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The 30 Second Guide to Healthier Hair

We get it, you’re busy. Between work, family, and trying to keep some semblance of a social life intact, self-care is usually the first to go out the window. So, we’ve come up with a few ways to keep your hair game strong, whether you have 30 seconds or 30 minutes to spare.

30 Seconds: Damage Defense Collagen Booster

Providing your hair with extra strength in the time it takes to drink a sip of water could be the ultimate beauty hack. Just add a capsule of Damage Defense Collagen Booster to your daily Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamin routine, gulp, and go.

1 Minute: Nourishing Botanical Oil

Consider this product the ultimate pinch hitter. Smooth a few drops onto your hair, paying special attention to the ends, to create a protective barrier from humidity and UV rays.

1 Minute: Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner

This multitasking product can save your hair in so many ways in a minute or less. Use it for added moisture when needed, and spritz liberally before any hair-challenging situations, like swimming or heat styling.

10 Minutes: Strengthening Amino Masque

Fortify your hair against everyday stressors like intense levels of indoor climate control, pollution and even frequent hair brushing with weekly deep conditioner rich in proteins and vitamins.

Sixty Minutes: The Ultimate Protection Kit

The name says it all: Geared towards weaves and protective styles, Beneath the Weave Purifying Shampoo and Beneath the Weave Moisture Balancing Conditioner cool and soothe your roots and scalp with ingredients like peppermint, tea tree oil and aloe. After cleansing and moisturizing, condition your hairline and any hard-to-reach areas that need hydration with the Infinite Edges Serum. Finish with a soothing scalp massage or treat the ends of your dreads, locs or braids with nutrient-rich Nourishing Botanical Oil.

Have a few more minutes to spare? Treat yourself to a custom hair care program on us with our complimentary consultations.

 

Color-Extend Hair Products: How Much Do They Really Do?

Color-extend hair products are always making promises – Strong color protection! More vibrant color!

Sound familiar?

But if you’ve invested your hard-earned money in an expensive dye job, it’s important to know that the color-extend hair products you purchase live up to the hype.

We decided to investigate how helpful color-depositing conditioners are for extending the life of your new style – and how you can prevent your color from fading before your next appointment:

Color-Depositing Conditioners 101

These deep-conditioning treatments are chock-full of nutrients dyed hair needs to revive shocked strands back from the dead.

Color-depositing conditioners can help you even out the color and tone of your dye job, says beauty editor Marianne Mychaskiw.

“Used once a week in place of your go-to conditioner, a color-depositing formula can help to revive the color lost to the elements, and buy you some serious time between appointments,” Mychaskiw writes at InStyle.

“These conditioners are infused with pigments that either help amplify your shade, or neutralize unwanted brassy tones,” she adds.

Whether you’ve gone bottle blonde or bold black, color-depositing conditioners will prevent roots from showing before their time and help your hair look and feel more even-keeled during that crucial post-dye adjustment period.

Non-Depositing Shampoos Work, Too

Although they don’t have the pigmentation of color-depositing conditioners, non-depositing shampoos still offer benefits for recently dyed hair.

According to Good Housekeeping, these “products…seal the cuticle of the hair so it better holds on to the dye you already have” and also help you “protect against UV fade.”

After product testing more than 24 color extend shampoos and conditioners, including mainstays like Redken Color Extend, for more than 500 hours on 220 samples of human hair, the great minds at Good Housekeeping gave non-depositing shampoos a thumbs up.

Still, if you want to keep your color around for as long as possible, it’s probably best to minimize the time you spend sudsing up your hair.

“If there’s one thing just about every colorist will agree on, it’s that washing your hair frequently does more harm than good,” writes Alexandra Duron at Prevention.

“The detergents meant to get grime off your scalp cause color to fade faster,” she adds.

Try shampooing every two days with a color-depositing formula and switching to dry shampoo if you need a pick-me-up after the gym or before a work event.

Color-Enhancing Glazes Offer an Extra Boost

In addition to color-friendly products for the shower, many stylists recommend using color-enhancing glazes to help extend the life of your hair.

“Unlike a gloss, a glaze does not contain peroxide or ammonia,” explains Samantha Faragalli at InStyle.

“They are incapable of depositing or lifting color from the hair cuticle, making them even more temporary than a gloss,” she adds.

While a color gloss might help you amp up the wattage on your hair, the harmful ammonias will strip already-delicate dyed strands – unless you already have blonde hair.

According to Faragalli, glosses are perfect “if you need to fill porosity and are looking to maintain the current color you have.”

Chat with your hair stylist to find out which product works best for your hair’s needs.

Fade into You

By taking a few protective measures, you can ensure your dye job sticks around for the full 4 to 6 weeks.

Here are six expert tips for maintaining color and infusing life back into your tresses:

1. Press Pause on Shampoo

Okay, don’t press pause forever. But you should definitely take it easy, especially in the first few days after your appointment.

“After having your hair colored, wait a full 72 hours before shampooing,” stylist Eva Scrivo told Good Housekeeping.

“It takes up to three days for the cuticle layer to fully close, which traps the color molecule, allowing for longer lasting hair color,” she explained.

If you don’t yet use a sulfate-free shampoo, consider making the switch to protect your color.

“If you have chemically treated hair, you’ll especially want to steer clear of the drying formulas [in sulfate shampoos],” writes Alexis Bennett at InStyle.

“Besides stripping hair follicles of essential oils, sulfate shampoos can also cause untamable frizz, and damage to the scalp,” she continues.

Um, no thanks.

2. Go Deep

A regular deep conditioning treatment is crucial after you dye your hair, says stylist Kyle White.

“To prevent damage, one week after dying your hair, do a deep-conditioning treatment; continue to do so on a weekly basis,” recommends White at Refinery29. “My favorite deep conditioner is coconut oil.”

Because it’s light enough to use regularly, coconut oil will add moisture to your newly dyed hair without adding oil or weight.

Jojoba oil, which is closest to the natural oils of your hair, is a great option for hair masking, too.

“Make a quick mask by adding a drop or two to your regular conditioner to amp up hair’s moisture level and color retention power,” suggests Duron at Prevention.

Whichever natural treatment you decide to try, your hair will thank you for the extra boost.

3. Seek Out Shade

As anyone who dyes their hair for the summer can tell you, a hot summer day is your dye job’s worst enemy.

In addition to wearing a hat or silk scarf while you’re sunbathing, you should also consider a shampoo with more oomph, says Danielle Emig of StyleCaster.

“Bring a shampoo that has UV protection on your vacation,” Emig suggests. “Use one that protects and also repairs damaged hair…[by removing] minerals, chlorine, and salt.”

The UV protection acts like a shield for your delicate tresses – and takes care of any build-up you manage to drag back from the beach, too.

4. Touch-Up Your Color

Nothing spells the end of a dye job faster than roots that show their true colors. Help your color last longer by scheduling an appointment for highlights, says colorist Rachel Bodt.

“Adding soft highlights by either painting or highlighting the ends will cut through the dark and add dimension to the hair so you don’t see the strong line of demarcation,” Bodt told InStyle.

Depending on how you transformed your look with color, creating natural-looking transition colors with highlights or lowlights can make your return to your natural shade that much more graceful.

5. Beat Mineral Build-Up

When you have dyed hair, it seems like danger is everywhere. Sun, shampooing, and styling can all cause hair to fade.

But there’s one danger lurking in your shower you might not have accounted for. To avoid mineral buildup that can cause dye jobs to fade fast, outfit your shower head with a filter.

A clarifying apple cider rinse once a month can also help with mineral build-up, says hair color expert Sharon Dorram.

“The rinse will freshen highlights and boost shine by removing the dulling mineral buildup that’s accumulated on the hair shaft,” Dorram told Prevention.

Apple cider vinegar is a great way to clean the scalp and remove excess oil or product build-up, too – here’s looking at you, dry shampoo users!

6. Nix Heat Tools

Because recently-dyed hair is porous, it absorbs heat more quickly – making it more susceptible to permanent damage.

“Try to avoid using volumizers, mousse, hairsprays, and even gels with high heat for long periods of time,” Dorram explained to New Beauty. “The hair is too vulnerable and easily damaged.”

And, just in case you feel like rolling the dice and taking a chance with your flat iron, you should watch this wild video from colorist Guy Tang before you plug that thing in.

In case you were still harboring doubts, color-extend products can help you breathe life back into dyed hair.

They’re full of natural moisturizers and – if you purchase a color-depositing product – pigments that help you eke the most out of your new color.

But color-extend products aren’t the only thing you should be doing to protect your new look.

Regular deep conditioning treatments, smarter styling, and preventative care will ensure that you look fabulous until you schedule that next appointment with your colorist.

Have you tried a color-extend product to maintain your color? Tell us your verdict in the comments below:

Images: Pixabay, Unsplash, Unsplash, Unsplash

Can Hair Extensions Help the Health of Your Hair? Hint: Yes

Do you envy the Kardashians their long, shiny locks? Don’t feel bad – it’s impossible to achieve that look without a little extra help – from hair extensions. Done right, they can even boost the health of your hair.

Whether you choose tape-in, keratin, or sewn-in extensions, weaves can take the pressure off while you’re in between styles or growing your hair out. Extensions can also help protect your natural hair from damage and give you the flexibility to transform your look on the regular.

Learn more about how to care for the sensitive tresses beneath your extensions – and how to avoid stress caused by inexperienced stylists:

Baby Your Natural Hair

Most women turn to extensions to make their natural hair appear thicker, fuller, and longer – but that doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention to the hair you do have.

In fact, getting extensions can be a great excuse to baby your natural hair, since extensions themselves require quite a bit of maintenance.

“The natural oils of your hair will not reach the tips of your extensions,” Monica Thorton, the co-founder of RPZL, explained to InStyle.

“Proper care includes a daily brushing routine, hydration, and the use of natural products that avoid drying chemicals.”

As Thorton indicates, one of the most important elements of your new hair care routine will be taking the time for deep conditioning treatments for your ends.

“Make sure to hydrate braids or curly hair with a leave-in conditioner daily,” recommends Diane Da Costa at StyleCaster.

“At night, wear a satin bonnet or scarf to minimize dryness and/or tangles,” she adds.

When you hop in the shower, be sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo. Not only will this extend the life of your extensions, but sulfate-free formulas will help your hair maintain more of its natural oils, too.

While hair extensions are easy to style with heat, refrain from turning the heat up too high, or too often – just as you would with your own hair (we hope!).

“Heated styling appliances can be used, but only on 100% human hair extensions,” write the editors of Sally Beauty supply. “Heated curling or straightening irons should never be used on other synthetic hair.”

