Even if you aren’t a co-washing curly, chances are you don’t wash your hair every day. Although this is a great practice for maintaining moisture, it can still lead to hair that gets dry and tangled with product buildup. To ensure that your hair gets moisture restored and tangles removed on wash days, you need the right moisturizing cleanser, conditioner and styling products to compliment them.
Celebrity hair stylist Tippi Shorter shows us how to achieve moisturized, detangled beautifully styled curls with Pantene Pro-V products. Here are some tips on how to get the same results yourself.
- Shampoo your curls with Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Moisture Balance Shampoo to give your hair a fresh start and to begin restoring moisture.
- To remove tangles, apply Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Moisture Balance Conditioner and work through sections of your hair gently with a detangling brush, wide tooth comb or your fingers. Rinse out the conditioner after hair is properly detangled.
- Smooth through the length of your curls with a cocktail of Pantene Pro-V Normal-Thick Style Flowing Body Mousse and Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair Series Anti-Frizz Straightening Creme.
- Scrunch curls together and up towards your scalp with a microfiber towel to remove excess water and to encourage curl formation.
- Blow dry your hair with a diffuser attachment scrunching it up towards the scalp with the diffuser. Flip your head and hair over and diffuse upside down with the same scrunching motion. Diffusing upside down will produce more volume in your finished hairstyle.
Visit the Pantene Facebook page for more info on these curl-friendly products.
It’s long been believed that we go gray when the cells in the hair follicle (called melanocytes) stop injecting the strands with melanin. For most people, those first errant strands start popping up sometime in the mid-30s to early 40s, but for some, it occurs even earlier than that. The result: an unpigmented hair that, despite its gray appearance, is actually white.
“Each hair follicle stops producing melanin at different times,” says Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist in Chicago. “So the combination of white hairs lying against other colored strands makes them appear gray.”
But a breakthrough three years ago at the University of Bradford in Great Britain found that was only half of the gray hair puzzle. They discovered that youthful hair cells produce hydrogen peroxide that gets converted into hydrogen and oxygen. But as we age, even that system starts slowing down leaving hair to essentially bleach strands from the inside out.
Genetics also play a role, as does genotoxic stress (chemical stressors that bring about DNA damage), not the plain-‘ol my-kids-are-driving-me-crazy melee. A stressful life event such as divorce or illness can also trigger a condition that causes hair to shed more quickly and the regenerated hair could grow back gray.
Read More: Genotoxic Stress Turns Hair Gray
To Dye or Not to Dye?
So now that hair is essentially colorless, it should be easy to chemically add it back in, right? Unfortunately, no. “Gray hair completely lacks melanin and doesn’t have anything to back up the pigments, so the color appears washed out,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, YouBeauty Cosmetic Chemistry Expert. Think of it as white paint on a white wall versus a layer of white paint on a glass window; the color won’t be as pronounced.
Coloring gray hair may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Black and brown tones will have the easiest time reviving their strands as “darker dyes are absorbed best by gray hair,” says Romanowski. And while blondes and redheads may have to work harder to camouflage those ashy strands, grays aren’t as apparent on lighter shades as they are on deeper ones.
Read More: The Best Hair Color for Your Skintone
For locks that are about 20 to 25 percent gray, use a demi- or semi-permanent hair color that’s closest to your natural tone in order to blend away the grays with minimal damage to the hair. Both types deposit color without ammonia, but the demi-permanent color “uses a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide to open up the hair cuticle and inject more color,” says Romanowski. As a result, demi-permanent color lasts almost twice as long as semi-permanent. Semi-permanent color delivers a rich, shiny color but fades out in six to 12 shampoos.
If more than half of your hair is gray, go the permanent color route. Permanent hair color contains ammonia which opens the hair cuticle to allow the color to penetrate.
Many colorists advise not taking on the challenge of coloring gray hair yourself — at least not the first time. “Gray hair is not something you want to take a chance on,” says Vasken Demirjian, a hair colorist and owner of a salon in White Plains, New York. “See a colorist who has studied color and has had years of practice.” Keep in mind, too, that if things go haywire as you DIY, the color correction can cost more than a regular salon visit for coloring.
