How To Repair Your Hair Post-Summer + Virtue Labs Recovery Hair Care Review

This post has been sponsored by Virtue, one of my favorite luxury hair care brands!

Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner Review, Before & After 01

My hair hasn’t been in the best of shape recently and I have all the elements of summer to thank for that.  Between the drying effects of sun, salt water, and chlorine, and my tendency to toss my hair up in a tight ponytail almost everyday out of laziness, my hair has been through quite a bit – this last week especially as I finally made it out to the beach.  I suppose it also didn’t help that I neglected to bring along any ‘protective’ hair products as I was flying in from California to the East Coast (I avoid having to check a bag at the airport, plus my quart-size, zip-lock bag of liquids was already bursting at the seams with skincare and sunscreens).

All that combined left me with super dry hair by the end of my beach trip.  The good news?  It’s only been week later and my hair is already looking and feeling healthier.  The trick I’ve discovered is to use the right treatments – while, at the same time, avoiding moisture-robbing products and tools – to help bring those locks back to life.  Here are a few things you can do to help revive your hair and scalp ASAP, and help keep it hydrated and healthy all throughout the fall and winter…

Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner Review 1

1) Upgrade Your Hair Washing Routine

Salt, sun, and chlorine all draw out moisture from your hair (and scalp too), which is the primary reason why it gets all dry and frizzy by the time we hit September.  How do you reverse this?  Re-hydrate it!  There are so many ways to add moisture back into you hair and scalp.  Probably the easiest is to swap out your regular hair care products with gentler and more hydrating ones.  Keep your hair washing routine the same, but make sure to opt for a gentle shampoo and always finish with conditioner.  This combo will help replenish your hair’s moisture levels gradually with every use.

One little duo that I can’t recommend enough when it comes to restoring even the driest, damaged hair is Virtue’s Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner.  On the very last day of my beach trip – once I was all done subjecting my hair to the hot sun and ocean salt – I started using the two together and after just one application, my hair was already feeling so much healthier and more manageable.

Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner Review

Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner Before & After

Before & after using Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner (first application post-beach!).  No other products or styling tools were used (other than a brush).

What makes Virtue’s Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner so effective is the fact that it uses whole, human keratin (aka Alpha Keratin 60ku™) rather than animal-derived keratin, so it’s able to repair damage much faster than products that use the latter.

Another bonus?  You don’t need to use a lot of product to cleanse and condition your hair since the formulas are so concentrated (which is good news since these bottle aren’t exactly cheap!).  For my long hair, I only need to use about a quarter size amount of the shampoo to get a rich, thick lather that completely covers my scalp and hair.  Plus, the lathering ingredients aren’t drying, nor do they strip the hair of its natural oils – surprisingly, I’ve actually noticed fewer flakes after just 2 uses!

The conditioner is equally as nourishing, and also very hydrating.  It leaves my hair feeling weightless, bouncy, super shiny, and completely tangle-free (no follow-up detangler needed).  And similar to the shampoo, a little bit goes a long way – these bottles are sure to last a while!   (Virtue also offers this duo in a smaller travel-size bundle here, so you can try it out before committing to full-size bottles.)

Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask Review 3

2) Treat Your Hair to Deep-Conditioning Masks

Another thing you can do to really speed up the recovery process is to use a hair mask 1-2 times a week.  This can be something as simple as whipping up a one-ingredient DIY mask as home using unrefined extra virgin coconut oil.  Or you can use a hair mask that’s specifically formulated with multiple nourishing ingredients to help restore damaged hair.  My absolute favorite intensive mask at the moment is Virtue’s Restorative Treatment Mask.  I’ve used it twice in the past week after returning from my beach vacay, and it’s been working wonders just in those two treatments!

Here’s all the magic packed inside the jar:

  • Alpha Keratin 60ku™:  A whole, human keratin. Born from regenerative medicine, it’s identical to the keratin in your hair, skin, and nails so it heals and repairs quickly and effectively.
  • Cystoseira Compressa Extract (Brown Algae): A marine active known to intensively repair hair and help protect it from heat.
  • Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract (Protein): A plant-based protein that helps hair retain moisture while enhancing color and shine. Rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, it’s also known to have antioxidant properties.
  • Baobab Seed Oil: From the African Tree of Life (known for its ability to store water), this rich, silky oil can act as an intense emollient for dry, damaged hair.
  • Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract: Helps protect hair from environmental aggressors and preserves cuticle cohesion to prevent future damage.

Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask Review 2

Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask Review

Following Virtue’s Recovery Shampoo, I’ll apply the Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask all over my hair and scalp and let it soak in for 2-3 minutes (it works very quickly – unlike other masks that require a good 5-15 minutes).  It rinses out effortlessly and once my hair is dry, it leaves it feeling so airy and weightless, with an impressive amount of volume (and my hair is usually flat after washing since it’s so thick and heavy).  The Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask also adds a noticeable amount of shine and sleekness after every use.  In fact, I keep doing double-takes in the mirror to admire the shine – even my super dry, chemically-processed ends are looking shiny, smooth, and healthy, and I had assumed they were past the point of no return!

virtue restorative treatment mask review, before & after 7Before & after using Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask, one application.  No other products or styling tools were used (other than a brush).

3) Avoid Heat Damage From Not Just the Sun

The sun emits damaging UV rays and heat, but there’s another culprit sitting right in your home that can prolong the frizz and dryness – your hair styling tools.  As tempting as it may be to keep up your usual routine of straightening or curling your hair, try to avoid heated tools for at least a few weeks.  In the meantime, opt for no-heat styling methods if you can, like wearing braids overnight to create loose waves.  Or, for straighter hair, try using a straightening balm after your shower and then comb your hair on-and-off until it’s dry (that works to straighten my naturally wavy hair at least!).

Try to skip the blow drier as often as you can too, and instead, air-dry your hair.  If you absolutely have to blow dry it, stop when it’s about 80-90% dry (it should still feel slightly damp to the touch).  That way, you’ll avoid the possibility of over drying it, which can completely strip your hair of moisture.  Let the rest air-dry as you travel to your destination (unless it’s freezing out, in which case, sit back and relax with a cup of coffee if you have time!  Or, wrap your hair up in a bun and tuck it under a winter hat to keep it from freezing, as this will also dry out your hair – we can’t win can we?!).

4) Revive & Refresh Your Hair Color

If you color your hair, chances are it’s looking a bit brassy by now thanks to – again – all that salt, sun, and/or chlorine.  Sometimes, this can be a good thing.  For example, I just dyed my hair a rather flat-looking deep brown in the spring and quite like my new chestnut-y, reddish highlights. 🙂  However, if you’ve gotten a little more exposure than you wanted, then it’s time for a refresh!

Instead of going for a full color treatment (as the chemicals used can further dry out your hair), head to the salon for a gloss or glaze treatment to revive your color.  Or, do what I do and grab your favorite boxed, semi-perm hair color (one that’s ammonia-free) to add a bit of color back along with a healthy dose of shine.  Afterwards, make sure to use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to keep the color looking vibrant and rich as you head into fall.  UV blocking styling products help as well!

5) Brush Gently

When your hair is dry and damaged, it can get knotty very easily and be difficult to detangle.  Even worse, it’s more prone to breakage.  So now more than ever, be as gentle with your hair as possible.  Comb carefully and slowly, and if you encounter a pesky knot, start combing at your ends first, then work your way up.  Starting at the very top and pulling down will only make the knot worse.  (My aunt taught me this trick back in middle school – coincidentally on a summer beach trip – and it’s saved me so much time and frustration ever since!)

I also recommend using one of those wide detangle brushes (the kind designed for wet hair – though they work wonders on dry hair too since they’re so gentle).  A wide-toothed comb works great too.  If you need a little extra help getting your comb through, try using detangling spray or a lightweight hair oil.

6) Give Your Ends a Little Trim

If you’ve been a little rough and tough with your hair this summer, you may notice some breakage and shorter strays here and there.   Fortunately, with a little extra care, paired up with a healthy diet (biotin supplements help too!), they’ll gradually grow back in long and healthy again.  Your ends on the other hand?  Well that’s a different story.  Once they start to split, there’s almost no going back, and they’ll only continue to cause damage to your hair.  You can try preventative treatments like serums, but the best option would be to get a trim.  Cut off those dry, fraying ends and believe me – you’ll feel so renewed and refreshed.  And your hair will thank you too!

Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner Review

Try out all three of my summertime hair care recovery favorites – including Virtue’s Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner + Restorative Treatment Mask – in their travel-sized bundle here!


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Virtue Shampoo & Conditioner where to buy


What are some of your favorite ways to refresh and repair your hair post-summer?

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