The New Approach to Hair Care
By Shelley Levitt
The new approach to hair care. Discovering the skin care line that works best for you is like finding the brand of jeans that are perfect for your body: It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that it’s a life-transforming experience. With the right skin care products, problems you once thought you’d have to live with forever — zits or big pores, brown spots or blackheads — are finally beaten. The result is not just a clearer, more glowing complexion, but also a more confident you.
Get ready for the same experience when it comes to hair care products. The new approach to hair care is borrowing a page from savvy skin care regimens: pro-active products with research-driven ingredients that offer advanced care for hair woes that until now seemed unsolvable. Some of these expert new potions replenish your follicles, scalp and strands with specialized ingredients, like caffeine and panthenol, that you already use to keep your skin radiant.
“I love all the new technology that we’re seeing in hair care products,” says Jet Rhys, a San Diego stylist and hair educator who has witnessed firsthand how these innovative products can restore hair health. “Hair is an extension of our skin so it makes perfect sense that some of the same key ingredients used in skin care will be able to turn back the clock on our hair too. Healthy, well-nourished and well-hydrated hair will be youthful, shiny and bouncy!”
The Road to Hair Ruin and Back
In the last few years, researchers have gained a better idea of what happens to hair as it ages. “We’re now understanding that the hair we’re producing as we age is different, and it has different needs,” says Jeni Thomas, senior scientist with Pantene. Around the time we hit 40, hair begins to have less density and diameter. It appears thinner and can be more susceptible to damage, inviting dullness, dryness, split ends and frizz.
Birthdays aren’t the only factor that can leave our tresses looking stressed. Heat styling and chemical processing, like hair coloring or straightening, can lead to severe hair damage. These commonly-used processes leave strands weak and vulnerable to even more damage. It’s a frustrating cycle that until now left seriously wrecked hair pretty much beyond repair. But scientists have now formulated ways to address hair damage at the cuticle cell level, undoing years of hair abuse and protecting your strands from future damage.
New Hair Care Products and Ingredients
What types of ingredients can you expect to see in this new array of hair products? Scan the labels and you’ll recognized ingredients you already use to enhance your skin: caffeine, panthenol, ceramides, green tea, salicylic acid, retinols, peptides, antioxidants and more. And the way these ingredients are being delivered will also sound familiar. There are now day creams and night creams, BB creams and CC creams, overnight treatments and exfoliators for your hair and scalp.
To reap the benefits of these new breakthrough formulas, you may need to add an extra step to your hair care regimen. But those 30 to 60 seconds you’ll spend applying a strand-thickening spray, a split-end remedy, a deeply hydrating mask or a keratin-repair elixir can take your hair from fried to fabulous. Embrace the innovation and prepare for compliments!
Shelley Levitt is the managing editor of The Style Glossy. She is a former West Coast editor of Self and senior writer at People.