The Game-Changing Product Missing From Your Hair Routine

We know what you're thinking: Another step to add to our already laborious beauty regimens? But if gorgeous, healthy hair is what you're after, consider a pre-shampoo treatment your new necessity.
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We know what you're thinking: Another step to add to our already laborious beauty regimens? But if gorgeous, healthy hair is what you're after, consider a pre-shampoo treatment your new necessity.

These products can do it all, from priming your tresses before coloring to hydrating heat-damaged strands and even protecting your hair from other products.

"Frequent shampooing and use of hair products have a tendency of stripping the hair of necessary oils, which results in a lack of body and shape," says colorist Christophe Robin. "That's why pre-shampoo treatments are important. They help protect, restore moisture, and ultimately improve hair texture."

Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin agrees, adding, "Shampoos can often be too harsh on damaged or fine hair types, so a pre-shampoo treatment does wonders to protect the hair." So while adding this step does cost you an extra 10 or 20 minutes, it's clearly well worth the time (after all, you can always let the product work its magic as you binge on House of Cards, exfoliate, make a cup of coffee, or do 1,000 other things).

Read on for nine treatments specifically formulated to cater to every hair concern.


For Color-Treated Hair
If your dry, color-treated strands need some TLC, look no further than Christophe Robin's Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender, composed with nourishing natural oils. "Made with SPF 6 protection, the formula helps you avoid breakage and wear -- and protects the color for a long time," Robin says. It's also made without ceramides, keratin, or silicone, which, according to Robin, "choke hair and make it impossible for good nutrients to penetrate."

How to Use: Before shampooing, apply the oil onto your hair, on the ends and the delicate part along your hairline. Brush through, letting the oil soak in. Leave on from one hour to overnight. Tip: We love applying this formula before hitting the gym.

Christophe Robin Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender, $47, available at Sephora.


For Aging/Fine Hair
Fun fact: Your hair health starts to deteriorate as you age -- which is where Living Proof's new pre-shampoo treatment comes in. While it's great for helping seal in color, the formula is also designed to strengthen your strands (the brand claims that one use can help reduce breakage by 85%). The lightweight treatment is particularly useful for those with thinner hair, since it won't weigh down your locks.

How to Use: Apply to dry hair about five minutes before shampooing, every time you wash your hair.

Living Proof Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment, $26, available at Living Proof.


For Oily Hair
It may sound weird to apply a conditioner before shampoo -- especially if you have oily hair. But Hair Food's cleansing conditioner can give your hair just the right amount of moisture, without overly conditioning and leaving you with greasy-looking locks. "Applying shampoo afterward will reduce any coating, but leave light conditioning effects," says celebrity hairstylist Rebekah Forecast. "There are other advantages, too. Those with fine hair who shy away from using conditioner because they want volume can use this as a pre-shampoo treatment."

How to Use: One to three times a week, massage three or four pumps into wet hair, lather with shampoo, and rinse out.

Clairol Hair Food Honey Apricot Cleansing Conditioner, $9.99, available at Target.


For Dull/Fine Hair
Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer was originally developed for Audrey Hepburn, who needed a moisturizing treatment that wouldn't add weight and flatten her fine hair, and it's an industry favorite to this day. The formula's intensely hydrating combination of castor oil, glycerin, and olive oil works to enhance shine, increase elasticity, and give your hair that sought-after bounce.

How to Use: Once or twice a week, work the treatment into damp hair with your fingertips. Cover with a plastic cap and leave on for around 20 minutes before rinsing and following with shampoo and conditioner.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre-Shampoo Treatment, $49, available at Net-A-Porter.


For Frizzy Hair
Swimmers know that chlorine dehydrates and damages hair, leaving it dry and frizzy -- not ideal if you're after smooth, shiny locks. Leonor Greyl's waterproof oil treatment, made with deeply hydrating mongongo oil, is supposed to protect your hair from contact with water up to a temperature of about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Not a swimmer? You can still use it to smooth frizz and get silky-smooth results. "I recommend this for clients with over-processed and dry hair," says Anh Co Tran of Ramirez/Tran Salon. "It softens hair and improves overall hair health."

How to Use: Apply the oil to dry hair and evenly distribute using a natural-bristle brush. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes or overnight, and shampoo out. Use it as many times as you usually shampoo.

Leonor Greyl L'Huile de Leonor Greyl, $60, available at Net-A-Porter.

For the rest of our picks, visit Refinery29.

By: Tiffany Tse

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