Sep 7, 2010

Hair styles: Style, snip and colour like a pro Author: Elle Canada Credits:

Sep 7, 2010

Hair styles: Style, snip and colour like a pro

You’re decided to become a DIYer hair-wise. Perhaps that chequing account is looking a little too lean to get your hair colour done at your salon (or you’re just banking away cash to splurge on those Alexander Wang booties). Maybe work’s just too insane to get find time to get into see your stylist to get your fringe trimmed. Or you just plain want to know how to DIY so you can always look on point. We checked in with some top hairstylists to find out how to mimic their professional techniques at home.

How to: Trim your own bangs
“Start by pulling your hair on top of your head and let your bangs fall out naturally, then secure the rest of your hair out of the way with an elastic band,” says John Taccone, owner of Toronto salon Navigate Space. “Then with the scissor perpendicular to the floor, don’t pick up your hair—just chip away bits of it,” says John. It’s important that you have the scissors pointing upward and to only work on snipping about five hairs at a time—if you try cutting straight across, it’s pretty impossible to get an even line across. You’ll want your hair to be dry (“wet hair tends to stretch, so if you cut your bangs wet, once they dry they’ll shrink up and your bangs will be too short,” explains John) and make sure not to put any pressure or tension to your bangs as you cut them.

Keep in mind, too, that you only have about two or three at-home DIY bang trims before you need to go back to your stylist. “Since your stylist will have lightened or texturized your bangs, with your own trims, after a few times your bangs will get heavier and heavier and start to look unbalanced,” says John.

How-to: Colour your hair at home on the next page ...

How to: Colour your hair at home and get salon results

First off, choose a colour that works with your skin tone. “If your skin tone is warmer, choose warmer shades, and cooler, go for a cooler shade,” says Luis Pacheco, cofounder of Hair on the Avenue in Toronto and Clairol Consulting Colourist. Not sure what your skin tone is? “Look at the veins, if they tend to be green, you’re more of a warm skin tone, and blue, your skin tone is cool to pink,” he explains.

It’s also important to understand that it’s best if the colour is one to two shades from your natural hair colour. “Hair colour should be used to enhance your colour; it’s not designed for drastic changes,” says Luis. “Think realistically. Look at your eyes, skin tone and hair—if you’re brunette, even at the salon, I would tell a client no to going blonde—it’s better to stay within your limits.”

If your finish your colouring job, and uh-oh, see it’s not at all what you wanted? “Call the hotline. There’s a pro available to walk you through colour correction. They can guide you to choose a new colour—if your hair’s got a greenish hue, they may recommend either a golden or red shade to counteract it, for example.” Most important, says Luis, “Do not panic! Even us colourists make mistakes!”

How to get the perfect blow out on the next page ...

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How to: Give your hair a blowout as well as your stylist does

First off, you need a good blow dryer. “Something with sufficient heat,” says Greg May of Greg May Hair Architects in Toronto. “Talk to your stylist or head to a professional beauty outlet store,” says Greg. If you decide to get a tourmaline/ionic blow dryer, know that it doesn’t provide as much force, however it will dry your hair faster. In terms of wattage, look for a blow dryer with 1,800 watts or more.

Next, keep that concentration nozzle on—always. “It helps smooth out the cuticle. Without it, you’re just blowing your hair all over the place,” says Greg. The concentration nozzle is especially important if you’re using your blow dryer to go from curly to straight.

Another tool you need? A good ceramic-based brush with nylon bristles. This retains heat so you can use it to smooth your hair but can also use it like a hot roller. Having a boar-bristle brush is handy as well for encouraging your hair’s natural oils down the hair shaft.

Finally, stock up on the right hair products. The current it product? “Argan oil,” says Greg. “It helps get rid of frizz, speeds up dry time by up to 60 percent. And you only need to use a little bit, as it can weigh hair down.” Argan oil is particularly great on frizzy, woolly hair, but if you’ve got fine hair, Greg recommends a volumizer in a spray format. “A spray can often work better on fine hair because the fine mist more evenly distributes the product,” he says. Now, time to blow dry. Greg recommends starting with flipping your head over and blow drying it 70 to 80 percent dry. Then flip it back up and section the hair. “I like to use chopsticks,” says Greg, “but you can use those sectioning clips. Do small sections of one to two inches if possible. At a minimum, do three sections on the sides and three on the back,” he says. Then go through each section with your dryer, working your round brush through each section, possibly two to three times for each section. “Point the dryer down the hair shaft, this is to smooth out the cuticle,” he says. Lastly, finish with cold air. “This closes the cuticle and promotes shine,” says Greg. And if you prefer a straighter look, use a flat iron to smooth out just the ends of your hair. Voila, pro-quality blowout, right at home.

How to do a simple updo on the next page ...

Get celeb-worthy hair with these tips!

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How to: Style your hair into a chic but simple updo

“It might seem fancy, but a chignon is simple updo to do at home,” says Monique Bisson-Gironi of Exit Salon in Toronto. If you have your hair more tousled, it gives the chignon a more casual, everyday look. How to chignon like a pro? “Grab your hair at the base and twist it and then twist it up. Then take the hair from the left and move it towards the right,” she says. All that’s left to do is secure it with bobby pins. “Make sure that every bobby pin has a friend—one crisscrossing it to secure it—all the way down,” says Monique.

If you want to give your hair more texture and volume for your chignon, use hot rollers. Section your hair into horseshoe-shaped sections from ear to ear from the nape to the crown and set with hot rollers. The extra volume and texture will also make the chignon even easier to pull off on your own at home, says Monique.

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Hair styles: Style, snip and colour like a pro