15 Top Hair Tips from Top Hollywood Stylists
Look like Reese Witherspoon or Emma Stone while trying half as hard.
Between consistent cuts, expensive hair masks, and minimal hot tools, it’s hard to keep up with all the rules required for flawless locks. So what’s a girl to do when she’s trying to reach the same level of hair perfection as some of the world’s most stunning stars? Look to their stylists, of course.
If there’s anyone who truly knows hair and exactly what it needs and how to work with it, it’s Hollywood’s top stylists. They’re the ones who are getting celebrities red carpet-ready, being trusted enough to give stars bold new ‘dos, and are such pros on all things hair that they can give advice on just about anything.
The next time you’re looking for the ins and outs of haircare, look no further than these big names who gave some insight on everything from proper dry shampoo use to how to finally tame your unruly bangs. For more great hairstyling tips, take a look at the Best Way to Make a Blowout Last Longer.
Blast Out Your Dry Shampoo
Using dry shampoo is a seemingly simple process. You take your hair, spray it in at the roots to soak up any grease and oil, and then you walk around with a totally refreshed look. But according to Olivia Munn’s stylist Christian Wood, there’s one secret that will totally change the game.
“Everyone uses dry shampoo, but very few apply it properly,” he told Elle. “Apply thoroughly at the roots then blast [it] out with a dryer. Most people rub it into the hair and leave it, but you need to remove the product to get rid of excess dirt and oils.” Once you’ve gotten rid of those take care of your skin by checking out How to Get Meghan Markle’s Glowing Skin.
Use Hair Masks Before Working Out
Typically, people like using hair masks after hitting the gym to revive their strands. But according to one stylist, the opposite is actually more beneficial for your hair health.
“Did you know the salt from your sweat can actually dry out your hair? If you apply [a mask] before your workout, the ingredients push moisture into your strands and seal it in before the salt has a chance to dry your hair out,” Jen Atkin told Self. “The heat from your workout will allow the mask the work deeper, then all you have to do is rinse and go!”
Style Your Bangs Straight Out of the Shower
Bangs can be hard to deal with—especially if you let them air-dry after a shower, allowing them to get all sorts of kinky and frizzy. Instead of waiting to style them, start working on them immediately for the most flawless results.
“When styling bangs, you have to do it right out of the shower,” Sarah Potempa told Self, recommending using a little mousse then lightly blow-drying them with the nozzle aimed downward. To finish them off, pin them to one side for a few minutes using a clip and a tissue to avoid creasing, then switch to the other side. “This gives your bangs the perfect amount of movement and natural bend.” And if you’re still using some of that trusty ol’ hair gel to get your desired look, here’s Why Hair Gel Must Die.
Don’t Use Shampoo So Often
If you’re using shampoo every time you shower, stop what you’re doing immediately. According to Reese Witherspoon’s stylist, the process dries out your hair, making it hard to achieve shiny, moisturized strands. Instead, use a little dry shampoo or go for a chic low-pony on days you’re feeling a little greasy: “If you can, the least amount of days is every other day,” Cervando Maldonado told TODAY.
Use Your Blow-Dryer to Blast Cold Air for Shine
Yep, there’s a reason your blow-dryer has a cold air setting. Using it throughout the entire time you’re drying your hair can make your strands greasy, but Oscar Blandi—stylist to Drew Barrymore and Emma Stone—told InStyle the key is giving your hair a few quick blasts. After your hair is totally dry, you can use the cold air in sections to lock in your look.
Don’t Use Conditioner on Your Scalp
If your hair feels greasy immediately after a fresh wash, it might be because of how you apply conditioner. Instead of soaking it into your entire head of hair, avoid the scalp: Mark Townsend told InStyle you should actually only work it in up to three to four inches away from your scalp, which helps prevent the conditioner from weighing down your hair. As for your scalp, it has natural oils that will keep it properly hydrated. Find out how to take care of the rest of your skin by taking a look at the 40 Ways to Guarantee Healthy Skin After 40.
Always Hold Your Curling Iron Horizontally
There are plenty of different ways to use a curling iron, but if you want to curl like a pro, you have to switch from holding it vertically to horizontally. It sounds weird, but it works—just ask Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr’s stylist who certainly knows his way around the tool.
