Q: My hair looks tired and worn out. How do I get it to look like Beyonce’s?
A: You can’t. It’s a wig.
Q: “Okay, Forget Lady B. I just want my lifeless hair to be long and healthy. What can I do?”
A: To get naturally beautiful hair, go back to where it all begins: the scalp. “Proper scalp care is like fertilizing your garden,” says Donna Paty, national education manager for Kiehl’s. “Ideal ground conditions yield a better crop.”
Dr. Julia Carroll, a dermatologist and consultant for Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy, agrees. “Your scalp is an extension of your face, but it rarely gets the same skin care consideration or attention,” she says, explaining that it’s the first three (of five) layers of the scalp’s epidermis that are the most important for determining hair health. Luckily, you can stimulate the scalp topically with the right products.
Start with a good wash. The scalp’s first layer contains hair follicles and oil glands; both can become clogged, causing irritation, lifted cuticles and thinner hair shafts. Proper cleansing (make sure you wash your head, not just your hair) removes oil and dirt from the follicles so that your hair can grow more easily. While you’re in the shower, be sure to give yourself regular scalp massages (think of the luxurious treatment you get at the salon) to improve blood circulation and stimulate growth. Finally, use a vitamin-enriched hair treatment, like the vitamin B5, C and E complex found in Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy shampoo and conditioner, to stimulate the aponeurosis—the dense layer of tissue that contributes to hair growth—which, as the third layer of the scalp, rarely gets proper nutrients.
Paty also suggests using a scalp treatment that contains natural oils, such as the rosemary and avocado oils found in Kiehl’s Magic Elixir Restructuring Concentrate, to improve the overall health of your hair.
Want catwalk-worthy hair styles this fall? Find out how to get them on the next page …
Q: “Once my hair and scalp are restored, how can I get that straight-off-the-catwalk look without a live-in stylist?”
A: Sam McKnight, the backstage and editorial hairstylist who created looks for Balmain, Chanel and Blumarine for the fall/winter 2012/2013 shows, says that this season’s catwalks were about
natural and healthy-looking hair. To replicate these looks, a good blowout is required. To keep your hair in top condition, protect it during styling with a heat-protection spray applied while the hair is still damp, and then use a smoothing serum to eliminate dry or brittle cuticles for a smooth finish. It’s important not to skip this crucial step; McKnight says he always sees models’ fried hair backstage and that heat treatment is the number one cause of damage. “My main concern is
getting hair back to a healthy state,” he says, adding cheekily: “It helps me justify damaging the hair all over again at the next show!” Of course, there are many other ways you can damage hair. Everything from pollution, UV exposure, dye jobs and even a tight ponytail can harm your hair cuticle and cause frizz, breakage or general unruliness. Suggesting that you abandon your flatiron and forsake highlights is about as realistic as following the Paleolithic Diet. Just aim for moderation.
To get full and flowing hair, like the style McKnight created for the Blumarine show, use a volumizing mousse—and don’t be shy about it. “People tend to be scared that they will weigh down their hair if they use too much product or put it too close to the roots,” says McKnight. “But if you don’t use enough product, you won’t be able to style your hair.” If your hair is shoulder length or longer, McKnight recommends using a blob of mousse the size of a tennis ball; for shorter hair, a dollop the size of a Ping-Pong ball will suffice. Be sure to comb the product through your hair well before you begin blow-drying to ensure that it’s evenly distributed.
Finally, if you’ve ever tried to stow your wallet, lipstick, camera and iPhone in your Proenza Schouler cross-body, you know that size matters. The same is true when selecting a hairbrush. Use a large round brush to add body to your hair from the roots to the tips. McKnight suggests opting for a brush with natural bristles; it grips the hair more easily and minimizes the damage to the cuticle as you blow-dry. Having your hair cut in long layers can also create movement and give it more dimension and volume. If all else fails? Wig it up.