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The ABCs of Summer Hair Repair

If a summer of fun in the sun has wreaked havoc on your hair, fear not

Mother Nature Had Great Hair!

When it comes to choosing your hair care products, many experts now say that nature offers the best ingredients for hair repair.

"If it's chemicals that are damaging your hair, it makes sense to turn away from chemicals if you are trying to compensate for that damage," says Lamas. And, he practices what he preaches. When forming his own line of natural hair care products, Lamas says he shunned chemical ingredients and relied almost entirely on botanicals and natural oils.

"Chemical shampoo ingredients like propylene glycol, sodium laurels, ammonium laurels, and paraben get stored in your hair," says Lamas. And that, he says is one reason why even hair that receives minimal assaults can seem beat up and fragile.

"The formulas of some shampoos are so similar to dishwashing liquid, it's frightening," says Lamas.

Of course not everyone agrees that chemicals are bad for the hair. Juan says that leave-in conditioners containing chemical ingredients such as silicone will help coat the hair, repel damaging elements, and are actually good for your hair.

Meanwhile, Baker says the best products are those that successfully marry nature and science.

"It's true that some of the best hair care ingredients are found in nature but you have to get them to penetrate the hair so they can do their job," she says.

Either way, if your hair is damaged, our experts agree that some of the best natural ingredients you can look for include soy proteins, egg lecithin, wheat germ oil, carthum oil, safflower oil, rice and wheat proteins, as well as vitamins like B5 (panthenol); and also botanicals such as chamomile, comfrey, and goldenseal.

The Way You Do the Things You Do

When it comes to styling your hair, what you use, in term of tools, as well as how you use them also matters. The golden rule of thumb: The more damaged your hair, the less heat you should apply.

"The hotter the tool, the more you can damage your hair, since heat forces the cuticle to split open," says Lamas. If you want to blow dry, he says, use the medium or cool setting to keep the outside layer as smooth as possible.

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