A Hair-y Transition From Summer To Fall — How To Make It A Smooth One!
You may want to end summer with a bang, but surely banged-up hair is not part of that equation. Over the last couple of days, we’ve filled you in on some of the greatest products to deep condition strands, protect hair from UV exposure, add definition to curls, and boost shine.
For our final summer hair care guide, however, we’ll focus mainly on products that will strengthen hair by restoring the integrity of the protective cuticle layer and infusing hair with essential amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins. We’ll also clue you in on the best products to safeguard color-treated hair and the easiest way to achieve tousled beach waves, a Bohemian-flavored look that will certainly transcend the summer season. Read on for the scoop!
Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-in Fortifier, $16. Visit Redken.com for salon locations.
Don’t fall for the egregious claims made by products promising to repair or eliminate split ends. As I’ve said before, once the cuticle separates, there’s no magical fusion system to bind those strands back together into one seamless piece. At best, you’ll be able to apply smoothing creams that work like Scotch tape strips or glue droplets, temporarily coating the strands together to conceal the existing damage. The only way to get rid of split ends, then, is to cut them off, to amputate the infected area (so to speak) before it spreads. That being said, there are steps you can take to prevent split ends from surfacing and to reduce the possibility of breakage for brittle, thin, processed and sensitized hair.
Your best bet to fortify hair quickly and thoroughly: Redken’s new Extreme line, which includes a shampoo and conditioner, as well as a fortifying rinse-out mask, an extra-strength mask incorporating an even higher ceramide level; and the Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment (pictured here). All of the products in the Redken Exteme range incorporate Redken’s exclusive Fortifying Complex, a mix of 18-MEA, which restores the lipid layer that binds to the surface of the cuticle, repelling water and acting as a natural conditioning system, protecting hair while restoring shine; and ceramides, which essentially fill in any gabs in the cuticle layer to keep it smooth and protected. But that’s only half the story, as this Fortifying Complex is then married with Redken’s new Interlock Protein Network (IPN) technology which, in turn, relies on: keralink, a protein co-polymer that binds moisture to damp or wet hair; ans amino acids and amino proteins that work when hair is dry, creating an ionic bond with keratin particles in the hair, thereby ensuring smoother hair.
The Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment is shockingly effective. To use, you just apply a small amount to brittle or damaged areas when hair is still damp. The lightweight treatment provides heat protection, making blow drying less harmful to weak strands, and it protects delicate hair from the friction caused by brushing (which can erode the cuticle layer). Most importantly, it leaves strands feeling more robust and improves overall texture, so that frizz is reduced and smoothness is augmented. Oh, snap!
Taya Buriti Nut Intensive Repair 3-Piece Set, $49.95. Available at HSN.com
The first time “buriti nut” entered my beauty lexicon was in Summer 2008, when L’Occitane unveiled its outstanding Do Brasil range of summer haircare products, many of which incorporate the antioxidant-rich oil, which was extracted from buriti palm trees harvested in Brazil. Since buriti nut oil has a high concentration of beta-carotene, it operates as a protective barrier from harmful UV rays. But that’s not the only treasure within the buriti nut: this natural ingredient is also rich in Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids, which soften, nourish, and smooth hair; as well as lipids that mimic those found naturally in hair strands. The mixture of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids in buriti nut, then, make the substance quite effective in repairing color-treated, dry, sun-exposed, chemically treated, and damaged strands.
Recently, I raved about buriti nut after experimenting with the superb Taya Beauty Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Mask, but the all-natural hair care line launched by social activist, actress, an renowned model Patricia Velasquez, Taya Beauty, also includes the Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Shampoo, Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Conditioner, and Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Styling Creme. Truth be told, I wasn’t as blown away by the shampoo and conditioner as I was by the mask, but I did appreciate how they smoothed my hair and kept frizz at bay.
Usually, leave-in conditioners can only be applied to damp hair, which really puts a damper in the lives of women with chronically dry manes that need a pick-me-up during the course of the day. Sure, there are smoothing serums and nourishing oils that promise to control unruly strands and which can be applied to dry tresses, but they sometimes weigh hair down or leave it feeling greasy (which can prompt you to rinse your hair out for a second time, exacerbating the dryness problem).
