Bring Your Hair Back to Life!

Overblonding, underconditioning and chemical relaxing can leave hair dull, dry and thinning. To revive five seemingly hopeless heads of hair, we turned to the experts at the Warren-Tricomi Salon in Manhattan. Use their strategies to make over your own mane

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From Dingy to Dazzling

More reader Sue Dahlman

Strand Situation: Silver hair that is dull, dry and yellowing


Rescue: Melanin doesn’t just give your hair color; it also makes your mane smoother and shinier, explains Joel Warren, celebrity colorist and cofounder of eight Warren-Tricomi Salons on the East and West Coasts. So when hair lacks melanin, it turns gray and becomes coarse and brittle. As for the yellow? “It’s often caused by scalp oil that clings to the hair and muddies the gray,” says Warren. Getting a salon cleansing and conditioning treatment when you go for a haircut will erase unwanted yellow and leave silver hair silky, he says.

To improve Dahlman’s look, Warren used L’Oréal Professionnel Pro-Keratin Refill Smooth Repair Treatment ($15–$20; Edward Tricomi, celeb stylist and the other cofounder of Warren-Tricomi, then cut two inches off her ends, eliminating the driest part of Dahlman’s hair. To keep silver hair in good condition at home, try L’Oréal Professionnel Pro-Keratin Refill Shampoo and Conditioner ($24 each; lpsalons​.com), which remove strand-staining oil and leave hair soft.

Ari Michelson

From Fried to Fabulous

More reader Stefanie Bloom

Strand Situation: Hair that’s overprocessed (think chemical relaxing, bleach and daily encounters with a flatiron)


Rescue: Sometimes just getting rid of the damage is your best bet, says Tricomi, who lopped seven inches off Bloom’s hair, then cut it into a shoulder-skimming angled bob that’s shorter in the back and longer in the front. “Besides appearing healthier, this cut is a much more sophisticated look,” he says. Next, Warren brought Bloom’s hair back to its warm brown roots with an allover ­caramel color and honey highlights, both from L’Oréal INOA, an ­ammonia-free permanent dye that colors with minimal damage. The result will be easier to maintain than Bloom’s über-blonde look and less stressful for her hair, says Warren.

At home, a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair, such as Kerastase Chroma Captive Shampoo and Conditioner ($39, $42;, will keep color looking fresh. Tricomi also says to use a heat-shielding styler like Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Protector ($33; to safeguard strands whenever you blow-dry or flatiron.

Ari Michelson

From Brassy to Bombshell

More reader Annie Unnold

Strand Situation: Breakage and brassiness due to overblonding (proving there can be too much of a good thing)


Rescue: Platinum blondes like Unnold don’t necessarily have to go darker to achieve hair health. One solution: Just tweak the brassy tone using a color that’s free of ammonia, a harsh, drying ingredient found in most dyes. On Unnold, Warren used L’Oréal Profession­nel Platinium, an ammonia-free bleach, to lighten the roots and eliminate the brassy tone; then he added darker, wheat-colored lowlights for contrast by applying INOA, the same brand used on Bloom. Tricomi trimmed the ends slightly and added choppy layers, blending broken strands into the cut by clipping them into shorter, spikier pieces.

To nurture very blonde hair at home, use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair, such as Garnier Fructis Color Shield Shampoo and Conditioner ($4 each; and a twice-weekly strengthening mask such as Warren-Tricomi Repair Fix Restoring System ($18;

Ari Michelson

From Fine to Full

More reader Victoria Hale

Strand Situation: Thinning, whisper-fine strands and washed-out color


Rescue: The experts at Warren-Tricomi employed a three-pronged approach: conditioning color, a volume-boosting cut and extensions to add density, not length. Colorist Kristina Noto started by applying a light-copper, ­ammonia-free INOA dye, which is safe for fine, fragile hair. Next, Darren Bari, an extension specialist from beauty company She by So.Cap, bonded 10 copper-colored hairpieces to Hale’s hair at her temples. The goal: “to fill in gaps and create fullness,” says Bari. (The extensions should last four to six months.) Finally, Tricomi trimmed the ends (and the 14-inch extensions) and added layers for enhanced volume and movement.

At home, a regimen that includes sulfate-free products such as L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Sulfate-Free ShampooConditioner and Dual ­Serum ($7, $7 and $13; will keep the color bright and condition the hair without softening the extension bonds. One caveat: Avoid any product with oil in its name; regular use could dissolve the extension bonds.

Ari Michelson

From Damaged to Adorable

More reader Chloe Fontain

Strand Situation: Hair that’s fragile from decades of chemical straightening


Rescue: The Warren-Tricomi team elected to skip straightening solutions and dyes on Fontain’s very damaged hair. Instead, the plan was to strategically place extensions to create a fuller look without compromising the health of her existing strands. Bari placed extensions in a halo around Fontain’s crown for volume, then in a horseshoe pattern, ear to ear, for length. The hairpieces were pre-permed so Chloe can let her hair dry naturally or blow it dry for a smoother style (though Bari suggested Fontain get salon blowouts every other week; they last longer than a DIY dry—plus, a pro knows how to pull hair taut without compromising bonds). Next, stylist Denine Smith trimmed with texturizing scissors, leaving the hair shoulder length and adding a long, sweeping bang to hide a receding hairline.

Fontain was advised to wash her hair at home every couple of weeks with a sulfate-free cleanser, such as Lisa’s Hair Elixir Clarifying Shampoo and Scalp and Hair Healthy Conditioner ($20 each;, both from Carol’s Daughter.

Next: Must-Have Beauty Minis for Summer


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Ari Michelson

First published in the June 2014 issue

Share Your Thoughts!


Yopsht 07.24.2014

Dying Annie Unhold roots with ammonia free bleach seems to make her roots orange. I might have the same problem, so I wonder what would make roots white, but not damage hair the way bleaches do :( I could only go for L’Oréal Profession­nel Platinium Plus with ammonia for darker hair.

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