Hair Care

By Stef Schwalb


Straightening, coloring, curling, oh my! The things we do to our strands to make them look sensational. I love trying new hues and ‘dos every day of the week, but by the same token you have to care for your hair with the right products if you are going to experiment with styles. That’s where a shampoo like Ecru New York’s Luxe Treatment can come in handy. This lavish cleanser nourishes your tresses enough to leave them silky smooth and works well on dry or chemically enhanced hair. It adds shine, moisture, and strength with ingredients including exotic Monoa oil (which is made from the Tahitian flower Tiaré, a centuries-old beauty secret of Polynesian women for getting silky and ultra-shiny hair), Coconut oil (which helps hair retain moisture while it soothes the scalp), Oat Amino Acids (to increase softness), Vitamins E (to relieve dryness and counteract UV damage), Vitamin C (to neutralize free radical damage) and Panthenol (pro vitamin B-5 that promotes moisture absorption and healing while lifting and adding body). This shampoo is a great every day solution for someone like me who has thinner tresses, which normal conditioners can often weigh down. Also remember when applying that a little dab will do ya! This stuff is slightly thick and concentrated. A 1.3 oz bottle retails for $32.50 and is sold at select Nordstrom stores and high-end salons. For more information log on to

Body building is as important for your muscles as it is for your strands, so once a week I always indulge in a personal workout of my own with at-home treatments that revitalize and hopefully “tone” my tresses. A great one to get your hands on especially for Fall? Rusk’s Coral Therapy Marine Nutrient Treatment. It is part of a new line of products designed to detangle, strengthen, soften and protect your strands. The active bio-marine, nutrient-rich formula offers your tresses surface smoothing and penetrating restructuring with UVA/UVB inhibitors that protect your hair both internally and externally from damaging sunrays. A few things to take note of with this product: first of all, this smells amazing! Your bathroom environment instantly becomes a salon through the sensory experience alone. Second, contrary to many at-home treatments, this solution doesn’t feel heavy or overly creamy, and third, the beauty of this product is that you only have to keep it on for 2-3 minutes after you’ve generously applied it and gently massaged it throughout your tresses. The result is hair that feels healthy, shiny, smooth and tangle-free. A 6.0 oz container of the Coral Therapy Marine Nutrient Treatment retails for $14.95 and can be found at fine salons and professional beauty distributors throughout the U.S. and around the globe. To find your nearest location or to get more information visit

Remember that crazy bird that was cuckoo for Coco Puffs? Well, that’s how I am about shine sprays. Good glowing just rocks, so I was psyched to get a hold of Garnier Fructis Style’s Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray. It’s the goods! In my experience, shine sprays can be tricky, and not all are created equal, because some are sticky and some (if over or re-applied) can weigh your hair down big time. I often spritz shine sprays on the back of my hand as a test before applying them. If my hand feels overly sticky or dry then there’s no way that spray is hitting my strands. Luckily Garnier made something that’s light-weight, non-greasy, and surprisingly long-lasting. The blend of ingredients includes fruit micro-waxes, silicone, and shine-enhancing polymers that together seal in moisture a sheen that leaves hair looking naturally healthy and shiny from morning to night. A 3.0 fl. oz. bottle retails for a suggested $3.99 (a serious bargain, baby!) and can be found at numerous mass market outlets (like Target). For more information, log on to

Ok, I know as a hair editor I shouldn’t say this but…some days I fear what’s traditionally considered “hair spray.” The concept in itself I know is a good one: you create a sensational style and you’ve got to lock it in. Though it still makes me think of big hair from the eighties, nowadays what’s considered hair spray has undergone some radical changes that make it nothing to fear and sometimes it incorporates many good ingredients that you’ll want your hair to gain. Take for example Nexxus Phyto Organics’ Resilient Alcohol Free Finishing Spray. It does the job of a traditional hair spray- it locks in your style, dries fast, provides hold and lasting control. However, it does so with a sense of flexibility and a non-aerosol mist (so it’s ok to inhale!). The ingredients include a combination of Chinese Rose Hibiscus (for health and shine), Organic Quinoa Protein (for strength), Honey (for moisture), Avocado Oil (to help the moisture bind), nutrient-rich Alfalfa and organic herbs that nourish and protect. It’s humidity-resistant, color safe, and offers UV and thermal protection. One spritz on the back of hand will tell you we’re not in mall-mode anymore. The non-sticky sensation upon application is a relief, though I still recommend apply the product from a safe distance of 8-10 inches away from your mane. A 300mL/10.1 Fl. Oz. pump bottle retails for $14.00 and is available at salons and retail outlets nationwide. For more information, log on to

Originally published October 2006



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