Tuesday, August 19, 2008
By Wendy Schmid ,
Wendy Schmid is a freelance writer who is based in California.
"Just as nails have a protective cuticle barrier, so does your hair, and the key to a healthy sheen is keeping the cuticle smooth," says Michele Armstrong, regional salon educator for Ulta salons.Under a microscope, a smooth cuticle looks like a roof with all the shingles lying flat, but day-to-day styling, heat processing, and coloring cause those shingles to lift. "Light reflects best off a smooth surface, so a roughed-up cuticle means dull hair," says Robert Hallowell, who styles celebrities' hair in South Pasadena, CA. Here's are a few beauty tips for shiny hair to really get your hair to glimmer.
Eat right. Hair is made of keratin, a form of protein, so don't skimp on protein-packed lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and low-fat dairy products, says London-based scalp and hair specialist Philip Kingsley, author of The Hair Bible. Kingsley also recommends getting plenty of healthy omega-3 fats, which are found in salmon, avocados, flaxseed oil, Brazil nuts, and almonds. "Eating these can increase hair's sheen over time," he says. Nutrition interventions take time--expect to show off new shine in about 6 months.
Come clean. If you're a styling-product junkie, you'll need to banish the buildup in order to get shiny hair, which is a guaranteed shine squelcher. Once a week, use a clarifying shampoo such as Pantene Pro-V Purity Clarifying Shampoo ($4; drugstores), or try this tip from Hallowell: Once a month, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 2 tablespoons of your shampoo. "The sodium bicarbonate will remove any stubborn, sticky residues," he says.
Condition often. In fact, do it every time you shampoo. Choose nutrient-rich formulas with ingredients such as avocado oil, olive oil, and shea butter, which moisturize and fill in tiny cracks in the hair shaft. One to try: Clairol Herbal Essences Fruit Fusions Hydrating Conditioner with avocado ($3.50; drugstores).
Skip the cold-water rinse. There's no need to undergo the big chill. "Cold water may help close your pores, but it doesn't affect the hair cuticle in the same way," says Kingsley.Tip Gently squeeze and blot--don't rub--hair when you towel-dry. "Wet hair is fragile, and any friction will rough up the cuticle," says Armstrong.
Practice damage control. Always use a heat-resistant product on your hair before drying. New formulations seal in shine and prevent damage from superhigh temperatures. Try Matrix Sleek Look Iron Smoother ($14; salons).
Tip Occasionally use your blow-dryer's cool setting to dry your hair.
Get glossy. Make sure that your shine serum is water soluble--look for dimethiconol on the label. "Dimethicone, the silicone polymer known for creating a glassy effect, doesn't rinse off easily if it's not in a water-soluble form. And if it builds up, it eventually dries out hair," says Armstrong. Try Redken Glass ($14; Ulta salons) or Philip B. Shin Shine ($25.50; Philip B).
Tip Sleep on satin pillowcases for equally satiny hair. At night, the average head is 9 pounds of deadweight, and friction from tossing and turning equals fuzz.Brush with the best. Boar-bristle brushes (or boar bristle with nylon) are superior for smoothing hair and distributing natural oils. Plastics don't have as much give and can snag and break hair, so consider these pricier options a shiny hair investment. Try Frédéric Fekkai Classic Boar Bristle Brush ($85; Sephora) or Mason Pearson's Pocket Bristle & Nylon brush ($57; Zitomer).
Tip Skip those 100 brush strokes before bed. It's a myth that you can condition your hair by repeatedly stroking scalp oils down the shaft. "Your scalp would have to be very oily for this to really work, and all that brushing will tax your hair," says Hallowell.
Recipe for shiny hair: Hallowell's Vodka Mask1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 Tbsp vodka
2 Tbsp honey
1 egg yolk
In a small glass bowl, mash avocado, vodka, honey, and egg with fork to form a creamy mixture. Apply to freshly shampooed, towel-blotted hair. Leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse well in warm water, and then shampoo and style as usual.
Labels: Beauty Tips