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Summer Hair TLC — Products To Protect, Nourish, Manage, and Repair Sun-Stressed Strands

Back-to-school specials and sales on winter coats may have you thinking of the breezy autumn months ahead but, truth be told, we’re still in the throes of summer, with temperatures in most cities hovering at the high 80s or above. And, since we know you’ll want to savor every sun-soaked moment left of summer, we know you’ll need some products to nourish hair, protect it from UV rays, and replenish damaged and stressed strands.

After all, don’t you want your hair to be in tip-top shape before fall truly descends on us?

Here, some of our favorite products for smoothing, moisturizing, softening, protecting and repairing hair. Let the mane event begin!

Ouidad Sun Shield Sun & Sport Leave-In Spray, $20. Available at HSN.com

Sometimes, the best offense is a great defense. Rather than waiting until your hair is fried from excessive sun exposure, with your color fading and turning brassy, your hair’s texture turning straw-like, and ends fraying like broom bristles, take preventative measures by applying a protective veil to your mane before basking in the sun’s rays. The Ouidad Sun Shield Spray and Leave-in Conditioner will serve as a magical amulet for your hair, protecting it from the potentially damaging effects of UV rays, the chlorine in pool water, and the salt content in the ocean. You can spritz this leave-in treatment onto dry, damp or wet hair and reapply as needed, making it a necessary addition to your beach tote.

Meant for women with wavy to curly hair, this leave-in hydrator features castor oil, which stimulates hair growth and strengthens strands, hydrating and softening shea butter glycerides, moisturizing panthenol, and wheat amino acids and hydrolyzed wheat proteins that penetrate the hair cortex and replenish strands from within.


Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Silk Smoothing Glaze, $29. Available at NickChavezBeverlyHills.com

In ancient Egypt, the Nymphaea caerulea, or blue Egyptian water lily, was believed to have been the original vessel carrying sun god Atum. Since the Egyptian blue lotus opens at around 9 a.m. and closes at 3 or 4 p.m., it allowed for ancients to eave a story of life and death around the opening and closing of the aquatic bloom’s petals. According to Egyptian mythology, then, every day at sunrise, Atum emerged from the flower bud, matured into a full-grown entity, and then traveled into the world of the dead at sunset, with the cycle repeating all over the following day.

But did you know that this sacred blossom can also resuscitate your mane? And not to worry: once your locks come back to life, they won’t wither and die at sunset.

This lightweight, golden glaze from hair guru Nick Chavez relies mainly on Nymphae caerulea extract, which conditions tresses, restores body and volume to limp hair, protects hair from free radical damage thanks to its concentration of flavonoids, and moisturizes dry and damaged strands with its rich polysaccharide content. Other ingredients include grapefruit oil, which functions as a hair tonic and stimulates growth; lemon extract, which can naturally lighten hair and restore its luster; hydrolyzed silk, which seals the hair cuticle, leaving your strands tenderly soft; and orange oil, which nourishes and replenishes the hair.

When you apply a quarter-sized amount of the Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Silk Smoothing Glaze to damp hair, you’ll notice hair detangles a bit, becoming more manageable and soft. Once hair is dry, you’ll notice it’s rather soft to the touch an has this golden, stardust-like glimmer to it, shimmering ever so demurely as the light hits it.



KeSari Indian Oil Hair Serum, $26.50. Available at HSN.com

Some of the best beauty secrets are often handed down from generation to generation in different cultures and societies – from Cleopatra’s mik and honey baths to ensure supple, silky skin, to the usage of oolong tea and seaweed in anti-aging skincare remedies fating back to ancient Asian cultures. Nowadays, thanks to advances in communication and our economy’s globalization, we can all exchange stories about the beauty rituals we learned from our own mothers, sisters, and grandmothers, or that we heard about through oral traditions or ancient scripts.

KeSari is blessing us with ancient beauty secrets that can be traced back almost 5,000 years to India. The KeSari Indian Oil Serum represents more than an effective styling aid and moisturizing agent — it’s a testament of how we can celebrate the sacred rites of cultures throughout the globe.

This product is best for use before styling hair. Ideally, you want to dispense a quarter-sized amount, rub it in between your palms an apply to damp hair, starting from the ends and moving upwards toward the scalp. Usually, you would move in the opposite direction when smoothing on most serums but this technique works wonders for the KeSari Indian Oil Hair Serum since it allows ends to look smoother and less frayed, plus it protects you from applying an excessive amount to the scalp which can be counterproductive and leave you with a greasy helmet head situation. If you have particularly damaged or dehydrates hair, you can also smooth it onto dry tresses for a quick pick-me-up, smoothing and controling your wayward strands.

The vital ingredients in the serum’s formula are: saffron,which moisturizes the scalp and prompts hair growth at the scalp; moisturizing and replenishing jojoba seed oil, which has a molecular structure that mimics that of the hair sebum for easier penetration, fatty acid-rich macadamia oil, which also penetrates the hair easier and leads to softer, shinier tresses; antioxidant-rich vitamin E, which protects your mane from free radicals; and sea buckthorn oil, which restores hair’s natural moisture balance and boosts luster.

My only complaint about this oil is the dispenser since you have to keep tapping it against your palm for the most minimal amount of oil to be released. But given the benefits, it’s a minor gripe!



