this thing's incredible

This Japanese Cream Is My Salon’s Secret to Professional-Looking Hair

There are some secrets that only hairdressers know, which is why my hair never looks more fabulous than when it’s professionally blown out, and why I’ve stopped trying to give myself DIY Carey Mulligan haircuts (no, it’s not just a Girls plot line). Now I’ve just started asking them what’s up: “What’s that technique you’re using with the round brush?” And more recently, “What are you putting on my hair? It’s MAGICAL.”

This last exchange took place at a Japanese salon I’ve been frequenting, after wondering for weeks why my hair was looking so smooth and — if I can say it — flawless after visits. For the average person, this might not be a revelatory experience, but as someone growing out her damaged, peroxide-nuked hair, it’s been pure bliss. My hair tends to look coarse and crispy after it’s blow-dried, where my split ends splay out like frayed wires, but now my hair feels lighter — renewed, even.

I studied my hair dresser’s method, from the shampoo he used to lather up my scalp to the conditioner. Both were great, but my hair didn’t look truly transformed until he put on the finishing touches: a Japanese hair finishing cream that comes in a jar resembling an oversize macaron. My hair felt flat-iron smooth, my flyaways actually behaved, and my hair looked like it had just luxuriated in a hair mask for hours. He didn’t even have to pressure me into buying it. I was already sold.

The Lusse hair cream contains shea butter, sunflower oil for added shine, and even hyaluronic acid for super hydration — nothing goopy or sticky or heavy. First I shampoo my hair and soak it in a thick hair mask (my favorite is the Briogeo Don’t Despair! Repair Deep Conditioning Mask) for 10 to 15 minutes: This step is crucial. Then I blow dry it, rub a small dollop (Deesse’s recommends a “pearl-sized” amount) of this light cream between my palms, and run my palms over the ends of my hair — smoothing the flyaways down, and shaping my ends as I go. Immediately my bob feels shinier and softer, Margot Tenenbaum–esque, instead of dry and frazzled. If you’ve given up on peroxide only because you miss your natural hair texture — with this dreamy hair cream, you might not have to choose.

Deesse’s Lusse Hair Finishing Cream

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This Japanese Cream Is My Salon’s Secret to Amazing Hair