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Hair care

We Tried It: Schwarzkopf BC Fibre Force Hairtherapy

Can a product line really, truly stave off split ends for good? We put Schwarzkopf's latest to the test

Some people count nail biting or excessive hair twirling as their worst beauty habit. Mine happens to be particularly despicable: peeling split ends from tip to root. I've been scolded by more hairstylists than I can count, and now I'm determined to give it up.

To help me reach my goal, I decided to test out the new hair-repairing Fibre Force line from Schwarzkopf Professionals. The four-piece collection promises "reborn" hair in just four to 10 weeks. And while I know there's no miracle product that will restore hair to its original un-processed glory, the science -- micronized keratin and panthenol -- is convincing , and I'm hoping some curling iron damage can be reversed.

I started off with the shampoo and conditioner, which had a thicker consistency than my usual products. I was nervous this would weigh down my hair, but instead of that heavy feeling some keratin-infused shampoos can leave you with (no matter how many times you rinse), this one washed clean. I finished with the leave-in spray, and miraculously, I was able to run a comb through my hair without tearing at a mass of knots.

My next shower, I reached for the fortifier treatment, which is like a hair mask. After shampooing and rinsing, I wrung the excess water from my hair, and used my fingers to comb about a tablespoon of the treatment through the length of my hair. After about eight minutes -- or roughly the time it took me to exfoliate and shave -- I rinsed my hair clean and let it air dry while I did my makeup and got dressed. When I ran a brush through my dry hair, it was noticeably less frizzy, and so soft I insisted my roommate and coworkers run their hands through it, too. (Sure, slightly creepy, but worth it.) .

The secret to these products is micronized hair-identical keratin,that reduces damage and frizz by sealing the outer breaks and gaps along the hair shaft and strengthening the hair's inner cortex. Sure, that's a mouthful, but basically it's repairing damage, which is a major breakthrough. Cosmetic chemist Donald Frey says, "One key tip for hair care is to spend on the conditioners, masks and styling products," adding that "any good mild shampoo will clean the hair and prepare it for the post shampoo products to work their magic."

After using the collection for the past six weeks, I have to agree with Frey on this one. While the shampoo is great, it's the conditioner, leave-in spray and fortifier treatment that do the heavy lifting. Still, using a complete system helps me stick to a routine, which is half the battle when it comes to getting real results.

The true testament, of course, is the number of compliments I get every time I use the fortifier treatment -- my hair is noticeably shiny and silky. Plus, finding split ends to peel has become nearly impossible. I'm checking that resolution off my list.


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