Just like your natural hair, overusing heated styling tools on extensions can cause damage – or even shorten the life of your ‘do.

In fact, many women even turn to bonded extensions (or keratin extensions) to protect their natural hair.

According to Ruth Roche, the artistic ambassador for Pureology, bonded extensions can “protect your hair, because it’s all inside the extensions and isn’t getting as much exposure to hot curling irons and other damage inducers on the ends of the hair.”

Once you get the gist of caring for your new hair extensions, transforming your look should give you a confidence boost while you’re in the process of growing out your own hair. That’s the whole point!

“Feeling good about the way you look is such a fickle thing, especially for women,” writes StyleCaster’s beauty editor Rachel Krause.

“If having long hair is what it takes for me to feel fully confident with my appearance at this point in my life, shallow as it may be, then why…not have extensions?”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Rachel.

How to Rock Extensions without Damaging Your Hair

New to the world of extensions and weaves? There’s a knack to getting your hair done just right.

Here’s our best advice for avoiding damage during the painstaking application process – and in the weeks afterwards:

1. Go to a Pro

No matter which kinds of extensions you spring for, the most important consideration is to schedule your appointment with a pro.

“Beware of any salon that charges less than $500 for keratin-bond extensions,” writes beauty editor Marissa Gold in Glamour.

“It’s always better to splurge for a time-tested brand of extensions, as well as a salon that’s known for doing them.”

Experienced stylists can also minimize the strain on your natural hair while applying extensions, and help you find the color and texture that best matches your natural hue.

Over at Huffington Post, celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble recommends Remy brand extensions. If you need more ideas, check out this list from StyleBlazer, or chat with your stylist about her recommendations.

All set? Once your extensions are in, make sure to schedule regular appointments with your stylist to maintain the health of your natural hair.

Most stylists recommend monthly check-ins to avoid stress and breakage.

2. Rotate to Avoid Stress

Every three to four months, it’s important to take extensions out completely to avoid strain or breakage, and to let your natural hair breathe.

“When left in for more than four months, the regrowth starts to tangle and can cause breakage to your own hair,” explains Kristina Noto, an extensions specialist, to Glamour.

“They must be professionally removed and replaced before it gets to that point.”

If left in too long or re-applied to the same area, extensions can stress the natural hair closest to the application point.

When you’re ready to switch up your look, your stylist should find new areas to apply the extensions to prevent stressing the same group of hair, says dermatologist Francesca Fusco.

“Rotating means less damage to the hair follicles,” Fusco told Allure. “And [at home], you shouldn’t pull at [extensions] too much when styling.”

The biggest take-away? Easy does it, whether you’re styling at home or the salon.

3. Know Your Treatments

Keratin treatments, or bonded extensions, are much less stressful on your natural hair than sewn-in extensions.

“The cornrowing [involved in the sewn-in process] is stressful on the hair and the hair follicles,” Fusco explained to Allure.

“There’s more weight on the surface area with sewn-in extensions than individual keratin strands,” she added. (More weight always equals more stress on your natural hair.)

If you’re worried about the growth rate of your natural hair, or you’ve experienced hair loss in the past, it may be a good idea to steer clear of sewn-in extensions for now.

4. Use Special Tools

Remember when we said getting extensions is a good excuse for babying your hair? That extends to the tools you use for styling, too.

“Extensions are not for the low-maintenance,” stylist Jen Atkin told Glamour. “You’ll need to make sure you have a special brush and to brush your hair regularly,” Atkin added.

In the market for an extension brush? Check out Atkin’s recommendations at Marie Claire.

5. Problems? Don’t Wait

If you’re experiencing problems – like hair loss or major discomfort around an application point – then don’t wait to fix them, says Fusco.

“If you’re starting to experience hair loss, address it right away,” Fusco told Allure.

“This will eventually damage the hair follicle and the hair loss will be permanent,” Fusco added, describing the symptoms of traction alopecia.

Don’t risk scarring or permanent hair loss – even if you’re embarrassed to go back to the salon. Your stylist should be able to address the problem and re-apply the extension in a place that will cause less stress on your natural hair.

Remember: extensions are supposed to help you protect and pamper your tresses. If it’s having the opposite effect, you need to see a pro – STAT.

Sure, hair extensions require extra work – but, done right, they can help you shield your natural hair from everyday wear-and-tear.

Switch up your look, enjoy having more volume, and feel like a million bucks – all while growing out your hair in secret.

Do you wear extensions? Tell us about your biggest hair care challenge in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Pexels, Unsplash, Flickr

How to Care For Delicate, Curly Hair

If you’re rocking 4b or 4c curls, then your delicate, curly hair is in need of way more TLC than the curls of women who roll out of bed with their loose waves still intact. (If only!)

Without proper care, you’ll face dry, brittle curls that threaten to split, break, and give up the ghost.

So stop worrying about your hair and settle into a routine that will help you feel polished and put-together – even if you’re rocking an afro.

Follow these 8 tips for building a tried-and-true routine for kinky hair:

1. Cut Down on Cleansing

4b and 4c textures are naturally dry – which means you can’t afford to over-wash your hair.

“Fine and delicate, your curls are extra dry and vulnerable to heat and style damage because they have fewer cuticle layers than other textures,” explains Erica Metzger at Refinery29.

This means you should cut back on regular shampoos to retain moisture (Metzger recommends only shampooing once every 10-14 days), and only reach for sulfate-free shampoo when it’s time to cleanse.

