Since other reviewers have said just about everything there is to say about this product, I'll keep it short and sweet and just throw in my two cents. Aphogee Two-Step Treatment is the only hair product I've ever used that actually did what it said it was going to do and more.
It doesn't smell as bad as some people make it out to be, in my opinion. It's not that great, but it dissipates as it dries, and it's worth it for the results. Personally I'm more concerned about the smell of the Aphogee conditioner provided as the second step of the process. I think THAT stuff is pretty bad, like old perfume or urinal cakes, and unlike the Step 1 product, that smell stays with me until the next time I shower and shampoo. So now I just use my own deep conditioner, and it works just fine.
Bottom line: I recommend this product to anyone looking for an at-home protein treatment that works.
UPDATE (01-August-2011): I felt it was worth adding, especially for those who say that this product did nothing, that I've now used this product exactly 3 times, waiting the recommended 6 weeks in between uses, and every time I did it, my hair came out better and better. It's so much stronger now. I have no split ends, even without having had a trim in months. So for me, the results have been cumulative. I do not notice immediate improvement, in the sense that my hair feels super silky or shiny right after use, but I also shampoo it out before using the conditioner, which is not recommended; you are supposed to simply rinse it out and apply the conditioner for the best results, and then shampoo it a day later. It still works though. And after this last time doing the treatment, about a week ago, even my mom noticed how much healthier my hair is looking. I honestly think I'll keep using this forever, because it seems to build my hair up to a state at which it resists damage of all kinds.
UPDATE (27-January-2012): I thought it worth the additional update to mention that I have found another incredible use for this product. I've recently started perming my hair kinky, after years of having boring straight, flat hair, and I've found that using the ApHogee treatment about 4 to 5 days after having gotten a perm causes my hair to return to almost the exact same condition it was in before the perm. The difference is both obvious and immediate. For the first few days after a perm, before I have a change to use the ApHogee Two Step Treatment, my hair has that roughed up, just permed feel to it, but the minute I use ApHogee that feeling goes away and my hair feels soft and beautiful again. It's really amazing the results this product can give when you truly have need of it. I should mention I always wait at least 4 days after a perm to use it, and also make sure I use a spray bottle to coat my hair and scrunch it through, rather than comb it, as I don't want to disturb the curl pattern. I then proceed as usual, and it gives me my old hair back, except curly now, obviously. I knew ApHogee was great before, but now I've really seen it in action and I'm even more impressed. I'm keeping my rating at 5 stars, of course, but if I could I'd give this 10. This is something I believe anyone who chemically processes their hair in any way ought to have in their arsenal.
Lastly, I noticed that the company has changed their ingredients recently; this treatment used to contain animal protein as the active reconstructing ingredient; now it appears they have decided to substitute that with a vegetable protein. I noticed that a couple months ago and I was concerned that it would change the action of the product, however, I can't see that this change has had any negative effect. On the contrary, I've noticed this product working better than before lately, although that could of course be because my hair now needs it more.
I recently had my deep brown colored hair lightened 7 levels in a head full o highlights. I needed a toning, and I love the color. Almost back to my "natural" days of highlights on my natural ash blonde color. However, for the first time in my life my hair was truly damaged. It was breaking off. So scary. Having lots of girlfriends who bleach and color the bejesus out of their hair and know their stuff, I was familiar with this treatment and knew I should bite the bullet and deal with the stink and do it. I got the small bottle and the recommended hair balancing moisturizer. I did a lot of research and I ended up swirling my hair on my head and drying it for about 45 minutes with a 10 minute break in the middle. I should have left my hair down and divided it down the middle of my head, because the hair in the swirl never got totally rock solid like the rest of my hair. Most people say that the longer you leave this in, the better. I just couldn't do it anymore because my head was itching so badly and I wanted the smell out of my life. I let warm water run over it for about 3 minutes, and the treatment began to soften to the point that I could manipulate my hair around to get it out. I rinsed very well because any residue could leave the hair very hard and lead to more damage. The moisturizer smells like cheap cologne, but it was a welcome change after the smell of the treatment. It smells like week old ripened BO. So bad. Anyway, the balancing moisturizer didn't feel like it was hydrating my hair very well, so I threw in a generous glob of aussie 3 minute miracle and left that on for 20 minutes. I blasted it with the dryer for about 10. My hair came out very nice and silky. Like my hair was before the bleach invasion. No more random broken blonde strands cracking onto my keyboard or coat. Less hair loss when I shampoo it as well. This treatment did exactly what I wanted it to do. I will probably use the 2 or 3 times a year, as I don't think my hair needs this intense of a protein treatment every 6 weeks. Great stuff, just make sure you do your research before attempting this process and that your hair really needs this much protein.
Did great to my hair but I broke out on my neck, chest and shoulders, wherever the product dripped or touched my skin. Not on my scalp though. Strange. I would buy it again but is too liquidy and messy and it's easy to get under anything and mess my skin again. Such a shame I have to try a different product next time when basically my hair looks great with this product. If it were a bit thicker, like the step 2 product, wold be so nice so you can just work with it better and no drips and mess around?
