Six Secrets for Healthy Hair from a NYFW Stylist

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Straight from Fashion Week, Stylist Nicholas Penna, Jr Shares His Tips for Weathering the (Winter) Storm

Six Secrets for Healthy Hair from a NYFW Stylist

Even though it’s been a mild winter for many, blow-dryers, cold air, and the constant change in climate still take a toll on your hair. Today, we’re thrilled to welcome hair expert Nicholas Penna, Jr., straight from New York Fashion Week to offer our readers his favorite tips and tricks to keep your hair healthy inside and out.

Nick, the owner and lead stylist of SalonCapri, recently returned from styling the Theory, Phillip Lim, and Rodarte NYFW shows – so he knows a thing or two about keeping stressed, overworked hair in shape!

Six Tips for Winter-Proofing Hair

1. Get Rich Quick – No, not your wallet; your shampoo. Pick up a moisture rich shampoo and conditioner for the winter months, preferably one with vitamins and oils. (Nick suggests L’Oreal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Liss Ultime shampoo and conditioner.) “It’s good to change up the product you use every few months so your hair doesn’t build up immunity to the ingredients,” Nick points out.

2. Be Exotic – “One of the hottest new trends is incorporating Argan oil into your beauty routine,” reports Nick. Argan oil contains fatty acids, Vitamin E and antioxidants that restore your hair’s natural luster without a greasy shine. Nick recommends using the oil like a serum. “Use about a dime sized amount and comb it evenly through damp hair,” says Nick. Or, look for a conditioning treatment that contains Argan oil like Shu Uemura’s Silk Bloom Restorative Treatment.

3. DIY – If you want a more wallet friendly way to add some essential nutrients to your ‘do, try adding a nickel sized amount of honey or olive oil to your daily conditioner.

Nick’s tips to creating your own spa night at home are to soak a hand towel in hot water and let it steam with you in the shower. Massage your strands with the conditioning olive oil treatment and let it rest. Wring out the hot towel and wrap it tightly around your head and relax for 30 minutes. Invite some friends over and you’ve got yourself a spa night!

4. Go All the Way – While blow drying and using hot tools definitely dries up your hair, it is somewhat unavoidable during the cold months. “If you’re going to blow dry, always use a thermal spray or serum that will protect your hair,” urges Nick. Moreover, Nick insists you go big or go home when blow drying. “Blow drying your hair half way will only create frizz and damage. If you spend the extra 5 minutes using a round brush to blow your hair out to a smooth finish, it makes all the difference,” he says.

5. Avoid the Freeze“Never go outside with wet hair,” says Penna. Wet hair and even damp hair can easily freeze once temperatures drop into the 30s, and frozen strands mean split ends. If you have to run outside, be sure to work a quick squeeze of serum in your hair before tucking your hair beneath a hood or hat. Don’t be discouraged by hat hair — the serum will keep your hair smooth and moisturized, so you won’t have to worry about frizz or flatness.

6. Nourish from the Inside Out – Be sure to indulge in the season’s offerings—proteins, fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and essential oils that help keep your hair healthy from the inside out. Believe it or not, eating balanced foods will improve your hair’s natural shine, bounce and body! Many of winter’s seasonal goods, like dark leafy vegetables, beans and carrots provide the exact nutrients to promote shiny, silky hair.

we heartsters – how do you keep your hair healthy and strong during the cold winter months?

Bonus Video: Check out Nick’s work in action at the Theory Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collection at New York Fashion Week:



  1. I didn’t know that your hair could “freeze” and make split ends. I guess I learned something new! Thanks :)

  2. I don’t know that hair can build up immunity, since it’s non-living. But the other tips were really helpful! I didn’t know that blowdrying my hair halfway was bad for it, or that I could get split ends from my hair “freezing.” I’ve been using a really rich conditioner, and that’s been helping my hair a lot.

  3. I didn’t know about the frozen hair/split end connection either – but it totally makes sense. It’s not much of a problem for me know living in CA, but growing up on the East Coast I was constantly going out with a wet head – and had the split end issues to prove it!

    And I’m totally going to try the Olive Oil in my conditioner trick. Love getting double duty from my kitchen staples.

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