Of course, as with your complexion, the products you choose to cleanse and condition can make all the difference when it comes to good hair health. “Strands are just as sensitive as skin to the cumulative effects of UV rays, humidity, air conditioning systems and other external aggressors,” says Melissa Harvey, a New York-based consulting trichologist (hair scientist) with hair growth company Bio Follicle.
Hair care companies are infusing their shampoos, conditioners and masks with skin-worthy ingredients (from argan oil to sunscreen) to boost the overall appearance of your strands. The new L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare collection, for example, includes five shampoos and conditioners (ranging from moisturizing to color protecting) and seven treatments, each formulated with a patented amino acid-protein blend. The concentrated ingredients promise to strengthen hair follicles from root to tip and penetrate deep into the core to repair damage from within. Joico’s new Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo contains what the company calls a Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex, a technology that mimics natural hair chains to purportedly reconstruct damaged areas of the cuticle. And both Nexxus and Pantene have tapped into the rejuvenating powers of some of skincare’s most potent ingredients. The former has just introduced its Salon Hair Care Hydra-Light collection, a complete line of products formulated with deep sea minerals and antioxidants to help hydrate and nourish hair, while the latter claims its vitamin- and caffeine-rich formula will give your strands a youthful bounce that shave a decade off their appearance.
In addition to using multi-tasking shampoos and conditioners, Kristy Dicus, a colorist at the Frédéric Fekkai salon in Los Angeles, recommends doing a weekly deep-conditioning treatment to boost hair strength. “If you have time to paint your nails, you have time for a hair mask,” she says. Fekkai Technician Color Care 3-Minute Mask conditions strands with super-hydrating avocado oil and sun-protective oils to help color-treated hair maintain shine and extend time between salon touch-ups. Vidal Sassoon’s new Pro Series 1 Minute Mask, Moisture Lock smoothes and strengthens hair to make it easier to comb and style with less breakage. And the decadent new White Sands Orchids Oil is formulated with orchid extract—a rejuvenating ingredient found in several skin products for its anti-aging benefits—to help repair split ends and restore shine.
Adding supplements to your diet can also improve the quality of hair over time. “Vitamins won’t repair the damage already done from chemicals like ammonia or intense heat exposure,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., a Washington, D.C., dermatologist. “But biotin has been shown to help the growth of hair and nails.”
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