I have long, fine, highlighted blonde hair that's on the dry side from the bleaching and hot tool abuse (definitely trying to use protective sprays, etc. more). A few wks ago my hair was looking blah and thin. I hadn't used any protein products in a while and figured I was overdue. The first packet pours out quickly os be careful. I applied this in the bathroom over old towels as it is a bit messy to apply. Let it dry and harden and applied packet 2, etc., and my hair looked MUCH better. My hair looked healthier and thicker. I would definitely purchase this again. I think the package says you can use this stuff every six weeks or so. Be careful about too much protein which will mess up your hair. I did that with Redken Extreme shampoo and conditioner and my hair was messed up for a while.
The first thing to consider before purchasing this is whether or not your hair really needs it. Healthy hair has a balance of protein and moisture, and overdoing it with either one will not produce desirable results. If your hair is dry and brittle to begin with, start with moisture, then add protein if needed. If your hair is stringy and mushy and looks like a pile of wet noodles, start with protein, then add moisture if needed. The sooner you are able to recognize your individual hair needs, the sooner you will have strong healthy hair.
That being said, I have fine textured, medium density Caucasian hair and I love Aphogee products in general. The protein treatment is a very good one, and it is quite aggressive, so again.. make sure this is what you really need, because the product delivers. Yes, it does stink to high heaven, but I find that the Balancing Moisturizer has a very pleasant scent and using it after the treatment usually blocks out the nastiness.
I would recommend using this no more than once every 4-6 weeks, and then on a case by case basis. Redken Extreme CAT is a very good protein-based treatment, but it is far less intense than this one. If you feel like you need a little somethin' somethin' but aren't sure you need a bang pow protein kick, try that.
The Aphogee protein treatment itself is very runny, so I purchased a trigger spray bottle and emptied the contents into it so that I can mist it on rather than trying to pour it. Be sure to shake it up before using, as all the good stuff tends to settle to the bottom after a while.
Follow the directions on the bottle, make sure you NEED this product, and you will be gold!
I had completely forgotten about this product until I was reviewing MUA for information on another item. I have used this in the past after having a disastrous relaxer applied by a "professional" who then suggested some HIGHLIGHTS!!!!
Needless to say...my hair broke off in clumps. I was so very upset and angry that I didn't even bother going back. I went to Sally's looking for some kind of moisturizer and the lady there suggested I try this in a little package. My hair at the time was just below my shoulders and incredibly thick so I bought two (glad I did). While it did not stop me from having to cut my hair to get rid of the damaged areas...I was able to do it over time instead of having to get a crew cut. I now use the 2 minute reconstructor the week before my relaxer and on the day of my relaxer with very good results. Aphogee restorative treatments saved my hair!
Aphogee should be in every chemically enhanced girl's hair arsenal. I have tightly curled, texturized hair and this . The smell is rank; I can't quite pinpoint what it reminds me of but I will say it is vaguely fishy and is reminiscent of foul B.O. Luckily the smell doesn't linger especially since you have to follow it up with another conditioner (for moisture). Nevertheless it has become a staple of mine because it REALLY strengthens my hair.
I generally leave it on for 30 minutes and either go under a hooded dryer or blow dry with a hand dryer until it is rock hard. Then I rinse and follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner (my hair does NOT like the recommended follow-up Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer). Afterward you style as usual; I can attest to the fact that my hair is 100% stronger since I started using Aphogee a year ago (and I've only done about 4 treatments in that time span). Give it a try especially if your hair is relaxed, texturized, permed or color enhanced.
So, I just used this treatment for the first time and I am sooo disappointed. I followed the directions perfectly, withstood the smell and just washed the moistuizer off, to find my hair WORSE than when I had started. I have been bleaching blonde for a year now and my hair is dry, dry, dry. I have been controlling it though with my redkin all soft mask and real control leave in. So I read reviews that were raving about this product and figured I would be sooo happy with healthy hair and that product would give me it! No such luck. After just now rinsing the moisturizing treatment, I am SHEDDING SO BAD. THERE IS HAIR ON MY KEYBOARD AS I TYPE.
BIGGEST WASTE OF 3$, I am SO GLAD I did'nt buy the bottles.
This is a wonderful treatment that gives your hair enough protein for 6 weeks. You must use the balancing conditioner after the 2 step because it will make your hair hard. Follow the instructions and you will have healthy hair with little breakage. Also don't use other protein based conditioners while using this product or you will have protein overload (hard hair).
After reading stellars reviews of this product, I decided I had to try it. I have heavily highlighted blonde hair - it wasn't breaking but it gets pretty dry and usually protein really does a nice job. Well, I followed the directions correctly and really? the main difference I found is that now a couple weeks later my hair is really dry. And no, I'm not using any other products with protein and I am using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I wanted to love it.... but I didn't...