Help for Can’t-do-anything-with-it Hair

Does it ever seem like there’s nothing you can do with your hair? If it’s as unruly and stubborn as a toddler having a meltdown, you may be tempted to throw a tantrum yourself when you see it.

Don’t despair! No matter what the crisis, you can make your hair look beautiful with tricks of the trade used by top celeb stylists:

Can’t Do Anything With: Fine, Flat Hair
Even if your hair is fine, you can add volume to it. First, forget about moisturizing shampoos and daily conditioners, which make delicate hair limp, says Alma Qeraxhiu, the fine-haired founder of New York City’s Alma G. Salon & Spa and stylist to American Idol judge Steven Tyler. To replace moisture in your hair, “use a mask weekly -- and only on the ends,” says Qeraxhiu.

When you blow-dry fine hair, add a golf ball–size dollop of volumizing mousse to it first, suggests Alli Webb, co-founder of Drybar and stylist to actress Zooey Deschanel. As you dry, use a round brush and focus on sections: Start at the front in four to five areas, moving back over the crown, mohawk-style. Then work on the sides, dividing hair into two or three sections. “If you attack too much hair at once, nothing happens,” says Webb. After a couple of days, switch your part to the other side to add height to your hair.

During the day, if your hair lacks volume, try adding some dry shampoo to the roots. You can also try quick, circular head-massages and use a curling iron close (but not too close!) to your scalp to add some lift.

Can’t Do Anything With: Frizzy Hair
Is your hair a flyaway zone? Try using less shampoo when you wash and air-drying, not blow-drying, your hair afterward. “That avoids static in the first place,” says Cristophe, hairdresser to Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C.

Also try spraying some hair spray onto your brush before you start styling. “Or use three to five drops of shine serum, hand lotion, pomade, conditioner or vitamin-rich coconut oil rubbed in your hands, then over your head,” suggests Cristophe. If you need a quick de-frizz, run a large-barrel curling iron quickly from roots to ends.

Can’t Do Anything With: Coarse, Bushy Hair
Soften rough locks with a twice-weekly moisturizing mask. Coat your hair in up to 1/4 cup of coconut or virgin olive oil (depending on your hair length), cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap and let it set 20 minutes before washing it out, suggests Qeraxhiu. Then use a quarter-size dollop of hydrating creme or shine serum before styling. When you blow-dry, start at mid-shaft rather than at the scalp, guiding a boar-bristle brush straight through your hair.

Can’t Do Anything With: Hair Overdue for a Cut or Color
No time to get to the salon this week even though you’re long overdue? “This season, designers wanted flyaways,” says bi-coastal runway stylist Laurent D. “So maybe it’s not so bad to have a bad hair day!”

Still, if your roots are in need of color, you can make them less visible by parting your hair diagonally from the forehead to the center of your crown. Or try a temporary color touch-up that you can make at home. Brew a bag of chamomile tea if you’re a blonde; if you’re a brunette, boil a handful of coffee beans or dark cherries in water. Cool the tea or coffee mixture, and then stir in an egg yolk and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Paint the concoction on your scalp and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it out.

For hair that’s simply in need of a trim, your best bet may be to style it fashionably. If you have very long locks, try a messy knot: Gather your hair in a low ponytail, loop the tail in a circle, and then pass it through the center. “That always looks young and stylish,” says Laurent D.

For shorter hair, “the sleek, mod answer is to give your hair a heavy side-part and tuck it behind your ears,” says Larry Sims, Los Angeles stylist to Victoria and David Beckham. Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, suggests pinning short hair back off your face with glittery pins. “Or do a middle part from the forehead to the nape and give yourself two mini ponytails. Pull down a few loose pieces around your face and you’re all set!”


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