5 Tricks Everyone Should Steal From Their Hairstylist

Hairstylists have a wealth of knowledge. We share and impart it whenever possible...

“Oh, we can do that?!” My sister sat in my chair and stared at me in disbelief. We had just finished her hair appointment and I recommended she try something when styling her hair at home. To this day I couldn't tell you what I suggested. It wasn't ground breaking advice by any means but I will never forget the disconnect I felt in that moment as a professional. It reminded me of an experiment we did in elementary school. The teacher stood in front of the class and asked us to tell her how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some kids would say things like, Put the peanut butter on the bread! Then the teacher would grab the jar of peanut butter and place it heavily on the bread. Then there were students who would pick up on the assignment and shout out more detailed directions until finally the teacher could properly make the sandwich. Do you remember? In the end, the teacher was trying to get us to identify problems with our explanations and to understand the importance of thoroughness. Well friends, I have identified very similar problems with the way many hairstylists have been communicating. We are so quick to hand out tips on styling but we often forget the basics because to us they’re just that, basics. They're so second nature it's easy to forget we even do them. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of 5 things that hairstylists do without even thinking about but that you are definitely going to want to steal!



1. Emulsify that product!

Be it shampoo, conditioner or styling product; if it touches your hands, emulsify! You may or may not have noticed that whenever your stylist uses a product, it's first spread evenly on their hands and emulsified before it ever touches your hair. Even if it's only applied with their fingertips it will first be warmed and softened before it's used. In terms of shampoo, it begins the lathering process so you use less product. It's also helps release fragrance so your shower becomes much more aromatic. As far as styling products go, emulsifying helps thin out the product to ensure even application and you'll find that more times than not a little goes a long way!


2. Wash and Condition like a pro!

Doesn't everyone love a good head massage at the shampoo bowl? While it does feel nice, the primary reason your head is being tended to is because we're trying to clean your scalp. A home shampoo should similarly focus on cleansing the head first and foremost. Try to focus on all those great spots your stylist gravitates to: the temples, the nape of the neck, behind the ears and meeting your fingers together in the back of the scalp just above the occipital bone. A good shampooing will rid your hair of product and sebum buildup plus studies show that stimulating the scalp increases blood flow which encourages hair growth.

While the cleansing is focused on the scalp, the conditioning should focus on the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Rake that conditioner through your hair with your fingers or a comb, just be sure to get it evenly throughout your hair. Finally, let the conditioner sit a bit, give it a chance to work before you rinse it out.


3. Don't style soaking wet hair!

Wet hair is vulnerable hair. When our hair is wet the weakened hydrogen bonds make it more prone to stretching and snapping. In the salon, we'll use the blow dryer on your hair to mimic air drying by using a lower setting and not concentrating the heat on any part of your hair for too long. By allowing most of the moisture in the hair to dry, the bonds are able to reform before we begin styling. Not to mention wet hair will take much more intensive heat to dry it than damp hair will. Often we'll also use this time to lift the hair at the root to give it body or pull it down flat to help smooth it before we ever bring out our brushes. Likewise, when styling at home be sure your hair is mostly dry before you begin using a brush.

4. Focus your energy!

Ever notice that after telling your stylist how flat your hair has been that you leave the salon with the bounciest blowout? Or what about when you lament your frizzy ends and suddenly your hair is super smooth and shining like the sun? This is not a coincidence. We hear your concerns and face them head on and you should too! If volume is what's most important to you start at the source. Apply product at the roots where you want volume most and dry them while lifting away from your scalp. Over directing at the base of your hair will give maximum lift, then style as usual. If you want smoother hair, try a vented paddle brush for drying and straightening at the same time. Follow up with a flat iron but only on the parts that need more smoothing. If you find you're going over your hair more than twice with the flatiron you need more tension with the brush not more heat, put your back into it!

5. Don't skip the hair product!

If you ever get the chance, count how many products your stylist applies to your hair. You may be surprised to see how many they use! They may use some sort of hair primer, a smoothing or thickening cream or even a volumizer to start. After the hair is blown to perfection there's usually some sort of finishing cream smoothed through the ends or a texturizer to add definition to the fringe or layers. Depending on the style this may be followed with a spritz of hairspray or mist of shine spray to finish it off. Now think about it, how many styling products do you use at home? While your daily routine may not require the same amount of care, a couple go-to products would certainly make your mornings easier. Talk to your stylist about the products they're using and pick two to start. One should help prep your hair for styling and one should be a finishing product. If you find that your hair game heavily relies on hairspray to keep your hair styled then it's definitely time to incorporate a second product into your routine. Remember, a good hair routine starts with the basics. Begin with a good shampoo for your scalp, a rich conditioner for your ends, emulsify all the products you use, remove most of the moisture before styling with a brush and help yourself by focusing on your problem areas and using the right products. Once you establish these basics in your hair care regime they'll become second nature for you too! Be sure to share this post if you learned something or will be incorporating a new idea in your routine!


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