Shampoo Secrets

Take a stroll down the hair care aisle at your local drugstore and you'll find dozens of shampoos for every type of hair. “Not all shampoos are alike -- there really is a big difference between products designed for different hair types, or to achieve different looks," explains leading hair care research scientist Steve Shiel, a Pantene hair care expert who holds a doctorate in organometallic chemistry."Shampoos contain different types and levels of active ingredients, designed to provide conditioning, detangling, volume and many other benefits to get healthy hair."

Don’t simply reach for the prettiest bottle. Instead, think about both what type of hair you have -- fine, coarse, curly, color treated -- and what you are trying to achieve with your overall style.          

Thin, Fine Hair
Styling product residue, dirt from the environment and excess hair oils can easily weigh down thin, fine hair, causing your locks to appear limp and lifeless. A daily volumizing shampoo can do wonders, leaving hair clean while providing a thicker, fuller appearance. The weekly use of a clarifying shampoo will help you avoid excessive product buildup.

Thick Tresses
Thick hair can easily become dry and dull, so a moisturizing shampoo is essential for maintaining beautiful tresses. Go easy on the amount of shampoo you use; the size of a quarter is a good guideline since thick hair is very porous and easily absorbs products. To eliminate the buildup that often accompanies this absorbent hair type, use a clarifying shampoo once a week that is designed to remove residue.          

Curly Hair
Managing curly hair can be a challenge, especially since it has a tendency to look dry and dull. The first step to taming your curls is a gentle hydrating shampoo specially formulated for curly hair.

Make sure you also use the right shampooing technique. Squeeze about a quarter-size dollop of shampoo into your palms, and gently massage your scalp, never using your fingernails. Then, work the shampoo to the ends and rinse with cold water.

Colored or Highlighted Hair
Shampoos specifically designed for color-treated hair work to replenish the protective lipid layer on the hair shaft that is weakened by hair dye. Dr. D'Anne Kleinsmith, a dermatologist in West Bloomfield, Mich., suggests staying away from shampoos containing sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is used to create lather. “These sulfates can remove color more quickly than a sulfate-free shampoo,” she says.

Instead, opt for a color-enhancing shampoo, which can impart a little color between treatments. Be cautious when selecting the shade of your color shampoo, warns Claudio Lazo, owner of C the Salon in Studio City, Calif. A red stain on blond hair can turn your hair pink, and blond pigments on brown locks may yield lackluster results.

Now that you know how to pick the shampoo that’s right for you, here’s advice on how to use it.

Shampooing Tips
If you start your day with a grueling spinning class, you may want to shampoo daily. If, however, extending the life of a labor-intensive blowout is your goal, you’ll want to opt for a less-frequent shampoo schedule. Just be sure to wash your hair before it gets too dirty, as particles of grime can damage your hair during combing.

You don’t need to worry about harming your hair with daily washing. "Shampooing will not in itself damage the hair, since modern shampoos do not lift the cuticle," explains John Gray, author of The World of Hair Colour. "Harsh shampoos were used in the past, and acute and irreversible tangling or matting sometimes followed shampooing. This kind of matting is seldom seen nowadays, since most modern shampoos contain conditioning agents that protect hair."

When you are ready to lather up, focus first on the scalp, hairline, behind the ears and around the temple, because that's where the concentration of your hair's sebum -- or oils -- can be found. Then continue shampooing downward to prevent the hair cuticles from opening, which can cause split ends. Kleinsmith recommends shampooing with warm water, as hot water can be drying. And never pull, tug or scrub wet hair. Instead, use your fingertips to distribute the shampoo.

One application of shampoo is generally enough to remove oil, dirt and residue from the hair fiber. However, Shiel suggests that those who use a lot of styling products -- particularly waxes and pomades -- may want to rinse and repeat to reduce buildup.


What Your Hair Says About You

Good things happen to women on their good hair days. 

That may sound silly, but think about it: Chances are you were feeling your most confident glowing self when you aced that job interview, flirted with a handsome guy (or two) at the supermarket, had a terrific time at a party or gave a smashing presentation at work.

In their book, The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful, Beverly Hills dermatologist Debra Luftman, MD, and Miami psychiatrist Eva Ritvo, MD, call this “the beauty-brain loop: ” When we feel physically attractive, we project a sense of self-assurance to the outside world. That confidence makes us even more beautiful, people respond to us more positively, and we take actions that help us achieve what we want.

And the first thing people notice about us: our hair, according to the authors. It not only shapes our inner sense of beauty but also the way people respond to us. We asked three women with common hair types how their hair makes them feel and what they do to reverse bad hair days.

Hair Type: Fine
“When my hair is flat and my ends are frayed, I feel invisible and I retreat,” says Laurie D., a 39-year-old dog groomer in Newport Beach, Calif. But “when my hair is blow-dried and polished, people look me in the eye. That makes me feel better about myself, and I’m definitely friendlier and more outgoing.”

