According to a recent article, German scientists claim to be on the verge of solving our bad hair days.
In a nutshell, they used an atomic microscope to measure the silkiness of individual hairs, examining the atoms in each strand and observing what happens when they interact. After poking around for a while, they declared that hair is frizzy and difficult to comb for two reasons. The first is “mechanical damage to the hair's surface that creates scaly projections which jut out.” Couldn't they have figured this out by watching Pantene commercials like the rest of us? They site “negative charge build-up” as the second source of damage.
Their advice on fixing the problem is to use conditioners that contain active ingredients to smooth out scales, wait for products to be developed that contain positively-charged particles to help provide a silky feel, and “take into account external factors such as humidity and hair stickiness.”
Uh, thanks. This is why I don't get haircare advice from the Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry.
I say, try my latest haircare obsessions:
Shu Uemura's Deepsea Foundation Sprays ($30) is one of those products I never thought I'd buy, assuming it was just lightly scented water that did nothing but clean out my wallet. Turns out, sometimes skepticism works against me. I doused my hair in this stuff post-shower, and it was less frizzy and looked thicker, fuller and healthier. Sadly, Shu Uemura's Deepsea Foundation Sprays aren't available online yet, so here are some great alternatives.
For a rinse-out product go for Garnier's Deep Conditioning Masque ($7). It's quick, cheap, and hair ends up shinier and smoother (FYI: people with fine hair can use it, but go easy).
If your hair is already dry, use a tiny dab of Tigi Bedhead's Girl Toys ($13.50). Put a drop or two in your hands and rub palms together, then pat onto frizzy or unruly spots. It also works as a leave-in when your hair is wet. Use sparingly – a little goes a long way.
For more hair help, check out our Guide to the Best Hair Tools.