Caring for and Coloring Gray Hair
Whether you are between salon visits or starting to see a few grays pop up, products with temporary hair color can work wonders, thanks to foolproof application and a wide range of color choices. The following products conceal grays effectively and help maintain hair health.
Read More: Celebrities with Gray Hair
- For Strays and Small Amounts of Gray. “For most people, gray hairs start sprouting around the temples and the hairline,” says Vasken Demirjian, a hair colorist and owner of Vasken Demirjian Salon in White Plains, New York. “Hair mascaras are great Band-Aids to hide grays in between colorings,” says Demirjian. Generation Klean’s Gray Disappear contains moisturizing vitamin E and panthenol and is free of parabens, sulfates and propylene glycol. Results last until your next shampoo.
- For Touch Ups. Colorists recommend Roux’s Tween-Time Touch Up Stick because “it’s an ideal temporary fix for your hair part,” says Giselle, a hair colorist at the Riccardo Maggiore Salonin New York City. This combination of paraffin and synthetic beeswax binds color to the hair and lasts until you wash it out. To apply, dampen the stick or apply straight to wet hair.
- For Lifeless Locks. Grays are more prone to dryness than pigmented hair. Hydration is key. To pre-empt parched, wiry strands, strengthen locks with Yarok’s nourishing treatment serum. Massage a dropperful of the avocado, apricot, yarrow and orange blossom oil blend from scalp to strand before shampooing.
- For Large Sections of Gray Hair. You can cover a decent chunk of gray regrowth in seconds flat with Gray Away Root Concealer. The temporary color (available in four shades) comes in aerosol form and adjusts to you hair tone. It’s also sweat-proof and stays put until the next time you shampoo. Point the nozzle toward roots and move the can continuously for even coverage. Use on dry hair for best results.
- For Easy Maintenance. The TouchBack Plus line of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners help professional color go the distance. The wash-in tone adheres to roots and stray grays for up to three washes. Available in eight shades.
- An Easy DIY Option. Clairol Natural Instincts is a non-permanent, ammonia-free, hair color kit that helps blend away grays while adding more depth and dimension. “I recommend it to first timer DIYers.” says Giselle. “It’s easy to do and lasts for up to 28 shampoos.” The ColorTreat conditioning treatment that’s included contains panthenol and coconut oil to strengthen locks, giving them bounce and vitality.
- Another great option is to moisturize, protect and care for your gorgeous gray curls as they grow in. With the right treatment and without the harshness of constant coloring, your gray curls can be even more stunning than they were before! You won’t even think of covering them up!
Straightening curly or wavy hair can be tough, but follow our easy guide and your locks will be perfect in no time. Here’s how to straighten hair, with heat and without.
One of the great joys of having textured hair (from the slightest beachy wave to beautiful kinks) is versatility. No matter how curly your hair, sleek strands are just one styling session away. But the question isn’t if waves can be straighten, but how. How to straighten your hair? How to use a flat iron? Is there a way to straighten natural hair without heat? We asked hair stylist and Hair Rules creator Anthony Dickey for the answers to those questions and more.
How to Straighten Hair With Heat
Learning how to straighten your hair isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, says Dickey. “Texture determines how to straighten,” he explains. Techniques vary by hair type, roughly divided along the line of straighter textures like waves and very curly and kinky hair.
Step 1: Shampoo and Condition
That said, all great straight styling begins in the shower. “The thicker, curlier and kinkier your hair is, the more you want to avoid shampoos with suds,” says Dickey. “Use cream shampoos that are sulfate-free, which won’t dry out your hair.” Then apply a moisturizing conditioner. He adds that “flatter,” softly wavy strands (without an s-shaped curl or z-shaped kink) or hair that’s nearly straight can use a sudsing shampoo, but it should also be sulfate-free. Condition only the ends of this hair type, he advises, so it doesn’t get weighed down.
