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Deep Conditioning: The Solution to Dull, Lifeless Hair

Trade In Your Dreary Hair For Shiny, Bouncy Locks

Dry, dull, lifeless hair is one of the biggest complaints I hear from new guests coming to my studio. Lackluster, uninspiring hair almost always has one central cause, lack of moisture. The most common causes of dry hair include overwashing, heated styling tools, environmental factors and age. In winter, moisture loss is attributable to the drying effects of indoor heating. In the summer, sun, salt water, and chlorine are big contributors to dry hair. Age can also contribute to moisture loss from to the gradual decrease in the production of natural oils. I am not talking AARP status here either, age-related moisture loss in hair can start to occur in the early 20s. Since these moisture thieves affect almost everyone, I recommend regular deep conditioning to all but those with extremely fine, limp hair.


Daily Conditioners vs. Deep Conditioning

A daily conditioner is the safety net to your hair care routine. However, daily conditioners generally do not provide the additional moisture needed by most hair types. A daily hair conditioner that provided the necessary ingredients to fully moisturize your hair would then be too heavy for daily, or near daily use. In addition, deep conditioners frequently contain different and/or more concentrated emollients than those used daily on the hair. The more effective deep conditioners are often packaged in a tub or tube because of the much thicker consistency. The directions are likely to be a good clue to the product effectiveness, as the most effective products directions will suggest you leave the conditioner in your hair for 5 minutes or longer.

This deep conditioner tops my list.

What exactly does a deep conditioner do to hair?

Both daily conditioners and deep conditioning treatments will smooth down the outer cuticle of the hair so it reflects light. Conversely, dry, damaged hair appears dull because the roughed up cuticle is not able to serve as a reflective surface. If you are experiencing frizz, a deep conditioning treatment will work to repel moisture in the atmosphere which helps to reduce frizzy hair.

Deep conditioners do have some limitations. For example, on occasion I’ll have a guest in my chair who has severely damaged hair, even after a deep conditioning treatment that didn’t seem to help. While deep conditioners are able to repair some damage, they primarily replace moisture and soften the hair. If your hair is severely damaged from chemical over processing, I would recommend a reconstructing treatment in combination with a deep conditioner. A reconstruction treatment is similar to a deep conditioning treatment, but with added components such as keratin. But a reconstruction treatment is definitely something that should be left to the professionals. If in doubt, check with your hair stylist to determine the best solution.

Deep conditioners are great treatments to get in the salon, this process can also be done very effectively at home using a good product and following these instructions.


Deep Conditioner How to:

Shampoo your hair, blot excess water and apply deep conditioner concentrating mainly on the ends. Gently comb the deep conditioning product through your hair to ensure even distribution. Place a plastic cap (or plastic wrap in a pinch) over your head. Apply some heat, either by using a blow dryer (be careful not to get dryer too close and melt the plastic) or a moist hot towel for about 10 minutes (my preferred home method because I can go do other things like catching up with Downton Abbey).

You can also keep conditioner on overnight. When the treatment is complete, rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water, dry your hair and style it as usual. If the ends still feel dry, apply a lightweight hair oil (mid-shaft to ends only) to complete the deep conditioning treatment.

Shiny hair

How Often Should You Deep Condition?

For most hair types, I would recommend a deep conditioning treatment at least once per month, year around to compensate for heat styling, weather and/or age related dryness. However, this regimen may need to increase or decrease depending on the frequency of your use of heat styling or how often your hair is exposed to hair color processing or straightening chemicals. If you wash your hair frequently and use heat styling tools frequently then you might want to schedule more frequent deep conditioning treatments.

