By Lois Joy Johnson
Women like me with "mature" skinny hair try everything and anything to fatten it up. We eat protein, fresh veggies and fruit because talk show docs always blame diet deficiencies (and if you fad diet long enough your hair will look wimpy). Our bathrooms are stocked with dozens of styling products that promise volume (and some work, others don't). We color our hair to coat the hair shaft and make it look thicker (and yes it does). And finally in the end we heat style, blowdrying in body and bounce (if we concentrate).
Our big everyday complaint, though, is always about the conditioner, which we desperately need to counteract the dryness, damage, breakage, and stress that comes with age and all our good intentions. Conditioners are almost always too heavy, too rich, too slimy, or too creamy for our fine locks and using them "just on the ends" as some hair pros suggest is ridiculous. We don't want to compromise. One beauty brand has gotten the message and solved all. You have to try Pantene Aqua Light Weightless Conditioning Shake ($ 5.99, drugstores), which works like some shake-it-up dual-phase eye makeup removers you may have tried. I interviewed Teca Lewellyn, P& G Beauty Scientist, about this revolutionary product and came away with a few smart tips about this product that will benefit us all:
USE THE RIGHT LIGHT LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER. Most of the time, women with thin hair avoid leave-ins, thinking they add residue or a film on freshly washed hair. And most of the time this is true. Your hair instantly separates and looks "dirty" again! Pantene Aqua Light Weightless Conditioning Shake is a new concept in leave-ins. In the bottle, the two major ingredients appear as separate blue and translucent layers since one is oil based the other water-based. They don't blend until you shake it all up and spray. What goes on is a fine mist of fatty alcohols and just enough polymers (long chains of molecules stuck together) that condition and reinforce hair without making it greasy. According to Lewellyn, this formula repairs and adds a healthy look and feel while protecting your hair from heat styling and frizz. It's a multi-tasker conditioner/ styler/ protector in one. And yes, use it after you rinse out your usual conditioner in the shower or...for baby-fine hair skip the traditional in-shower conditioning and use this after you blot your hair.
SPOT SPRAY IT ON BED-HEAD TO RE-SMOOTH. You can even use this leave-in as a fast fix on specific areas that have gone awry overnight. It won't provide hold but your hair can regain that just-blow-dried sleekness. Spray the area (bangs, or side for example) and give it a short three-second blast with the blowdryer, using your brush to direct the heat.
USE THIS PRODUCT AS A COMPANION TO REGROWTH PRODUCTS. If you use an OTC booster like Rogaine, which penetrates into the scalp, just continue your regimen. There's no conflict since Pantene Aqua Light Weightless Conditioning Shake is a topical conditioner. It's 100% color-safe, too, and will keep your processed hair looking glossy and vibrant. Give it a whirl -- at that price you can't lose!\
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Lois Joy Johnson is ThirdAge's Beauty and Fashion Director. She is the author of "The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age" and "The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look At Any Age."