We’re all in the market for shinier, silkier, healthier and more voluminous tresses, but have you ever wondered whether the promises made by various hair care products are totally bogus or legit? Honestly, how much good can a bottle of shampoo actually do? Can a conditioner really repair years of torturing your hair?
As you probably guessed, some claims are mostly fictional, with maybe a grain of truth to them, while others are the real deal. Find out which hair products can actually do what they promise below.
Mend Split Ends
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the only way to truly get rid of split ends is to snip, snip, snip until the damaged ends are gone. No product can actually repair split ends for you; the best they can do is make split ends look a bit better, which is a temporary fix at best. “A big red flag is if the product claims to ‘mend’ split ends,” says celebrity hair stylist Kacey Welch. “What the product will actually do is wrap each strand of hair with wax and seal the ends to give that healthy look. In reality, the damage is done and cannot be reversed. The best thing to do is get occasional trims in between cuts and use products that protect against damage.”
Great news if you’re looking to add shine to your hair–this can totally be achieved using certain products. The key? Look for ingredients that you can actually identify (and sometimes even find in your own pantry). “Coconut oil actually penetrates through each cuticle and strengthens it rather than just coating it,” Welch says. “So it improves hair strength and flexibility. Use with other ‘shine enhancing’ products like serums and glosses to get the shiny finish you’re looking for. Always look for hair products with natural coconut, jojoba, olive and almond oils–these will benefit your hair for the long term.”
Other oils that do the job include “protein-packed” macadamia and argan oils, says Brandy Brogdon of Simply Pure Products. “These oils can restore your hair’s natural beauty and shine,” Brogdon says. “Just keep them away from the scalp to keep your volume. I like to apply these before bed from my earlobes down and let my hair feast while I dream.”
Increase Body and Volume
If your hair lacks oomph and you want to work on a long-term plan to build volume and body, Brogdon suggests looking for simple ingredients that are easy to say. “Olive oil, avocado oil, aloe, ginseng and castor oil all promote hair growth and build thickness,” Brodgon says. “These amazingly simple ingredients are filled with fatty acids and vitamins to gently cleanse your hair and build strength and volume.”
But, if your goal is to score Gisele Bundchen locks in one hour or less, Welch advises staying away from oil-based products and seeking products with collagen and starches. “Dry shampoos are the best products for enhancing volume as it absorbs excess oils and gives your hair a fresh look,” Welch says. “Volumizing mousse is also a great to maintain the hold of a blowout and reduce frizz. Avoid your roots when conditioning as well.”
At the end of the day, Brogdon says her best advice is to read labels and trust what you know. “If you can’t say it, you probably don’t want it,” she says. “Google ingredients and follow the links to find the truth. You will be extremely surprised at what you find.”
For more beauty tips, check out the one thing you should never do when washing your hair and everything you need to know about getting hair extensions for the first time.