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End-of-Summer SOS (Part 2) - Hair

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Hair

The problem: Washed-Out Color

Whether your strands are blond or brunette, colored or natural, it’s likely that you’ll notice fading by Labor Day. The reason: “Summer is when hair is subjected to the three biggest causes of damage: sun, chlorine, and salt water,” says Kyle White, lead colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City.

Description: The problem: Washed-Out Color

Quick fix

Enhance color: For a quick hue refresh, head to the kitchen. Blonds tend to lose golden colors, resulting in ashiness, says White. Counter this with chamomile tea: Rinse damp hair with cooled tea (the longer it steeps and the richer its color, the better), and let it sit for five to 30 minutes before shampooing. “This deposits the yellow and gold tones that are the first to fade in blonds,” says White. Brunettes can try a similar trick using coffee; the java replenishes cooler shades that are lost when brown hair turns brassy. Color-enhancing shampoo and conditioner, which help brighten strands without depositing dye, are another easy daily fix. Try Redken Blonde Glam Shampoo and Conditioner ($14.50 and $15.50, salons; 7) or Pantene Pro-V Brunette Expression Shampoo and Conditioner ($5 each, drugstores)

Description: Try Redken Blonde Glam Shampoo and Conditione

Try Redken Blonde Glam Shampoo and Conditione

Long-term solution

Maximize shine: When it’s time to recolor, apply dye only where you see visible changes. “Fading typically occurs only on the top layer, where hair is exposed to sun, and at the ends, which are the most porous. Since color is damaging, apply it only where it’s needed to minimize wear and tear,” says White. Then try a clear gloss to boost all-over shine and vibrancy. This smooths the hair cuticle, making strands look lustrous.

The problem: Dry, Brittle strands

Summer elements zap moisture from hair, leaving you with Barbie-like locks. “Chlorine and salt water lift the cuticle, seep in, and dry tresses,” explains hairstylist Don Bewley. The sun also weakens hair – particularly gray hair, which doesn’t have the protective benefit of melanin, or color.

Quick fix

Treat and hydrate: Apply a deep conditioner to damp hair, then wrap with plastic wrap so your body heat will help the ingredients penetrate, says Bewley. Try: Paul Mitchell After-Sun Replenishing Masque ($19, salon; 9). Or, try a hair oil. Look for one with coconut oil, which won’t leave a greasy residue; we like Pureology Precious Oil ($40, salons; 8). Apply from mid-shaft to ends before blow-drying, or massage a few drops into dry hair before shampooing.

Description: A quick, easy way to quench dry locks

A quick, easy way to quench dry locks

Long-term solution

Swap conditioner: “People use one with proteins like keratin, thinking it will strengthen hair,’ says Rebecca Friedman, co-owner of Goodform Salon is Los Angeles. “But over time the proteins build up and harden, making strands feel brittle,” she explains. Save protein-based products for occasional use and opt for a moisturizing conditioner with hydrating oils for every day. Try: Bangstyle Hydrating Conditioner ($16, bangstyle.com for salons), with avocado oil.

At-home glosses & glazes

They promise shinier, smoother hair… without a hefty salon price tag. Some claim shine for a few days (till they’re shampooed out); other guarantee luster for weeks.

The test: Women with varying hair types tried each product at home and reported on their results. In the lab, colored hair swatches with the glosses applied were evaluated for immediate shine and smoothness; glosses with long-term claims were also evaluated after four and six weeks.

The results: Among the temporary fixers, John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze ($10, drugstores) scored tops for being the easiest to use and instantly adding shine. “I got compliments about my hair. It seemed to smooth the texture and make it shinier,” said one volunteer. For long-term effects, Clairol natural Instincts Shine Happy Clear Shine Treatment ($9, drugstores) aced consumer and lab tests for immediate shine, and testers also liked how it smoothed strands. While it fell short of the four-week claim, it still left locks shiny for two weeks in lab tests. A few testers found that the glaze slightly lightened their hair color.

Description: John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze

John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze

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