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.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/alenkasm

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!

Photo: Flickr.com/j-No

Post-summer Hair Repair

As your tan fades and fall approaches, chances are your sun-streaked summer hair could use a little TLC. Follow these hair-resuscitating tips from industry pros and you’ll make autumn the season of gorgeous hair days.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
“Summer hair damage isn’t going to just repair itself,” says West Hollywood stylist Mauricio Ribeiro, who operates his own namesake salon. He suggests treating parched manes with a moisturizing shampoo followed by a moisturizing conditioner. Be sure to apply the conditioner where sun-damaged hair needs it most--from the mid-shaft to the tip. “Hair isn’t as dry at the roots thanks to its natural oils, so condition there more sparingly,” says Ribeiro.

Handle With Care
To baby your stressed tresses, apply a leave-in detangler. This will add an extra boost of conditioner and also gently smooth and separate strands, so you won’t have to tug at snags with a comb. That kind of rough handling can add further damage to your hair. “When your hair is wet, only use a wide-toothed comb to prepare it for styling,” says Pantene senior scientist Jeni Thomas. “Even when it’s dry, you want to use the minimum number of brushstrokes it takes to achieve or refresh your style.”

Get Deep
If your locks still look lackluster after using rinse-out and leave-in conditioners, call in the SWAT team: a concentrated hair-conditioning treatment or mask. To get all the benefits from the nourishing ingredients, apply the conditioner section-by-section to your hair, says Dani Hauflaire, a stylist with Maxine Salon in Chicago. Start at the tips and work toward the roots. Then, leave it on for a few minutes while you buff your skin with your favorite body scrub. (Your skin can also use some extra care now!) “The steam from the shower will help the product really penetrate the hair shaft,” says Hauflaire.

Tweak Your Color
Sun exposure can leave your hair looking dull and brassy, especially if it’s color-processed. And the streaks that looked glowing against bronzed skin will wash out fall’s paler complexion. Maintain a flattering balance by adding rich tones to your hair. That means auburn, chestnut, chocolate and coffee if you’re a brunette; caramel, gold and toffee if you’re a blonde. An at-home or salon gloss will also restore shine to your hair so it gleams on even a cloudy fall day.

Cut Your Losses
Chlorine, sun, salt, ponytail elastics -- all can lead to frayed and fried ends. “Left alone, those split ends are going to continue to split,” says Hauflaire. A half-inch trim will make a world a difference -- leaving you with well-defined, healthy ends that will show off your hairstyle, whether it’s a bob, a pixie, straight and sleek or long, sexy waves.


Photo: Corbis Images

Know Your Hair Type: The Secret to Healthy Hair!

Here’s all that’s standing between you and your most beautiful, most manageable hair: a tiny bit of self-knowledge. Simply knowing your natural hair type will help you achieve smooth hair that holds its style through the whole day (curls that are defined and controlled, fine hair that doesn’t flop midday, etc.).

“If you understand your hair,” says Jeni Thomas, a research scientist on hair and scalp health for Pantene, “you not only know what it is capable -- and not capable -- of doing, but how best to work with it as well.” 

The Science of Hair Types
Think Avatar is the most important 3-D breakthrough? Consider this: The same kind of 3-D technology used in medicine to image and measure bone density is also being used to study the way multiple hair fibers interact. What researchers have discovered, says Thomas, is that different types of hair texture create different kinds of 3-D structures. This revelation is leading to customized product lines that can spell the end of bad hair days. 

We now know that the same shampoo and conditioning ingredients and formulations that keep curly hair shiny and healthy won’t give fine hair the body and volume it needs. Curly hair fibers form an intricate network that can act like a filter, trapping ingredients from shampoo and conditioners; what’s needed to prevent damage are products that minimize the friction between strands.

Fine hair fibers, on the other hand, arrange themselves in a parallel pattern that acts more like a funnel, so ingredients that moisturize and condition slip away rather than stick. The fix is a formula that helps those reparative ingredients grab on and stay.

The Basic Hair Types

Almost all hair -- 98 percent -- falls into four different structures:

  1. Fine hair has up to 50 percent less protein than thicker hair, so it’s fragile and tends to fall flat.
  2. Medium-thick hair can contain up to twice as many cells as fine hair, making it more rigid and capable of absorbing up to 40 percent more moisture than fine hair, which can lead to frizz.

  3. Curly hair has twists and turns that can cause the cuticle to lift and weaken, leaving hair rough and difficult to control.

  4. Color-treated hair has undergone a structural change in the chemical process that makes it more negatively charged than unprocessed hair -- that can mean hair that’s rough, dull and vulnerable to damage.

Why Hair Type Matters
Products formulated for your hair type will make styling easier; on the other hand, the wrong ingredients and formula will have you waging a losing war with your locks -- struggling to get the style you want, frustrated when it doesn’t hold. For example, as Thomas points out, “thicker hair tends to be more frizz-prone than finer hair, so for medium-thick hair to hold a style throughout the day, ingredients that offer hair some humidity resistance are extremely helpful.”

To keep fine hair from wilting midday, however, prep it with a shampoo containing polymers boosting its cleaning power and allowing these fragile strands to stand up to the weight of accumulated scalp oils, dirt and yesterday’s styling residue. Look for shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are especially designed for your hair type; you’ll find customized lines on your drugstore shelves.

The Right Cut for Your Hair Type

  • Fine hair “Avoid overly razored cuts,” says George Papanikolas of West Hollywood’s Andy Lecompte salon, where you might spot such A-list clients as Madonna and Penelope Cruz. “Opt instead for a layered cut with blunt ends, which will leave the hair looking thicker.”

  • Medium-thick hair Keep your hair at least a few inches below your chin. “You need some length to prevent your hair from getting too bulky,” says Mike Van Den Abbeel, owner of Mosaic Hair Studio in Orlando, Fla. “Long layers will also remove some weight and add definition to your style.” 

  • Curly hair To avoid what veteran hairstylist Don Bewley describes as “curly hair that looks like a topiary,” ask for a cut that imposes some structure and shape on your ringlets. That means long layers -- no shorter than 6 inches -- save for a few shorter face-framing layers in front and a well-defined line at the ends.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/fmbackx