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Blake Lively is one of Hollywood’s most up-and-coming young actresses, with leading roles in Gossip Girl and films like The Town with Ben Affleck. Yet it’s not only her career women envy: It’s her hair. “Trouble is, some girls are born with amazing hair,” says Michael Wilson of Bumble and bumble, adding that hair like Ms. Lively’s “sets an unrealistic expectation.” (New York Times, Nov 10 2009)
Yet us mere mortals can at least try. Ms. Lively reportedly receives hair treatments from the Lukaro salon co-owner Rona O’Connor. To maintain Lively’s signature Gossip Girl blonde, O’Connor lifts her base color one shade from her natural hue and does a gloss treatment every five to six weeks, paints in highlights every three months, and adds lowlights every three or four months (Marie Claire, 2011).
As for products, Ms. Lively reportedly swears by Kerastase products (Seventeen, November 2007).
FutureDerm.com Review: Kerastase products are known for being hydrating and restorative. While Ms. Lively did not specify which Kerastase products she uses, I’ll go ahead and recommend my own opinion of the best Kerastase product, the Kerastase Nutritive Masquintense; with the following ingredients left on 30 minutes before rinsing, it softens and conditions the hair:
- Cetearyl alcohol may be called “alcohol,” but don’t automatically be mislead to think that it is drying. In fact, there are a number of alcohols that are hydrating to the skin and hair, memorizable by the mnemonic “5 C’s steer left”: cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, cetostearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol 40, C12-15 alcohols, stearyl alcohol and lanolin alcohol. Cetearyl alcohol is a long-chain alipathic alcohol that is commonly seen in reparative shampoos and conditioners in concentrations up to 20%. It lubricates the hair and gives styling products a creamy consistency. Although ultra-cautious consumers fear using any product containing alcohol, cetearyl alcohol has been found to be largely non-toxic, as established by research published in the journal Toxicology.
- Amodimethicone is s an abbreviation of “amine-functionalized silicone,” and is found in an array of products for damaged hair. According to cosmetic chemist Tonya McKay Becker, the secret to amodimethicone is that it provides selective conditioning to the areas most in need of it. The mechanism is electrostatic attraction, as highly damaged areas of hair possess higher negative charge density, which enhances the affinity of the cationic polymer to that specific area. Amazing. (For an excellent article on amodimethicone’s other properties, please visit Naturally Curly.com.
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein has a low-molecular weight, enabling it to penetrate the hair shaft. Once inside, hydrolyzed wheat protein acts as a humectant, attracting moisture from the environment. As discussed in the textbook Conditioning Agents for the Hair and Skin, hydrolyzed wheat protein has been shown to reduce brittleness and limpness, and to increase body and shine in numerous studies. If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may not wish to use Kerastase Nutritive Masquintense or any other product with hydrolyzed wheat protein, because it has been shown to cause contact dermatitis in susceptible patients in a significant number of studies, including in the journal Allergy.
- Helianthus annuus/Sunflower Seed Oil is an emollient and occlusive agent that is used in a number of natural skin and hair care products. The secret to its efficacy is that sunflower seed oil contains about 60% linoleic acid, which is incorporated into lipids within the skin and prevents water loss from the hair. A lot of consumers who prefer all-natural products love it, since it is so pure you can eat it.
Even if we all can’t travel to L.A. and have Rona O’Connor color, cut, and style our hair, at least we can try Blake’s Kerastase products! Hopefully she’ll get more specific on recommendations in the future. In the meantime, I will go ahead and say I’ve had incredible results with the Kerastase Nutritive Masquintense in particular, and recommend it highly to my readers!
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