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Fitness

Hair Repair: How to Get Strong, Shiny Hair

If a ponytail has become your solution to the winter-hair blahs, you've come to the right place. Take our simple tests to find out if your strands are damaged and learn the tricks for getting your glossiest, bounciest hair ever.
Sleek, straight hair Mane Mission: Sleekness

Frizz occurs when individual strands stray from the pack as hair is exposed to humidity.

Tress test: Turn your bathroom into a steam room: Close the door and run hot water in the shower. If after five minutes your strands start to swell, tame them with these tricks.

Add hydration. Moisture may seem like public enemy number one, but frizzy strands are actually dry. They lack fatty acids that retain water, says Nathaniel Hawkins, a celebrity hairstylist in New York City. To strengthen your hair, apply an oil treatment, like Matrix Sleek Silk Wonder Smoothing Oil ($15, matrix.com for salons), to dry strands before you shampoo.

Dry completely. Leaving hair damp encourages frizz to form because any moisture can make your style revert to its natural state, Hawkins says. No time for a thorough blowout? Apply mousse and let hair air-dry almost completely while you get dressed. Then smooth it with a blow-dryer for a few minutes to polish strands.

Get perma-sleek. Pro smoothing treatments can make you silky for months, but many come with a hefty price tag and potentially toxic formaldehyde. Yikes! Stick to safe at-home alternatives that de-frizz with keratin, which helps fill in porous spots so your strands lie flat. Try John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight ($10, drugstores).

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