Style briefs

Hair emergencies

New York -- Pollution and population can damage hair just like hot rollers and blow dryers. A combination of these factors have led Houston, New Orleans and Los Angeles to be named the three most "hair-impaired cities" in the country, according to a recent survey by Procter & Gamble Co.

More than 70 percent of women surveyed said the do suffer from hair damage, and more than half said they regularly heat style, straighten and chemically process their hair.

Consumer habits and practices were weighed against environmental factors such as UV levels, humidity, precipitation, pollution and population to produce the damage-index ranking for cities across the country. Also considered among the most hair-impaired places are Memphis, Tenn., Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago.

The index was created by Procter & Gamble on behalf of Infusium 23, a line of healthy-hair products that each feature 23 vitamins and treatment ingredients.

BCBG Max Azria's new signature

New York -- With the handbag being a signature of so many designer brands, it's not surprising that there's now a version by BCBC Max Azria.

The bag has a square shape with stitch trim and sculpted hardware, and is available in a large and medium tote, and a clutch.

The colors in the debut collection include red, green yellow, orange and pink, but the palette will change each season to match fashion trends.

"I have always wanted to design a classic bag, one that perfectly captures the BCBG Max Azria aesthetic, while withstanding the fluctuations of fashion. I feel confident that I have achieved this with our new signature handbag collection: Elegant, luxurious, yet practical," Azria said in a statement.

BCBG was named for the Parisian phrase "bon chic, bon genre," meaning "good style, good attitude."

Whose nose knows?

New York -- Ever wonder who picks the winners of industry awards, such as the FiFis, which honors fabulous fragrances?

This year it could be you.

For the first time, the Fragrance Foundation is asking the public for its opinion. There will be three FiFi "consumer-choice prizes" for the best fragrance launches in 2003 for both women and men. The readers of Cosmopolitan magazine, readers of CosmoGIRL and shoppers at Nordstrom stores each get a say.

Votes can be cast either on the magazine's Web sites (through April 19 for CosmoGIRL, and May 1 for Cosmopolitan) or by picking up ballots at Nordstrom fragrance counters or on nordstrombeauty.com.

Meanwhile, fragrance designers, packagers, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, and media, advertising and public relations agencies will be choosing winners for the Fragrance Hall of Fame, technological breakthroughs, packaging and best women's, men's and home scents, among other categories.

The awards ceremony will be June 9 with Oscar de la Renta serving as honorary chairman.

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