Co-washing can also be a good substitute for regular shampooing, since it helps dry hair retain moisture.

“That’s why some curly girls swear by the co-washing routine,” writes Nadine Anglin at Huffington Post Canada.

“They wash their hair with sulphate-free conditioners only, and then use a mild clarifying shampoo once a month to remove product build-up.”

Your hair should feel softer, smoother, and oh-so-silky.

2. Hot Oils Galore

In need of a moisture boost? You can’t go wrong with a hot oil treatment, perfect for restoring moisture to delicate curls without overwhelming them.

At Bustle, beauty editor Kristin Collins Jackson reveals some of her favorite hot oil treatments for curly and kinky hair – including a combination for ladies with 4b and 4c curls.

“Castor oil is a lifesaver when it comes to fighting dry, brittle hair,” writes Jackson. “Combine it with coconut oil, which is amazing at sealing in moisture…and [lavender] oil [for] a healthy scalp.”

An added bonus? Castor oil and coconut oil will help you detangle with ease.

Just remember: some oils are used to seal in existing moisture, while other oils are used to condition, or add, moisture to your hair. As you navigate life with kinky curly hair, the difference is crucial.

“Take time to understand the difference between moisturizing and oil products,” stylist Vernon François told Allure.

And be patient, he adds. “It can take several weeks to notice major changes. Give a product time to work before you give up on it, unless you notice drastic negative effects.”

3. Consider Your Conditioner

When you have tightly coiled, delicate curls, regular leave-in conditioner won’t cut it, says Keora Bernard at CurlyNikki.com.

If you have high-porosity, delicate curls, try a water-based conditioner that won’t weigh your hair down. “Fine hair appreciates mists, sprays, and lighter conditioning products,” Bernard suggests.

Apply your leave-in conditioner right after you get out of the shower, and follow up with your regular styling products, whether that’s curling cream, oil, or a light pomade.

4. Dry Demands

Women with delicate, curly hair have unique needs when it comes to drying hair out of the shower. Towels can be too rough, and heat styling can sap your hair of life.

“Post-shower, blot your curls with a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt, and apply a small dollop of styling primer through your hair,” suggests Metzger.

Many women will put damp hair into protective styles, like twist-outs, while their hair air dries – though you can expect this to take just about all day!

Finally, says Michael Lupo, be wary of cotton. Pillowcases and clothing can do a number on delicate, shoulder-length hair, especially if you’re transitioning to your natural texture.

“When your strands are constantly brushing against your shoulders, friction will do its nasty work and the clothes you are wearing, particularly cotton, will sap the moisture from your ends and make them more prone to breakage,” Lupo told Huffington Post.

You know it’s serious when a stylist puts your t-shirt on the chopping block!

5. Primed and Ready

Plan on using heated styling tools? Then you need to break out the primer, says Sabrina Perkins at NaturallyCurly.com.

Primers “create a weightless, humidity-resistant shield between the strands and whatever you apply or that comes in contact with your hair,” writes Perkins.

“They allow the style to last longer, frizz to be at bay and stave off damage during styling.”

And – yes – even women with 4b and 4c curls can use primer without weighing down their hair.

If pairing with curling cream – as recommended by our friends at Refinery29 – remember to go easy on the application.

6. Embrace Curling Cream

One thing’s for sure – when you have 4b or 4c curls, rolling out of bed is basically impossible. To protect your curls from freaking out with frizz, you’ll have to use a curling cream on damp hair.

Instead of giving your head the old pat-down, actually work the curling cream into your hair, suggests beauty editor Nicole Catanese.

“[Rub] a quarter-size amount of curl cream…in your palm, taking random-size sections, and twisting your curls around and around your finger, so each curl gets wave-defining attention,” writes Catanese at Cosmopolitan.

Make sure to only use a little – otherwise, you’ll weigh down your delicate curls, cautions Michael Lupo, the marketing director for natural hair care line Carol’s Daughter.

“When we change anything about our hair, we always panic, buy a ton of extra styling products and put it all on,” Lupo told Huffington Post.

“Our hair ends up looking greasy or weighed down, so we end up washing our hair too frequently which just dries it out.”

Don’t get stuck in this cycle because you went overboard on curling cream.

7. Protection Spell

Need a break from heat styling, relaxers, or other harsh treatments? Embrace protective styles, suggests beauty editor Anglin.

“Constant tugging from brushes and combs plus intense heat from blow dryers can lead to dried out tresses, traction (thinning) around the hairline, and even breakage,” warns Anglin at Huffington Post Canada.

“Take a styling sabbatical for a few weeks or months, and try braids, twists, head wraps, or even a weave.”

Not sure which protective style suits you best? Check out this list from natural hair blog, Her Given Hair.

8. Trim Trim Trim

If your delicate curls are prone to breakage, heading to the salon can feel a little bit like torture.

But you have to do it, says trichologist Steve Pullan, otherwise you’ll be prone to split ends and breakage that could permanently damage your hair.

Women with 4b and 4c curls must treat their hair ever so delicately – but that doesn’t mean skipping your turn in the stylist’s chair. Plan on getting a trim every 8 to 12 weeks.

“Think of your hair as fiber or as a cashmere sweater,” Pullan told Self. “You wouldn’t drag your hands over a delicate cardigan 100 times, so make sure you’re being just as gentle with your hair when you comb and style it.”

