How to Get the Hair You Weren’t Born With
Ever wish you could completely change your hair for a day? Find out which expert tools and tricks can help you get the hair you really want
Source: Best Health magazine, October 2015
How to Get Curly Hair
‘for the day
If you’re starting with hair that already has a lot of body and a slightly wavy texture, pump up the volume with a beach-wave spray from day to day. Spritz a sea salt spray (Try Cake Satin Sugar Infused Texturizing Beach Spray, $24) on damp hair, then allow it to air-dry or blow-dry with a diffuser to help coax out some extra texture, says New York-based celebrity hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai.
If your hair hangs straight (and a little bit flat), start with an ultra-lightweight shampoo and conditioner (Try Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muroto Volume Pure Lightness Shampoo, $46, and Conditioner, $52), which will help you max out on volume and bounce. Get fully formed curls with a little more effort and the help of a large set of hot rollers. Prep hair with a heat spray first (Try Drybar Hot Toddy, $38) and place rollers vertically for longer-shaped curls. ‘Use only three or four large hot rollers ‘ you don’t even need to do your whole head,’ says Fekkai. ‘It’s better if it’s not perfect-looking; just put them in randomly for incredible-looking hair.’
If you prefer to use a curling iron or wand, hold it vertically and wrap random one-inch sections, starting from the bottom and working your way up (clip up the hair above your ears to start) so you avoid disturbing your curls as they cool.
To mimic natural curls, let your hair hang looser at the roots, since long curls tend to be weighed down on top, says Rob Pizzuti, a Toronto-based hairstylist and brand ambassador for Pai-Shau. To draw attention to your strongest facial feature, such as your jaw or brow line, try loosening curls with your fingers at that focal point and leaving tighter coils to start below.
The key to getting a day’s worth of curls (or more) from hot rollers or a curling iron is to ensure that you let your hair cool completely before touching it. To be sure, set with the cold setting on your hair dryer. ‘The cooling phase allows the curls to set so that they’ll last all night,’ says Pizzuti. ‘This is the most important step, since we always want to fuss with and touch them along the way.’
Avoid touching your curls throughout the day at all costs, but refresh them midday or before heading out for the night by spraying a flexible-hold hairspray (Try John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Flexible Hold Hairspray), $11) through your hair as you squeeze the curls with your hands from the bottom up. This is more effective than spraying your hair all over or from the top, which Fekkai says can overload your hair with product and weigh it down.
‘for the season
While chemical solutions haven’t changed much from the perms of decades ago, conditioning agents have come a long way, says Pizzuti. But you’ll want to ensure that you do your research and find an expert stylist who specializes in modern permanent treatments. Look for someone who can speak with you specifically about your ideal curl arrangement and will switch up the wrap direction of the rollers for results that won’t leave you feeling dated.
Once your hair is curly around the clock, consider altering your haircut to better suit your more voluminous hair texture. ‘Interior shaping ‘ not thinning ‘ will give you seamless layers on the inside of your hair for beautiful movement that encourages curls without disturbing their shape,‘ says Pizzuti, who explains that this is the opposite of traditional exterior layers, which can leave those with curls with the dreaded ‘triangle head.’
How to Get Straight Hair
…for the day
Since curly hair tends to be coarse and dry, the key to successfully transforming it into natural-looking, silky straight hair is to supply it with as much moisture as possible. Start by shampooing and conditioning with mega-hydrating formulas (Try Kérastase Resistance Bain Thérapiste Balm-in-Shampoo, $42, and Soin Premier Thérapiste Fiber Quality Renewal Care COnditioner, $45), with ingredients like shea and cocoa butters, along with an extra-rich hair masque (Try Fekkai Essential Shea Riche Moisture Masque, $34) for a few minutes every day.
‘When choosing a masque formula, dab a bit on the back of your hand and check to see if it’s soft and absorbent,’ says Pizzuti. ‘Avoid any formula that feels oily, waxy or sticky because that’s what it will feel like on your hair.’
Once you’re out of the shower, press as much water as possible out of your hair with a towel. Prep damp strands with a hair-sealing serum (Try Pai-Shau Biphasic Infusion, $45) , which will help add hold and support throughout the day. Section off your hair into three sections: one on each side, from your ears forward, and one in the back. Next, blow out each section with a large round brush.
Only blow-dry your hair from the top, which Fekkai says will help prevent frizz, and slide the brush through the ends of your hair without turning it. ‘Trying to turn the brush is too complicated ‘ just slide it down and you’ll press the shaft of the hair against it and be left with very silky, shiny, straight hair,’ he says. After each section is dry and smooth, clip it flat to your head to cool, which will help set sleek hair and cut out most of your flatironing time.
If you still want a smoother finish after blow-drying, quickly run a flatiron though one-inch sections of hair, which Fekkai says is more effective and safer for your strands than slowly pressing bigger sections. You can also look to ionic-charged tools (Try Conair Infinitipro The Ultimate Brush, $40) to help cut down on frizz between blow-drys as they neutralize the static charge in your locks, leaving them looking smoother and shinier.
‘for the season
Protein-rich salon treatments can help smooth out your hair for up to three months, which makes regular at-home blowouts faster and less labour intensive. But Fekkai warns that the nature of these treatments can make hair appear too flat and lifeless. To counteract this, you may want to introduce Velcro rollers to your routine (which can actually help straighten hair while still creating body and movement ‘ just pull strands tight before wrapping them around the rollers), as well as a shine spray (which can add dimension).
Beware of treatments that are formaldehyde- or aldehyde-based and instead seek out some of the newer, sugar-based options, says Pizzuti. These work by filling in cracks in your hair cuticle, leaving strands looking smooth and shiny while preventing moisture from entering and creating frizz. Always enlist a proven professional for the job so you can avoid hair breakage and other permanent damage.