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If you chemically treat your hair with hair color, relaxers or perms, it's probably a little on the parched side. As dry as a desert wind, you say? Ouch. Well, don't sweat it if you have Sahara-scorched strands. With the right moisture-rich conditioner, you can have your chemically treated hair looking hot. Not dry, desert hot -- the hydrated, sexy kind of hot.
Why the Special Treatment?
Chemically treated hair becomes dry because the strands lose most of their outer layer during the chemical process. That layer helps hair nab the moisture-inducing ingredients in conditioners, according to Jeni Thomas, Ph.D., senior scientist for Pantene, in "Quick Style Fixes for Every Hair Type" by "Marie Claire" beauty writer Lizzie Dunlap. Thomas recommends washing and conditioning chemically treated tresses with products fortified with vitamins and minerals because they help repair the outer layer, helping hair to get hydration and -- bonus! -- hold hair color longer.
Speaking of holding color longer, conditioners formulated for color-treated hair can do just that. Try L'Oréal Vive Pro Color Vive Hi-Gloss, "InStyle" magazine's "Best Beauty Buys" 2010 choice for best conditioner for color-treated hair. According to the mag, it cleans, moisturizes and fade-proofs your colored locks. Or go for the magazine's 2008 choice, Redken Color Extend Conditioner, which was also chosen by "Allure" magazine for its 2010 "Best of Beauty Master List" for its shine-enhancing properties, strengthening ceramides and beachy scent.
Split ends and hair breakage are often the result of chemically relaxing, or straightening, African-American hair. The chemicals sap strands of their moisture, leaving them brittle. Jacqueline Tarrant, senior educational manager for Soft Sheen-Carson, offers a moisturizing regimen recommendation to "Cosmopolitan" readers in "Relaxed-Hair Help" that includes Optimum Care Super Protecting Shampoo and Stay Strong Conditioner. "Marie Claire" beauty writer Elizabeth Flahive says to slather on deep conditioners that contain shea butter, olive or almond oils in her "How to Style Asian Hair" feature. She recommends the pricey Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment as a weekly deep conditioner.
If you're looking for an all-around good choice for dry, damaged, chemically treated hair that doesn't force you to dip into the cash you've been saving to buy that pair of smokin' hot shoes, look no further than Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner, featured in Dunlap's "Best Products for Your Hair Type," for damaged 'dos. If you have a bit more to spend, try Terax Hair Care Crema Ultra Moisturizing Daily Conditioner. It was featured in the "Cosmopolitan" feature "The 100 Beauty Products Celebs Can't Live Without." And why not? CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo swears by it.