12 Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Hair
Go for a gloss.
An at-home gloss treatment is a great way to add a little shine and oomph to your regular color. If you just want a richer, shinier version, stick to a clear gloss. But if warming up your hair (or toning down the brassiness) is what you're after, try John Frieda's Colour Refreshing Gloss—the weekly treatment comes in a variety of shades and helps either maintain dyed hair or give a slight shift to untreated styles.
Smooth things over.
Most anti-frizz treatments leave behind product build-up that can weigh down your hair, but Redken's genius Frizz Dismiss FPF 10 Fly-Away Fix Finishing Sheets work a bit like dryer sheets: Smooth one over your hair to immediately nix frizz, static and unruly strands—no greasy residue required.
Stop fighting nature.
When it comes to your hair, the grass is not greener on the other side. "Women with stick-straight hair will never naturally hold curls, and overly curly hair will have a difficult time staying straight," says Lisa Marie Garcia, the VP of education and shows for Farouk Systems. Instead of dreaming of a different style, find a cut and get-ready routine that works best in your daily routine, so you can look greatandcut back on styling time (because really, you have better things to do than spend all your time on that head of hair). If you're starting from square one, visit your stylist with air-dried hair and ask what will best enhance your texture. "A blunt cut works really well with straight hair, for example, and a tapered cut promotes natural waves and movement," says British celebrity hairstylist Mark Hill. Bring photos from Pinterest (or check out ) of looks you like to help the two of you narrow things down to a look you'll love.
Request a dry cut.
If your hair has a bit of curl or wave that you'd like to showcase, look for a stylist who can cut it when it's dry. That way she can see exactly where the hair bends or curls, and which sections are fuller or thinner, to create a look that's perfectly sculpted to flatter your face.
Get fuller with every wash.
Research shows that about 40 percent of women experience some level of hair loss as the years go by, but L'Oreal Paris' new Volume Filler promises to fight that with a shampoo, conditioner and weekly treatment. Amp up the volume even more by switching to a boar-bristle brush, which encourages volume and helps distribute hair's natural oils.
We all know that hot tools aren't great for hair, but we use them anyway—which is fine, as long as you're smart about it. "Hotter isn't always better," says Garcia, who suggests lowering the temperature on your blow-dryer and hot tools whenever possible —often the "medium" or "low" setting is enough for drying hair or adding a gentle bend with a curling iron—and using a thermal protection product such as CHI 44 Iron Guard or BioSilk Silk Therapy before bringing the heat.
Remember that less is more.
A little goes a long way with most hair serums, balms and gels—if you use too much, hair can get greasy and prone to build-up, meaning you'll have to wash more often. "When hair is in great condition, styling is so much easier and the hair has natural bounce, volume and shine," says Hill. If you can, stick to one great product instead of piling 'em on: a frizz-fighting formula is great for curly or wavy hair, and a straightening balm is the go-to for sleek styles.
Can't get control of your texture? An in-salon keratin treatment is a great option, says Kristen Bretz, a color specialist and hairstylist at Exhibit salon in Brooklyn. The treatment fills in damaged parts of hair and tones down frizz without changing your natural texture, she says. The result: A sleeker, healthier version of your natural look.
Pick a destination.
If you're thinking of growing out your hair, or even just your bangs, get specific about the look you're after. When you visit your stylist for a trim, bring a photo of what you want thatnexthaircut to look like—the one that will give you the final result. That way she can tailor your cut so it grows out more in line with what you're envisioning.
Recharge your curls.
With so many curl-centric products available on drugstore shelves, more girls are ditching the flatiron and embracing their spirals. Dove's new Quench Absolute line deep conditions hair to create more defined curls, while Mixed Chicks Morning Redefining Foam gives those ringlets a second-day boost when you're in-between washes.
Sleep on it.
The hardest part of getting—and paying for—a gorgeous blowout is making it last. Wrap your head in a silk scarf to save your style for an extra day, or use a microfiber head wrap to keep the hairline smooth and hair out of your face while you snooze.
Boost that body.
If your hair falls a little flat around the crown, here's a quick trick: Flip the top layer of one side to the other, gently tease the roots of the next layer, then bring that smooth top layer back where it belongs (repeat on the other side if necessary). If your length hits above the chin, ask your stylist about adding some texture to the under layers for an automatic volume increase.
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