One of my beauty resolutions for 2018 is to master one easy up-do and one easy half-do—and to just generally be more on top of my hair situation. Makeup and skin care have always come more naturally to me while my hair is just hard to get a handle on! So when I say easy, I mean really easy! We’re talking five minutes tops (involved hairdos and caring for your infant just don’t mix).
Fortunately, the gifted hair stylists who create the red carpet-ready hairstyles worn by celebs are willing to share their tips for creating a gorgeous look with minimal effort. If you’re hair-challenged like me, read on!—and be sure to let us know if you try any of these tips and products! I’m certainly going to be giving them a shot.
Begin with a good foundation.
Like beautiful makeup, great hair starts with a well-maintained, thoughtfully prepped base. For your locks, this means keeping up with regular trims. This keeps the ends of your hair from looking rough, dull, and raggedy, a small detail that makes a big difference. A stylist once said to me that the better your hair looks when it’s not styled, than the easier it will be for you to style it–you won’t be “fighting the fugly.” Makes sense.
Make sure your hair is free of excess build-up, too. Hairstylist Garren explains, “Shampoo alone doesn’t get it all out when you have layers of product. He advises using a scalp scrub at least twice a month. If you live in an area with hard water, you may also want to install a shower filter to remove the minerals in tap water, which can lead to dullness and make it harder to remove build-up during a regular shampoo sesh.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is a cult favorite.
(I live with super hard water—ugh!—and swear by this filter by raindrops. Game. Changer.)
Top up your gloss.
Healthy hair is naturally shiny hair–and shiny hairs is just super pretty. To keep your locks healthy and moisturized, don’t skip deep conditioning. “Masking at least once a week makes hair pliable and adds natural definition,” says celeb colorist Marie Robinson.
Organic Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask helps nourish hair and significantly reduce the look of damage. There is something about this mask that is less, um, gunky, than some masks, meaning it cleanly washed out of my hair without weighing it down. I was pleasantly surprised!
You can condition your hair and add shine on the daily with one of these hair serums). Rub a few drops between your palms and run through damp hair, from mid-lengths to ends. (My favorite is Kani Shine Elixir—Nourishing Hair Oil.)
Now that we’ve mastered haircare (ha!), we can graduate to styling!
Sam McKnight, stylist for Chanel, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and even Princess Diana encourages us to follow a few simple rules for a gorgeous, doable look.
Begin your updo from the back. This one blew my mind a little. “Unless you’re slicking all your hair back, the trick is to first secure the bottom two-thirds of hair into a ponytail or up-do, and then work the front third into the back, fixing it with pins as you go.” Speaking of pins, be sure to give yours a quick misting with hairspray to give them grip–and pin them with the squiggly side facing your scalp.
But when pressed for time, focus on the front. Because this area is prone to getting oily before the rest of hair, begin with a bit a dry shampoo–this will also help give the hair a bit of texture and grip. Next, allow a few face-framing pieces to remain out of your ‘do. “It always looks more youthful to have looser pieces left framing the face.”
Don’t overdo your ‘do. Above all, McKnight stresses that hair that looks lived-in is the most attractive: “The best hair has to feel like it has an ease to it and that makes it all the more achievable” (yay!). To this end, avoid applying too many products. “once you use more than three products to style, you get into heavy-going hair,” he says. “It’s better to start with less–you can always add more but you can’t take it away. You can also skip worrying about perfect curls: “Hair looks best with a bend rather than tightly tonged curls. And leave the ends uncurled.”
What are your tips for achieving gorgeous hair?
Related: Eek—Are You Making These Common Shower Mistakes? How To Protect Your Skin & Hair
These Effortless, Festive Updos For Short Styles Are #HairGoals For NYE
Hair Accessories Are Totally A Thing (Again!). 5 Sustainable Picks To Glam You Up
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: Jessica Chastain via Instagram, Respective brands