Step 2: Dry
Curly to Kinky Hair: Squeeze the water out so it’s not dripping, but don’t towel-dry the hair, advises Dickey. “Towel-drying creates frizziness in textured hair,” he said. Apply a heat styling lotion, like Hair Rules Blow It All Out. “The lightweight mist has components that add a protective buffer between hair and heat and help prevent the negative effects of humidity,” says Dickey. “That way, your hair doesn’t revert back after you’ve spent all this time styling.” Use a dryer with a comb attachment and work your way up from tips to roots, in 3- to 4-inch sections. “It’s really about making sure the sections don’t feel overwhelming to you, which, if your hair is thick, could mean working on a smaller section of hair,” said Dickey. Gently detangle with the comb as you work your way up the section of the hair. Dickey likes Conair blow dryers for curly hair, which often come with comb attachments.
Wavy Hair: First, remove excess water with a microfiber towel then add a volumizing spray or mousse, like Pantene Pro-V Style Series Volume Body Boosting Mousse, to the roots. Flip the head over, which creates volume while you dry, said Dickey. Then freely blow-dry hair. His go-to tool for textures that are naturally straighter is the Dyson Supersonic. It comes with both a diffuser and smoothing nozzle. When your hair is 80 to 90% dry (after free drying), it’s time to straighten with a brush and blow dryer.
Step 3: Straighten
Curly to Kinky Hair: Once the hair is completely dry, flat ironing is the next step. “I love Solano irons. They’re ceramic, come in a range of sizes and work really well,” said Dickey. Effortless glide is one of the first things he looks for in a hair straightener—it’s the key to not damaging or burning the hair. Start at the hairline, using a small ¼-inch iron to smooth the edges. “I like to use an edge control product before using any thermal heat styling tool,” he says. “It protect the delicate hair along the hairline and makes it smooth out more easily.” He rubs a finger-scoop sized amount between his hands then massages it over the edges and ends of the hair. For the rest of the hair use a 1 to 1½-inch flat iron. Take a half-inch or smaller section of hair, clamp at the roots and slide the tool down the hair shaft immediately. “Never hold the flat iron on the hair. That can damage it. And do not go over the same section repeatedly. It will cause heat damage and eventually ruin the natural texture,” warned Dickey. He cautioned against rushing the process by flat-ironing in large sections. Excessively large sections don’t straighten as easily. People then tend to go over the section multiple times. “My favorite finishing product right now is Phytospecific Nourishing Styling Leave-In Cream Shea Butter,” said Dickey. This leave-in helps keep the style moisturized. He also suggests pin-curling hair up at night to maintain straight hair throughout the week. He says curly and kiny hair should only be straightened once a week. Anything more frequent may permanently alter the coil, dry it out, or both.
Wavy Hair: Dickey recommends blow drying with a round brush that has a mix of boar and synthetic bristles. “It will smooth the hair without tearing it out in the process.” Attach the air-focusing nozzle to the dryer, and set it medium to high heat. Using the brush to straighten hair, blow dry one 2-inch section at a time. Gently twist your wrist toward your head while pulling the hair through the brush, keeping the blow dryer about 1 centimeter away from (but not touching) the hair. “Touching the dryer to hair can singe it,” warns Dickey. When hair is completely dry, work in a finishing product. “I love finishing with a cream, like Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom. It controls flyaways and keeps hair frizz-free.”
How to Straighten Your Hair Without Heat
For those wary of heat styling, you can smooth out your strands with the right tools—and the help of time.
Curly to Kinky Hair: People with naturally curly hair often avoid heat—it can be damaging to curls, which by nature are fragile. But very curly, natural hair can’t be straightened without heat. “All the techniques I’ve seen, for example, on YouTube, are stretching the curls out. But the hair isn’t really straight,” said Dickey. Curls and kinks can be elongated without heat by twisting and braiding, but getting curly strands actually straight without heat is unrealistic.
Wavy Hair: Dickey says start with sulfate-free shampoo and condition only the ends. Gently towel dry the hair. “Leave in some moisture, but you don’t want it to be soaking wet because it will take too long to dry,” said Dickey. Add a leave-in cream, like Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner. Brush hair up into a top knot and secure loosely with a fabric scrunchie. “Let this dry overnight and you’ll wake up with hair that’s straight but still has volume and movement,” said Dickey.