Healing End-of-Summer Hair

Sep 4, 2013

Now that the summer has unofficially passed me by, my sun-drenched and chlorine-exposed locks are looking dull and dry.  Reviving my tresses in time for the chilly days of fall won’t be easy, but unless I want my head to be covered in more straw than a Halloween scarecrow, I need to mount a rescue operation.  Here’s how to breathe life back into dry, damaged hair.

Step One: Trim your split ends.  Cutting out the dead weight doesn’t need to involve a trip to the salon.  The blogger over at Ring Finger Tan Line has a helpful tutorial that explains the most effective method for trimming your own split ends.  My only alteration would be to strongly advise against using kitchen or craft scissors to cut your hair.  Instead, try a pair of inexpensive shears or, my favorite, eyebrow scissors.  (The tinier scissors greatly lessen the risk of over trimming.)

Step Two: Deep Condition.  Recently, I tried Living Proof’s Restore Mask, and I love the way it brought my lifeless locks back into bloom.  It’s not heavy or greasy, and it’s the kind of conditioner you could use on your ends every day without weighing them down.  Need a drugstore alternative?  Aussie 3-Minute-Miracle is still the best under-$10 conditioner around.

Step Three: Cut Out the Shampoo.  When your hair is losing its luster, shampoo is the enemy.  So either take a break from shampooing entirely (updos and a light spritz of dry shampoo on the roots), or switch to a baby shampoo or a conditioning rinse like Wen.  I like to take a week or so off from shampooing when my hair goes down hill.

Step Four: Leave-In Conditioner. If you must use heat on your hair, you need to protect it.  Spritz a little leave-in conditioner or apply a bit of argan oil to the ends (I prefer the light Moroccan Oil) to keep all of your work from being undone.

Step Five: Cover it Up.  When my hair is seriously fried from highlighting, I like to go to the salon for a toner to help take out the brassiness and give my color some richness.  Then, I become a big fan of updos.  Pinterest is a great place to find tutorials, or if you’re clueless about updos, try a styling tool like the Sarah Potempa Wrap-Up that helps even the most clueless stylist make a lovely bun or twist.

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  1. L says:

    Belle, when you use the Wen conditioning rinse, does your hair go through a ‘transition’ period where it’s greasy? I’ve contemplated using it, but I can’t stand having greasy hair for any amount of time.

    • Belle says:

      I don’t use the Wen, but I know some people like it. I usually use baby shampoo or sulfate free shampoo.

    • Ashley says:

      I’ve used Wen and I like it, but my hair does go through a transition period in which I have greasy hair. In my experience, it usually takes my hair a week to get used to Wen (my hair is short and fine and very prone to “greasiness”). But once it does, it’s great.

      • Ellen says:

        I use Wen most of the time but I only get greasy AFTER using it a while. Once a week, or every other week, depending how often I’m washing my hair, I take a break from Wen and use a clarifying shampoo and conditioner. Even with rinsing it as much as they tell you, you still need to take a break from it.

  2. H. says:

    Tangetially related, but do you have any product recommendations for smooth, frizz- and flyaway-free hair, especially for someone who doesn’t blow-dry regularly? (I prefer to let my hair air dry.) While I have ever-so-slightly wavy hair, the texture of which I generally like, it always seems kind of flyaway-covered unless I straighten it.

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