“When you wave your hair vertically around the iron, you end up with a big Farrah Fawcett-type style when you really want Victoria’s Secret waves,” Harry Josh told Forbes.
Use the Right Brushes
Using one brush for everything is easy, but not the best for your hair. Stylist Charles Baker Strahan makes a case for keeping a haircare tool kit of sorts so you can handle your strands properly no matter the circumstances.
“Different brushes are designed to provide different functions,” Strahan told Glamour. “Boar-bristle brushes enhance smoothness by polishing the cuticle layer. There are also wet brushes with soft bristles and flexible pads to gently detangle wet hair more quickly. Paddle brushes are designed to detangle long hair, and Denman brushes are great for anti-static and provide good tension for optimal styling. There are also various sizes of round brushes designed to help straighten, build body and volume, and enhance soft waves.”
Scrunch Curly Hair for Extra Volume
For curly hair that can be hard to manage, all it takes is some combing, a little mousse, and a whole lot of scrunching: “With curly hair, you want to do everything in the wet stage, otherwise the hair will start to frizz and droop as it dries. For fine curls, apply a lightweight mousse and comb through damp curls to align the cuticle as much as possible,” Robert Vetica told Allure. Next, flip your head over and use your fingers to scrunch and shake your curls out. It’s as easy as that.
Use Colored Shampoo
Blonde hair can easily get brassy over time, but stylist Cynthia Alvarez has one way to make your strands quickly go from a bright orange hue to golden bombshell perfection: purple shampoo.
“To keep any blonde colors intact and prevent it from any damage, I recommend mixing a quarter size of any purple shampoo with any nourishing shampoo following,” Alvarez told BuzzFeed. “This will restore moisture in your hair.”
Detangle With Your Fingers
Instead of yanking your hair around detangling with a brush—even one that’s built for wet hair!—Lupita Nyong’o’s stylist Vernon Francois says your best bet in preventing damage is using something you already own: your fingers.
“I think the biggest myth people have when managing curly hair is that it tangles too easily. I always say use your fingers to detangle, rather than a comb, because your fingers are your best tool,” Francois told Elle. “They’ll yield a different look, especially when it comes to curl definition. And you can manage your expectations better with them. Just use your fingers to politely separate the curls. I say politely because you want to always approach your hair when you’re in a good mood.”
Don’t Pull Your Hair Back Too Tightly
The way you put up your hair could be causing major damage—especially if you’re tying it back too tightly. Whether it’s a ponytail or a fancy updo, Mark Hill recommends taking it easy—otherwise you could see balding and other issues pop up in the future: “Over time, this will put a strain on the finer hair around the front hairline and make it go thinner and become weak,” Hill told Style Caster.
Use Layers When Teasing Your Hair
Teasing is a great way to give your hair some quick volume, but if done incorrectly, it will look like a bunch of tangles on top of your head—aka not so flattering. According to stylist Phil Smith, using layers can prevent the unwanted peep-show and give the illusion of soft, bouncy hair.
“If want to backcomb your hair to give add a little volume, remember to leave the surface section of hair smooth,” Smith told Glamour. “Backcomb underneath, then once you’ve backcombed, smooth over and this will disguise all the stray backcombed hairs underneath.”
Do Your Hair the Night Before
Everyone has experienced taking the time to do their hair only to go outside and have it instantly frizz up. Luckily, Beyoncé’s stylist has a tip that will keep your tresses tame: Doing all the hard work the night before. (It’s a big time-saver, too!)
“If you’ve got a big event but your hair is unruly, wash and blow-dry your hair the night before then loosely plait it or twist into a top knot,” Mark Leeson told Glamour. “After sleeping on it, the frizz will have settled and your locks will be smoother, with a natural looking wave.”
Use a T-Shirt Instead of a Towel to Dry Your Hair
Why spend big bucks on towels when you can just use your old tees? Atkin told Marie Claire the material is a lot easier on your hair and can help keep it healthier down the road.
“I always suggest my clients dry their hair with an old cotton t-shirt instead of a towel out of the shower,” she said. “Wet strands are much more fragile and prone to breakage and the harsh fibers of a towel can be too aggressive.” For more great beauty tips, check out how to Simplify Your Life with These 20 Multitasking Beauty Products.
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