Nothing quite compares to a professional blowout. “As a professional, I am going to get a better blow dry from another professional,” says Lindsay “Dez” DesPlaines Syck, a leading Aveda stylist and trainer with Neroli Salon & Spa in Milwaukee. Not due for a trim or color for a few weeks? Not to worry. The following five tips and tricks from professional stylists will help you score shiny, healthy hair in between appointments.
1. Don’t Wear the Same Ponytail Every Day
Using shampoo more sparingly means you will probably come to a day when a sleek ponytail is the best — and easiest — style. But ponytail holders that are tough or textured can damage your hair if you put it up wet, says Moran. “If you put your hair up when it’s dry, it’s stronger and more resilient to breaking,” she explains. Also, Syck says, be sure to protect your hair by varying your updos, as the same placement each day can cause breakage or damage. A high ponytail today should mean a low one tomorrow or a pinned-up twist instead.
2. Sleep on Satin or Silk Pillowcases
As beauty tips go, this one may make you feel a little spoiled (but really, why not spoil yourself if it’s this easy?). Satin or silk pillowcases help maintain your salon hair longer, because they don’t rub the hair in an aggressive manner, says Moran. When you move your head around in your sleep (as most people tend to do), it slides across silk as opposed to dragging abruptly on cotton, which can undo your style or push it out of shape, especially if you use hairspray, she explains.
3. Learn How to Give Yourself a Blowout
Heat and direction are the key elements for a successful blowout, says Moran. The best beauty tip when blow drying your hair is to get as close as possible without actually touching the strands (the heat can do damage). Use a moderate to high heat setting, and make sure you aim down so that air blows along the hair shafts from root to tip. That’s what gives you the sleek shininess of salon hair.
To achieve waves or curls at home, curling irons and wands are the most user-friendly, rather than trying to use a brush, according to Moran. But don’t overdo it with hot tools. “Using two hot tools a day can be very drying and damaging to the hair,” she warns. “I recommend air drying the hair, then using an iron.”
4. Wash Your Hair a Lot Less Frequently
“The worst-case scenario is washing hair daily,” says Syck of this common mistake. Frequent shampooing wears down your hair (especially if you like hot water), and can remove your natural oils. Unless you have a very oily scalp, wash only once or twice a week. As a bonus, the less you wash, the less often you need to apply a styling product. In between washes, briefly rinse hair to remove dirt. Dry shampoo is a great alternative, says Moran, but using it too frequently can create buildup. If buildup does occur, conquer it with a clarifying shampoo once a month or more, she recommends.
5. Get a Good Haircut & Learn How to Maintain It
“My biggest pet peeve is that clients have really low expectations of their hairstylists,” says Syck. She advises finding a stylist who can create a haircut that’s just right for you and your hair, and who will explain what it’s going to take for you to maintain the look. That usually means getting regular trims, says Tania Moran, a stylist at Swank salon in New York City. “If you have long hair, return every six to eight weeks,” she recommends. “If you want it to grow, wait a bit longer. If you have short hair, go in every four to six weeks.”