Damaged, Limp, and Frizzy
You know you have to get regular trims and start drinking more water. You know you need to eat healthier and stop styling your hair to death. And you know beautiful locks require time and care -- and most important, patience.
But let's face it, you're not all that patient. You need to look stop-traffic stunning now. Well, fear not: We have some fail-proof remedies for your most common hair quandaries. Most of these fixes are only temporary, but they're quick -- perfect for when you need a little instant gratification.
1. Damaged, overprocessed hair. If you have a few hours, splurge on a salon scalp treatment. These blissful treatments immediately work wonders on damaged hair, and are much more than a quick fix. A good treatment will start your hair on the road to recovery in addition to making it look healthier in the moment.
If you don't have the time or money to get to the salon, opt for a deep-conditioning hair masque, which only requires half an hour. You'll see instant change. Shampoo and condition post-masque and your mane will shine with new life.
When styling, use an ionic or tourmaline dryer and a ceramic flat iron or curling iron to prevent style damage. Blow-dry on a warm -- not hot -- setting, and avoid exposing hair to heat once it is fully dry. This is what causes further damage and breakage, which will only make things worse.
2. Limp, stringy hair. The most obvious answers are often the most effective. That is certainly the case with flat hair. Wash with a volumizing shampoo and condition only the ends. This will make an immediate difference; the less product you put in your hair, the less weighted down it will be. Blow it dry with a vent brush or your fingers, lifting at the roots, and focusing the airflow close to your scalp.
Foam rollers also add body once your hair is clean and product-free. If you feel like investing a little more time on your style, curl individual strands in opposing directions with a curling iron -- use a 3/4 inch barrel -- and you'll be able to fake body with the best of them. Seal with a texturizing spray like Bumble and Bumble's thickening spray ($25) and you'll be ready to walk away with a little more bounce.
3. Dry, frizzy hair. The key to helping dry hair is to condition, condition, condition. hair is usually driest at the ends, so be sure to focus there, along with any visibly dry patches. Even if you don't use a leave-in conditioner, let it sit in your hair for at least five minutes before rinsing. Rinse it out by concentrating the water on the crown of your head rather than the ends. Once out of the shower, pat hair dry with a towel because rubbing it dry will only exacerbate the problem.
Next, focus on styling and products. You can combat even the worst case of the frizzies with the right silicone-based products. We recommend the Kerastase Oleo-Relax line ($24-36), a favorite of stars and their stylists alike.
Bad Color, Split Ends, and Greasy hair
4. hair color disasters. Wash hair with Prell shampoo ($4) and hot water. Prell is known for its color-stripping powers and heat will help fade color faster than cold water. This is the first step in damage control. It will not completely remove color by any means, though. Next, wash again with a color-enhancing shampoo, to bring out the shade you would actually like to see on your head. Once you've taken these steps, condition well because damaged-looking hair will just make bad color look worse. Try Phytologie Phytonectar nourishing oil treatment ($24) to protect and nourish hair.
And if all else fails, create a diversion. Wide headbands will create their own focal point, since they cover the most readily visible strands at the hairline. Curls and other texturized styles can also pull the focus away from color.
Finally, if you're feeling brave, you can apply temporary do-it-yourself highlights and even out the color yourself. These wash out easily so even the aesthetically challenged can give it a try. We like Jerome Russell temporary spray-in tints ($5; at Ricky's, 877-447-4259).
5. Split ends. Don't have time for a trim? Hot oil treatments temporarily hold ends together. Shine serums like Phyto's Phytolisse ($24) or Robert Hallowell's Shine Drops Serum ($10.50) can also seal the ends temporarily. Apply before blowing dry, and then be sure to get ends as straight as possible, because splits look much worse when they are allowed to curl, frizz, or wave.
6. Greasy hair. Wash hair with a shampoo that contains zinc (Head and Shoulders or Wella System Professional Regulate work well), and shampoo daily. Contrary to popular belief, shampoo is not damaging --- as long as you avoid harsh shampoos that strip the hair of its natural emollients. Avoid conditioning the roots and scalp, and you should be able to remain shine-free much longer than usual.
If you're really crunched for time, simply rub baby powder into the roots of dry hair, to soak up oils. But be sure to shake the excess powder out, otherwise you'll end up with unsightly white streaks. Finally, for midday touchups, try blotting your scalp with an oil-blotting strip made for the face. We recommend Quick Fix blotting film from Mac ($10.50).