WHAT SHE DOES
Bethesda Magazine HEALTH | March/April 2014 257
COLORS WITH CARE
Sprague lightens only the top half of her head, leaving her natural, light-brown color
underneath. Every six weeks she selectively targets her hair’s new growth, partly with
a Redken bleach product that makes her natural color six shades lighter. She also
applies “a brightener,” which she describes as a gentler approach than the bleach,
using Redken color that lightens sections of her hair by three shades. Sprague carefully
monitors the progress of the products on her hair.
The Payoff: Less hair damage. By minimizing the use of harsh bleach and targeting
only new hair growth for lightening, “I’m able to give myself a light, sun-kissed blond
look with a lot less damage,” Sprague says. Keeping a close eye on how the products
are working also ensures a good result. If the bleach is removed too soon, hair can take
on a brassy look; but leaving it on too long can destroy hair, turning it into “cellophane
noodle,” she says.
WASHES AND DRIES SELECTIVELY
Sprague favors hair products sold in salons, such as L’Oréal Professionnel shampoos
and conditioners, including the company’s Lumino Contrast line.
She shampoos her hair every seven days or so, occasionally rinsing it with water if
she’s particularly sweaty from a workout. Following a shampoo, she smothers her hair in
conditioner, twists it into a bun and lets it sit for 10 minutes while she’s still in the shower.
Sprague generally air-dries her hair. When using a blow-dryer, however, she dabs on
styling products, such as Phytodéfrisant botanical straightening balm or Moroccanoil
volumizing mousse, before drying with hot air. When her hair is nearly dry, she attaches
a nozzle to the blow-dryer and aims the air downward onto sections of hair wrapped
around a ceramic-based brush. She finishes with a blast of cool air.
The Payoff: Sprague says her hair is silky, rarely tangles and has no split ends. She
gets about 5 inches cut off twice a year to manage the length.
Less frequent washing allows the scalp’s natural smoothing oils to work their way
down the hair shafts. When Sprague does wash her hair, the high-quality ingredients in
her shampoo and conditioner are gentler and more moisturizing than those generally
found in drugstore products, which she says tend to harshly strip hair and coat it with
wax. Also, keeping the conditioner on for 10 minutes allows the shower steam to open
the hair cuticles, which absorb the product.
Less blow-drying means less heat damage. When Sprague does use a dryer, her
styling products smooth and help protect her hair. Using the ceramic-based brush
helps accomplish the same while causing less heat damage than a metal brush would.
Finishing with cool air adds shine, she says.
Sprague doesn’t smoke. She eats a healthful, well-rounded diet, including healthy fats,
and reduces stress with exercise.
The Payoff: Lush, full hair. Sprague says she has noticed that extremely thin clients
or smokers tend to have dry, brittle hair.
GUARDS AGAINST SUN AND SURF
Sprague mostly avoids the pool and ocean, and wears a hat to shield her head from
the sun. If she does take a dip in the pool, she’ll immediately wash her hair with a
chlorine-removing treatment such as Malibu C Swimmers Wellness. After an ocean
swim, she’ll put conditioner on her hair, wrap it into a bun and cover it until she gets
home to wash it.
The Payoff: Sprague avoids the drying effects of pool chemicals, saltwater and sun.
Pool chemicals also can tinge blond hair green. ■
Leah Ariniello of Bethesda frequently writes about health. To comment on this story
or suggest subjects, email email@example.com.
that can improve your
Quality of Life.
Doctorate-level hearing care you can trust
11300 Rockville Pike Ste. 105
Rockville, MD 20852
Call Gail Linn, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
Comprehensive Hearing Exams
Accurate Real-Ear Measurements
Latest Digital Hearing Instruments
Assistive Listening Devices
Custom Ear Protection
In-home Hearing Care