4 Foolproof Ways to Repair Your Damaged Hair

You can get in shape practically overnight… or at least your hair can.

You can get in shape practically overnight… or at least your hair can. Because no matter your issue — frizz, lack of shine, damage, flatness — there are simple solutions that can make your style instantly lush and keep it that way. Take it from stylist Kevin Mancuso, global creative director for Nexxus hair care, who showed four women his tricks. You're next!

Create Volume That Lasts: Before

Short term: "Erin told me she's a wash-and-go girl, so a thickening mousse is perfect — it'll add

body all over whether she air-dries or blow-dries," says Mancuso, who raked a golf-ball-size amount into her damp hair. To blow-dry, he whisked a paddle brush through her hair, lifting it up and over her scalp in all directions to encourage fullness. Once her hair was 90% dry, he smoothed it with a round brush, advising, "Avoid the roots so you don't flatten them."

Create Volume That Lasts: After

Long term: "Fine, straight hair needs a volumizing shampoo and conditioner," says Mancuso. "The shampoo should be clear; anything creamy or pearly has softeners that can weigh you down. Look for a conditioner that has panthenol, which swells strands from within, and apply it only on the bottom half of your hair."

''I don't use styling products, but the mousse makes such a difference that it's worth the extra step. My hair has never had this much volume!" —Erin Faherty, 35, travel writer

Erase All Signs of Damage: Before 

Short term: "Textured hair is so fragile," Mancuso says. "Plus, Dominique flat-ironed her hair straight for years before going natural, which means she has heat damage, too." For a fast fix, Mancuso applied a protein-infused leave-in conditioner to her damp curls, then let them air-dry. Next, he misted on a heat-protecting spray and wrapped small sections of hair around a 1/4-inch curling iron. "Don't do this too often because of the heat exposure, but when needed, it'll make coils look extra-polished," he says.

Erase All Signs of Damage: After

Long term: "Washing with ultra-moisturizing, strengthening formulas will help textured curls air-dry soft and defined," says Mancuso. "And slather on a rich deep treatment once or twice a week." (Try Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Masque, $19.99; "Then, when using regular conditioner, don't rinse it all out — what's left over will help set the curls."

''My curls are silkier and springier, but my routine didn't get any longer — it just came down to using products that were more hydrating." —Dominique Reyes-Ivory, 25, kickboxing instructor

Restore Lost Shine: Before

Short term: "Victoria colors her fine hair every four weeks, and all that bleaching dulls the sheen," says Mancuso. To keep fullness intact, he combed a lightweight mousse into her damp hair and a drop of leave-in conditioner t

hrough the bottom few inches: "Mousse has thickening polymers, and when you hit those with a dryer's heat, it creates a coating that makes hair look glossy." Using a boar-bristle round brush during blow-drying helped, too: "They're gentler on fine hair than plastic bristles."

Restore Lost Shine: After

Long term: "When you bleach your hair, it opens up the cuticles, and when they're not flat, they can't reflect light," Mancuso says. "Applying a weekly protein-and-keratin treatment smooths cuticles and makes hair stronger over time, so it's less damaged by the coloring process." He suggests Nexxus Emergencée ($19.99 for four weekly treatments; at drugstores), "a gel that's light enough for fine hair."

''The weekly strengthening treatment has been a real game changer. My hair has more luster, and I've noticed less breakage, too." —Victoria Kirby, 38, Redbook beauty director

Shape Curls and Nix Frizz: Before

Short term: "With curly hair, you need enough moisture to prevent frizz, but not so much that it droops the coils," Mancuso says. He spread a tiny bit of frizz-fighting serum through Lara's wet hair, then worked a few dime-size drops of curl-defining cream into large sections of hair one at a time. "This distributes the product more evenly than one big blob," he says. After Lara's curls air-dried, he used a 3/4-inch curling iron on the top layer: "It seals the cuticles so humidity can't penetrate and cause frizz."

Shape Curls and Nix Frizz: After

Long term: "A shampoo and conditioner with lightweight oils such as marula or almond will help curls stay fuzz-free," Mancuso says. Between washings, "blend a drop of anti-frizz serum between your hands and skim them over the outer layer of hair to keep curls looking great."

''By switching up my cleansing routine, I don't need heavy de-frizzers anymore. Now my curls are defined and bouncy." —Lara Land, 37, yoga instructor & studio owner


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Women's Magazine: 4 Foolproof Ways to Repair Your Damaged Hair
4 Foolproof Ways to Repair Your Damaged Hair
You can get in shape practically overnight… or at least your hair can.
Women's Magazine
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