Everything’s custom these days: suits, shoes, accessories—so why not hair care?
Advanced Haircare, L’Oreal’s latest breakthrough collection was five years in the making. The attention to detail, packaging, and results leads to five superb modules, targeting different hair concerns, that under promise and over deliver. I’ve never seen anything on the market quite so luxurious and results-driven: think of these new launches as the Cadillac of haircare.
The collection addresses the damaging effects of a variety of aggressors such as chemically-processed hair, heating tools, and the general harshness of the environment in which we live. While these are not palpable on an immediate or even daily basis, they take their toll on hair—so much so, that not just any old shampoo or conditioner will do (you wouldn’t just go to any esthetician now to get your facial, would you?).
Well, that’s just one of the ways hair care has evolved: it’s becoming more like skincare. While we certainly don’t think you should splash toner on your hair, we certainly agree that some extra specialized TLC is in order.
About Advanced Haircare
The idea behind the collection is five sets of shampoo and conditioner and seven treatments designed to be a sort of bespoke tailor for your hair. The marketing claims are strong: the line promises instant results and lasting transformation. The last time I encountered any hair treatment that was truly lasting, it was certainly a professional job at a salon, and not something that I could get from my local mass market store.
Of course, the hair market has always prided itself for being innovative, and offering products for every hair type. But this is the most comprehensive hair care collection launch I’ve seen yet.
And because each particular hair type is so different (ethnic hair, frizz-prone hair, fine and limp hair, thick and full-bodied hair….the list goes on and on), bespoke makes total sense. The star ingredient in this line is Arginine-K Complex, the fourth largest component of keratin in the hair, and one of hair’s basic building blocks.
The five modules include:
Total Repair 5: Targeted towards those with visibly damaged hair, this collection of products is all about repair, and it includes Arginine-K Complex along with ceramide, which is a patented L’Oreal ingredient that aims to reinforce and strengthen the weaker sections of the hair shaft. The Damage Erasing Balm (use with the shampoo) Benjamin Buttons your hair for up to a year’s worth of damage—tall claims from a jar! But the proof is in the pudding: my strands were less brittle, more hydrated, and full of shine. The other Total Repair 5 products include a shampoo, a conditioner, and the marvelous Restorative Dry Oil—a leave-in treatment for flyaways.
Smooth Intense: This module is all about frizz control for up to 72 hours, thanks to the Arginine-K Complex combined with Oleo Keratin. The line includes Xtreme Straight Creme, a leave-in smoothing creme, which truly works and delivers great cushion while blow drying. Then there’s the shampoo and conditioner, of course, and the Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum, which is one of my favorite products in the Advanced Haircare collection.
Power Moisture: You guessed it—this line is all about hydration, and the formulation of these products combines hyaluronic acid with Arginine-K Complex. The idea is that these ingredients give an instant rush of moisture. Hence the Power Moisture Rush Mask, which is a rinse-out conditioning masque for some seriously superb hydration, a shampoo and a conditioner, which quenches hair from root to tip. This is one of my favorite modules because my hair gets drier than a fried coconut in a desert—especially during winter.
Color Vibrancy: With Arginine-K Complex, anti oxidants, and UV filters, this module is for those who really can’t stand faded color. It is like a Halle Berry’s Storm-like shield for your hair: the products are all about protection. Since sunlight and aggressors can really cause UV oxidation and faded color, the ingredients lengthen your color vibrancy for up to eight weeks. The line includes the Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray, in addition to a shampoo, and a conditioner.
Triple Resist: The last module features concentrated Arginine, and is all about reinforcing hair so it doesn’t fall out or break. This is so vital to me because as a new mom, hair loss is all I’m experiencing. The concentrated Arginine reinforces strands and helps weak hair. The module includes a Triple Resist Ultimate Strength Solution, as well as a shampoo and a conditioner.
And, just like a bespoke tailor, you can mix and match the products you want and need to address your specific issues. That’s shear genius.