Curls as cashmere? How’s that for self-care advice?

While rocking natural curls with a delicate texture might be a lot of upkeep, we hope you embrace your curl pattern and all that it has to offer.

With regular moisturizing treatments, extra TLC, and protective styling, your delicate, curly hair should stay strong and healthy – until it’s time to hit the stylist’s chair again.

Do you have 4b or 4c curls? Tell us which strategy gives your curls an extra boost in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Unsplash, Unsplash, Unsplash

What’s the Best Summer Party Hair for Your Face Shape?

Bride, guest or garden party reveler, the summer is always packed with weddings and parties. But first things first: Hair. (Of course.) Below, we’ve pulled together this handy cheat sheet to find the best summer party hair for your face shape. From glamorous structured waves to romantic side-swept hair, get the most flattering look for every bbq, beach party and black-tie blowout on your calendar.

Oval: Lucky you! Just about any hairstyle works with your face.

Happy Hair Story: Look effortlessly polished with a simple, go-anywhere high ponytail.

Round: A soft jawline with cheekbones about the equal to the length of your face.

Happy Hair Story: A side part and sleek pony will break up the planes of your face without adding unneeded volume.

Heart: Wider forehead and cheekbones that taper to a smaller chin.

Happy Hair Story: Keep things in proportion by trying romantic waves half up, half down.

Square: A strong jawline that’s wider and about the same width as your forehead

Happy Hair Story: Soften an angular jaw with a loose but polished take on 40s finger waves.

Long: Your face is elongated and narrow.

Happy Hair Story: Balance out the length of your face by adding soft, side swept bangs to a classic updo.

 

Tip: Tame flyaways and keep your look in place by smoothing a drop or two of Hairfinity Nourishing Botanical Oil after styling.
Hairfinity Nourishing Botanical Oil

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Summer Hair Care: How to Keep Your Hair Healthy All Season Long

Summer means long days at the beach and long nights at your fave bar with outdoor seating. It also means you need a summer hair care routine to keep your hair healthy all season long.

Even if you feel rested and relaxed, all that outdoor exposure can spell major damage for your hair if you’re not careful. But don’t give up your quest for the tastiest ice cream cone or the best spot to lay out in the sun just on account of your ‘do.

Fight frizz, lock in moisture, and protect your hair from harmful UV rays with our ten tips for keeping your hair healthy all summer:

1. Trim for the Summer

Heat, chlorine, and salt can make hair more fragile. Cut your hair before the season starts to prevent split ends from getting worse, says beauty editor Rachel Krause.

“If you plan on rocking long locks this summer, you should be prepared to part with your overgrown ends before hitting the beach for optimal hair health,” Krause writes at StyleCaster.

“As hair grows out, split ends continue to split up the hair shaft, so nip them in the bud as quickly as you can.”

You don’t have to rock a pixie to keep your hair healthy (though in hotter weather, who would blame you?). Just remember to schedule your regular trims at the salon to keep potential damage at bay.

2. Stop the Sweat

It’s only natural: in summer things get a little more sweaty. To fight oil and build-up, it’s important to shampoo your scalp more regularly – especially if you depend on dry shampoo during the rest of the year.

“Dry shampoo is great at tackling oil in between washes,” explains Jenna Rosenstein at Refinery29. “But then add the element of more sweat and, well, your dry shampoo is working overtime.”

If you depend solely on dry shampoo for your hair care needs in the summer, you’ll wind up with more build-up than you know what to do with.

Massage dirt and oil away from the roots of your hair when you hit the showers, and – depending on your hair type – consider shampooing every two days or every other day to get your scalp squeaky clean.

Just take it easy on the ends of your hair, since these tend to dry out more quickly as weather gets warmer.

3. Dive Deep

All that extra heat – and more frequent shampooing – can do a number on your ends.

To combat dryness or brittleness, add a mask, deep conditioning, or hot oil treatment into your routine to make sure your hair gets the TLC it deserves.

“I grew up in Hawaii, and we were always using coconut oil and macadamia-nut oils for homemade masks,” celebrity stylist Jen Atkin told Marie Claire.

“They don’t contain silicone, so they’re more like lotion for the hair and won’t build hair up or weigh hair down.”

Atkin also suggests using avocado oil to treat and prevent sunburns on the scalp. The scalp is one of the most vulnerable areas on your body in terms of sun exposure, and avocado oil can help you ease discomfort if you forget to pack a hat for the beach.

4. Tame Frizz

While there’s nothing you can do to fight humidity during the dog days of summer, you can take steps to minimize the effect of a frizz halo.

Try running a dehumidifier in your room at night, suggests Jolene Edgar at Health, or even running coconut oil through your strands before you style.

“Nix frizz at the beach by slicking back your hair with a little coconut oil and braiding it loosely,” Edgar recommends. When you take the braid out at night, you’ll have gorgeous, frizz-free waves.

Turning down the heat on your styling tools or using cool air on your blow dryer can all make a difference, too.

5. Pool Protection

If your blonde hair turns brassy as soon as you get in the pool, you already know chlorine is your enemy.

Rinse off in the shower before you hop in the deep end, suggests trichologist David Kingsley.

“Wet hair with tap water before you take the plunge and it won’t absorb much chlorinated water,” Kingsley told Prevention.

All it takes is an extra step to protect that expensive dye job – or your natural blonde locks – from transforming into something more sea monster than surfer girl.