Fortunately, the Nick Chavez Wet or Dry Conditioning Spray alleviates all these concerns. As its moniker suggests, the aerosol conditioner can be sprayed onto damp or dry hair, with a fine mist gently positioning conditioning agents and humectants atop the hair. Due to the vaporous nature of the formula, the ingredients are so lightweight that they rapidly penetrate hair strands, increasing elasticity, luster, and softness.
It’s very difficult to be heavy-handed with this product since its very aerosol nature makes for a simple application, and the formula won’t weigh hair down or leave behind any oily residue. Plus, given that it can be used on wet or dry hair and can be applied throughout the day, you’ll be getting tons of bang for your buck.
Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Shampoo, $13.95 and Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Conditioner, $15.95. Visit Joico.com for salon locations.
As with the Redken Extreme collection, the Joico K-Pak Color Therapy collection focuses on repairing hair’s cuticle layer while also reconstructing damaged and sensitized hair strands from within. Though it can be used to mend dry and damaged hair, this range was designed specifically for women with color-treated and processed manes, focusing on making strands stronger, more lustrous, softer, and bouncier, while also retaining the intensity of their color.
To accomplish this feat, both the K-Pak Color Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner rely on a trademark QuadraBond Peptide Complex that incorporates four targeted elements: Quadramine PEP, a complex that’s rife with peptides that attach themselves to any damaged sections of hair; Arginine, an amino acid found in wheatgerm, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, yogurt, soybeans, and a bevy of dairy foods and plant sources, which can help to speed along recuperative processes and which would repel water from the surface of hair, thereby safeguarding it from excessive dehydration and preventing color from fading; African manketti oil, which is chock full of vitamin E, linoleic acid, and eleostearic acid, protecting hair from UV rays and working as an emollient and conditioning agent; and a polymer system that bonds to turn cuticles to seal in moisture, boost shine, and protect hair color.
Together, these products cleanse, hydrates, and strengthen strands by protecting and repairing the hair’s B-Layer, the outermost layer of the hair cuticle and the most susceptible to erosion and damage that can, in turn, wreak havoc on your hair’s overall health and appearance.
Kérastase Reflection Chroma Riche Masque, $60. Available at Kerastase-USA.com
I’ve never been led astray by Kérastase. This top-notch haircare line is almost freakishly consistent on the quality frontier. Not surprisingly, then, the Kérastase Reflection Chroma Riche hair masque deserves to be catapulted onto a throne, fed grapes, covered with laurels, and treated to a parade of curtsies and shows of exaltation.
This deliciously aromatic hair mask specifically addresses the needs of women with color-treated hair, making their manes look as vibrant and lustrous as they did after their initial in-salon treatment. The formula’s Systéme Aqua-Ionic technology infuses the hair fiber with emollient ingredients that nourish and hydrate hair, while, thanks to the silicone polymer ammodimethicone, a hydrophobic film is formed around the fiber to seal in this moisture, thereby making hair softer, more supple, and way more manageable. The vitamin E in the formula, combined wit UV filters like ethylhexyl, protects hair from UV rays that could lead to dryness, damage, and color fading.
If you want to safeguard your color, give it an added oomph, or make your color-treated hair more alluring by tackling excessive dryness and fraying, turn to this treatment. It will be worth the investment.
Blow Beach Blow Texturizing Mist, $21. Available at BlowNY.com
Not only does this lightweight mist smell like the beach thanks to ingredients like sea salt, but it hydrates hair with milk proteins, seals moisture into the hair cortex; conditions and smooths with sweet almond proteins; and conditions and softens tresses with hydrolyzed rice protein. Not only is this styling aid good for your hair, then, but it allows you to achieve the sultry, free-spirited, loose waves perfected by the likes of Nicole Richie, Kate Hudson, Blake Lively, and Shakira.
All you have to do is spritz the Blow Beach Blow Texturizing Mist onto damp towel-dried hair, scrunch each section using the palms of your hands, and either blow-dry or air dry. The result is slightly mussy, tousled waves that capture the free-spirited vibe of summer and conjure up images of beach bedhead — that sexy, effortless, wavy look you have after a passionate, Blue Lagoon-worthy romp on the sandy shore (or, for a more current visual, think of Serena’s hair after spending the night on a beach in the Hamptons with Dan in Season 2).