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Pro tips for fabulous hair
"Statistically, Canadian women suffer from dry hair more than any other group because of the climate," says British hair expert Charles Booth, who recommends conditioning your hair at night to help repair and regenerate it. LaCoupe Overnight Repair Miracle Masque is specially formulated to deep-condition and repair damaged hair overnight. It also promises not to put a dent in your love life — it smells great, isn’t goopy and won’t stain the sheets.
Say bye-bye to bed-head with a satin pillowcase. Silky fabrics offer much less friction on your hair than cotton ones. The result? Hair is smoother and frizz-free in the morning. Another benefit: The dreaded deep-sleep face crease is a thing of the past.
Give a little bit
If you’ve got Afro-texture hair and regularly hit the salon to have it chemically straightened, ask your stylist to stop when your curl is about 80 per cent straight. This will leave some elasticity in the hair, which is essential for body and strength. Achieving perfectly straight hair may seem like the ultimate goal, but it often leaves hair lifeless and limp. A little texture goes a long way toward keeping hair healthy.
It’s not just skin that can become weathered and damaged by the sun — hair is equally susceptible. UV rays are adept at leaving locks brittle and dehydrated. Use a UV blocker such as Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Sun Guardian UV Protection Spray with added conditioners to protect hair and keep a horsetail at bay.
If it suits your natural hair texture, try bangs. They’re a flattering way to hide forehead wrinkles (and cheaper than Botox). Go for a brow-skimming length with a little texture to soften the face (rather than a straight, more severe blunt cut).
Charles Booth knows that, secretly, we’re scared of flat irons. "Go to a salon first to get your hair done and watch how the stylist holds the iron," he says. "Or better yet, ask your daughter. She’s probably been doing it for years." Don’t skimp, though; invest in a flat iron with adjustable temperature and ceramic or ionic plates. The resulting difference is worth the extra bucks.
What’s a busy woman’s secret weapon? Dry shampoos. They add instant volume, soak up excess oil and leave you with fresh-scented, clean-looking hair. They’re also great for stretching out that professional blow-dry for one more day. Try Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract or Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder. By the way, washing hair daily fades colour quickly (and dries it out), so taking a day or two off in between shampoos can make a big difference to your hair’s condition.
Don’t get caught up following fads. Do what flatters your face and skin tone, even if you update your look every year. "Avoid colouring your hair too dark or too light," stresses David Facchino, co-owner of Montreal’s Queen of the World salon. "Opt for mid-tone hues or break up your colour with subtle highlights."
Layers look great, but even Farrah left the full-blown shag back in the 1970s. "Women should definitely avoid over-layering, since it can make heavy hair look butchered," Facchino advises. Choose some face-framing layers instead to add structure and camouflage any neck trouble spots.
The myth of brushing hair 100 strokes a day has long been debunked, but that doesn’t mean your hair can’t get the Rapunzel treatment. Buy a high-quality boar bristle brush, which can gently detangle knots without causing damage. If you’ve got thick hair, go with a blend of synthetic and boar fibres (like those in the Modern Bella Perfect Brush) to ensure the bristles have enough grip to get drawn all the way through hair. A good brush will last for years and is a worthy investment in your beauty bank.
Ready to go grey but not sure how to get through the early stages? Invest in a few stylish headbands or scarves to conceal your roots, or try a semi-permanent colour, which washes out gradually but takes the edge off of grey roots. Grey hair can appear more dry and brittle than coloured hair, so take extra care — get regular trims and use specially formulated products, such as René Furterer Okara Mild Silver Shampoo, to provide silver highlights and add shine.