6. See UV Later

Sunscreen isn’t just for your skin. Your scalp and hairline are naturally sensitive areas – and the least likely to get the kind of coverage that can save you from a painful burn.

Looking for a natural solution?

“Rub sesame oil – a natural UV filter – onto the ends of your hair before hitting the beach,” salon owner Jet Rhys told Health.

The natural oils will help protect your scalp and moisturize dry ends for a two-in-one protection plan.

7. Amp Up Your Color

Dyeing your hair this summer? Then you need a plan to prevent the sun from draining your color – or damaging your newly-fragile tresses.

Try a keratin treatment to protect your color and prevent it from fading, suggests celebrity stylist Ashley Javier.

“They build a protein shield that makes hair easier to style – it’s less fluffy, frizzy, and vulnerable to heat and oxidation,” Javier explained to Marie Claire.

For a more natural approach to keratin treatments, try using regular coconut oil masks for protection and a much-needed moisture boost.

Stick with sulfate-free shampoo to zap frizz and help color last through the summer.

8. Protective Styles

Protective styles like loose braids, bantu knots, and low buns can give your hair a break from heat styling and over-shampooing – plus, they’re perfect for summer.

Take advantage of summer’s less formal vibe and try out one of these easy-peasy protective styles from StyleBlazer.

While you’re thinking about pulling your hair back, you may also want to brush up on how to avoid breakage from hair ties.

Rule #1? Never pull hair back while it’s wet – even if you’ve just popped out of the pool.

“The hair is at its weakest point when it’s wet,” stylist Tommy Buckett explained to Harper’s Bazaar. “It stretches a little more when you pull on it, but it can only take so much before it snaps.”

Hair should be completely dry when you put it up to avoid putting too much pressure on the shaft and inviting damage.

9. Under Cover

Thank goodness the floppy beach hat is back in style. Not only will a hat or scarf protect your scalp from the scorching sun, but it can also save the delicate skin on your face from direct exposure.

“Because there’s no effective chemical product or dye designed to counteract the impact of ultraviolet rays on hair…a wide-brimmed hat is your best weapon for summer hair care,” Cheri McMaster, the principal hair scientist for Pantene shampoos, told Prevention.

Just remember to hold on tight when that ocean breeze starts blowing!

10. Avoid Beach Hair Breakage

Your hair is at its most fragile when you step out of the ocean. And while we love the loose, wavy beach hair look, trying to comb out those tangles can cause major breakage.

“The best thing you can do is go straight to the shower and rinse out the salt,” explained Diane Minar, the senior scientist for Nexxus, to Refinery29.

“Don’t try to comb out the knots until you have a chance to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner,” she added.

Once you’ve rinsed and shampooed out the salt spray, you should be able to detangle as normal.

Whether you’re jetting off to the beach for the summer or hanging by the pool in your neighborhood, don’t forget to extend summer self-care to your hair.

Beat the heat with protective styles, conditioning masks, and a strategic shampoo sesh, so you can float through vacation worry-free.

Do you switch up your hair-care routine for the summer? Tell us what you do in the comments below:

Images: Pexels, Pexels, Pexels, Pexels

Why Going Short Could Be The Best Thing You Do All Year

There’s real truth to the “short hair, don’t care” attitude – just ask your friends who’ve already taken the plunge. In fact, going short could be the best thing you do all year!

Going short for the summer instantly solves major styling problems – and gives you a major confidence boost, too.

Waiting forever for your hair to dry? Not any more. Not sure how to style your long locks? That problem disappears, too.

Before you take a big leap and make the big chop, here’s everything you need to know about rocking your new look.

Low-Maintenance Mane

If you’re ready to feel light as air for the summer, a light and breezy cut could be the best thing you do for your hair all year.

Short cuts give you the chance to waltz out the door without spending agonizing minutes with a blowdryer and round brush – which makes your morning routine a snap.

But you should expect an uptick in salon visits, says beauty and style reporter Jennifer Levine.

“If you cut your hair short like a pixie, it’s going to be easier and less maintenance day-to-day, but you will definitely need to cut it more often, probably every eight weeks or so,” Levine told Reader’s Digest. “Similar to the reason why men cut their hair so often, as it grows out you see the loss of shape and style when it is that short.”

You might be saving money and time every day, but expect to put at least some of those funds back into professional styling and shaping.

The upside? You’ll always look polished.

Va-va-volume

Do you struggle to create the kind of volume you see on models and in magazines without applying extensions?

A short cut could actually help your hair create the illusion of volume, says celebrity stylist Joseph DiMaggio.

“When it’s longer, gravity comes into play,” DiMaggio told the beauty subscription service Birchbox. “And if you have really curly hair, be aware of shrinkage.”

But for DiMaggio and the other stylists who spoke with Birchbox, it’s all about matching your cut to your face shape, especially when it comes to bangs.

“A straight fringe on a circle face will make your face look super small,” DiMaggio said. In contrast, blunt-cut bangs work well on women who have long or oval-shaped faces.

Whatever you do, make sure you have the confidence to match your new hair!

Say Goodbye to Split Ends

Short hair may require scheduling regular trims with your stylist to maintain your shape – but those trims will help your hair stay healthy.

“When you don’t trim regularly, hairs can split right up the shafts and break off, even though the follicles are still in the growth phase,” explains Hannah Morrill at RealSimple.

