There's a lot you can do to get salon hair at home, even though you can't stand behind your own head for the blowout. "As a professional I am going to get a better blow dry from another professional," admits Lindsay DesPlaines, a leading Aveda stylist and trainer with the Milwaukee-based Neroli Salon & Spa. However, as someone under daily pressure to tame her own long mane and impress clients, she offers her hair care and beauty tips for you to try at home. Start with a good haircut and then follow these steps to maximize your investment and sail through your beauty routine.
"My biggest pet peeve is that clients have really low expectations of their hairstylists," says DesPlaines. A single mother of two, she knows that time and money are tight, so she advises finding a stylist who can create the right haircut for your face and your schedule and who will explain what it's going to take for you to maintain the salon hair look. That usually means regular appointments as well as the right products and hair care routine.
"The worst-case scenario is washing hair daily," DesPlaines says of this hair care ritual. Frequent shampooing wears down your hair (especially if you like hot water). Unless you have a very oily scalp, wash only once or twice a week. As a bonus to this hair care beauty tip, the less you wash, the less often you need to apply a styling product. Your best bet for shampoo is the product recommended by your salon stylist. In between washes, briefly rinse hair to remove dirt.
The biggest advantage your stylist has when creating enviable salon hair is a shelf of hair care products. But using just the right amount of product is key. "Start with a nickel size, and then try adding a little bit more," DesPlaines advises. Mousse is a nice way to start if you are going for a simple blowout after your hair has been wetted or washed; consult with your stylist to find out what else will work for your specific hair care needs.
There's no getting around it — you want to invest in the right tools for hair care. "It's not a bad idea to spend $100 or $150 on a blow dryer that you'll have for the rest of your life — same for a curling iron or a flat iron," says DesPlaines. Another beauty tip for maintaining salon hair is to buy the right brush for your haircut and style, such as a rounded brush for waves or a flat brush if you like hair straight.
Heat and direction are the key elements for a successful blowout. The best beauty tip when blow drying your hair is to get as close as possible without actually touching the strands (the heat could 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.
Frequent blow drying or flat iron addiction can cause heat damage over time that can ruin the look of even the best haircut. This may be the most destructive hair-styling habit. "Heat is a double-edge sword," acknowledges DesPlaines. "It is what drives the professional finish, [but] you need to default to a heat protecting product." Hair care beauty tip: Use the right amount of a heat protectant, and it will appear to steam off under the flat iron. It looks like an alarming effect, but it's the correct one.
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 pillowcases help maintain your salon hair longer. Dry cotton pillows can push your style out of shape, especially if you use hairspray, and undo or flatten all the good hair care work you've done to maintain the look. Satin pillowcases make it easier to get back to glamorous in the morning.
Follow DesPlaines' recommendations to reduce washing, and you will probably come to a day when a sleek ponytail is the right — and easiest — style. But keep this hair care beauty tip in mind: Ponytail holders with metal bindings tear hair and ruin haircuts, so avoid that design if you can. Also, says DesPlaines, protect your hair from breakage by varying your updos. A high ponytail today should mean a low one tomorrow or a pinned-up twist instead.