As if all of this technology wasn’t impressive enough, the prices are pretty fantastic as well, from $4.99 – $7.99. If you have any questions about your hair—or products to buy, tap into the power of Twitter: @LOrealParisUSA has debuted #AskHairGenius—a service designed to share personalized and expert hair advice. Whether it is an inquiry on style, products, regimen, or hair health, tweet away (don’t forget to tag #AskHairGenius) to receive expert advice.
Aptly named the “hair color of the future”, L’Oreal knocked it out of the park with INOA, with a whopping 22 patents to its name. What’s so special about INOA? It’s secret lies as much in what is in it as what isn’t. They added oil (a friend to strands) while removing the ammonia (an enemy of good hair), which is a fine tradeoff when you think about what harsh chemicals do to stylists and operators who are breathing in fumes for 14 hours a day.
As Teresa Probst at Varin Salon in New York City explains, “It has no ammonia so it doesn’t strip your hair. The hair feels softer, stronger and loaded with 50% more natural shine and better color retention. There is nothing else like it—it is truly the best hair color on the market.” Touted to be less corrosive than ammonia, which can remove paint off your car, INOA preserves the integrity of natural, healthy hair. Sounds good? Agreed.
I admit that I approached INOA with a healthy dose of skepticism, mainly because I was not unhappy with the high end color Teresa was already using on me BI (before Inoa). It is also more expensive in the salon, but only slightly more and yes, I am worth it! But it’s hard to resist a color system that so many hair professionals are telling you is the the best thing since the Brazilian took off. So I took the plunge with relatively low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
Why do I love it? In a word my golden blonde is BLONDER—which is a good thing at these prices. My hair is also SOFTER and I can practically see myself in the SHINE. It feels sort of like there is a halo around my head that I surely did not earn.
INOA’s claim to fame is that it is an oil-based system, which has been a hot trend in haircare ever since those pretty turquoise bottles of Moroccanoil took over salons everywhere on the planet. So INOA maximizes the effect of permanent hair color, while it minimizes the damaging effects by providing more lipid protection.
Clearly ammonia-free color is the new black in hair care. It can be likened to the sulfate-free craze in shampoos. Sulfate-free cleansers for hair used to be something one had to hunt for in organic, natural beauty stores, and celeb-infused Wen informercials. Now the category seems to have multiplied at all price points, fueled largely by the green beauty trend as well as women (like me) who spend so much on their Brazilian keratin treatments that they won’t dare wash their hair with real detergents for fear of losing a single day of gorgeous straightness. Ladies, INOA is a keeper and lives up to the hype.
One sunny winter morning last week, I was whisked away to a workout where I was encouraged to really sweat it out. And so I climbed trapezes (with help, of course), swung from silk ropes, and had a great workout.
The idea was to get stressed—and to sweat. Not too sexy, if you ask me. But it really was.
The makers of the new Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response anti-perspirant deodorant has released a study that points out the differences between stress sweat, and the plain old fashioned sweating you’ve always known. If you look at it this way, there are three main causes of sweat: physical activity and exercise (you always knew this), environmental heat (think of a muggy day in New York City), and stress.
The last trigger came as a complete surprise to me, but it shouldn’t have. People get beads of perspiration when they are asked to speak in public, and so on and so forth. Have you ever perspired while stressed? I certainly have.
Secret has found out that women can sweat up to 30 times more than normal when stressed, and I found that out the hard way, when I was swinging on silk ropes in a gym. While sweat from movement and heat comes from the eccrine sweat glands (and this sweat is made mostly of water and a small amount of proteins and lipids), stress sweat comes from both the eccrine, and a different gland, the apocrine, which releases more lipids and proteins. These are magnets for bacteria, and hence, more odor.
Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response zaps this issue in the bud: it fights all three causes of sweat, and it doesn’t mask the issue with a heavy fragrance, which actually makes the situation worse. Secret’s BCD technology uses odor-neutralizing molecules to trap odor, lock it away and then replace the odor with a fresh scent to keep you smelling clean and fresh.
Our verdict? We truly smelled great after our workout after sniffing the side we applied the deodorant on (the other was left bare). Stress definitely stinks, but you don’t have to anymore.
The Serene Citrus version is available in stores now.