Hair Care

By Aly Walansky

When I was a little girl, I’d dread the summer. I had curly hair, and during the cooler, dryer months, my mom would blow it out straight for me. However, as the heat and humidity came, she threw up her hands and apologetically handed over the headband. The battle was lost, and I knew I was destined to resemble a brillo pad for the next few months ““ the whole time running scared from every mirror in my wake.

Curls can be hot and sexy, but not when Madame Frizz Fest comes along. And while thermal reconditioning treatment worked out great for me, as the roots began to grow back in, I felt the familiar gnawing grow in my gut. I needed a solution. Praise the lord, a lot has changed! There are some great tools of the trade out there now for gals suffering a similar atmospheric injustice. No hats required.

Eager for a hot summer style? The first step to maintaining hair’s health (and moisture!) is a good shampoo and conditioner. We loved Activate’s Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. Enriched with Activate’s salon-quality Hydro-Infusedâ„¢ Complex, these products are a blend of Cupuaçu Butter, Vitamin E, and a bunch of other powerful vitamins and minerals. Something about this concoction works ““ I just came in from 99-degree humidity weather”¦and am frizz-free! My hair already started to feel revitalized, shinier, and softer. Check out the entire Activate Beauty product line at www.activatebeauty.com ““ it’s surprisingly affordable as well!

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After washing but before using any styling tools, it’s imperative to give your hair some moisture-rich coating. (You wear boots in the snow; why should your hair be different?) Again, Activate impressed us with their Straightening Cream ““ a powerful hydration preservant and humidity barrier. Fabulous results too from Garnier Fructis Style Shine Cream-Gel, which worked to maintain hold and style without feeling stiff or sticky. Garnier Fructis contains fruit microwaves, so your hair will also smell delicious ““ even when mixed with other products and heated tools! Honorable mention too, in this category, to Dove’s Smooth & Soft Anti-Frizz Cream/Weightless Moisturizer. For those days that your hair feels extra brittle and dry (or that you may be using extra heat on it) ““ this is a gem to add to the mix. It’s also great to use after styling to tame those annoying fly-aways.

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As fabulous as a product is, the wrong heated tools can have our follicles standing on end”¦literally. The gadget is as important as the best of creams and gels, and there are many options out there. For those on a budget who want to get their hands on the new Hot Tools Tourmaline Hair Dryer #1043. It helps keep your hair shiny and healthy by generating far-infrared energy, which passes through the hair cuticle, drying hair from the inside. (That’s tech speak for it won’t scorch your locks!) The nano ions separate water into smaller droplets, increasing its moisture content and reducing the resulting frizz effect. If you are like me and have especially unruly roots, you may want to follow up with a good flat iron. Maxius’s MaxiGlideâ„¢ Hair Straightener is terrific. It contains 100 strategically placed detangling pins made out of ceramic that act as combs. Its steam-burst system will smooth out your hair and flatten it to pin-straight in less time than it takes you to call your local salon for an appointment. Both the Maxius MaxiGlide and the Hot Tools Tourmaline Hair Dryer are extremely affordable, and available at specialty beauty stores.

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Spritz on a great finishing spray, such as Garnier Fructis’ Glossing Spray or Maxius’ The End, which puts a micro layer of virtually weightless protection on your hair, and you are good to go!

Time to throw away those hats.

Originally published August 2006
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