Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lazy Woman's Guide To Fabulous Hair

I don't know about you but I sit up and take notice on any style tips that include the two words, Lazy and Fabulous. Yay for Oprah for combining those two words!

Fast Fix 1: Stop Frizz Before It Starts

Use a shampoo and conditioner with argan oil, says hairstylist Jeanie Syfu. It lightly coats hair and locks in moisture, preventing flyaways. Try Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, which contain softening apricot extract and argan oil—for less than $5.

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Fast Fix 2: Upgrade Your Towel

A lot of women vigorously rub their hair with a towel thinking it will speed up drying time, but it only roughs up the texture and causes frizz. Blot with a microfiber towel instead and then wrap it around your head to soak up excess moisture. This one from Aquis Essentials (at left) is made of fabric that absorbs water faster than standard terry cloth.

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Fast Fix 3: Make Wet Hair Work

By far the most time-consuming part of hairstyling is the blow-out. Here's how to skip it—and still look put together.

1. Squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel.

2. Apply a leave-in conditioner to your ends, like L'Oréal Paris EverSleek Humidity Defying Leave-In Crème; it will seal the cuticle and help your style hold its shape.

3. If your cut is chin length or shorter, make a deep side part with a comb and slick the sides down behind your ears. Add a smoothing balm on the crown to keep stray pieces in place.

4. If you have long hair, pull it into a high ponytail near the crown using a fabric elastic. We like the ones from Emi-Jay that don't cause breakage.

5. Wind the tail around the base of your pony to create a bun and secure it with long, rubber-coated hairpins that won't snag.

6. Once your hair has had a few hours to air-dry, let it down. You'll have a head full of body and waves.

Fast Fix 4: Limit Your Blow-Dryer Time

A high-quality dryer can shave at least 30 minutes off your normal routine. For a smoother finish, look for models that use a combination of tourmaline and ionic technology (like the T3 Featherweight Luxe, at left, or the more budget-friendly T3 Veloce) both of which contain ceramic heating coils that distribute heat more evenly. A good dryer will also have a nozzle that attaches to the front of the barrel to focus the air. If you have curls, look for a diffuser with prongs, which act like fingers to help define waves as you dry, says Syfu. Spritz a volumizing product that contains alcohol (like Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray) through damp hair to help speed up the process, she adds.

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Fast Fix 5: Sleep on It

No time to get to the salon for a trim? Nexxus Split End Binding Overnight Treatment Crème contains polymers that attach to split ends to fuse them together while you sleep. You'll wake up to smoother hair, and the nongreasy formula won't leave residue on your pillow.

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Fast Fix 6: Extend the Life of Your Blow-Out

Salon hair-straightening treatments can leave your hair looking sleek but may also expose you to toxic formaldehyde (and can cost a small fortune). For a safe alternative that doesn't require a visit to your stylist, we like Living Proof Straight (which doesn't contain silicone that can weigh fine hair down). This spray, which can be used on wet or dry hair, contains a humidity-blocking molecule that prevents frizz on even the muggiest days. If your hair is coarse, apply John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight to it while it's damp and then blow-dry and flatiron to seal in the product. It requires extra effort, but the results last until your next shampoo.

Fast Fix 7: Control Curls Quickly

Defining curls with a curling iron or hot rollers can eat up a lot of time. Give your natural texture a boost by applying a leave-in conditioner and a styling product for curls, like Pantene Pro-V Curl Enhancing Spray Gel (at left), to damp hair; evenly distribute it with a wide-tooth comb. Use your fingers to twist one- to two-inch sections all over your head to encourage S-shaped curls. Then hands off—touching or scrunching causes hair to frizz. Instead, tilt your head to one side and use a diffuser to push curls toward your scalp as you blow-dry. Even if you don't have time to fully dry hair, five to 10 minutes of heat helps lock in the shape, says Syfu, who has styled models' hair—from the super curly to pin straight—in a hurry during New York Fashion Week. To revive and hydrate waves the next day, try Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist.

Fast Fix 8: Give Yourself a Day (or Two...or Three) Off

Forget firing up your blow-dryer. Use a dry shampoo to get rid of grease, add volume and leave hair looking refreshed. The key to avoiding a filmy residue, says Syfu, is holding the can at least eight inches away from your scalp and spritzing the product in short bursts onto your roots. Give the powder a few seconds to settle and absorb excess oil; then work it in with your fingers and brush it out. We like Tresemmé Fresh Start Strengthening Dry Shampoo, which gives hair a clean, citrus scent.

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We've got eight effortless fixes that'll leave you looking polished in no time.
By Amber Kallor

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