Shea Moisture styling milk. Did I still need a deep condition after I rinshed the Aphoghee out? I didn’t see that on the bottle. I know that you defnitely need a DT for the full protein treatment but this one contains lots of different oils. Advice pls.

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        • Hi KC, every person’s hair is different. If your hair felt great without using a moisturizing conditioner after the ApHogee, then that’s great. You have to “listen” to your own hair. My hair has always gotten hard after using conditioners with protein. But, I have porous hair and that may have something to do with it. Regardless, I’m a proponent of do what works for YOUR hair. I just try to share what works for mine in case it might help someone with their hair :).

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  24. Okay I was experiencing severe shedding and breakage a week after getting my hair colored I have always experienced shedding my entire life but this time was different I would always have a comb full of hair no matter how gentle I was with it after the coloring treatment…. I researched and came across this page and just wanted to say thank you you saved my hair lol after just one aphogee 2 minute reconstructor following the aphogee shampoo I had a whole lot less hair in my comb and I have very thick hair my hair was actually softer and very easy to manage. Keep up the good work I am extremely thankful that I happened to come across your page …..thanks

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