Are you ready to reveal your most amazing hair yet? These tips come straight from the pros—everything from hair care 411 to styling pointers to tress do’s and don’ts. So start your month-long countdown…today! The pros dish out their best tress secrets to help get your hair looking gorgeous.
BY BROOKE SAGER
1. Drink up! The hair shaft is made up of ¼ water, so hydrating from the inside out is extremely important for beautiful, healthy hair that grows and shines. Aim to consume at least 4-8 cups a day.
2. If your hair is color-treated, be sure to use color-safe products to keep your hue looking rich and fresh in between salon visits, says Alfredo Lewis, Celebrity Hair Stylist/Colorist from Argyle Salon & Spa.
3. Feeling buildup on your locks? Try this great at-home clarifying treatment, courtesy of Mario Russo of Salon Mario Russo, Boston, MA: Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it with water in a spray bottle. Apply to hair after shampooing and leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing it out.
4. DO add a drop of serum to damp hair before blow-drying. A small amount goes a long way and it seals the cuticle before the styling process.
5. Get a trim every 4 weeks to be sure you maintain the shape of your cut. “Especially with short hair, that really counts,” says Philip B, hair expert and creator of Philip B. Botanicals.
6. Freshen up greasy bangs by spraying dry shampoo on your brush, directing bangs back and then restyling them forward. Try: Batiste Dry Shampoo; $SRP $7.99, Ulta, Walgreens & drugstore.com.
7. “Rinse your hair with cool water to help seal the cuticle and color, and really boost shine,” says Vadre Grigsby, PRAVANA’s International Artistic Director.
8. A blow-out tip from celebrity stylist Steven Mason: Use a round boar bristle brush to achieve maximum volume with tons of shine.
9. DON’T play with your hair. The oils from your hands will travel down the hair shaft, resulting in limp, lifeless locks. To keep your full, gorgeous style intact, keep your hands off!
10. “Apply your styling products to damp hair 10 minutes before blow-drying,” suggests Russo. “This will allow enough time for the product to absorb into your locks and do the work it’s supposed to do.”
11. For gorgeous curls that don’t look too “done”, wind sections around a clipless curling wand; leave ends sticking out and be sure to wrap hair away from your face as you go for a more natural finish. Try: Revlon Clipless Curl Wand; $24.99, mass market retailers.
12. “Incorporate vitamins into your daily regimen,” suggests Jen Atkin, Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy celebrity stylist. “Taking biotin or fish oil vitamins can help add shine and fullness back into your hair.”
13. Need to conceal a few gray hairs? Celebrity stylist and Miami Beach salon owner Danny Jelaca suggests you avoid trying to cover them up with a shade that’s darker than your natural hue—your best bet is to go a few shades lighter.
14. Use your hairstyle as a way to show off your other best accessory—your face! Raphael Reboh, celebrity stylist and owner of Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in Miami Beach, FL, suggests styling hair into a trendy pompadour to open things up and spotlight your features.
15. DO protect your strands from heat damage and split ends by applying a thermal protectant before curling or flat-ironing your locks. Try: Twisted Sista Straightening Thermal Perfector; $5.99, Target, CVS, Wal-mart and other mass market retailers.
16. The change in seasons can really take a toll on your tresses. As winter turns into spring, switch to a moisturizing shampoo to keep hair looking pretty, shiny and nourished, says celebrity haircolorist Marco Pelusi of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio (marcopelusi.com).
17. DON’T overdo it with product—the most beautiful hair has natural flow and movement, says celebrity stylist Steven Mason. For a flexible hold and foundation, prep your style with a light mousse.
18. Think of freshly colored hair as you would your skin right after a facial—you wouldn’t head outside without sunscreen. To prevent color from fading, use a product that’s designed to protect locks from UVA/UVB rays. Grigsby’s fave: NEVO Color Lock.
19. If you heat-style your hair, Atkin insists that investing in quality tools is key. Professional gadgets with temperature gauges can be pricey, but because they allow you to tailor the setting to your hair’s special needs, they can minimize damage, making them worth the investment.
20. To style and tame unruly curls, Philip B. suggests trying his secret cocktail recipe: a dab of styling gel with his Philip B. Oud Royal Forever Shine Conditioner. “The conditioner will cut the stiffness of the gel, giving you soft, touchable control.” Added plus: it contains Finnish gold mica for extra-dazzling shine.
21. Go for all-over volume by applying a mattifying powder and dispersing it through the desired areas to create lift, suggests Mason.
22. DO deep-condition once a week, Pelusi says. At home, apply leave-in conditioner after exiting the shower, put on a plastic cap and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
23. According to Scott Fontana of Cristophe Salon Newport Beach, all-out wavy hair is one of this season’s most requested styles. Make waves at home by pinning and setting sections up at random; remove pins, finger-rake through locks and let your texture fly!
24. Before going under the foils, ask yourself what your coloring objectives are, says Jim Markham of ColorProof Evolved Color Care.
• Trying to cover gray and look more youthful?
• Looking to make a fun fashion statement?
• Getting ready and freshening up for a special event?
• Opting for a subtle seasonal change?
Then, discuss your expectations with your colorist so that you’re both on the same page, which will help him/her tailor the services to fit your needs.
25. Try an at-home conditioning treatment for your shiniest, most manageable hair yet. We recommend the heat-free José Eber Therapy RX Conditioning Tool. When used with a conditioner or oil, this iron deeply conditions and heals hair with ultrasonic infrared light technology by breaking down the oil and pushing it into your strands for an amazing blast of moisture.
26. If you’re a low-maintenance kind of gal, hand-painted, seamless highlights done in your base shade are the way to go, says Lorean Cairns of Fox & Jane Salons in NYC. “They’re gentle on your hair and look really natural’.”
27. Whether you’re styling your short hair for texture or smoothness, your product choices make all the difference. Here are Philip B.’s rules of thumb for picking the right product for your desired look:
• For volume: use mousse and/or dry shampoo
• For sleekness: use gel
• For texture: use pomade
28. “Shiny hair is pretty hair, no matter what its length,” says Annlouise Welch, stylist at Viselli Santoro Salon in Boston, MA. After you style, mist your hair with shine spray like Kevin Murphy’s Shimmer Shine.
29. “Don’t wash your hair every day; instead, let the natural oils build up, because over-washing can make your locks dry and brittle over time,” says Lewis.
30. DON’T use smoothing treatments, especially Keratin or Japanese straighteners, advises Reboh. “Due to the high amounts of formaldehyde, they can be extremely drying and damaging.”