Our experts share their locks-loving wisdom for your benefit:
Q: Whats the difference between a leave-in treatment and a serum?
A: Use a leave-in treatment as you would a styling product: put it in your hair and then blow-dry for the best-looking results. It has treatment in the name because its designed to give hair an extra benefit, like adding shine or preventing frizz. The classic example is a leave-in conditioner, which has smoothers that improve the texture of hair.
A serum is really just another kind of leave-in, named for its clear, glossy formula. Serums usually add shine or thicken hair. Like a styling product, a leave-in will wash out with your next shampoo.
Q: My hairstylist suggested that I use a clarifying shampoo. What will it do for my hair?
A: A clarifying shampoo is a sometimes product. That means you should wash with it at most once a week. These shampoos contain a high level of detergents and are excellent for getting rid of product buildup if you use a lot of styling and hair care products; and since these formulas are designed to remove residue from hair, including its own smoothing and protective oils, always follow up with a conditioner.
In general, you shouldnt use this type of formula if you color or highlight your hair; it will strip the color. Clarifying formulas can also help clean an oily scalp, but be careful not to overdo it: Just as over-scrubbing oily skin can dry it out and stimulate oil production, over-cleansing your scalp can also lead to more oil. Look for clarifying on the label of whatever you choose.
Q: I have never even heard of root touch-ups! What is the best way to use one?
A: There are two kinds of root touch-up products, and both represent a small share of the hair color market. Think of the first as a mini version of permanent hair color - the package contains just enough to cover the roots. There are typically fewer shade variants in this category compared to the full-blown shade range of a permanent hair color brand.
The second type, the instant root touch-up, is a temporary solution for visible roots at the temples and the part. These can be applied on the go, as they dont require mixing, and come in different types of delivery systems including mascara-like wands, markers, and sprays. They wash out completely with the next shampoo.
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