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Date: 03.09.13

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.

Total Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

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:

LOreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair BalmTotal Repair Damage Erasing Balm

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.

Loreal paris advanced haircare smooth intenseAdvanced Haircare Smooth Intense Xtreme Straight Creme

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.

Advanced Haircare Moisture Rush Mask

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.

After using Advanced Haircare Total Repair Shampoo/Conditioner

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.








Photo Credit: RosebudPerfume.com

Date: 11.28.12

My all-time favorite multipurpose product is Smith’s Rosebud Salve, pronounced “saaav,” like saavy, not “sal-ve” like Sal’s Pizza. This vintage-inspired .8-ounce tin is only $6, and I promise it’s money well spent with almost 10 ways to use it other than as a lip balm.

1. Repair dry cuticles
Dry cuticles in the winter are hard to repair until the weather warms up. But until then, the best way to prevent peeling cuticles is by moisturizing. Rosebud Salve is richer than many lotions and moisturizes a lot longer. Just rub a little bit on your cuticles and nails to both moisturize and create shiny, healthy looking nails. Be careful though—too much will make your hands feel greasy and the oil could stain clothes.

2. Highlight cheekbones
Everyone lusts for bone structure like Angelina Jolie and Gisele Bündchen, but for the less blessed among us, here is a good trick. The best way to give the illusion of chiseled cheeks is with a highlighter along the top of the cheekbone, leading up to the brow bone and just under the eyebrow. Instead of buying a separate product just to highlight, blot a little bit of Rosebud Salve along the cheekbone in a “C” pattern to get the same effect.

3. Tame flyaways
Don’t you hate it when you’ve straightened or blown out your hair, and you’re left with short strands sticking up at the crown? You try hairspray, water, gel, and mousse, but those stubborn hairs just won’t lie flat. Next time, try rubbing a dab of Rosebud Salve along the crown to combat flyaways and smooth those pesky strands. Bonus: it adds shine, too!

4. Moisturize knees, elbows, and heels
No one wants to feel like a rhinoceros with dry, cracked, or rough skin, and often ordinary body lotion just doesn’t do the trick in the cold winter months. Try slathering Rosebud Salve on stubborn dry areas twice a day for extra hydration. Bonus: after moisturizing at bedtime, put on thick socks or gloves and wake up with baby soft skin!

5. Prevent blisters
I can’t even count the number of scars I have on my feet from old blisters. However, my mother recently taught me a great trick to prevent them: slather Rosebud Salve on the places that your shoe rubs against your foot. It creates a barrier between the skin and shoe, and prevents friction.

6. Control unruly brows
Not only do eyebrows help define bone structure, but they also frame that gorgeous eye makeup you’ve spent a lifetime perfecting. If you don’t have a brow pencil handy or you’re on the go and need a midday touch up, try slicking brows with Rosebud Salve to add shine and keep hairs in place.

7. Treat cuts and burns
One of the original uses of Smith’s Rosebud Salve was to treat burns, cuts, and minor skin irritations. Next time you have a curling-iron burn, sunburn, or even a paper cut, rub salve over it to accelerate healing, soothe the pain, and prevent bacteria from getting into the wound. You can even use it on your newborn’s tush to soothe diaper rash, and to help soften scabs and prevent scarring.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve has 3 flavors: Original, Strawberry, and Minted Rose, which sell for $6 or $7 (depending on the flavor).


Posted by 04.08.11

Spring showers may bring May flowers, but it’s awfully tough on hair if you tend toward frizzy, like I do. One of my favorite television stylists, Nick Arrojo – he is the former stylist on TLC’s “What Not To Wear” and owner/founder of ARROJO studio in New York City  – has the following tips for taming those frizzies and flyaway locks.

Tip #1: Get The Right Hair Cut
Go for a strong shape that is easy to maintain every day. A cut that is short to mid-length with a good solid shape will suit extremely frizzy hair perfectly, be it curly, straight or grey. Cuts like this won’t alter your hair texture, but will make it more manageable to control frizz.


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