Kérastase Soleil Huile Celeste, $39. Available at Kerastase-USA.com

The latest addition to the Kérastase Soleil range is truly heavenly. The aptly dubbed Kérastase Huile Celéste approaches haircare with a three-pronged battle plan. First, the lightweight mist protects your hair with UVA and UVB filters, ensuring that strands don’t dry in the sun and that color doesn’t fade. Second, the non-greasy macadamia oil in the formula provides free radical protection, boosts shine, and moisturizes and softens hair with its high concentration of vitamin E and palmitoleic acid, an Omega 7 fatty acid that’s vital to cellular regeneration. Third, the golden micro-particles in the formula instantly coat hair with an Etruscan gold glimmer worthy of as seductive a queen as the legendary Cleopatra.




Uncle Funky’s Daughter Supercurl Miracle Moisture Creme, $29. Available at UncleFunkysDaughter.com

Once Uncle Funky’s Daughter restores your dry, limp, seemingly lifeless curls to their former glory, you’ll feel like doing the Funky Chicken  — word to Rufus Thomas! If you want your ‘fro to look as nice as Taraji Henson’s in Talk to Me or you want to resuscitate those corkscrew curls, try the Uncle Funky’s Supercurl, a paraben- and chemical-free curl defining cream with moisturizing natural ingredients like shea butter; macadamia oil, a fatty acid-rich substance that mimics the sebum surface, making it easier for this oil to penetrate the scalp an hair shaft; sweet almond oil, which conditions hair and stimulates hair growth; honey, a natural humectant, antibacterial, and antiseptic; lemongrass oil, which is said to boost hair’s natural luster; calming aloe leaf extract; deep-conditioning coconut oil; and moisturizing soybean oil.

As soon as you lift the lid of this defining curl cream, you’ll smell the zesty lemongrass extract, as well as the sugary honey and the creamy shea, so that it almost smells like a lemon square treat. The texture, meanwhile is creamy but not overly thick — imagine a yogurt-like consistency, as opposed to a clumpy, churned butter feel. For ideal results, apply a quarter-sized amount to palms, rub in between your hands to create an emulsified, slightly lathery texture, then run hands over damp hair, moving from one section to the next. Next, you can twirl each section of hair between your fingers for greater definition; blow dry with a diffuser for a voluminous, natural look; create pin curls and secure with bobby pins, releasing them when ready; scrunch sections between finger for looser waves; or use to make corkscrew curls and twists bouncier and more spring-like.

At first, I worried that perhaps this cream would be too heavy for my hair since, but it worked wonders, detangling my mane and adding elasticity, movement an softness to my loose curls.



TRESemmé Climate Control Climate Protection Finishing Spray, $4.99. Available at mass food and drug retailers. 

So you finally pulled off the perfect hairstyle — whether it’s a loose chignon at the nape, a Bohemian fish braid, or dreamy loose curls that seem to cascade down the side of your face. But how do you ensure that your glamorous look stays in place once you venture out into the stifling heat and begin to sweat? Or once the humidity, like the evil Pied Piper of hair, starts luring frizzy strands to rear their ugly head? The answer lies in the TRESemmé Climate Control Climate Protection Finishing Spray. Like any top-grade hairspray, this one will give your look greater longevity, and you won’t have to grapple with a stiff or crunchy texture thanks to moisturizing an softening olive oil and hydrolyzed keratin. Best of all, UV inhibitors in the formula protect your mane from the sun’s rays and ensure that your ‘do will stay in place throughout the day — regardless of the elements to which it’s exposed.



Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner, $22. Available at HSN.com

Atfer trying this amazing, award-worthy leave-in conditioner, I’ve officially joined the ranks of curly-haired Ouidad fanatics. First, this airily light leave-in conditioner smells refreshing and delicious, as if the beach had been packaged into one handy bottle. The creamy formula instantly dissolves any tangles in newly cleansed, damp hair, while penetrating the hair follicle and replenishing strands’ moisture level, thereby plumping them from within for smoother, more voluminous and well-defined curls, as well as a softer feel and increased luster.

Seeing as my curls have been deflated after countless hair coloring treatments, I was skeptical about how much this leave-in conditioner could possibly accomplish in a short period of time. I was stunned by how much better my hair looked after a single application — I went from to Curly Ewww to Curly Sue overnight! Sure, it took 3-4 weeks to discern a major difference in terms of the actual integrity of each strand, but the benefits did start kicking in almost immediately.

To accomplish this Herculean feat, the Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner relies on softening panthenol, green tea extract that protects hair from UV rays and environmental aggressors while also stimulating hair growth, and prickly pear cactus, which locks moisture into hair.

If you’ve got curly hair, you need this in your life STAT!




Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Smoothing Cream, $5.59. Available at mass food and drug retailers.

I’m not a fan of hair gel — it dries and damages hair beyond repair and, more often than not, it leaves this dandruff-like flaky residue that’s even less attractive than the frizz and fly-aways the gel was meant to conceal. Fortunately, over the years, more companies have devised healthier alternatives for smoothing hair. The Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Hair Serum and the Smooth Hair by Frederic Fekkai have been my go-to creams for a while now but, lately, I’ve been enjoying the new Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in Smoothing Cream (and relishing in the money I’m saving given its under $10 price tag!). This delicious cream makes hair more manageable thanks to a blend of softening, nourishing, and restorative coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and natural mineral oils – all without weighing hair down or leaving it greasy to the touch.

On a practical level, I’m particularly fond of the applicator tip, which you pull up when it’s time to squeeze a dime-sized amount onto your palm. You can use the smoothing cream on both damp or dry hair, so it’s extremely convenient — especially for touch-ups on rather humid days.

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