Marcia Marcionette
Contributing author Marcia Marcionette is a stylist and color artist with over 15 years of experience. She owns Soulvana Hair, Tampa, Florida’s premier eco-chic salon studio where the philosophy is “style that feeds the soul”. Marcia’s is known for combining healthy, environmentally conscious products and practices with high performance hair artistry. You can contact her at


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Braided Hairstyles Fall 2014; Strategies That Won’t Make you Crazy

The Simplest Ways to Make the Best of Braided Hairstyles Fall 2014

Loose and casual braids are the thing for summer. But when fall comes rolling around the corner, it is time to upgrade your braid game and opt for a sleeker smoother look. Now is the time to opt for something more polished to add pizzazz to your fall 2014 wardrobe. The right hairstyle can serve as a finishing touch to your chic fall look, but it can also be the star!

Check out these sophisticated and pretty braids to add into your options for a fall hairstyle:

Braided High Pony

Braided Hairstyles

fall braid1

This is an easy-to-do hairstyle yet one that looks like you spent hours styling. Hence, this is a good default option for a braided hairstyle this fall when you are feeling a bit lazy yet still wants to look polished.

To create this hairstyle, start by blowing out your straight hair to make it sleek. You can also smoothen the strands with a flat iron if you prefer to style it that way. The key is to get a smooth finish to your hair for easier styling. You can also infuse some shine and a glossy finish to your hair with a smoothing serum.

Then, gather your hair into a high ponytail. Take out an inch of hair strand and use it to wrap around the base of your high ponytail. Start braiding the rest of your pony until you reach the end before securing with a hair tie.

Glam Milkmaid Braid

fall braid4

fall braid4_1

The milkmaid braid is one that oftentimes a lot of women find intimidating. However, if you can practice your braiding skills, it shouldn’t be as hard as it looks. It is also one of the easiest hairstyles to transition from summer to fall or winter. To add a dose of glam, you can add some bling such as a laced headband. Feel free to add your own touch, or leave it be. This braided hairstyle does not need any more help on its own, anyway.

Game of Thrones-Inspired Braided Look

fall braid3

fall braid3_1

Not only are fans going gaga over the show, but the female stars of the show are also gaining a lot of attention for their creative braids. Hence, you can take to the show for some hairstyle inspiration. You can go for a braided updo or something more casual yet sexy, but a loose and down braided hairstyle. It provides endless ideas and styling cues for you to choose from!


Upside Down Braided Hairstyle

fall braid2_1

fall braid2

This is another braided hairstyle that looks more difficult than it actually is. You can easily create this hairstyle by first creating a top knot. Then, create a French braid that forms on the back of the head. This is quite a versatile hairstyle that works with an edgy look, but can also be worn to date night or evening date with friends. If you want to infuse a flirty vibe to the hairstyle, simply pair it with a smoky eye.

Which of these braided hairstyles are you looking to wear this fall? If you have other braided hairstyle ideas, we’d love to hear them!

Questions to Ask Your Hairstylist
Contributing author Abby Pringles is a writer who likes to write about topics relating to beauty, hair, and fashion. You can check her personal blog, Life in the Fash Lane, to read more of her works. Aside from fashion and beauty, Abby is also a hardcore basketball and tennis fan. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


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Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!

7 Easy Hair Makeovers that Transform Your Look!

When Your Look Needs Serious Help – Try a Simple Hair Makeover

When you take on the idea of a ”hair makeover,” what comes to mind?  Lopping off lots of hair? Radically changing your color? Or some other scary change that involves long-lasting results?  A hair makeover doesn’t need to involve a major alteration to your locks to be effective. Often the best hair makeovers only require small, subtle changes. A simple change in the way you part your hair, adding or altering layers, cutting in or growing out bangs, or the addition of dimensional color, will do the trick.

A hair makeover is one of the easiest ways to revitalize your look and lift your spirits!  If you want to add some volume to hair that’s become and flat and boring; hide annoying flaws; or highlight your best features; here are some small ways you can totally freshen up your look!


Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Alba, Ellie Goulding Deep Side Part

  • Who is it Best For: Straight or wavy hair, medium to long lengths, Round, Heart, Square & Oval Face Shapes.
  • How to Style: Apply volumizing spray on your roots, focusing on the crown and the left and right of the part. Use a comb to create a clean side part. Allow hair to air dry and style with a large curling iron or blow dry with a round brush.
  • Recommended Products: Redken Body Full Volume Spray


Olivia Wilde: Face framing ombre

  • Who is it Best For: Those who want the highlights without monthly retouches, medium to long lengths, and naturally medium to dark hair.
  • How to Style: This hair color looks great with face framing layers. Smooth and straight, or tousled and wavy, this color can be worn in a variety of hairstyles.
  • Recommended Products: Kenra Platinum Color Care Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Additional Tips: Keep color looking fresh and shiny with hair gloss treatments every 4 to 6 weeks.


Gisele Bundchen: Urban Wavy Hairstyle, Caramel Highlights

  • Who is it Best For: Fine to Medium Hair, Oval, Heart, & Oblong Face Shapes
  • How to Style: Apply texture cream or beach spray to towel dried hair. Section hair into three or four large braids. Speed up the dry time with a blow dryer, or allow to air dry. Remove braids and enjoy sexy, relaxed waves.
  • Recommended Products: Sexy Healthy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
  • Additional Tips: For more bounce, touch up the straighter pieces with a medium to large barrel curling iron.


Gossip Girl Celebrity:  Blonde shorty layered bob

  • Who is it For: Heart, Round, Square, & Oval Face Shapes
  • How to Style: For a tousled and sexy bob hairstyle, apply a mousse for volume and texture on towel dried hair. Blow dry the roots for volume and finish off with a dry wax for pieciness.
  • Recommended Products: Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam


Zooey Dechanel: Long Brown Hair with Layers & Long Wispy Bangs

  • Who is it For: Ideal for naturally straight hair, this hairstyle works well on Oblong, Heart & Oval Face shapes.
  • How to Style: Comb your bangs forward while the hair is still damp. Blow dry your bangs with a flat or round brush and touch up with a flat iron when completely dry, if needed. Emulsify a tiny drop of shine serum in hands to run through your hair and bangs for control and shine.
  • Recommended Products: Enjoy Shine & Smooth
  • Additional Tips: For this edgy, wispy bang it’s ideal for a hairdresser to point cut to add texture and reduce bluntness. Also, ask your hair stylist to go on the long side; you can always ask them to go shorter, but they can’t put length back on!


Miley Cyrus Platinum Blonde Pixie Short

  • Who is it For: All hair types; Face Shapes that are Heart & Oval.
  • How to Style: Apply a volumizing gel or mousse on your towel dried hair. Use a blow dryer on the roots to create volume and movement. Use a dry wax spray on the tousled style. Use your fingers to create additional volume and style.
  • Recommended Products: KMS Hair Play Dry Wax

Sometimes the best road to achieving a fabulous new hair makeover is to change hairstylists. Let’s face it, sometimes you and your stylists can get in  a rut after several years. That doesn’t necessarily mean your present hairstylist is incompetent, it just happens that the two of you can tend to move towards each others thinking until there isn’t and objective viewpoint any longer. By making a change in your hairstylist you automatically will have at least one of you who looks at you with fresh eyes. To help in that regard you might want to check out Barb’s article The Smart Girl’s Guide to Changing Hair Stylists.

For more younger looking hair makeover ideas, check out our Pinterest Aging Gracefully Hairstyles board and the Hairstyle Makeovers Board.

Hairstyle Blog contributing author Lindsay Hausch
Contributing author Lindsay Hausch has provided clients with professional cutting edge color and cutting techniques at exclusive Paul Mitchell and Bumble and Bumble Signature Salons for the past seven years. She co-founded Sedona Beauty Team, which represents a team of artists that offer luxury, on-location beauty services. She enjoys writing articles that share her expertise. You can follow Lindsay on Twitter and Facebook.


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Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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