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Good-hair days don't have to be few and far between. Working with your hair's natural texture and type is a surefire way to eliminate bad-hair days for good. We talked to a slew of stylists about six different hair types so that you can learn how to reveal your hair's gorgeousness. Are you ready to fall in love with your locks? Let’s do this.
How to use this guide: Head to the section about your hair type: straight, wavy or curly. Next, think about your hair’s texture--is it thick or thin? Then you’re all set to read on learn about how to work with your hair in terms of ideal cuts, styling products and tips.
Ideal cut: More length is better with this hair type. The weight of the extra length helps pull down your hair a bit, but you’ll definitely want some slight layering for movement. If you have it too blunt, “it’ll ramp out like one thick cardboard sheet,” says Brennen Demelo, Rowenta Beauty stylist.
Hair care: Shampoo the roots—focus on the roots as you want to encourage your scalp’s natural oils--and use a conditioner for thick hair on the ends.
Styling products: L’Oreal Professionel Texture Expert Absolut Repair is great for thick hair, according to Brennan, and you’re safe with choosing any product line developed for specifically for thick hair. These products will contain proteins to help smooth out the hair shaft.
Tools: “What you’re battling here is coarse, wiry hair that doesn’t work how you want it to.” Says Brennen. So your hair’s best friend? A heat tool that is hot enough to manipulate the hair and smooth out the cuticle. Brennen’s pick: Rowenta Beauty Professional Titanium Ceramic Iron. Make sure to “finish your look,” though, says Brennen. “Turn your wrist a half circle at the ends for a softer look,” he says. Or if curling your hair, run a wide-tooth comb through it. “When it’s too polished, it doesn’t look natural!”
Ideal cut: Keep it medium length or shorter. “It it gets too long, it’ll start to look a little stringy,” says Brennen. Don’t overtexturize it as you want the hair to look as full as possible. So the ends should be kept blunt or solid. Avoid a solid fringe if your hair is very fine—“or you’ll get a pieceyness to it because you don’t have the hair to fill in the fringe.” But do have your stylist do some more shaping with the pieces around your face to add fullness.
Hair care: Shampoo the root area and use a conditioner geared towards fine hair. “Many conditioners are too heavy for fine hair and they’ll make the hair look stringy and piecey.” Stick to light conditioners and use a small amount to saturate only the ends of your hair.
Styling products: Your fine hair needs support at the beginning of your blow dry to add strength to it. Brennan recommends the tackiness and tension that a volumizing mist or a mousse provides. “They coat the hair and swell it up to make it feel thicker,” he says. Product recommendations: Brennen swears by L'Oreal Professionnel Texture Expert for Fine/Limp Textures.
Tools: A blow dryer that emits a good amount of heat is a must, as is a smaller round brush (think two inches or under) is good for helping to create some shape.
Ideal cut: You have the option of going for a longer look, with some weight removed from the interior. Avoid a symmetrical cut or risk ending up with a triangular shape to your hair. Try also to go to your stylist with your hair shampooed and dried already. Tyler Colton, celebrity hairstylist presented by OSiS Schwarzkopf Professional, insists that wavy and curly hair of all types should be cut dry in its natural state. “Often the hair is flat-ironed and cut, but you need to see what the hair is doing and work with its’ natural texture—I need to see what the curl pattern is.”
Hair care: Thanks to today’s advanced product formulations these days, hair care products don’t tend to build up, which allows you to the freedom of skipping shampoos, and with your hair type, you definitely should resist shampooing every day. Your hair’s natural oils don’t travel down the hair shaft thanks to its’ waves, so shampooing only every two or three days allows those natural oils do their work (this will help prevent your waves from drying out).
Styling products: Your priority is adding moisture to your hair so look for products with conditioning properties. Tyler’s top pick for you? OSiS Curl Me Soft Velvet Curl Cream. “This will help bond the curls and weight them down a bit,” he says.
Tools: You’re lucky in that you don’t need to blow dry, in fact, it’s better to let your waves air dry. If you must blow dry, use a diffuser but use less movement. Your hair already has enough density so just let the heat do the work of drying.
Ideal cut: Your hair should hit just below the chin. “Much longer than that, your ends start to look thin,” says Tyler, “and it doesn’t get the lift of kick that you need. Layers should hit right at the cheekbone or longer. Check out some short hair styles here.
Hair care: As with thick, wavy hair, don’t shampoo every day. You can wet your hair and follow the same routine, but your hair’s natural oils will really help your wavy mane. “People with wavy or curly hair will often find that day two or three without washing are their best,” says Tyler.
Styling products: Your goal is to find products that will give your wavy hair body and hold.
Tyler’s recommendations: Curl Me Soft Velvet Curl Cream mixed with some Upload Volume Cream, both from OSiS. “But you have to figure out the right amount, and this will be different for everyone, so go with less and see if that works and decide if you need more product,” he says.
Tools: A diffuser, as you might expect, is a must-have. “Hold your hair in your hands and let the heat from the diffuser work through the hair held in your hands,” says Tyler. The diffuser will help promote your natural wave without disrupting the curl.
Tame your curly hair with the best cut and products on the next page ... CURLY
Ideal cut: With curly hair, the ideal cut is very individual. “I like to look at the person’s features and body shape,” says Antonio Calero, Moroccanoil International Artistic Director. But you will want longer layers. Shorter layers will make it poufy and hard to manage, he says. Your stylist can also texturize your hair from the inside layers to get rid of some volume.
Hair care: Curly hair needs deep moisturizing shampoos and conditioners since it’s hard for your natural oils to travel down the hair shaft. Antonio recommends Moroccanoil Hydrating Masque once weekly for 10 minutes from the middle of the hair shaft to the ends.
Styling products: With curly hair, you’re likely shampooing (or at least wetting your hair) every day to help control frizz. Antonio swears that the new Moroccanoil Curl Control Cream will help make life easier as it can be applied to dry hair. “It helps moisturise and define the curls without any crunchiness,” he says. You can also apply it to wet hair and then let air dry.
Tools: A wide-tooth comb to help with detangling (or you can also use your fingers). Air or towel-dry your hair as often as possible.
Ideal cut: As with thick, curly hair, your cut will really be defined by your features and body shape. For example, if you have a rounder face, Antonio might suggest layers to around chin length to help create some volume.
Hair care: Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for fine hair. Also, a protein-rich restorative masque, such as the one from Moroccanoil; this will make your hair seem thicker, says Antonio. But only use it every two weeks or so—this product is very concentrated and you don’t want to over-saturate your hair.
Styling products: Moroccanoil Curl Control Cream can be used on fine curls. “Just use less product [than someone would for thick curly hair] and diffuse it rather than letting it air dry,” says Antonio. When styling, you can touch and manage your thin hair as your blow dry—“This will help add volume to fine curls,” he says.
Tools: A diffuser to activate the Curl Control Cream to create bounciness especially at the roots. Also, consider a toner (ie. colour without peroxide) on your hair. Why? “The toner will fill up the cuticle and create volume,” says Antonio, something you want since your fine, curly hair can sometimes create holes that you can see through.
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