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Only The Strong — Fortify Strands With Pureology’s New Strength Cure Haircare Line

pureology-strength-hair-care-lineLong hair don’t care? Yeah right! Most women obsess over their strands – whether they’re rocking pixie cuts, bouncy Afros, below-the-shoulder loose waves, or asymmetrical bobs. But, of course, longer hair naturally tends to involve more maintenance since there’s more surface are that could potentially become dehydrated, develop split ends, snap or tear, and  turn porous and straw-like. But whatever a woman’s hair length, chances are she subjects her mane to a fair share of abuse: using heat styling tools on a regular basis and turning them up to a furnace-like heat setting, undergoing chemical treatments (like straight or curly perms), taking dips in chlorine-rife swimming pools, indulging in overly frequent shampooing sessions (daily washes are a no-no), exposing the scalp and hair to harsh UV rays without employing an SPF-packed leave-in treatment or spray, and coloring strands every six to eight weeks (my poison of choice, if you will). All of these activities and grooming rituals result in one common problem: damaged hair. In an attempt to address not only the mechanical damage endured by color-treated strands but also the micro-scarring that occurs when pigments penetrate the hair cuticle, Pureology has developed the new Strength Cure hair care line.

Consisting of five products — a shampoo, conditioner, masque, leave-in serum, and split end salve — the Pureology Strength Cure collection relies on the brand’s trademark AntiFade Complex, which incorporates vitamins and antioxidants that protect hair color from becoming dull or brassy, lock in moisture, and soften strands, and which also features full spectrum sunscreens that prevent the sun’s UVA and UVB rays from dehydrating strands and fading the vibrant color attained at the salon. If you examine the labels of the shampoo and conditioner, you’ll find familiar ingredients like sunflower oil, which is often used in products for color-treated hair since it has such a high vitamin E content and therefore works wonders to neutralize UV rays that could potentially fade color. Fatty acid-rich olive oil, coconut oil, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, and flaxseed oil all work to nourish and fortify strands, boost shine, improve the hair’s texture, leave it softer to the touch, and soothe any irritation and dryness along the scalp. But the AntiFade Complex is standard fare in Pureology’s products so what makes this particular collection effective in treating hair damage? Well, it pairs the AntiFade Complex with a new Asta-Repair complex featuring astaxanthin, a naturally-occurring carotenoid found in everything from algae to lobster, crab, and salmon — in fact, because the substance has a red color, it’s responsible for the pinkish-red hue of the fleshy insides of the aforementioned sea critters. Fascinating, right? That said, because all of Pureology’s products are 100% vegan, you can rest assured that the brand’s scientists didn’t tinker with a Red Lobster’s worth of sea critters to extract the substance but, instead, relied on algae as the source of choice. Specifically, on Haematococcus pluvialis, a species of green algae found in freshwater.

What makes astaxanthin so special? Dubbed the “king of carotenoids,” it has remarkable antioxidant properties — in fact, it delivers 500 times the antioxidant action of vitamin E and, according to a 2007 study, is 6,000 times stronger than vitamin  C and 800 times stronger than CoQ10. The Rocky Balboa of antioxidants was paired with three other major contenders: ceramides (lipids that basically fill in the gaps along the outer cuticle, thereby fortifying hair, and also hold the cuticle scales together for a smoother texture), keravis (a vegetable protein that also helps to fill the gaps in strands and improves elasticity and texture), and arginine (an amino acid known to promote hair growth). Together, then, these ingredients are star fixers — the haircare equivalent of Pope & Associates. Got damaged strands? Well, with the Asta-Repair complex, you can consider the issue handled.

Now, let’s talk about the products! The Strength Cure Shampoo ($27) and Strength Cure Conditioner ($29) will serve as the building blocks of your new haircare routine. Both have a pleasant but extremely subtle scent that’s almost reminiscent of baby powder and, of course, they’re sulfate free and incorporate only natural ingredients. The shampoo is gentle, lathering nicely and removing dirt and residue without drying out strands and leaving them so tangled that it’s almost impossible to apply conditioner afterwards (if you have damaged hair, you’ve likely been there at least once). The Strength Cure conditioner, meanwhile, is delectable and leaves hair feeling soft and smooth but still bouncy and lively.  To complete your haircare regimen, use the Strength Cure Masque ($50) weekly, leaving it in for 5-10 minutes (I’d even suggest applying a bit of heat when covering strands with this concentrated treatment so as to really maximize its efficiency).

But that’s not all! One of the most exciting products in this collection is the Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths ($28), a leave-in treatment for breakage-prone strands. This lightweight, almost creamy serum is meant to be applied to damp strands working it evenly all the way to the ends. Packaged in a thin bottle with a pump dispenser, this near-magical treatment incorporates the aforementioned ingredients along with some more unusual choices — among them coumarin, a plant-based phytochemical that improves circulation; and modified potato starch, which works to fortify strands. I love how my hair feels after applying this product since my color almost looks magnified and strands feel soft and bouncy.

Last, there’s the Strength Cure Split End Salve ($28), which is meant to be applied only to ends when hair is damp. Though the salve can’t reverse split ends (you can’t really un-ring that bell!), it will at least help prevent further damage and will smooth those ends down thanks to a high concentration of coconut oil, softening straw-like, porous ends improving their shape memory so they’ll actually cooperate a bit more when you style your tresses, proving less unruly.

This is probably my favorite Pureology collection since Perfect4Platinum launched in 2011 — in fact, there are some similarities between the Perfect4Platinum Miracle Filler and the Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths since both products strengthen strands and fill in those gaps along the outer cuticle in porous, micro-scarred hair. But, of course, Strength Cure caters to women of all hair colors (real or faux) and does effectively fortify strands without in any way dulling the color we splurge on at the salon!

The Pureology Strength Cure collection is currently available at salons nationwide. Visit Pureology.com to find a salon near you!

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