- Exclusive Hair Tips
Exclusive Hair Tips from our Expert Friends at Allure
"Curly hair looks best when it's shoulder length or longer, and with a few layers cut in to keep it from looking bottom-heavy or boxy," says hairstylist Garren of the Garren New York salon. Ask for layers that start at your chin and angle down, all around your head. (Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker are good examples.) "The cut is great for curly hair because it helps support the coils and keeps them looking as long and full as possible," says Chris McMillan of Chris McMillan, The Salon in Los Angeles. But beware of making your shortest layers too short, which can make hair look poufy. Hairstylist Jimmy Paul of the Bumble and Bumble salon in New York suggests starting them at your collarbone to avoid unwanted fluff.
Sell yourself short
Who says curly girls can't go cropped? For the most flattering cut, "keep two or three inches of length all over and always make sure to have it cut to mimic the shape of your head," Garren explains. And whatever you do, avoid razor cuts as they can rough up the cuticle and exacerbate frizz.
Lay off the shampoo.
Hairstylists agree that when it comes to washing curly hair, less is definitely more. Shampoo as infrequently as possible: every other day if your hair is very fine; once a week if it's superthick. On days you don't wash it, McMillan suggests just rinsing with water. And when you must lather up, use moisturizing products that contain ingredients like shea butter, palm oil, or avocado oil. (We like Aveda Be Curly Shampoo 8.5 oz. - it contains a blend of aloe and wheat protein that retracts around ringlets as they dry to help fight frizz).
Lock in moisture.
Give your curls a fighting chance against frizz by loading up on conditioner - twice. In the shower, slather on a rich conditioner that contains silicone (any ingredient that ends in "cone"), like Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner, starting an inch from the scalp and working it down to the tips. "Leave-in formulas deposit a uniform film of moisturizing polymers on the hair and create a humidity-resistant barrier," explains cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer.
Coat strands with keratin.
Once a week, apply a keratin hair mask to just-washed hair and leave in for ten minutes. We like Phyto Phytokarite Ultra Nourishing Mask-Ultra Dry Hair 6.7 oz.. The conditioners in the mask coat the hair and seal the cuticle to keep out moisture (which helps prevent frizz), while the keratin strengthens hair to resist damage.
Seal the cuticle.
The next step in frizz fighting: Keeping the cuticle of every strand closed so moisture in the air can't get in. Rub a dime- to quarter-size drop of an anti-frizz cream between your hands and rake through wet hair. For fine hair try a water-based smoothing product like Moroccanoil Light Oil Treatment, which won't weigh you down. For medium to thick textures, choose one that contains silicone, which will smooth and seal the cuticle to keep out humidity. We love Warren-Tricomi Style Blow Dry Lotion.
Air-dry with authority.
Blow-drying can be brutal to curls, leaving them looking fuzzy and puffed beyond recognition. That's why McMillan and his fellow pros suggest laying off the heat and taking a hands-on approach to styling, when possible. Begin by squeezing out all the excess water from your shower. Then, after you've applied leave-in conditioner and worked frizz fighter through your hair (use less if your hair is shorter), take small sections of hair and wrap them around your fingers for 15 to 30 seconds to form unified, shiny ringlets. Make sure to let hair dry at its own pace and keep your hands off: "The less you touch your curls when they're damp, the less likely they are to get frizzy or pull apart," Garren says.
Turn up the heat when necessary.
The two most important weapons when you're short on time are a diffuser and a curling iron. A diffuser helps disperse the airflow so curls dry evenly and remain intact. "Don't stop until hair is fully dry," Garren says. "Otherwise it will get fuzzy." When you're finished, a one-inch iron helps refine the spirals and keep them shiny. "You can create different types of curls," hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins says, "For tighter curls, wrap less hair around the iron, and for a looser version, use more."
Avoid the crunch.
