When it comes to hair care, us ladies are always looking for ways to get maximum shine, length, and health. It’s no secret that there are dozens of products on the market that claim to be good for us, but, secretly are horrible for our hair.
So, who should you ask for advice on how to keep your hair in great shape? Obviously, hair stylists and professionals. BuzzFeed asked hair professionals to share their expert “do’s” and “don’ts” for hair care and OMG we are so grateful.
As a licensed cosmetologist that grew up in this industry and has been a professional stylist for 7 years I have come across a lot of the same problems and questions from clients and have dealt with the same things myself, I have come up with these conclusions—
Salon appointments: Don’t go into your appointment with your hair wet (cut or color appointment). It lets the stylist see how your hair looks everyday in its natural dry state. Bring an inspiration photo to show your stylist. Someone with a similar hair texture to you or at least how you would wear your hair everyday. *bonus find a picture with a person who has the same face shape you do. Make sure to tell your stylist what you like and dislike about the photo.
Do not expect your hair to ever look exactly like a photo everyone’s hair is different, even the same stylist couldn’t recreate it exactly. It’s never a bad idea when going to a new salon to have a consultation with different stylists to find someone you feel understands you and you can communicate well with and that you feel you can trust. Have them guide you with what they recommend but don’t let them completely talk you out of what you want, at the end of the day you’re the one waking out with your hair and your happiness matters.
Products: There is no “magical product you put into your hair and solves all your problems”. My motto is less is more. I never use more than 3 when going wet to dry (for example heat protecting blow out spray that reduces dry time also, something through my ends to help smooth, finish with a serum to seal the ends and add shine). Always use a heat protectant if you blow dry, flatiron, or curl you hair.
Experiment with one product at a time see what it does on its own before adding more into your routine. A lot of professional products already have heat protectant incorporated into other products in their line. The number one mistake people make is not reading the directions, if you’re not using the product correctly it’s not going to work. Make sure you’re not using too much but make sure you use enough. Apply your product in small amounts to smaller sections of hair and make sure it’s distributed evenly.
In general: Be careful if you use hair ties or elastics in your hair. Use something that won’t damage your hair when taking it down. I still swear by scrunchies for saving my hair. Wet brushes also save your hair! I use mine wet or dry. Just don’t use them to dry your hair, they aren’t made for that and the heat from the dryer will damage the brush. Speaking of hair dryers… you can cause major damage if you aren’t using a good one so do your research. Also the concentrator that comes with them must be on! *one of my biggest pet peeves. It makes sure the air flows down, smoothing the cuticle down and preventing frizz. Also with flat irons or curling irons… they do not need to be on the highest setting start with lower temperatures, then go up if it takes more than 2 passes and only need to be touching your hair for very few seconds at a time each section.
Styling your hair yourself: I have learned so much in how to do others hair… but let’s face it it’s a whole other beast trying to do your own. I learned so much from YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Along with that it’s personal trial and error. Sit in front of the mirror and practice, practice, practice. It’s all based off muscle memory so the more you do it the more it will feel right. It won’t be easy at first. Ask your stylist for tips the next time you’re at your appointment. And make sure your positioning is the same on both sides when holding tools- curling iron keep pointing up at the ceiling, round brush handle pointing towards the mirror, “butt” of flat iron pointing at the mirror. Change up your hand positioning when switching sides. And section, section, section! Keeps things neat, helps with time, and you can take an arm break in between sections! Patience is key. Oh and Velcro rollers can be your best friend if your hair is long or limp and you’re going for extra body! Plus the lock in your look for the whole day and sometimes longer.
In conclusion: everyone’s hair is different what works for one may not work for you. Find what you’re comfortable with. Have fun experimenting with different looks styling, cutting or coloring. Do your research on products, tools and stylists. At the end of the day hair is supposed to be a way to express how we want to be seen enjoy it, don’t take it too seriously!
If you’re lightening your hair with bleach pay the stylist a little extra money to add olaplex to your treatment! It restores the bonds in your hair to keep it healthy and it really makes a difference. It’s something you won’t see results for after the first use but gradually over time you’ll be happy you asked for it!
