style director Andrea Lavinthal gives L'Oreal's latest miracle worker a try and reports back

By Alex Apatoff
Updated February 21, 2013 02:00 PM

This week, Style Director Andrea Lavinthal tests a new deep conditioner that promises to erase a year’s worth of hair damage in just one application.

I’m not one for commitment. That three day juice cleanse? I made it to 42 hours. Skin care regimens that require at least a month to see results? I’ll give it a week.

So when the new L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Shampoo and Damage-Erasing Balm landed on my desk, guaranteeing to undo the last 12 months of my hair sins by using the set just one time, I was confident I could see this through beginning to end.

Before I tell you how this stuff works, you should know two more things: First, I don’t just have a year’s worth of hair damage. I have almost two decades of straight-up torture including (but not limited to) blow-drying, curling, straightening, highlighting and keratin-ing under my belt.

And second, I skipped the line’s shampoo and went straight for the balm. I’m sure the shampoo is great, but my shower is one shampoo bottle away from being featured on an episode of Hoarders, so I opted for what I assumed is the dominant one in the relationship.

Both products contain moisturizing ceramides for smoothness and shine, plus arginine-K (a strengthening amino acid/protein complex) that fill in gaps in the hair shaft to prevent frizz and breakage. I used the deep conditioner twice in one week (I figured that was fair considering my traumatic hair history and shampoo negligence).

The results were close to Connie Britton-impressive. My hair looks healthier, feels softer and even though it’s impossible to heal split ends without scissors, I swear those are less noticeable too.

The only caveat is that you have to keep using the treatment to maintain this newfound hair happiness. Considering how awesome my hair looks today, I might be willing to overcome my commitment-phobia and enter into a long-term relationship with this treatment.