"Curly girls are flooded with hard-drying gels that leave their hair stiff," explains Keneesha Hudson, owner of Urbanbella, a beauty boutique in Atlanta. That's what makes hair rules Curly Whip 8 oz. such a cult favorite at her store - it defines curls without feeling like anything is in your hair. Another soft curl definer we love: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Spiral Style Curl-Defining Spray Gel.
Curls still won't cooperate?
Pull them into a low, loose bun, like this one from Dolce & Gabbana's fall show. Begin by applying styling lotion to damp hair and let fully dry. After side-parting the hair, take two-inch, face-framing sections, and twist them back toward the nape of the neck. Secure with bobby pins, then gather the rest of your hair and begin twisting into a low bun, pinning as you twirl. Keep the ends loose and messy.
Mistake 1: Making the Cut If You're Curly
Corkscrews and short hair don't mix. "If you have tight curls, you'll have to use a blow-dryer and pull on each ringlet to stretch it out, which is time consuming," says hairstylist Serge Normant of the Serge Normant at John Frieda salon in New York City. "You're better off with a layered bob - the weight of the extra length relaxes the curl."
Mistake 2: Helmet Head
If you look like you could host the evening news, your haircut is too blunt. "Adding layers throughout - especially underneath - makes a short cut look more youthful," says hairstylist River Lloyd of the Serge Normant at John Frieda salon in New York City. You also want to mess up the texture - "when the hair is smooth and you can't see the layers, that's when it starts to look like a helmet." Ditch the hair spray and pick up a bottle of spray wax (Sally Hershberger Genius Spray Wax). Mist throughout and then blow-dry the hair up and over to the opposite side of the head. When you let it back down, it will hang flat, without that dated under-flip.
Mistake 3: Big Body, Small Head Syndrome
Voluptuous women look best with a choppy, chin-length bob, says hairstylist Edward Tricomi of the Warren Tricomi Salon in New York City. If you cut the hair close to your scalp, "your head will look too small in comparison," he says.
Mistake 4: Mixing Styles
Kate Gosselin may be partial to the smooth in front, spiky in back look, but anyone else with short, layered hair should learn from her mistakes. "Kate looks like she's using gel and hair spray to spike it up - and that's exactly what not to do." Lloyd says. "Instead, you need to smooth down the back with a dab of pomade. " (We love Bumble and bumble Sumotech - Moulding Compound for Hair.) Or, says Lloyd, "after you blow-dry it, wear a baseball cap or a ski hat for ten minutes or so. That will get the short layers under control and the cut looking more cohesive."
Mistake 5: Product Overload
How not to OD on the sticky stuff: For fine hair: Thick pomade can be too heavy, but a styling cream adds shine and control, says hairstylist Luigi Murenu. "It helps define all those jagged points." (Try Frederic Fekkai Coiff Controle Ironless Straightening Balm.) For Medium or Thick Hair: A little bit of paste, wax, or pomade (such as Bumble and bumble Sumotech - Moulding Compound for Hair or Redken Water Wax Defining Pomade can help prevent helmet head. It also keeps wavy or frizz-prone locks from looking poufy.
Product Overload (cont.)
The key is to use an eensy, weensy bit: a pea-size smear rubbed between your palms to make it more malleable. Then glide your hands through - but not all over - your hair. "You don't necessarily want it on every piece," says New York City hairstylist Warren Tricomi.
Mistake 7: A Lack of Layers
Here's a scary thought: "If you don't cut layers in short hair, you'll look like Dorothy Hamill," says hairstylist Chris McMillan of Chris McMillan, The Salon in Los Angeles. (Or worse: "Remember Dumb and Dumber?" asks Lloyd.) The trick here is to cut strategically: long pieces are subtle but still add dimension. Choppiness all over adds volume to fine strands. And if hair is really thick, cutting layers underneath can reduce volume and make hair "less blunt and broomstick-y," says Lloyd.