Don’t use high heat. I mean at 250 degrees you’re baking cookies haha. With proper product you shouldn’t need to go higher than 300 unless you have textured, coarse hair
Do get regular trims every 4-6 weeks. If you continue to “let it grow” that breakage is going to work it’s way up and up. A 1/2 inch trim could turn into a 6 inch haircut if you wait too long.
Very simply just don’t brush your hair from top to bottom, start at the bottom and work your way up. It helps with breakage.
Only shampoo your scalp and let the rest just run through the rest of your hair! It can dry out the ends of your hair especially if you shampoo the mid-lengths to ends.
When blowing your hair dry, never use a brush.
To keep your hair long and silky, get frequent trims! Doing this will help get rid of split ends and give the appearance of longer, healthier hair, even if you don’t cut a lot off.
Use cold water on your hair in the shower. Hot water can damage your hair, but cold water will help to strengthen it and secure the cuticles!
Don’t brush your hair right after getting out of the shower, use a comb instead, which is much gentler on the hair. Also start by brushing from the bottom of the hair up to the top to get out all knots!
Don’t use conditioner directly on your scalp. It produces natural oils, so doing so will make it appear greasy. Just apply it on the tips and middle of your hair to give the parts who don’t receive the natural oils hydration .
Heat protectant! If you’re going to be using hot tools to style your hair PLEASE use something to protect it from further damage. There are tons of affordable options!!
Dont use your hair brush horizontally. Brush vertically (brush facing up and down). This creates less tension and breakage.
Do use professional products. Drugstore products typically when melted down are pure wax and put a coating on the hair to make the hair FEEL soft and healthy. But it actually makes any product or color harder to use cause there’s wax blocking the hair shaft
Don’t put wet or damp hair up. When your hair is wet it shrinks. And as it dries it expands. So if there’s a lot of tension on the wet hair already, when it dries and expands, the hair has no where to expand and will break
Do put your thumb over the persons face in the picture you plan to show your hairstylist. A lot of times you want their face and look rather than the haircut itself.
Don’t use hairspray before you curl. This dries out the hair even more. I mean think about it. There’s alcohol in hairspray it’s usually one of the main ingredients, you can light alcohol on fire if it’s on it’s own haha
I’m not a professional but I’m a receptionist at a hair salon and please please try to be on time for your appointments. I run scheduling and one person being just 5-10 minutes late can cause the entire day to get backed up! Showing up on time allows them time to do your hair properly so they won’t feel rushed.
DONT turn the flat iron or curling iron all the way up! For the average person, 300 to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) is PLENTY HOT to achieve the look you need. Those with extremely curly hair may need to crank it up more, but for straight or wavy hair never go above 350. Also, work in small sections slowly to get even results. It’s less damaging to slowly go over a section once than to continuously go over it quickly.
If your hair is cut into a style that needs maintenance, a lot of my clients would ask how they would know if they need a trim. Good question, since everyone’s hair grows at a slightly different rate. Well, here’s the foolproof way to tell. Between 2-6 weeks after this cut, you are going to have a week of fabulous, fantastic, ‘it’s never looked this perfect’ hair. You’re going to make plans to go somewhere or do something and take advantage of your hair’s fabulous mood. And then, you’ll wake up that day and your hair does NOT cooperate. It gets tangled, or it just hangs there, or it’s too frizzy, or whatever, it’s just not working. Call us, you need a trim!
Do not dye your hair at home on freshly washed hair. Leave it a day, maybe two if you can stand it (you shouldn’t be washing your hair every day anyways, unless you’ve got really oily hair). The natural oils will protect your hair from the chemicals, at least somewhat. This is doubly important with bleaching.
Or, just go to a salon, they’ll have products that will protect and repair your hair.
Please do pay the money to have it professionally done, don’t pick the cheapest box on the shelf.
I guarantee it’ll cost hundreds more to fix the box you used. It’s more cost effective to just have it done right the first time