Beauty panel... The Mane Event
Rain or shine, the summer takes its toll on your tresses, so here's the panel's choice in hair care
What have you done to your hair this summer? Rain or shine, home or away, the odds are that you've given it a run for its money. None of the weather we've had in recent months does hair much good. Hot weather fades colour and can leave hair brittle, while the misty dampness that has characterised summer 2015 is no friend to the frizzy. Then, any foreign holiday in the sun is also the enemy of smooth, sleek and shiny locks. Humidity wages war on colour, while swimming pools and salt water do wonders only if you're after a Worzel Gummidge look. In a nutshell, by this season's end, you're often left with a head of unmanageable, untameable tresses.
At this point, what you need is a dose of treatment and a huge helping hand in the styling department. Remember that styling products often bring with them hair-repairing ingredients. This means that they're not just bestowing shape and bounce - or whatever you're having yourself, in the moment - but doing a bit of healing, too. This is a desperate time of year for hair, but take note: if you have coloured hair, it's really worth using styling products that reduce fade time all year round.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Wonder Worker, €27, salons nationwide, see shuuemuraartofhair.com for stockists
The summer can be a bit all over the place, literally, for many of us. You're home one week, away the next, and not everyone is so organised that they bring a hairdryer on the road with them. Au naturel is all very well, but it is more likely to produce a neglected look than the carefully dishevelled Kate Moss effect we intend. This product works well with heat styling, but adds oomph to hair that's allowed to air-dry, too. "I got smoothness or texture, depending on how I used this, on hair that I didn't bother to blow-dry," said a panellist. "A summer find."
Best Taming Mask
Redken Frizz Dismiss Mask, €29.50, salons nationwide
There can't be an Irish woman alive who doesn't fight the frizz. One key ingredient in this new range includes aquatoril, which is more commonly used in skincare and which seals in the hair's own moisture, while repelling environmental moisture. Yes, like rain, the Irish enemy of sleekness. There's a shampoo and conditioner in the range, as well as styling products to suit both fine and thick hair, but this mask is a great deep treatment. "I used this post-holiday, when my hair was that bit frazzled," said a panellist, "but it has also proved a godsend over the damp summer here."
Best Romantic Ripples
L'Oreal Hollywood Waves Sculpting Gel-Cream, €17.99, salons nationwide
Part of a new range of curl-boosting styling products, this suits moderately thick hair, and just a small amount makes an impressive impact. With a tongs, you'll get full-on curls that hold well, or, if you run it through the hair, make plaits and let nature take its course, you'll end up with bouncy, beachy waves. "You need some natural curl to get the best out of this, and I got everything from soft bounce to proper, styled curls," said one panellist.
Best Colour Companion
Pureology Colour Fanatic, €21.50, salons nationwide, or see feelunique.com or lookfantastic.com
If you have coloured hair, this brand is well worth checking out, and this styling product is a good starting point. It claims to have a grand total of 21 benefits, ranging from frizz control through split-end prevention to colour protection. It works equally well on wet or dry hair. "This is a pretty impressive all-rounder, as you can get sleek looks when you apply it to wet hair, and more textured looks when you use it on dry," said one panellist.
Best Smooth Saviour
Aussie Repair Miracle Shampoo; Repair Miracle Conditioner, both €5.49, available nationwide
There is a trio of oils in the make-up of this new range from Aussie, comprising macadamia nut, jojoba seed and avocado oils. Together, they make for a rich blend that is very nourishing and ideal for hair that is reaching the end of its tether as the summer draws to a close. This is a good-value way of restoring your mane's glossy glory. "It has the distinctive, smoothie-like Aussie smell," a panellist said, "but it's also noticeably more intense than their other products."