Mistake 8: Not Keeping up With the Cut
Short hair may be low-maintenance in the style department, but it's like a needy boyfriend when it comes to trims. Go in for a cut every six weeks or, as Lloyd says, follow the hairstylist's rule of thumb: When your longest layers start flipping up on the bottom, it's time to go to the salon.
Mistake 9: Over-Accessorizing
With a cropped cut, you run the risk of looking a little too young if the headband is big or the barrette is... well, if you wear a barrette at all. Stick to simple stretchy bands, like the ones by L. Erickson, or wrap a silk scarf around your head, headband-style. "Scarves are especially great for disguising bad bangs," says Lloyd.
Mistake 10: Losing Perspective
It's all about the shoulders when you have short hair.
Those with broad shoulders look best with a little volume in their hair. "Otherwise you'll look like a pinhead," Lloyd warns. He suggests smoothing a quarter-size blob of Shu Uemura Fiber Lift into hair, then blowing it out with an ionic dryer (we like the T3 Featherweight Hair Dryer). For small shoulders, make hair as sleek as possible, says Lloyd. He recommends slicking wet hair down with a half-palmful of John Frieda Frizz-Ease Spiral Style Curl-Defining Spray Gel, then letting it dry that way.
1. Do your prep work.
Split ends look even split-end-ier with highlights, so get a trim before you color. It's also best to wash your hair the night before coloring - hair that's too clean or too dirty can mess with how the color turns out. And if you're going to a salon, wear your hair as you normally do so the colorist can get an accurate sense of your style.
2. Know yourself.
Dorky as it may sound, you have to be yourself when it comes to hair color. If you're fair, don't look at Salma Hayek for inspiration. And if you're olive-tone, you will never pull off Scarlett Johansson blonde, no matter how much bleach you pour on. Pale and pinkish skin look best with blonde or light brown hair, while those who have medium or dark skin with yellow or golden undertones should go for more coppery auburns and dark browns.
Your hair's texture is also a factor. As a general rule, wavy hair can handle up to five or six shades of color, but if your hair is pin-straight, stick to more uniform color - highlights will look very obvious.
3. Stock up.
One box of hair color does not fit all. If you're doing the job at home and your hair is longer than shoulder-length, spring for two so that you don't wind up with a weird ombre effect.
4. Wrap it up.
After you've applied the color, cover your hair with plastic wrap, Gloria Swanson-style (a shower cap works well, too). Not only does this help the color penetrate better, but it prevents goop from streaking your forehead - and the bathroom sink.
5. Learn how to communicate.
The most reliable way to make your hair-color wishes clear at the salon is to bring in a picture of what you're envisioning. But understand that's just a jumping-off point - your colorist will (and should) tailor the color to your complexion. And unless you've got a cosmetology degree, it's not a good idea to use salon jargon. Do away with the "caramel" this and the "buttery" that. Instead, describe what you want as if you were telling a friend ("natural-looking highlights that aren't too stripey," for example).
6. Take it easy.
Like a Spinning class or a new relationship, blonde hair works better if you baby-step your way into it. If you go from Michelle Obama brunette to Donatella blonde overnight, you will destroy your hair. Don't go more than two shades lighter in base color or four to five in highlights in one sitting. Achieving a pretty shade of blonde usually takes anywhere from four to six sessions. More than that could burn your hair - and burned hair looks like crap in any color.
7. Fix it up.
If you were hoping for strawberry blonde but ended up flaming scarlet, you can mute the color by slathering on a deep conditioner while hair is damp, then covering it with plastic wrap and a hot towel. (Try Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask 8.5 oz..) After ten minutes, remove the towel and the plastic wrap, blast your head with a blow-dryer, leave the mask on for another ten, and then shampoo and condition. If the color still sucks, see a pro.
8. Avoid bad things.
Hair has vices, too. They are overzealous heat styling, chlorine, excessive washing, and the sun. (Imagine how great your highlights would look if only you lived in an igloo.) If your hair turns green or brassy, wash with a purple-tinted shampoo once a week. (The pros all recommend John Frieda Sheer Blonde Color Renew Tone-Restoring Shampoo) And prevent future damage by coating hair in conditioner before you go to the beach or pool.
