This time of year, it seems like everything on our body needs a little extra love. From chapped lips to dry cheeks to flaky elbows, “hydrating” is a major buzzword in our beauty routines, and our hair is no exception. Even if you’re skipping washes and regularly slathering your strands in a twice-weekly moisturizing mask, it still might not be enough, especially with the daily styling that tends to happen when it’s too dang cold to walk outside with wet hair.
Well, your nearly-dead ends are about to get some much-needed relief thanks to a new step that stylists are recommending you add to your hair-care arsenal: The hair booster. Think of them, quite literally, like shots for your hair. Unlike leave-in conditioners, which are reacting to damage that’s already been done, these high-impact serums are proactively helping to fend off damage before it actually happens. “They’re meant to be used on a regular basis, so you can stop the damage before it starts,” explains Brian Zinno, the educational director at Antonio Prieto Salon. “Once hair is damaged, you can make it feel better cosmetically, but you’re obviously going to have to get a trim to get rid of those dead ends.”
The boosters are heavily concentrated, so you only need to leave them in for a minute or two in order for them to work their strand-saving magic. “The technology has advanced so much over the years with these type of products, you really don’t need to let it sit for 10 minutes and you really don’t need the heat to help it penetrate the hair. They can really pass through the cuticle quite well and they can get in there and do their jobs, so then you can just rinse it,” explains Zinno.
Of course, this makes them vastly different than deep conditioning masks and leave-in conditioners, which demand a full day’s worth of time with your strands—or at least a very awkward 15 to 20 minutes of hanging out in the shower. “A leave-in conditioner might be good for somebody who experiences chronic dryness or air dries,” says Zinno when asked how the two products function differently.
The idea of a “hair booster” is still fairly new, but there are already products on the market here to change the game—including the one’s that I’ve been using of late, the Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots ($5), which TBH couldn’t be easier to apply. I slather one on from the the hair below my ears to my ends, leave it in for a minute and then rinse out. Every few uses, I wash with a clarifying shampoo to remove any excess buildup and ensure the shots are working to their full capacity.
Interested? Keep scrolling for the 3 boosters that Zinno recommends trying out for yourself, and get ready to see a whole lot more of them on shelves very, very soon.
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