5 of Your Most Challenging Hair Questions, Answered
What you’ve always wanted to ask your stylist
You know the drill: new season, new wardrobe, new episodes of VEEP and new hair to round it all out. But if you’re anything like us, you’ll obsessively waste hours on Pinterest finding the perfect spring style, cut or color…then chicken out at the last minute because, “Can I really pull off pastel locks?”
That’s why we asked: What are the biggest hair woes that currently irk women everywhere? Then we turned to the experts at L’Oreal Paris to give us some insight. They weighed in on everything from choosing the best hair color for your skin tone to finally addressing, “Just what the heck is a cleansing conditioner anyway?”
Q: I’m dying to try a new color for spring but I’m concerned about damaging my hair. How can I make sure I’m minimizing any harm to my natural locks?
A: We know that color treatments can wreak havoc on the health of your hair, so it’s important to choose products without harsh sulfates, especially if you use them regularly. For day-to-day care after you take the color plunge, look to L’Oreal Paris’ EverPure Repair & Defend System. When used together (shampoo, conditioner and a weekly remedy mask) its non-abrasive formula effectively cleanses and protects your locks against color aggressors like UV rays, water and heat styling. Oh, and great news for you tender-headed sisters: permanent color can penetrate the outer cuticles of hair and fatten them up, creating some volume and thickness. Just avoid going too blonde, especially at first (initially, platinum can be a bit of a shock to strands). Instead, opt for variations in golden tones.
Q: What’s the best way to extend the life of my hair color?
A: Most people don’t know that certain habits they have actually strip their hair-color investment. Showering with water that’s too hot, over-washing, using shampoos with sulfates and even staying too long out in the sun can all lead to lackluster locks. The best way to extend your color is to use gentle products that protect and prevent fading in the first place. Take L’Oreal Paris’ EverPure Moisture Shampoo. The sulfate-free formula helps keep hair healthy and color locked in for up to 32 washes.
Q: Is there one hair color that is universally flattering for all skin tones?
A: All shades--from blonde to brunette to black--can flatter any skin tone, but it’s important to identify your complexion’s undertones first. And because your hair is the color that you wear everyday, determine which category you fall into (warm, cool or neutral) and then pick your prime shade. (“True Black,” for example, isn’t a one-note option; there are subtle tones, highlights and lowlights in every shade).
Here’s how to figure it all out:
Check the inside of your wrist. You’ll find lots of your natural tone there. If your veins are blue or purple (with pink or olive skin), you’re probably cool-toned. If you see green veins (with yellow or gold skin), you’re warm-toned. Got a little of it all? You’re a neutral gal.
Check your eyes. Blues and greens signify cool undertones, while gold specks mean warm. And if you’ve got it all, again, you’re neutral.
Remember the golden rule. To determine your most flattering hair color: pick a tone that’s the opposite of your skin’s undertones. This means a cool, icy blonde will flatter a warm-toned face, while golden-brown or caramel highlights can bring a cool-toned sister to life. (Lucky neutrals, you can experiment with the entire spectrum).
Q: What can I do to get all-day volume in my limp hair?
A: Ask any lady with fine, straight locks and they’ll tell you that the “obvious” and easy fixes (like attacking your head with a curling iron and following it with a cloud of hairspray) really only work for our wavy, thick-haired friends. Too much futzing and product only weight hair down. Here’s the surefire A.M. fix we swear by: blow-dry your hair upside down (even if you didn’t wash it that morning) to inject a little life into it. Then, use a clean, dry toothbrush to lightly tease and texturize at your roots (focusing especially at the crown).
Q: What is a “cleansing conditioner” and why is everyone talking about it?
A: It cleanses without lathering, but it’s not a shampoo, but it also conditions…chances are, you’ve got more than a few questions. Once and for all, here’s the deal on this unique formula: Used as a supplement to your regular hair care routine, a cleansing conditioner allows you to wash and condition your hair in one simple step (and surrendering the suds once a week for silky, shiny strands is well worth it). The sulfate-free EverPure Cleansing Balm from L’Oreal Paris has a non-stripping formula, which is particularly great for color-treated tresses. Use about 6-10 pumps, depending on the length of your hair, for full saturation and let it soak for five minutes before rinsing.