Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Home Conditioning Treatments

If you color, highlight, perm, chemically straighten, flat-iron or even look at your hair in the mirror every morning, you are entitled to a piece of information that will save your hair and your wallet. For most of my clients, I recommend conditioning treatments to help replenish moisture and keep hair healthy. Getting a treatment in a salon may run from a cheap $10 to as much as $50 (you'd better be getting a killer scalp massage for that price!!!). Save yourself the cash and do this at home!
First, if you have a hood dryer, fabulous! This is the best way to go. A hood dryer (often sold for $50 or so at Sally Beauty Supply) provides a heated environment for your entire scalp and head. It might make you feel a little like Darth Vader, but you'll love how sensuous your hair feels afterward! Take your shower, shampoo your hair with your favorite splurge and then, yikes, get out without conditioning! Gently towel dry your hair slightly, apply your moisture pack (I'll explain in a minute), put on a shower cap and grab a good book. Sit under your dryer for 15-20 minutes in a warm to hot setting. I always like to put on a thick moisturizer or vaseline to keep my face from drying out. When done, take off the hood and allow your hair to cool down for another 10-20 minutes. This allows time for cooling so that your hair's cuticle can close properly. Then, rinse in luke warm or cool water until you've removed the excess conditioner.
If you don't have a hood dryer, but have a clothes dryer, follow the same instructions, but put a big towel in the dryer first. You want that sucker to be hot, hot, hot! Slap on that plastic shower cap, wrap your hair turban-style and in 20 minutes, voila, you are ready to rinse, if your hair has cooled to room temperature. If not, remove the towel, let it cool and rinse.
If you have neither type of dryer, you can always soak a towel in very hot water and place over that sexy plastic shower cap for 20 minutes. Just protect your hands when working with the towel.
Now for the low-down on conditioning treatments. Ditch the hot oil; the oil molecules are generally too large to penetrate the shaft for a lasting effect. Choose a good moisturizing conditioner. Since you will do this every 2-4 weeks, splurge on a good one, like Nioxin's Deep Repair Hair Mask or their Weightless version for fine hair. Graham Webb also has an awesome duo that is mixed and foams up before application, available in packet form. There are many incredible products out there, but generally you are looking for a salon-quality reconstructor, reconstructive treatment, hair masque or moisturizer treatment, not just a light conditioner for every-day use.
With monthly use, you should notice a huge change in the condition of your hair! And as always, I'm sure that you're rinsing in cool water to help your hair stay healthy and shiney!

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