Hair & Makeup

8 Great Hair Hacks Your Hairdresser Hasn’t Told You About

Simple tweaks to your at-home haircare and styling regimen really can deliver similar results to a salon visit. MALENA HARBERS shares the best of these expert hair tricks, straight from the pros’ playbooks

Margot Robbie, as Barbie, tends to her tresses in the hit movie

Don’t be too hands-on with your hair

“Hairdressers often find a lot more breakage on one side of your hair, as it’s the side you touch the most,” says hair pro Larry King. “Constant fiddling will eventually cause damage, so being more conscious of how often you play with or touch your hair will help maintain your haircut for longer.”

Avoid hot showers to maintain hydration

“Super-hot water can strip your hair of essential oils, making it feel very dry,” says hair maestro Charlotte Mensah. This is especially true if you have curly, coarse or Afro hair. “Lower the temperature and opt for lukewarm water instead.”

Shampoo strategically to prevent tangles

According to hairstylist James Pecis, most people rub the mid-lengths and ends of their hair while shampooing. “This is when tangles occur, as the hair cuticles raise when they are swelled with water – and raised cuticles can lock together, causing a tangle.” The best way to stop this process is to concentrate shampoo on the scalp, he advises. “It’s sufficient for cleansing – when the shampoo works its way to the ends during the rinsing process, it will pick up surface dirt along the way, leaving hair clean and without damage.”

Apply vitamin C to boost color and shine

“It’s a trick that colorists have been using for years, as vitamin C lifts build-up from products, pollution and over-coloring,” says color expert Sophie MacCorquodale. “It really freshens up the color without changing it, and stops the hair feeling flat and weighed down. The Philip Kingsley Vitamin C Jelly Detoxifying Hair & Scalp Treatment is brilliant – use it everywhere except the roots if you’ve recently had your hair colored, as it may make them lighter. If your hair is highlighted, or has had balayage, try pulling out some big sections and just apply the vitamin C product to the lengths and ends for a real pop of brightness.”

Use silk to pump up the volume

“Sleeping with your hair tied up [on the crown of your head] will give your roots a lift and create long-lasting volume,” says top London-based stylist Belle Cannan. Dry or wet hair both work equally well here, but “a silk hair tie is key,” adds Cannan. “It reduces the friction, tension and breakage that could come from a traditional hair elastic.”

Make the perfect wave with braids

For a believable bend with lots of staying power, forgo tongs, says Pecis.“Separate your hair into four braided sections – two at the front and two at the back.” Once secured with an elastic, massage each braid to slightly loosen it. “Then, run a flat iron along each one for five seconds at no higher than 185°C.” Once the hair is cool, remove the elastic and finger-comb it through. “For a more textured look, try braiding hair into uneven sections.”

Add heat to secure an updo

“Give your hair a good blast with a hot hairdryer before styling it up,” says celebrity hairdresser George Northwood. “You’ll get instant volume and texture – and, ultimately, more staying power from the start.” To create a loose, messy bun, try this: tie your hair into a ponytail, then lightly backcomb the hair before you coil it around itself. “This will act as a pin cushion, helping to hold it in place.” Angle bobby pins towards the hair band when securing it for even more support.

Blot curls, don’t rub them

“Drying curly hair is a long process, as to get good definition you need to dry it from soaking wet to almost completely dry,” says King. He swears by his bamboo blotting sheets – or you can use a microfiber towel – to remove excess water from the start. Use a tapping motion rather than rubbing the hair, “which disrupts the curls and causes frizz”. What’s more, bamboo is gentler and more absorbent than cotton, “so you’ll get much better curl definition in a much shorter drying time”.


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