Hair and styling products go hand in hand. Especially if your hair tends to get poofy or frizzy in the humidity, like mine. Even with summer fading, I still find it difficult to get beautifully smooth and controlled hair. That’s where silk comes in. It happens to be one of the most luxurious fabrics in the world … a fabric we should all have in our closets. Soft and smooth to the touch, not only does it make you feel great, but it looks fabulous, as well. And, it happens to be one of the best kept secret to having luxe hair.

ecru1.thumbnailECRU New York has created an entire line of silk-infused products to keep hair looking and feeling as soft and shiny as that perfect Hermès scarf. The Silk Nourishing Cream contains jojoba and coconut oil, Pro Vitamin B-5 and gardenia flower to provide conditioning and healing benefits to the hair and scalp, as well as improving hair’s elasticity and texture. The Silk Nourishing Spray contains aloe vera, silk proteins and B5 penetrate to restore moisture and repair split ends. In addition, UV inhibitors help prevent sun damage and thermal abuse. This is a great product to help smooth away split ends and frizzies. The Protective Silk Conditioner contains panthenol, sunflower oil and hydrolized wheat protein to help moisturize the scalp while conditioning, repairing and providing thickening benefits to hair. Each of the products contains silk protein, which is derived from 100% natural Japanese silk.

newyorkstreetsNow if you are going for that messy, just got out of bed look, try the edgy New York Streets by ECRU New York line. The Hair Spray repairs split ends while giving medium to firm hold. The Design Paste enhances the texture of your hair while providing manageability and control. The Volume Foam thickens hair texture and creates fullness and body with long lasting support.

Thanks to ECRU New York, we have access to an arsenal of all-star products to keep our hair looking and feeling fresh.

Depending on what part of the country you live in, your swimming pool has either been opened, just opened or is getting ready to open. And for you beach dwellers, access is granted to you all year round, practically. There couldn't be a better time to discuss ways to prevent chlorine- and salt-damaged hair.

The first thing you should know is that hair saturated with clean water won't soak up as much chlorine or salt as dry hair. Before going for a swim, soak your hair with tap water. When you get out of the pool or ocean, don't run a brush through your hair. Instead, use a wide tooth comb to prevent breakage. You might want to add a detangling treatment first, and comb through hair.

Another hair protector and hydrator is neem oil. You can coat your hair with this oil prior to going swimming. It's not only great for hair, but itchy skin, as well.

After your swim, use a shampoo that will pull the chlorine out from your hair. Look for an ingredient called ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid. You can find it in Frédéric Fekkai Marine Clean Detox Shampoo. You should never shampoo before swimming, as it strips away the protective oils in your hair, leaving it vulnerable to chemicals and salt. And you should avoid alcohol-based styling products, such as hair spray.

Deep-conditioning your hair once a week in the summer is a must. An at-home treatment is an easy fix to forming a protective guard against frayed cuticles. Try Samy Beyond Repair Professional Intensive Hair Masque, Matrix Sleek.look Miracle Reconstructor or Kerastase Ciment Thermique.

For severe split ends, see your hair stylist. If you do not visit the hair salon often, you should during the summer ... every six weeks. And if you are like me, the sun lightens your already highlighted hair. To avoid this, your hair colorist can add lowlights, in strategic places, to create a nice contrast and tone down brassiness. You can prevent some of the brassiness by applying a UV-blocking spray 20 minutes before going outside.
nick1A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with the owner of “Best of Boston, 2008” Massachusetts salon, SalonCapri. Nicholas Penna Jr., award winning stylist, is known in the industry for his design, as well as color. His career has been recognized both locally and nationally – and he has been featured in magazines such as Boston Magazine, Improper Bostonian, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and Allure.

I chatted with Nick about hot hair trends for Fall. He predicts that long, sexy and flowy hair will still be in. Think beachy waves. Or better yet, think my muse Blake Lively. The look will appear effortless. Color will be dark and rich. The bob (think Gwyneth) will be more squared off and a little “piecey” - edgier. Nick says that most can pull this off, although, it's not the best cut for round faces. Bangs will still be in. Look for subtle details in the hair to spice up a look, such as tiny braids or little twists to an updo.

