Nothing tops a refreshing dip in the pool to beat the summer heat.  But at the same time as the cool water rejuvenates your body, it also wreaks damage on your hair. Ouidad's Water Works Shampoo ($15) provides essential hair therapy during swimming season.

Added to pools to kill bacteria, chlorine is a powerful chemical capable of both discoloring hair and drying out the hair's cuticle.  Exposure to chlorine allows copper to seep into hair, lending it that sickly greenish hue.  It also damages the protective protein coating of the hair shaft, resulting in brittleness and breakage.  To avoid the tell-tale signs of swimmers' hair, we summertime pool-goers need something to stimulate recovery after the damage is done.

Ouidad (pronounced "wee-dod") has developed a specialty shampoo just for this purpose.  Recognized around the world as "The Curl Experts," Ouidad offers an extensive array of haircare products for those adorned with ringlets.  Water Works shampoo, however, is not aimed just at curls. Its benefits extend to any hair type that has endured a dousing in chlorinated water.

On top of combating chlorine, Water Works also removes build-up left behind by hard water, which flows from household faucets all throughout the U.S. (It is estimated that up to 85% of American water can be classified as "hard.")  Hard water develops when rain water settles into the ground and leeches minerals from its surrounding sediments.  The results are itchy skin and lifeless hair.  Since run-of-the mill shampoos don't treat these conditions, a special formula is needed to dissolve hard water residue.

Packed with natural ingredients, Water Works achieves results without unnecessary additives.  Fruit acids from grapefruit, lime, and orange neutralize chlorine and protect color-treated hair.  Witch hazel soothes the scalp and removes dry skin, while aloe leaf nourishes both skin and hair.  Botanical extracts from chamomile, geranium oil, rosemary, and sage all contribute conditioning benefits.  Finally, panthenol, the alcohol analog of vitamin B5, binds to hair follicles and makes strands appear shiny.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should also point out that Water Works does have two sulfates (which are known irritants), although the stronger of the two occurs far down the ingredients list. In the case of one of the preservatives, methylchloroisothiazolinone, concentrations are kept down and limited to rinse-off products.

After using Water Works shampoo several times weekly, I have noticed a remarkable change in my hair's texture.  New York City pipes undoubtedly fall prey to hard water, which has often left my hair feeling sticky and looking rather dull.  But while lathering my hair with Water Works, I could actually feel it removing residue that other products leave behind.  The sensation of clean, pure hair is incomparable.

Of course, that clean feeling is achieved at the expense of layers of build-up, leaving much to be desired in terms of moisture.  This is why conditioner was invented.  You will need to follow up Water Works shampoo with subsequent products to moisturize and protect hair from the elements.

Therefore, we are going to share a generous package of full-size products from Ouidad's haircare line with one lucky reader. The package includes:

Water Works specialty shampoo
Sun Shield sun, swim, & sport leave-in spray
Curl Quencher moisturizing gel
Tress FX styling gel
Clear Control pomade

Sorry, straight tresses (like me)- You must have some curls to reap the full benefits of these Ouidad products, and you must be willing to contribute a reader review based on your experience.  Send me an email at copley@truthinaging.com describing why your hair could use a full Ouidad regime.  The winner will be chosen next week.  Happy hairday!

Ingredients in Water Works:

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Panthenol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.