Hair Rx: To keep fine hair looking its fullest and healthiest, do what Laurie does: Apply a deep conditioner every couple of weeks, put on a shower cap and run a dryer over your head for a few minutes. Laurie also uses a texturizing cream on her ends so they look defined rather than wilted.

Hair Type: Long and Thick
Tara K., a 30-year-old New Jersey lawyer, has the opposite problem: long hair so thick it easily looks too voluminous and unkempt. “I feel prettier when my hair is newly flatironed,” she says. “The angles are sharper, and it looks fresher.”

Hair Rx: To maintain a polished look, Tara chooses products formulated to smooth thick hair. She also minimizes damage from hot tools by always using a heat protectant when she styles her hair. “I spray it on each section right before I flatiron it,” says Tara. “That not only protects my hair, it also makes it easier to straighten, so I don’t have to do as many passes with the flatiron.”

Hair Type: Curly
For Linda U., a 44-year-old New Jersey schoolteacher, every day was a battle between her and her curly hair. “In the morning, I’d weigh my hair down with a ton of products,” she says, “but after a couple of hours it had frizzed and puffed up so much I felt too self-conscious to even go out and do my errands.” Even worse, her unruly hair undermined her feelings of authority as a teacher.

Hair Rx: Linda finally got the upper hand when she found a hairdryer with a rotating brush. It helped her achieve salon-like styling, and she began using a deep moisturizing treatment created for thick, curly hair like hers. “My hair used to look like a horse’s mane,” she says. “Now it feels soft and has lots of luster.” That, in turn, has helped Linda feel “more put together and professional,” when she’s standing in front of her class and meeting with parents.

Taking extra steps to make our hair, as well as our skin, look its best isn’t a superficial pursuit, the authors of The Beauty Prescription conclude. When you feel good about the way you look, you turn on an inner light that changes how you move through the world and how people react to you. So, take some advice from Laurie, Tara and Linda, and the beauty buddies in your own life, and shine on.

How does your hair make you feel every day? Talk about it below or @TheStyleGlossy

Photo: Corbis Images

5 Habits of Women With Gorgeous Shiny Hair

Have you ever turned green with envy when you spotted a woman with gorgeous gleaming hair? Most of us have. But rather than wishing those shiny tresses were yours, here’s a better idea. Learn the secrets of women with high-gloss hair, and you can amp up the luster of your own locks.

1. Women with shiny hair don’t play rough. To create silky shine, treat your hair like fine silk. Use only a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair. When you step out of the shower, blot -- don’t rub -- your hair with a towel. Cut down on brushing to avoid fraying strands. “Use the minimum number of brush strokes it takes to achieve or refresh your style,” says Jeni Thomas, a Pantene research scientist on hair and scalp health. Look for a brush that has seamless bristles. “These bristles won’t inflict damage the way bristles with rough surfaces can,” says Thomas.

2. Women with shiny hair use heat tools with care. Protect your hair from being damaged by the high heat of blow-dryers, curling irons and flat irons by coating towel-dried strands with a thermal-protectant product. Always use the nozzle attachment on your dryer. “The coils on dryers are so hot you can literally fry your hair if you place the dryer right against your hair,” says Giovanni Mele, artistic director and owner of Philadelphia’s Giovanni & Pileggi salon. “Without a nozzle, you’re delivering heat and air in all directions, and that can leave your hair frizzy rather than smooth and shiny.” If you’ve been using the same hot tools for the last decade, consider an upgrade. New technology, such as ceramic flat irons and ionic dryers, speeds styling time and reduces the static electricity that causes flyaways and dullness.

3. Women with shiny hair keep their tresses well-hydrated. Shine happens when light bounces off hair’s smooth reflective surface, which means you want your hair to be less like straw and more like ice. Moisturizing shampoos gently remove dirt and product buildup -- which can lead to dull, brittle hair -- and deposit feather-light oils and protein to boost luster. Look for ingredients like dimethicone and aloe vera; they smooth the cuticle and seal water inside the shaft.

4. Women with shiny hair are consistent about conditioning. You don’t need to shampoo your hair daily, but every time you wet it in the shower, applying a conditioner to the ends is essential to keep strands soft and smooth. Once or twice a week, apply a moisturizing mask, then don a shower cap and run a blower over your head for two or three minutes. “That heat helps the treatment ingredients penetrate the hair shaft,” says stylist Steve Lococo, co-owner of B2V Salon in West Hollywood. “That’s why salon treatments always include a few minutes under the dryer.”