Since short hair means more regular trims, new growth should be relatively healthier. This is a great perk for women who’ve struggled to grow healthy hair in the past – or who regularly style or color their hair, weakening the shaft.

Have you had trouble detangling your hair? Going short could be the answer there, too, says stylist Fernando Salas.

“Knots and tangles are a thing of the past once your long locks are history,” Salas told StyleCaster. “This also means less breakage and fewer split ends.”

We’re sure most of you can’t wait to kiss that detangling brush – and the hours spent in front of your mirrors – goodbye. For some women, though, regular trips to the salon can be an imposition, says stylist Rachael Anne Banar.

“People think they know what they want sometimes from looking at a few pictures,” Banar told Racked. “As they talk about it more, they realize that it’s going to be a high-maintenance cut.”

Make sure you have a conversation with your stylist about upkeep before going short, just so you have a better idea of what to expect – and whether you’re up for the commitment.

Save Money

When you have long hair, you wind up spending a fortune on styling products. Think serums, curl creams, and leave-in conditioners.

When you have less hair, you’re using fewer products – and less of the ones you do use. But you might have to change the way you think about products altogether, cautions Robyn Hagan Cain at Racked.

“If you sleep on hair that’s full of firm-hold products, you’re going to have a crazy look happening when you wake up,” writes Cain. “Rachael [Banar] recommends using more moldable products, like a dry-texturizing spray or a pomade that’s not too sticky.”

Of course, fewer products means you won’t have as much product build-up, either, which will help you cut down on the need for dry shampoo, keeping your scalp cleaner and healthier from week to week.

“Most dry shampoos contain some amounts of alcohol and have a powder base,” Savannah Fincher, the style director at Blo Blow Dry Bar, explained to Teen Vogue.

“If you use these products repeatedly without cleansing the scalp in between, the product will build up and contribute to dry out the hair. It can also train the hair to stop producing natural oils the scalp requires to stay healthy,” Fincher added.

Short hair might not necessarily mean you can “wash and go” – but showers do get faster, and styling gets much, much easier overall.

On Trend

As scary as it might be to go short, bobs and lobs look good on everyone – as long as you’re playing to the strengths of your face shape and hair texture.

“A lob makes any hair more pliable and gives you tons of options; it’s versatile,” stylist Jon Reyman told Refinery29. “Just make sure that whoever cuts it is able to manage your length and your density.”

Women who have thinner hair benefit from the added volume from any bob or lob, while women rocking lots of waves can add even more drama to their texture with a short, choppy bob.

But the real advantage to shorter hair is that it can give you plenty of mileage in the style department.

“It opens the door to a bunch of different haircuts,” Reyman explained. “For so many years it’s been about long hair or short hair, which is such a big jump for people. We started giving lobs…[it’s] a gateway drug to different cuts.”

For plenty of ideas on how to go short without chopping your hair into a pixie, check out Refinery29’s slideshow of epic bobs and lobs.

Screenshot from Refinery29

Gearing Up for the Big Chop

Want to transition from relaxed to natural hair? The “big chop” could be your easiest solution, helping you avoid the painfully awkward transition phase between hair textures.

“If you transition, you’ll get to keep your length, but you’ll have to deal with styling multi-textured tresses,” explains Tia Williams at Essence. “If you do the big chop, you’ll get rid of your relaxer in one fell swoop, but you might be left with only an inch of hair.”  

Before you head to the salon to ask your stylist to take you back to your natural texture, make sure you’ve really embraced how short your hair will be.

When Taylor Bryant went in for her big chop, she wasn’t quite prepared for her new length – even though she’d worked out a killer new style and shape with her stylist.

“He snipped and shaped until it seemed like there was more hair on the ground than on my head,” Bryant wrote at Refinery29 of her experience in the stylist’s chair.

“This was the point when the expletives started to creep in, and the adrenaline I came in with started to wane – a minor panic attack taking its place.”

Still, by the time Bryant was finished, she felt good.

“My texture has new life in the form of curls and coils that spring back toward my scalp, rather than laying straight on my shoulders,” she added.

“I’m now one of the women who other ladies on the subway look to in admiration and for inspiration to do chops of their own.”

Whether you’re trying to ditch your relaxed hair and embrace your natural texture, or you simply want to go short for the summer, short hair could be the best thing you do all year.

Not only will a short hairstyle keep your hair healthy and full of volume, but classic bobs and lobs never go out of style.

Feeling more daring? Your short hair can take you there, too – as soon as you embrace the power behind the cut.

Have you ever decided to go for the big chop? Tell us how it went – and how you felt – in the comments below:

Images: CurlCentric, Unsplash, Unsplash

How to Give Yourself the Perfect Blowout

The perfect blowout: sleek shiny hair, perfect pin curls, and major volume – what’s not to love?

But when you depend on the salon to help you with your ‘do, it takes money and time you might not be able to spare. (Buh-bye weekends.)

So cancel that appointment and get ready to give yourself the perfect blowout – it’s easier than you think!

Start in the Shower

One of the most basic requirements for a killer blowout? A clean slate for your hair.

That’s why getting that super sleek right-out-of-the-salon look starts before you even pick up your blow dryer, says stylist Gregory Patterson of Blow, the New York Blow Dry Bar.

“A great blowout actually starts in the shower,” Patterson told Harper’s Bazaar. “Many women don’t wash out their conditioner enough. But that residue will ruin your blow-dry.”

