So now that the sequins are worn, the champagne is gone, and we are all amped on starting a whole new year it is time to start it off right with some great hair! We can continue to covet Jennifer Aniston’s hair as much as we want, but color, cut, and preparations aside, styling is the most important part since it’s working with what you have!! I color my hair far too many times a year so my hair is already really damaged to begin with so I need to extra protect my hair when applying heat, so here’s some tips…
Hint: this post is SUPER long so I’ve bolded main topics so if you want to skip to ones you’re more curious about you can!
1. Use a hair twist towel instead of a regular towel to cut down on frizz and damage!
Since I switched to using a towel twist, turbie twist, hair towel like the above, my frizz has totally been cut down (not entirely, but a significant amount!) Using a regular towel is rough on your hair and can help break the cuticle which leads to split ends and frizziness. A set of 2 at BB&B is only $10, so it’s totally worth it!
2. ALWAYS use heat protectant!!
Seriously, could not be more important, not using a protectant before applying heat just destroys your hair. I could not live without my Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum ($16, on Folica). I never used product because I thought it would weigh down my hair but I use just the tiniest drop (smaller than a pea) and use it from below my crown to my ends and it never makes my hair flat or greasy. The Skinny Serum adds shine, cuts down on frizz and cuts my hair drying time in half (which is important because less heat=less damage). It’s also, obviously a heat protectant and can be used before both straightening or curling!
There are lots of great ones out there like Redkin Satinwear Blow Dry Finish and John Frieda or Bumble & Bumble but this the Paul Mitchell is the one I recommend most and is the least greasy in my opinion. Plus, it totally smells like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. Yum!!
3. Blow dry in different directions.
I don’t have any specific recommendations for hair dryers themselves (comment if you do!) because I think they’re really all the same, as long as you have one with a diffuser, I think it’s fine. But if you “confuse” your hair by using a paddle brush to blow dry your hair in all directions (like pulling it forward, then back, then up and then with your hair flipped down) I find you get a lot more natural volume!
You can use a volumizing mousse too but sometimes they get sticky and I don’t like using too much product but I do like Tresemme’s volumizing one from the drugstore if I do use one.
4. Use a second heat protectant specifically for straightening or curling!
I’ve noticed since using an additional heat protectant I get the desired affect much faster and it stays better too. Again, like blow drying, the protectant lets me use less heat which cuts down on the damage. Whenever I straighten my hair I use got2b’s Crazy Sleek Hot Smooth Flat Iron & Blow Dry Lotion ($7, on Folica) or I got buy one-get one free at my Safeway for like $5 the last time I bought it.
The spray is kind of streamlined so I normally spray it on my hands and then run it through my hair (avoiding roots) and it works better than if I spray it on. It really makes my hair stay stick straight throughout the day, as opposed to when I don’t use it and my naturally wavy hair will show up half way through the day.
When I curl my hair I’m absolutely in love with Kenra’s Thermal Styling Spray, ($12.99, on Folica) but mine was only $10 at my local beauty store. I recently found out that using a good setting spray before curling can actually help keep the curls in tact better than using just a hair spray at the end. The bottle says you can use it after you’re done curling as a hair spray but I don’t.
Spray this directly on your hair before curling and brush it out to prevent stiffness. My curls stay in tact all day long and actually overnight sometimes too. I do have a natural wave to my hair so it is easier to curl than those with straight hair but this product has really made a difference with preventing my curls from falling flat.
As a rule, always let a spray heat protectant dry for around three minutes (normally the time it takes for your styling tool to heat up) in order to prevent burning your hair like you would if you used it on wet hair.
5. Use proper tools!
Styling tools, just like shoes and purses, are something that I will never skimp on money-wise. I’ve tried buying the cheap alternatives, and they never work as well for me. I’ve literally gone to Target and bought then returned! three curling irons in the last few months and I will never, ever stray from my new Hot Tools Curling Iron. I really didn’t want to spend the money on it because I thought that since I had semi-curly hair I wouldn’t need a strong one, but really there is no competition in my eyes. I caved and spent the $40 on a Hot Tools Curling Iron. Since then I’ve found many places that sell them a lot cheaper! like Folica, which range from $23-$35 depending on the size.
I could seriously do an entire post on this amazing tool because it’s that great. First of all it heats up in 30 seconds, has a great spring and curls my hair in 10 seconds. Pretty amazing. The heat is adjustable depending on how hard it is to curl your hair, I use setting 4, but it goes up to 10. You do have to be careful because it gets SUPER hot, I actually burned my shoulder last week and have a nasty little burn mark which is not cute, but just be really attentive when using it (unlike me)!
For bigger curls I use a 1-1/4″ inch because my hair is below my shoulders but not super long. The longer your hair the bigger of a barrel you’ll want- like 1-1/2″ or 2″ and for shorter hair or more spiral-y curls you’ll want a smaller barrel.
I love this because I can have really big curls and set them with hairspray as I go along with my 1-1/4″ or I can wait till I’m done, hairspray my hair and then use my wide tooth comb to lightly brush them out and it turns out as just beach-y big waves. Love it. So worth it, cannot recommend this curler more.
As for straighteners, I’m not the biggest fan of mine right now, I got it at my beauty supply store and loved it because it was all pink but I’m in the market for a new one. Trying to save up for a ghd straightener, which I hear are the best, but we’ll see. Comment if you have recommendations for a better, more affordable straightener.
As for hair spray I have a John Frieda one that is travel-size that I use, or a Kenra one, or some pink $5 one from Target. I don’t have one that I love but I hear great things about the L’Oreal Elnett hairspray, $15, that is used for runways a lot but I haven’t gotten around to buying it. I just buy whatever is relatively well-priced that doesn’t have too much alcohol (which dries out your hair) and since I have good pre-heat products, hair spray isn’t as important at the end.
Overall, these are my recommendation for great hair. I’ve used them all personally and I bought them all myself so I have no alternate interest to recommending these products. I hope you find products that work well for you and comment any suggestions you have for other people that have worked for you! Now go out and have a great hair day!
Photos from Folica.com and BB&B website.