Whether you’re after gorgeous color, a bombshell blowout, or overall superhealthy locks, stylists know the tricks to get you there. Here, they reveal their top must-try tips.
1) Find a shampoo that lathers less. Sudsy doesn’t necessarily mean clean—sometimes, it means the opposite. Shampoos that lather too much are often overloaded with moisturizing products, which can leave build-up in your hair, making it look and feel dirtier quicker. So opt for a sulfate-free formula.
2) Give your locks a burst of cold. Before you hop out of the shower, turn the cold water on for a second and quickly rinse it through your strands. It helps seal the cuticle, adding a sleek finish to your locks.
3) Play hot-and-cold as you dry. When using a round brush to dry your hair in sections, start from the roots and dry all the way to the ends, letting the brush linger at the tips of your strands. Let your hair cool off like this on its own for five seconds, then repeat on another section. Alternating between heat and cool-down time helps set your style, and your blowout will have more body.
4) Do an at-home glaze between color appointments. Glazes fill holes and rough spots in your hair cuticles, helping smooth your locks and put moisture back into your hair. This keeps your color shiny and bright so it lasts longer and look better. Plus, you can snag an at-home kit from your local drugstore.
5) Use rollers for high-volume. For sex-kitten lift, blow out your locks until they’re dry. Then, section off the hair on top of your head—between your temples and all the way back to the crown of your hair. Divide that section into three smaller sections vertically (as if you were making a mohawk), and wrap each in a 2-inch velcro hair roller. Let your hair sit like this for 30 minutes, and then unwrap your strands, lightly comb them out, and spray for hold.
6) Drop the towel. Keeping wet strands wrapped in a towel for a half-hour as you do your make-up will just cause frizz! The roughness of the cotton forces your hair cuticles open, making them more likely to go every-which-way. Instead, squeeze out excess water as soon as you’re out of the shower, then let your hair air-dry for five or ten minutes before blowdrying.
7) Apply products 10 minutes before you style. Whether you’re curling, straightening, or whatevering, applying product 10 minutes in advance helps it fully absorb into your strands so you get all of its benefits and more bang for your buck.
8) Wrap—don’t clamp—your hair for quick curls. When using a curling iron, you don’t need to fasten your locks to the barrel. Wrap sections around the iron and hold in place for about 10 seconds to score the same soft, sexy curls.
9) Use spray bottles as your new lazy-day BFF. If you wake up and your locks are totally flat or grungy from the day before, just spray the top layer of your hair until damp, and then use a big barrel roundbrush (2 inches or more) to blow your locks dry. You’ll score high volume on that top layer, and since it’s freshly blown out, you’ll create the illusion of all-over smooth hair.
10) Use dry shampoo a different way. Instead of waiting until your locks need an dirt-fighting pick-me-up, apply a dab of dry shampoo to your roots immediately after you wash and dry them. Though your hair’s already clean, the barrier will stave off the debris and oil your strands will collect throughout the day before it hits. Bonus: It also gives you killer volume.
Sources: Vanessa Collington, a stylist at Louis Licari salon; Tami Jenson a stylist at Prive salon; Matt Fugate a stylist at Sally Hershberger salon; Davide Marinelli a stylist at De Berardinis Salon