Patterson often shampoos his client’s hair a second time, making sure to rinse thoroughly for that squeaky-clean feeling.

Once you hop out of the shower, blot your hair dry with a microfiber towel or a t-shirt, so it’s not sopping wet. If you start to style while wet, says beauty editor Molly Ritterbeck, your efforts will just fall flat.

“One of the biggest mistakes women make is to use a round brush on sopping wet hair,” Ritterbeck explains at Fitness.

“It’s a time suck because your hair won’t hold a shape when saturated with water. Instead try this: After washing, wrap a towel around your hair and twist to wring out excess water.”

Start the styling process with damp hair to achieve greater heights.

Girls with Curls: Exchange your heavy towel for a soft t-shirt, says Michelle Phan, a beauty vlogger. “This trick works especially well for curly-haired girls, because a t-shirt won’t mess up your natural curl pattern like a towel does,” Phan told Bustle.

Choose Your Weapons

Before you reach for your blow dryer, make sure you’re armed and ready with the right products for your hair texture.

Curly girls will need a protein-infused primer to help protect their strands from heat, says InStyle’s beauty editor Marianne Mychaskiw, while most other textures should look for a primer with light moisturizing oils.

Next, “rough dry” your hair by using your fingers, rather than a brush, until your hair is almost dry. (The experts at Fitness suggest drying your hair about 80% of the way.)

Now you’re finally ready for styling product.

“My secret move is combining a volumizing spray and lightweight gel,” stylist Jonathan Mason revealed to Bustle.

“Work these from roots to ends on towel dried hair before blow drying. This trick will work wonders for adding height and hold to see the whole day through.”

Of course, one of the most important elements in your blowout is your hair dryer – so make sure you have an excellent one.

Fitness suggests a low-wattage 1,800 watt dryer to make sure you don’t fry your strands, while Bustle urges readers to spring for the ionic dryer.

Whatever you do, make sure you’ve also picked the right attachment for your hair type – and proceed with caution.

Girls with Curls: Unlike women with wavy or straight hair, curly-haired girls should start using a boar bristle brush – even when hair is still wet, says stylist Olivia Halpin. Same goes for any product you need to apply to your hair – otherwise, the product will sit on top of your hair without fully absorbing into the shaft.

Piece by Piece

Section off your hair from front to back, so you’re only tackling one piece at a time.

At Fitness, Ritterbeck recommends breaking your hair into four manageable sections: “One at the crown, one on each side and one in the back. Twist each and secure with a clip.”

Start styling the front and sides of your hair first, since they’re more noticeable than the back, and you want to use damp hair to your advantage.

While mastering the right movement with a round brush can take a little bit of dexterity, it’s not too hard to get used to.

“The trick to getting each section to lie straight for a long period of time is to make sure the roots are completely dry,” explained stylist Erin Taylor at StyleCaster.

“Hold the section taut [with your round brush] and hit it with the heat of the dryer on all four sides: top, left, right, and underneath,” she added.

Stylist Gregory Patterson agrees – hold your hair vertically first, to let the heat set the curl, then “[twirl] it away from your face for a soft effect.”

“Once that area is dry, wrap hair into loose curls with your fingers and secure with duckbill clips,” Patterson added at Harper’s Bazaar.

Girls with Curls: While just about every other texture can get away with the nozzle attachment, you’ll need a diffuser to ensure your hair doesn’t go completely haywire. “The tool is a necessity if you’re trying to preserve natural curl or wave,” writes Cheryl Wischhover at Self.

Fight Frizz

Once your hair is almost completely dry, it’s time to hit it with a few blasts of cool air from your hair dryer.

“Lock in your style by switching the dryer to the cool setting and hitting your hair with cold air to close the cuticles; this will amp up shine,” suggests Ritterbeck at Fitness.

This technique also helps manage frizz – which can occur from too much moisture, or too much heat (unfair).

If you have especially thick hair, follow up with a smoothing cream or serum to help keep fly-aways at bay, as you comb fingers through your hair for separation and definition.


Advanced Maneuvers

Want to add volume or definition to make your blowout more interesting? These techniques will add a little bit of styling time, but they’re oh-so-worth it.

For more volume, focus some attention at the crown of your head. You can even grab a few rollers or make pin curls.

“Once you’ve gotten the top partly completely dry, pop in two Velcro rollers,” suggests Patterson. “It’ll add body while your hair cools and sets.”

You can also create additional definition by switching up the direction of your blow dryer, says Taylor.

“Alternate the direction of your wrist every section (flip up, then down, and so on) so your ends are going in different directions,” Taylor told StyleCaster. “It adds life and interest to your style.”

Sleep On It

Now that you’ve labored over your very own blowout – make it last overnight with a well-placed ponytail.

“If you’re trying to maintain a straight blowout, pull your ponytail to the nape of your neck so that hair stays flat,” suggests Wischhover.

“If you’re going for bouncy volume, do the opposite and pull it high up on your head into a topknot,” she adds.

Switch out your pillowcases for silk to minimize tangling, and don’t forget to hit your roots with dry shampoo in the morning to zap oil along your hairline.

Whether you want to save money or cut down on time in the salon chair, learning how to DIY your blowout will give you more control over your hair – and help protect it from excessive heat.

Follow our tips – from hitting the showers to hitting the hay – for the perfect blowout with monster volume.

Have you mastered a DIY blowout? Tell us your secrets in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Unsplash, Pinterest, Pinterest

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