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While salon professionals make it look easy, creating your ideal ‘do at home can present quite a challenge. From the hottest tools to the newest breakthroughs, TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com’s Bobbie Thomas has rounded up some of her favorite hair products aimed at helping you tame your tresses.
Whether straight, thin, curly, wavy, frizzy or dull, everyone knows what it’s like to have a hair issue at one point or another. Experts in styling all types of textured hair, Miss Jessie’s offers Curly Pudding, a cult favorite crème that offers control for all the curly girls out there, turning tiny kinks into shiny, stretched out waves. Visit the brand’s Website offers styling tips, images, and videos to help connect you with the right products ($22; MissJessies.com).
If volume is what you’re after, look to J. Lo’s go-to hair guru with these “bigger is better” formulas — Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray and Dry Texturizing Spray. You can apply Maximista to damp hair to help expands your strands to their fullest, while the Dry Texturing Spray is a body-building alternative to dry shampoo that will keep your hair looking styled for days ($26-39; Oribe.com).
Thinning hair is a problem for 3 out 4 people in the U.S. and Nioxin has developed six new regimens directed at providing thicker looking hair. With three options for normal to thin looking hair (Natural, and Chemically Treated Fine Hair and Natural/Chemically Treated Medium to Coarse Hair) and three options for noticeably thinning hair (Natural, and Chemically Treated Fine Hair and Natural/Chemically Treated Medium to Coarse Hair), the brand offers a kit for everyone and claims to deliver denser looking locks in 30 days ($44; ).
It used to be that if you wanted long, luscious hair, you either had to wait for Mother Nature to work her magic or spend hours and big bucks at the salon for professional extensions. Today there are numerous quick and affordable options available to create instantly elongated styles. Among the easiest I’ve ever seen, Effortless Extensions do not require clips or glue to adhere, but rather come with an invisible clear string that settles into your hairline. The string then vanishes, leaving length and volume behind. With a variety of styles and shades to choose from, their FeelsoReal synthetic pieces can be washed, styled, and curled ($79.95;
For an at-home semi-permanent option, Hot Strands new extensions come with patented adhesive strips that will not damage the hair and can last for up to two months. With heat-able synthetics as well as human hair options, the collections come in solid shades as well as “reversibles” that can be worn as either highlights or lowlights ($75 and up; ). Lastly, Jessica Simpson’s popular line, Hairdo by HairUWear, boasts a new product line called Tru2Life that features a collections of style-able bangs, ponytails, full wefts of hair and volumizers in multiple styles and colors that can be heated up to 350 degrees ($29-99; ).
If you’re afraid to select your own boxed hair color, but would love to find a DIY option, you may want to consider a new "in-between the drugstore and salon visit" option. Esalon.com offers custom-formulated hair color reviewed by expert colorists and deliver each personalized kit with individual application instructions. If you have questions or need guidance when choosing your shade, their experts are on hand for consultations ($19.95 per application; ).
And even the most seasoned self-dyers out there have experienced the dreaded after-stains left on the hairline, neck and ears. Repelle Hair Color Stain Shields are an ingenious way to protect your skin from dye chemicals. Just rub the stick along exposed skin areas and the formula will create an invisible guard against unwanted color ($5.99; ).
When it comes to preserving your color, many wouldn’t think to start with the water supply. Couture Colour’s Resc-Hue water filter removes harmful materials including chlorine and heavy metals found in tap water, to help keep your color radiant. Using coconut shall filtration technology, the filter affixes to your shower and lasts for three to six months ($120 at www.Couturecolour.com). Lastly, if you’ve been tempted to try a pop of bold color, Streekers is an expert fave for temporary highlight hues in blue, pink, ultraviolet, yellow, orange, red, green and purple. The instant, liquid color dries in a matter of minutes and attaches to individual strands unlike many temporary options that only coat the surface. The result is bright color that doesn’t flake when you brush through ($10:95; ).
Tools of the trade
Sometimes it’s as simple as getting your hands on the right tool that can make all the difference. From brushes to irons to waves, a little help can go a long way. When you think of how many times a day/month/year you run a brush or comb through your hair, it’s amazing to think that it’s often the one item we overlook. But you can get high quality without spending top dollar. In fact, pros secretly confess to liking Sonia Kashuk’s Nylon and Boar Bristle Brush just as much as the pricey Mason Pearson cult classic. The brush can withstand even the hottest blow-dryers and the bristles fight static to keep hair shiny ($12.99 - $14.99; ).
Spornette is another brand that has won many fans for helping to make at-home blowouts easier with their G-36xl Porcupine Brush. The brush’s deep penetrability is great for use on wet hair and assists in evenly distributing natural oils ($10.99; ). Earlier this year, Conair also came out with a line of brushes each designed to help create specific looks. Their You Lift has a three-sided head to add extra volume or smooth waves and curls; the You Style acts as a 2-in-1 brush that can be used in a flat position for everyday styling or a rounded shape to add lift and waves; and the You Curl features a tapered head to create natural, tousled curls ($9.99; Drugstores and mass retailers). For extra shine and frizz control, RickysNYC makes a collection of olive oil infused brushes and combs intended to eliminate frizz and keep fly-aways at bay. Its microsized particles fill in damaged hair to inhibit bacterial growth and foster health and shine ($14.99; ).
For every gal who can’t leave home without her flat iron, consider trying Remington’s Style Therapy versions — Shine Therapy, designed with specially formulated ceramic plates infused with vitamin E and avocado to help to protect your strands from extra thermal stress, and Frizz Therapy, which delivers 15 hours of humidity protection and 65 percent less frizz ($49.99; ). Or,if curls are more your thing, the TopStyler by Instyler eliminates the need for an iron, giving your more control over your desired waves. Just heat up the base, section off your hair, and wrap desired amount around your fingers (1 finger for tight curls, 3 for loose). Secure in the provided clips and let cool. Viola! ($119: Topstyler.com)