5. Women with shiny hair choose styling products that add extra sparkle. Whether you like glossing drops, anti-frizz cream, hair spray, nourishing oil or volumizing mousse, you can find a shine-enhancing version of your favorite styling product. Just avoid your roots and be sure to use a very small amount of product. Instead of applying the styling product directly to your hair, try spraying or spreading a bit on your palms instead and then run them lightly over your hair, section by section.


Hot New Haircut: The Lob

If you want a gorgeous, easy-to-style and chic new hairstyle, consider the lob. You’ve seen it on your favorite celebs, including Emily Blunt, Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks, Anne Hathaway, January Jones, Nicole Richie and Naomi Campbell.

An updated version of the classic bob, the lob falls somewhere between the shoulders and the collarbone. Longer in the front and shorter in the back, it can be worn straight and sleek, tousled or wavy. And it goes easily from jeans to red-carpet glamour. The lob is long enough to be gathered into a ponytail, a loose bun or an updo.

You don’t need to be a star to rock a lob. The cut looks good on almost everybody, says Los Angeles stylist Domingo Serquinia. “The lines are softer than a bob,” he says, “so it flatters every face type. And it can be adjusted to work with any hair texture, save for super curly locks.” If your hair falls in ribbons, a lob will look beachy chic.  But the style can look too boxy or bottom heavy on corkscrew or coiled curls.

Here are some tips from Serquinia, who has been turning out some luscious lobs at Paint Shop Beverly Hills, his hip hair and nail salon.

1. Choose the right lob for your face shape. If you have a square face, long choppy layers at the ends will play down your square jaw. A long face will get a lift with shorter layers. “Midface layers will draw attention to your cheekbones and eyes,” Serquinia says. Keep the lob below your shoulders to lengthen a round face. Longer, side-swept bangs can add angles to a round face, but avoid a blunt fringe.

2. Work with -- not against -- your hair’s natural texture. “The thicker your hair, the choppier you want the ends to be,” says Serquinia. That avoids a bottom-heavy cut and brings some playfulness into the style. But if you have fine hair, those choppy ends will look thinned out. Instead, keep the ends blunt to create fullness.

3. Have fun! One of the great things about the lob is its versatility. You can pull your hair into a high pony and let some of the bottom layers hang out. It’s what Serquinia calls “an unkempt kempt look.” Let your hair dry, and apply a thick leave-in conditioner or wax to play up the ends and layers. Style with a round brush for body, or use a flatiron for sleekness and try flipping up some ends. Experiment with a large-barreled curling iron to create those tousled waves.

Best Hair and Beauty Trends From New York Fashion Week

Are you missing the easy, gorgeous hair and makeup of June, July and August? I’ve got some good news for you from New York Fashion Week. The spring-summer 2013 shows have just come to an end, and while it’s too early for the stunning dresses, shifts and shorts that were shown, the beauty trends from the runway are ready to be worn right now. Try these on for size. (No dieting required!)

Technicolor Strands
Color made a big splash at Peter Som’s show. Models with light and dark hair alike added watercolor streaks to their locks. You don’t need to commit to tie-dyed tresses. Instead, create temporary tints with soft pastel chalk, colored hair powder or colored sprays. To keep the look soft and chic, place just a few streaks under the top layer of hair so the hues peep out from underneath. For maximum playfulness, try multiple colors at once.

Beachy Braids
The Jason Wu and Honor shows brought our favorite surfer-girl look into the limelight! Braids were fun, modern and simple all at the same time. For a fresh take on plaits, try braiding your hair using an unexpected asymmetrical part. Or update your office look with a chic braided bun. Gather hair into a low ponytail and secure with an elastic band. Braid the remaining hair, wrap around the base and secure with bobby pins.

Sleek Big-screen Waves
These complemented the delicate floral prints at the Thakoon show. To recreate this look, you’ll want to ditch the ringlets and go for silent-screen glamour instead. The trick is to update your hot tool, swapping your curling iron for a triple-barrel waver. Simply part hair in manageable sections and work the waver straight down the length of your hair.

Angelic Eye Makeup
Donna Karan’s models had a halo of matte burgundy around the eyes. Using a large fluff brush, apply shadow up to the crease and then use a smaller brush to trace under the lashes with color as well. Skip the liner and finish with two coats of mascara.

Oceanic Manicures
At Charlotte Ronson and Rebecca Minkoff, nails evoked images of the sea with deep and bright shades of blue. Blue is actually a great universal color. A bright chalky blue pastel is stunning against lighter skin tones, and a bright royal blue is absolutely beautiful for darker-hued gals. Finish with a top coat to lock in color.

Royal Red Lips
And, yes, you can pull off a ruby kisser too. The trick is to choose the right red for your skin tone. Blondes tend to look amazing in orange-based reds that pop, and most brunettes should opt for truer red-based reds. Skip the liner to keep the pout soft. Apply two coats and blot for long-lasting color!