Avoid bad things (cont.)
If your hair turns dry and crunchy from overzealous heat styling, try a deep-conditioning mask once or twice a week at home. For fine hair, we suggest jojoba-and-argan oil-infused Amika oBLiPHiCa oiL Nourishing Mask, which moisturizes without weighing hair down; for medium to thick textures, try an ultrarich formula like Korres Shea Butter and Vitamins Hair Mask. If that fails, ask your colorist for an in-salon glossing treatment, or you can try an at-home version like John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Luminous Color Glaze: Chestnut to Espresso.
9. Prolong the results.
You know how your hair is all gorgeous and glossy and actually looks like the girl on the box right after it's colored? Well, there are ways to keep the shine going. As obvious as it sounds, use color-protecting shampoo (we like L'ANZA Healing Color Care Color-Preserving Shampoo, and don't skip conditioner. Hair that's moisturized reflects light better. Also, be sure to use styling products with silicone (try a serum, like Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Elixer, when hair is damp, then air- or blow-dry.
10. Deal with gray.
It starts innocently enough: One minute you're plucking an errant silver strand at your temple, and the next, you've locked yourself in the bathroom, eyes tearing up as you yank out more of them than you can count. Before the situation gets out of hand, try a semipermanent dye (which will cover grays) all over your hair. It's gentle and washes out gradually, so you don't end up with obvious roots. To cover grays between coloring sessions, use a temporary tool that deposits liquid color. Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Pen is a lip-gloss-like wand you can use on single strands; for larger patches, try Roux Tween Time Hair Color Crayon, which has a thick tip that allows you to draw it on like a marker (both wash out with shampoo).
HOW TO SKIP A MORNING BLOWOUT
The trick to not waking up to frizz is to shampoo your hair the night before, squeeze out any excess water, and apply a styling cream from roots to tips - Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream 7 oz. offers amazing moisture and frizz control. Comb your hair and make a tight bun at the nape of your neck with an elastic. Go to bed. When you wake up, take out the elastic - and ta-da! The hair at the top of your head will be totally smooth, and the rest will be wavy. Just run your fingers through it to separate the curls.
--Alyssa Kolsky Hertzig, Allure beauty news editor
HOW TO MAKE DIRTY HAIR LOOK CLEAN
The key here is to create some volume at the roots. Before bed, grab the hair on the top of your head - about four inches in diameter - and use a snag-free elastic to fasten it into a ponytail, like Pebbles Flintstone. In the morning, take down the ponytail and smooth out any kinks with a flatiron. Then slide your sunglasses on like a headband - because they don't press hair flat against your skull, they'll actually disguise greasy roots.
--Kristin Perrotta, Allure editorial projects director
HOW TO COVER GRAY HAIRS
Touch up instead of tweezing. For an instant solution, Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Pen paints over the gray, dries in a minute, and washes out in one shampoo, so you don't have to worry about doing a perfect job. Or, rub some powder eye shadow in a color that matches your hair over the grays - it really helps them blend in.
--Amy Keller Laird, Allure beauty director
HOW TO DO AN UPDO AT YOUR DESK
1. Sweep your hair straight back from your forehead so you don't have a part. Don't worry about making it too perfect - finger marks are a good thing.
2. Pull your hair into a tight ponytail at the middle of the back of your head, stopping three-fourths of the way through on the last loop of the elastic so that your hair puffs up a bit at the top and the ends splay downward.
3. If the ends left out the elastic are an inch or shorter, leave them as is. If they're longer, wrap them around the elastic and tuck them in with a bobby pin.
HOW TO DO AN UPDO AT YOUR DESK (cont.)
4. Spray the front of your head with a light hair spray (I love Blow Blow Out Spray), raking your fingers through it once more.
