QUESTION: My hair seems so dull. How can I make it look healthier?
ANSWER: First, determine why your hair looks less than lush: Perhaps you colored it but haven’t been using color-protective products. Or maybe you have product buildup — the result of applying too many styling aids and not removing with the right shampoo. Or it might be the result of daily damage from overstyling. Once you have identified a culprit (or two), use the advice below.
Heat-style wisely. “Heat flattens your hair’s cuticle (theouter layer of the hair shaft), allowing light to reflect off it andcreate a glossy finish,” Labrecque explains. But when used improperly(for example, heat-styling without a protective product), hotappliances can burn the hair strand. Labrecque’s advice: Spritz hairfirst with a product that coats the hair. We like Tresemm Instant HeatTamer Styling Spray ($4; at drugstores).Avoid overprocessing your hair. Add color orhighlights as needed, but not more than once every four months. Then,post-processing, try products specifically designed for color-treatedhair; these are gentler and less likely to strip your strands of theirnatural shine-inducing oils. Editor’s pick: color-specific shampoos andconditioners from John Frieda ($6.50 each; at drugstores), available inSheer Blonde, Brilliant Brunette and Radiant Red.
Read the ingredient label. “Some styling aids containalcohol, which can dehydrate hair and make it look dull,” Labrecquesays. Instead opt for creamy, water-based products. Try Paul MitchellExpress Style Quick Slip ($13; paulmitchell.com)or Dove Straight & Soft Sleek Styling Cream ($4.29; at drugstores);both tame the frizzies while keeping hair vibrant and healthy.
Pro tip: Use clarifying shampoo twice a month to rid dulling product residue.Related posts: