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About Face: Is Winter your hair’s worst season?


Spring means pollen falling in my hair. Summer means frizz. But is anything worse than winter’s dryness?


It’s not like About Face hasn’t considered hair products before — when I tested Organix Cucumber Yogurt shampoo and conditioner, I was pretty impressed with the duo’s conditioning properties. But that was early September, you know? And now it’s October. Dreaded, evil October.

Yes, October brings Halloween, which means delicious candy I can eat while pretending the snacking is “research” on American cultural traditions. But it’s also the first full month of fall, meaning that my hair is already rebelling against the colder climate. My long, curly layers and overgrown bangs are getting dry. They’re getting brittle. Basically my hair resembles a worn-out sponge sitting on top of my head, frustrating me whenever I try to brush it or comb it or do anything that isn’t a sloppy ponytail. It’s. Annoying.

So what can I do to make this better? In previous years — cough, college — I would just get lazy, refuse to wash my hair and pretend its oiliness was totally acceptable. But now I’m an adult, and that kind of grossness just can’t continue! So instead, much like last week’s list of facial products I’m experimenting with to battle my blemishes, here’s a roundup of different hair stylers, conditioners and treatments I plan to work my way through this winter. If my hair continues looking like a Brillo pad, I might just cut it all off. Who knows! It worked for Demi Moore, Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams, right? My facial structure could handle that … maybe?

AF1+ How about, you know, brushing it? Do I brush my hair? No. It’s basically impossible, given how tangled it usually gets. So maybe I’ll actually start combating that with (first photo, first item on the left) Braun Satin Hair Active Ion Brush, which is supposedly “designed with active ion technology to help eliminate static and boost shine at the touch of a button” ($65, QVC). Turning on the brush should help prevent frizz and flyaways, and it’s meant to be used after blow-drying your hair — so I should probably start doing that, too.

+ If I don’t shower, pretend I did. I started grad school this fall, which means many nights spent reading books about critical theory and feminism in literature and all that kind of lengthy stuff. Real talk: I don’t have time to shower before class every day, so it’s time to invest in (first photo, second and third items from left) dry shampoo, which you can sprinkle on your hair to soak up excess moisture and greasiness. If I want some extra volume and a matte look, The All Nighter Styling Powder from A Beautiful Life ($18, A Beautiful Life) is a good option, or for supreme cleanliness, Purify Dry Shampoo from Alt. is supposed to soak up extra oiliness around the hairline ($18, Alt.).

+ Repair it. The worst part about getting out of the shower and getting ready to dry my hair is … actually drying my hair. Even after conditioning, it’s usually full of knots and sadly limp — as if washing sapped away all its energy. My hopes lie within (first photo, fourth, fifth and sixth items from left) a detangler — like Sojourn’s Leave-In Detangler ($22, Sojourn), which leaves hair hydrated and can be used in combination with other products — and a split-end corrector. TIGI Bed Head’s Ego Boost is supposed to mend split ends while also conditioning ($14.50, TIGI Bed Head), while salon mainstay Pureology offers Essential Repair Split End Correcting Treatment, which is supposed to help fight against color fading for dyed hair, too ($40, Ulta).

+ Tame it. As much as my hair gets dry and unmanageable in the winter, it still gets frizzy if it rains, or gets foggy, or if anything even remotely like moisture lingers in the air. To battle the frazzle (first photo, seventh through 11th items from left), a creme serum like Sebastian Taming Elixir works for smoothing on mild days (sebastianprofessional.com), while stricter styles can be created with Pantene Anti-Humidity Hairspray, specially formulated for medium-thick hair with an extra-strong hold ($3.99, Drugstore.com). Before I even get to styling, though, thick conditioners can help, like Aquage Biomega Intensive Conditioner, which resists humidity ($15.99, Sleekhair.com), Aquage SeaExtend Silkening Conditioner, which is supposed to improve manageability and keep dyed hair bright ($22.09, Sleekhair.com), and Phyto Ultra Nourishing Mask, for super-dry hair that is coarse or over-processed ($38, Sephora).

AF2+ Pick a product — and commit. As much as I want to fix my hair overnight, such a speedy reversal is completely improbable, right? So I would be better off actually picking a few products and really sticking with them, either to maintain my highlights, quench my dry hair or keep my straightened look straight. (Second photo, top five items) For color, an affordable option is Aveeno Living Color Color Preserving Shine Glaze, which boosts vibrancy ($4.80, Drugstore.com), while very dry, damaged hair can be battled with Ojon Damage Reverse conditioner and shampoo ($25 at Ojon, $24 at Ojon). If you blow-dry or straight-iron your hair, keep the flatness going with John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Styling Spray, meant to extend your hairstyle for an additional two days ($9.99, Drugstore.com), whereas all hair types can have extra softness and shine with Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment ($32, Couture Colour).

+ Style to your needs. You know how pretty much all hair care brands offer products specifically formulated for curly hair, straight hair and so on? Use those categories seriously — the companies hire teams of scientists to get it right, so why ignore their knowledge? Whether you want a simple or complex look, grab a product that’s specifically designed to help you create it. (Second photo, bottom five items) For thick or coarse hair, define your waves with Living Proof No Frizz Wave, Curl Styling Treatment ($26, Living Proof); to keep the summer beach look well into the colder months, consider Bumble and bumble. Surf Spray ($23, Bumble and bumble.); and if you have curly hair and long layers, try HerCut Curly Long Layers Styler, designed to keep your hair looking as good as it does on the first day you get it cut ($14, Sephora). And any hairstyle, straight or curly, can benefit from extra shine, either from Bumble and bumble. Brilliantine ($21, Bumble and bumble.) or Pureology Colour Stylist Illuminating Curl ($24, Ulta).


EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.

 Product photos by Adam Fried.





In middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.




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