5. Spray the messy bun in back and tug a few strands upward so that some pieces are higher and looser than others.
--Amy Keller Laird, Allure beauty director
HOW TO MOISTURIZE REALLY DRY HAIR
Wash your hair twice a week, max, and always follow with a moisturizing conditioner. Then, at least once every two weeks, deep-condition. (I love the Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Treatment.) Apply the conditioner to wet hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb, slap on a shower cap, and keep it on for 20 minutes. (If you're feeling ambitious, blast the cap with a blow dryer; the heat helps the conditioner penetrate.) Rinse, and revel in how shiny your hair looks.
--Tia Williams, creator of shakeyourbeauty.com
HOW TO MAKE A LOW PONYTAIL STYLISH
Make a deep side part, and place the ponytail about two inches off to one side. Hairstylist Orlando Pita did this at the Marni show - it took two seconds but was so elegant and cool. And it looks as good with jeans as it does with a cocktail dress.
--Victoria Kirby, Allure beauty editor
HOW TO VOLUMIZE FINE HAIR
The trick here is to give hair volume at the sides, not at the top (which will make you look like a beauty queen). Apply a lightweight thickening spray - I like Phyto Phytovolume Actif Volumizing Spray - to the roots while hair is damp. Then blow-dry your hair upside down for just a minute or two, roughing up the roots with your fingertips. Finally, flip your hair back up, grip random sections with a paddle brush, and pull the hair straight out - so it's parallel to the floor - as you dry it the rest of the way.
--Jolene Edgar, former beauty features editor at Allure
HOW TO ADD SHINE TO FINE HAIR
Rub a bit of shine serum between your hands, then skim your hairbrush bristles over your palms. When you brush your hair, it will distribute the serum evenly, so you won't overdo it. The same technique works with hair spray, too.
--Victoria Kirby, Allure beauty editor
HOW TO CREATE BEACHY WAVES
This simple way to get laid-back California-girl waves comes from hairstylist Chris McMillan:
1. After showering, run a wide-tooth comb through your hair and squeeze out extra water with your hands.
2. Put a blob of mousse in one hand: Use a baseball-size if your hair is long, golf ball-size if it's short.
3. Tilt your head to one side and scrunch up the hair from the ends to the roots with the mousse hand, then repeat the process on the other side.
4. Let hair air-dry, and don't touch it with your hands or a brush.
--Danielle Pergament, Allure contributing editor
HOW TO GET A BELIEVABLE BLONDE
The best blonde is actually a combination of bleached-out ends and a darker crown. To get it, ask your colorist to apply your highlights an inch or two below the roots using a natural-looking color that gets lighter as you move to the ends. To do this, he should use a stronger bleach on the ends so they look blonder.
--Robyn Brown, former senior beauty editor at Allure
HOW TO PREVENT FRIZZ IN ANY TEXTURE
Work to add back moisture with every move - that will keep your hair from absorbing the moisture in the air that causes frizz.
1. Use a rich conditioner each time you shampoo (Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Conditioning Balm is great).
2. When you get out of the shower, press hair with a towel rather than twisting or rubbing it.
HOW TO PREVENT FRIZZ IN ANY TEXTURE (cont.)
3. While hair is still damp, coat it with a combination of smoothing cream and gel - this works better than either alone. I put a dime-size blob of Paul Mitchell Super Clean Sculpting Gel 6.8 oz. with a nickel-size amount of Philip B. Lovin' Leave-in Conditioner, but if your hair is straight, you'll want to reverse the ratio. Then let it air-dry or blow-dry as you normally would.
--Nicole Pearl, founder of thebeautygirl.com
1. A Farrah Flip
It was the style that launched a thousand posters - the flipped-out layers that are so conducive to flirtatious head tossing. Part your hair as you normally would and, with a large-barrel curling iron , roll the hair in an outward direction. Hold it for a few seconds and break it up with your hands afterward. You want hair that's inspired by - not imitating - Farrah.
