By The Beauty Experts at: L'Oréal Paris

If you've ever experienced that mildly humiliating moment at the salon when your stylist consultation goes something like this: CRUNCH . . . you know what's coming next. A raised-eyebrow, followed by 20 minutes with your head perched precariously in the sink for a costly deep-conditioning treatment, and a sore neck to boot.

It's not YOU (or your persnickety stylist) that's to blame. Life is hard on hair. Blow-drying, styling, chemical treatments, and environmental factors like sun and pollution take their toll. Especially now, as the remnants of your sun-drenched summer highlights are growing out and fading away, the dreaded-damaged-crunchy feel is likely to set in. Before you make an appointment for a pixie cut or calendar in your weekly treatments at the salon, you'll want to hear what celebrity hairstylist, Johnny Lavoy, L'Oréal Paris Consulting Hair Expert, has to say about getting your hair back to health at home.

"If your hair is weak, limp, lifeless, dull, or straw like, chances are you have damage. But you can repair it," encourages Johnny.

How? Johnny talked with us about new, advanced hair care products that penetrate hair with amino acids and proteins, previously available only among the beauty trade. The repair process starts with the right shampoo and conditioner, but there's a critical third step. "A weekly deep condition mask is a must. L'Oréal's Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm is specifically formulated for over processed and chemically treated hair. With just one use you can repair up to one year of damage." Kind of miraculous, considering all those hours you spent styling, not to mention days in the sun. Johnny, who's styled hair for every major fashion magazine and is a fixture backstage at top designer fashion shows including Gucci, Oscar De La Renta, and Christian Dior, shared his advice on how to get your sad, post summer hair back in fighting shape. After washing and conditioning with L'Oreal's Total Repair 5 formulas,

Use a towel to squeeze out excess water. Apply the balm throughout your hair, from root to tip. For deeper repair, cover your hair with a plastic shower cap and place a warm towel over the cap for about 3 minutes.


In other words, shave your legs while the balm is working! "The heat from the warm towel helps penetrate each individual hair strand for maximum, instant results."

For a potent daily fix (we're product junkies too), Johnny recommends using leave-in products to help restore hair health. "Multi-Restorative Dry Oil (from L'Oréal) is an extraordinary leave-in treatment that locks in moisture, helps detangle, and makes blow drying easier. You can also use it on dry hair to soften, add shine, and control fly-aways and static." Multi-tasking: good.

Finally, Johnny pointed out the importance of label reading in the shampoo aisle. Beauty companies are hip to the fact that everyone has different hair issues (yes, we all have issues!); you just have to take the time to find the right one to make your hair happy and healthy.