What to do to fight fading hair color
Dear Answer Angel Ellen:
I am in the sun almost every day. Do you know of any hair care products that will keep my hair color from fading?
— Judy T.
I’ve had the same problem and figured that my only solution was a hat, which all women know leaves your hair, hmmmm, not at its best.
On the recommendation of my colorist, I have started to use purple shampoo. Yeah, it is actually purple-colored. It’s Joico’s Color Balance Purple, which claims on the label: “Eliminates brassy/yellow tones on blonde/gray hair” (amazon.com, $16.14). I haven’t noticed any difference since I started this regimen.
I put your question to another stylist friend,
Mark Rudnick, who told me about a product created to help keep your hair color fresh: conditioner with sunscreen. While I was dozing on a sunny beach (I wish), a whole slew of hair-color protection was being developed to solve our hair-frying woes. Take a stroll through the drugstore or a cosmetics super store (Sephora, Ulta), and you’ll see a wide array of conditioner sprays and lotions with sunscreen from $7 to infinity. Just apply it and go.
And those of you who are lucky enough to be lounging on a beach somewhere, please let me know how (or if ) they work.
And for a reader with the opposite hair/weather problem …
Dear Answer Angel
Help! I have been looking for some “ear protectors” that are like earmuffs only the band goes behind your head, not on top, ruining your hair! They used to sell them all the time. Please help!
— Mary H.
Maybe you started your search too early in the cold-weather season. I’ve seen what you’re looking for at Nordstrom Rack.
Amazon has them in a four-pack for $15.99, which sounds about right for my personal loss ratio every winter — along with gloves, scarves, hats and, that old favorite, left-onthe-bus umbrellas.
There also are bandless earmuffs that are even easier to lose than the ones with bands.
Dear Mary: Dear Answer Angel Ellen:
I’m a huge sports fan, and just about every professional athlete seems to be wearing a beard these days. I want to try to grow one, but I’m clueless on how to care for it and the skin underneath.
— Pete L.
Fortunately, I’m not a bearded lady, but I’ve got many male friends and relatives whose advice I trust on matters of facial hair. Here goes:
Don’t use head hair shampoo, which can be too harsh. Use a cleanser marketed for facial hair. There are many. Cremo (cremocompany.com) makes an all-in-one “beard & face wash,” which could be an answer if you don’t want to invest in a bunch of products.
Moisturize: Beards can get gnarly, scraggly, split ends and breakage. You need to hydrate your facial hair with a beard oil. There are many, scented and not.
Keep it neat: A professional who establishes the where-to-shave lines on your cheeks and neck will be money well spent, so you can follow the outline.
Food in your beard: Ewwwww. It is inevitable. Frequent use of a napkin while eating will help.
Head to the restroom to check for particles as soon as the meal is over. Moist cleansing towelettes also help.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen:
I rarely wear dresses, but I found a gorgeous light-mint-green dress suit with a kneelength skirt. It will be per- fect for spring and summer. I have two questions: What color shoes should I wear with it? And what can I do about my legs? I have pretty bad varicose veins. I hate hose (and they seem to be out of fashion anyway), but I tried self-tanner, and it only helps a little. Any ideas? Thanks!
— Kathy F.
Let’s start with the easy question first: Shoe color. Anything goes with that mint-green outfit. Seriously. The trend in footwear is color, so blue, lemon yellow, dusty rose, you name it. I’m still a neutrals fan, so I’d probably choose bone or ivory — maybe patent or fabric — or even white (which is enjoying a comeback yearround). You can’t go wrong with black patent.
Moving on to your legs. There are spray-on products that are like makeup for the legs, but they’re messy and rub off on your clothes, so forget those. You’ve ruled out self-tanners, but perhaps you need to change brands or apply it over time to get a shade that helps conceal those veins. The best (still not great) solution if you hate hose is a professional spray tan, but book an appointment a few days before you want to wear that green ensemble.
Now, let’s talk about hosiery. It’s back. Bare legs are still fine, but hosiery is too.
I’d really like you to give it a chance. Choose a neutral or perhaps a gray to compliment your green. If all else fails, a wowzer necklace and/or earrings will keep the focus away from your legs.
“One thing I’ve learned over the years: Get a good full-length mirror. When you’re dressed and ready to go, look in the mirror. If you like how you look, you probably look really good. If you look in the mirror and question that you look good, you probably don’t look good.
“The only thing that matters is that you like the way you dress and wear your hair.”
— Joy I.
From Helen B.: “What is to be done about those huge backpacks? When they turn around they nearly push us over.”
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Fading hair color is a hazard when you’re often outdoors. Conditioner with sunscreen could help alleviate the problem.