2. A Shot of Volume
The key here is restraint - as in, a little volume looks lush and lustrous; a lot will take you into Golden Girls territory. This is where hot rollers come in - yes, they're kind of intimidating and seem old-fashioned, but nothing can give hair that impossibly smooth bounciness as well as they can. Roll the ends up in the biggest rollers you can find - we like Remington Emi Curl Envy Quick Curl Setter - and let them set for five minutes.
3. Loose Waves
Because centerfolds aren't typically seen with their hair in a sensible bun, and Victoria's Secret models aren't known for walking the runway with a prissy, pin-straight bob, go crazy with waves. Spritz the roots first with a volumizing spray like Phyto Phytovolume Actif Volumizing Spray and wrap two-inch sections of hair around a large-barrel curling iron, leaving the ends free to keep the look a little rough. (Our favorite curler: the Hot Tools Professional Spring Curling Iron.) Then brush it all out and let the cascade unfold.
4. Lash-Skimming Bangs
Long, soft bangs - the kind that just barely graze the lash line - are seductive for a few reasons: the shadow they cast over the face, the attention they draw to the eyes, and the way you have to keep brushing them aside in the quintessential "Who, me?" gesture. Just be warned that you can't let bangs air-dry and expect them to look good.
Lash-Skimming Bangs (cont.)
You'll need a small, round brush and a powerful blow-dryer. Simply use the brush to pull bangs forward as you follow with the dryer; don't wrap the hair around the brush - that'll give you a dorky curl. For added polish, hairstylist Mark Townsend likes the HAI eLite Tong Ionic Iron. "The plates have a slight curve, so your bangs get a nice bend, rather than lying totally flat as they would with a normal iron," he says.
5. Soft, Bouncy Hair
The idea here is that, in the very near future, someone will be touching your hair; ergo, you want it to feel (not just look like the kind of hair that can be handled without audible crunching. When you're in the shower, slather on a deep conditioner, like Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask 8.5 oz. let it sit for ten minutes, and be sure to rinse thoroughly so you get hair that's soft, not slimy. (For fine hair, try Frederic Fekkai Salon Glaze Clear Shine Rinse.)
6. Sleek and Shiny
The trick here is to smooth the cuticle, smooth it some more, and then glue it down with styling products to make sure your luster lasts. Prep hair with a heat-protective spray like Rusk Thermal Shine Spray 4.4 oz. , and blow hair dry with a fat round brush.
6. Sleek and Shiny (cont.)
Make sure the cuticle is really sealed by running a flatiron over two-inch sections. Then work a few drops of shine serum, like the really lightweight Shu Uemura Silk Oil, from the ears down to the ends. Then take whatever residue is left on your palms and gently pat the top of your head to tamp down any flyaways.
7. Rumpled Bed Head
There's a subtle difference between bedroom hair and bed head. The former says, "Come hither", the latter says, "I have the flu." Prep damp hair with mousse (we like John Frieda Luxurious Volume Bountiful Body Mousse) or texturizing spray (Redken 17 Curl Force 5 oz. is great), blow-dry, then use a large-barrel curling iron to create soft, loose waves. Then rumple with your fingers, and make the ends look piecey by tousling them with some pomade. (Try Sebastian Molding Mud 2.5 oz)
8. Grown-Up Schoolgirl
There's a reason that whole Lolita look has such staying power - it's incredibly sweet and innocent (and also just a little bit creepy, but that's actually working for you here). Pull up a thin section of the hair from middle of the forehead, tease it gently, and loosely pin it back just a few inches before the crown with a plain, thin barrette or crisscrossed bobby pins.
9. Beachy Texture
To create that sexy, seaside texture without leaving home, squirt damp hair from roots to ends with a beach spray-like Bumble and bumble South Surf Spray 4 oz. or Blow Beach Blow Texturizing Mist - and scrunch hair with both palms. (Plain old saltwater works, too). Then let the hair dry naturally, skip the brush, and whatever you do, don't actually go in the water. For hair that doesn't want to hold a wave, try drying it with a diffuser while scrunching. (The Solano Universal Diffuser fits many dryers.)