Nick also shared some great tips for caring for your hair.
  1. Give your hair a breather. Limit your flat iron or curling iron use to only 2 times a week. Be sure to use thermal spray before each treatment (Shu Uemura’s Art of Hair IronDesign Protective Thermal Spray) which protects the hair from heat damage.
  2. Easy does it on the color. Don’t get a full foil every time – partial highlights will do. Maximize your look with minimal effort.
  3. When you book your color appointment, book a deep conditioning treatment at the same time to make hair super shiny and prolong the effects of the color treatment. Also, keep up with regular conditioning treatments offered by your salon. There are products out there that really work. Nicks favs: Kerastase and Shu Uemura.
  4. Make sure your hair brush is made of natural bristles. Nick recommends the Mason Pearson brush, which I happen to have. After using my sister's brush, I had to get one of my own.
And because curious minds want to know ...

Age and hair length - is there a hard and fast rule?
This is a passé rule. It's more about your style, personality and attitude.
What's your biggest accomplishment?
Not losing my artistic integrity. I have had the opportunity to work with celebrities, designers at Fashion Week, and on TV shows. It's extremely energizing and keeps you artistic. However, my first love is in the salon.
Do I need to brush my hair 100 times a day?
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
image002Have you ever tried LUSH products before? I will be shocked if you say no. Certainly you have come across their bath bombs (fantastic) and massage bars (heavenly ... use them for much more). Maybe even their skin care products and facial masks (Mask of Magnaminty rocks). Everything is all natural! For years and years I have tried everything but their solid shampoo bars. While traveling in Aspen, CO a year and a half ago, I bought the Hybrid shampoo bar. I bought it for two reasons, (1) curiosity and (2) it's environmentally friendly. My sister-in-law, Cindy, bought one as well, Godiva. She loved hers. However, I didn't have the same wonderful experience with the Hybrid.

With 4th of July around the corner, I decided to try LUSH's three holiday-appropriate solid shampoo bars: New (pink), Ultimate Shine (white) and Seanik (blue). I am here to tell you, I am forever changed by this experience. I am absolutely in love with the Ultimate Shine shampoo bar with gold sparkly bits that leave your hair shiny and soft. I can't say that I noticed any gold sparkles in my hair. However, the glossy, shiny hair that resulted was simply fabulous! And for three straight days! It contains Ylang Ylang, coconut oil and exotic essential oils. My husband and kids' favorite is the New shampoo bar which is an excellent stimulant for the scalp, as well as an active cleanser that rids of styling product residue. And it's cinnamon-y! The Seanik is next for me to try ... I have to let go of my Ultimate Shine first to try it ... and that's hard for me to do right now.

For less than $10 each, you can experience one of these brilliant, travel-friendly solid shampoo bars. One bar is equivalent to three 250ml shampoo bottles, so you can save money and save the environment from waste at the same time. Buy here and enjoy!
As I left the salon yesterday with the best hair ever (thank you, Edward!), it reminded me of the many challenges that summer brings. Dry, brittle hair from too much sun and pool/water exposure. Puffy and/or frizzy hair from the humidity. And drab, lifeless hair from over processing.

The summer sun can negatively impact the hair cuticle, and therefore, change how our hair behaves. It's essential that we take care to avoid as many hair pitfalls as possible. Here are some recommendations.
  1. Shampoo and condition your hair every third day - or every other day
  2. Skip blow drying as much as you can; if you must blow dry, use a leave-in conditioner to protect your hair
  3. Apply a mask to your hair as often as needed
  4. Spray your hair with an SPF and cover your head with a hat when in the sun
If you are a DIY-er, here are some at-home remedies, as recently featured in Elle. To remove buildup of scalp oil and products and to moisturize and condition hair, combine 2 tablespoons vodka, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 ripe avocado and 1 egg yolk. Apply mixture to freshly shampooed and towel-dried hair and leave on for 30 minutes.

To replenish lack-luster hair, whip 6 ounces of plain yogurt, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a sprig of rosemary, and a sprig of mint into a blender. Apply to pre-washed, towel-dried hair. Wrap head in a hot towel to seal in the heat and leave on for 20 minutes.

For those of you ready to embrace your waves and curls this summer (like me), here's a spritzer that creates great texture. Mix a large fist full of sea salt and water in a spray bottle. But first, polish your hair to prevent drying. If you use this spritzer often, be sure to mask your hair regularly. So enjoy your summer and have fabulous looking hair, too!