Secrets to finding a low-maintenance hairstyle
Get hassle-free hair with these expert cut and colour tipsBy Michelle Villett
Want hair that’s high on style but low in maintenance? The key is to choose a cut and colour that works with what you were born with. “A lot of people aren’t realistic with their style expectations,” says Toronto-based celebrity hairstylist Dylan K. Hanson. “For example, if their hair is super-curly, they want it to be very straight. But the secret is not going too far from what your hair does on its own. You should just enhance your natural hair type.” Not sure which cuts and colours are the easiest to maintain? Before your next salon visit, follow these tips for fuss-free style.
“Trendier, edgier haircuts are higher maintenance,” says Hanson. Luckily, there are a few classic looks that never go out of style. Long and layered cuts, bobs and straight hair of any length are three examples that Hanson recommends. “In general, the more layers you have, the more work it is.” Still, even the most low-key looks usually need a little extra help. “If you have very thick hair and don’t have time to blow-dry it, then you’ll want to find a style you can air-dry,” says Hanson—but for most hair textures, styles that require just one product and one heat-styling tool are realistic. “[Styling] shouldn’t take more than five or 10 minutes.”
“If you have a simple, low-maintenance haircut, then the colour can make a statement,” says Hanson. “It creates the overall look—so you don’t have to style it as much.” If you’re not up for frequent touch-ups, choose a colour that’s only two to three shades lighter or darker than your natural tone. Semi-permanent colours will fade gradually (they wash away over about 28 shampoos), while permanent versions will leave a demarcation line as they grow out. If you get highlights, make sure they’re fine, not chunky. “Fine highlights will blend more easily with your roots as they grow out,” says Hanson.
How often to maintain your hair
Hair grows at an average rate of half an inch per month—but if you have a good at-home regimen, maintenance can be minimal. “If you’re not damaging your hair by using a flat iron or blow-dryer every day, then your ends aren’t going to be frayed and split,” says Hanson. Conditioning is also important via both a daily conditioner as well as weekly reparative treatments. Follow these steps and you could easily go months between haircuts, says Hanson. Colour-treated hair usually requires more upkeep. “Most colours need to be updated every four to eight weeks,” says Hanson. Be careful not to over-process your hair. “If you jump around to too many colourists and get something drastically different each time, then your hair can get really damaged—and that requires more maintenance.”
Web exclusive: November 2011