Turn Down the Heat
Good news: You don't have to completely swear off blow-drying. Just do it right. "Your hair will be much better off if you start blow- drying when it isn't dripping wet," says Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch. Blot, don't rub, wet hair with a microfiber towel, which is less damaging than the classic terry-cloth turban. Use a heat-protective spray or serum. Our favorites: Rusk Thermal Shine Spray 4.4 oz. and John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Hair Serum.
Hairstylists love to say you can reduce the times you shampoo to three times a week. But if you have fine and/or oily hair, you don't have to walk around looking dirty. Shampoo daily, but "thoroughly drench your hair with water before you lather up," says New Orleans dermatologist Mary P. Lupo. "Then concentrate on just the hair two inches closest to the scalp, since that's where sebum collects. And rinse really, really well under the coldest water you can stand." (Bonus: This will smooth the cuticle so frayed ends are less obvious.)
Shampoo Smartly (cont.)
Stock your shower with products that have the words "anti-breakage," "strengthening," or "reparative" on the label to thicken hair and seal split ends. We like Frederic Fekkai Protein RX Reparative Shampoo and Frederic Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Conditioner and Matrix Biolage Fortetherapie Strengthening Shampoo 13.5 oz. and Conditioner.
Semipermanent or permanent dyes - and not just the blonde kind - contain some peroxide, which will break down the waxy protective layer of hair, says Jeni Thomas, senior scientist for Pantene. So just give your ends a rest. Apply dye only to the roots and then comb it through the ends in just the last few minutes. Then keep your hair looking fresh longer by using a shampoo and conditioner formulated for dyed hair. (Try Pureology Hydrate Shampoo 10 oz. and Conditioner or Paul Mitchell Color Protect Daily Shampoo and Conditioner)
Stretching your hair with a brush while you incinerate it with a blow-dryer is not so hot for your hair's health. But you can fight frizz less harshly. A good-quality blow-dryer, like the Turbo Power TwinTurbo 3500 Ceramic and Ionic Hair Dryer, "dries so quickly that there really isn't time for the hair to overheat," says hairstylist Garren of the Garren New York salon, who recommends an ionic dryer with at least 2,000 watts of power. Ditch the big round brush for one with smooth, synthetic bristles. (We like the Spornette ZHU Paddle Brush) And at least try two things: Don't yank too hard on the hair and keep the nozzle as far away as possible. "Two inches would be acceptable," Lupo says.
Straighten Extremely Gently
Repeat after us and your hair will thank you: I will not overexpose my hair to the flatiron. Read the manufacturers' instructions and don't exceed the maximum suggested time. (It's typically about five seconds.) Using a flat iron only once a week and swearing off all but irons with ceramic plates, like the Salon Tech Silicone 450 Hairstyling Iron 1 Inch, helps further. Fans of chemical straightening should consider switching to a keratin treatment, which adds a smooth coating to each strand but doesn't mess with the cortex. (Liquid Keratin 30 Day Straight Smooth Strong & Long Treatment Starter Kit is a good at-home version.) Just steer clear of anything called "Brazilian straightening"; the treatment may contain dangerous levels of formaldehyde.
Mend Your Ends
If you have the time and money to hit the salon every four weeks, great. Eveyone else? Just get a good deep conditioner. "The ingredients aren't that different from those in your daily conditioner, but they're much more concentrated and they leave behind a smoothing film that won't wash off for days," explains cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta. Hairstylist Mark Townsend of the Sally Hershberger salon in New York City recommends using a deep conditioner overnight once a week if the damage is severe - just make sure you place a towel over your pillow. We like Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-in Treatment and Nexxus Emergencee 3.3 oz., and for fine hair, Kerastase Nutritive Masquintense-Fine.