10 Hair Experts on the Best Trick the Industry Has Taught Them

10 Hair Experts on the Best Trick the Industry Has Taught Them featured image

No matter how much access you have to top stylists or how overflowing your shower is with promising products, hair envy is a serious thing, and so is the reality that hits when you try to recreate your favorite look at home (the same one your stylist makes look so easy). Lucky for you, we’re in the same boat. Curious as to how the elite always have their coifs looking so, well, perfect, we reached out to some of the top stylists around the country in hopes they’d share some inside information on how we can make ours look that way, too. Here, the 10 best tricks the industry has taught them—we’re taking notes. 

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“My number one complaint from clients is either they do not know how to blow-dry their hair with a round brush or they don’t have time to learn. One of my favorite hair tricks for blowouts is to use a paddle brush instead, because there is no learning curve. The flat surface of the brush allows for easy smoothing and straightening, eliminating the need for double styling, while also providing easy control to create lift at the root. My go-to paddle brush is the 1907 by Fromm Hot Paddle. Not only is it super easy to use, but the face of the brush is also created with aluminum plates, which retain heat, resulting in a super quick dry!” 

–Olivia Smalley, celebrity hairstylist and Fromm Beauty ambassador

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2 / 10

“For me, volume in hair symbolizes a woman’s beauty; there’s nothing more feminine or gorgeous than healthy hair with volume. While assisting Alexandre de Paris, I learned a technique called ‘lacing’ or ‘threading.’ It’s a technique where you use a brush to spread backcombed hair, creating a more natural finish.” 

–Laurent Philippon, global artistic director for Bumble and bumble 

3 / 10
“The industry has taught me many tricks. Honestly, I would say to experiment with products that you love even if they aren’t what everyone else loves; Always pay attention to detail, whether that means you have to take a step back from what you’ve done or changing your style because you did it wrong…it’s only hair. In this industry, you must always be likeable, kind and not opinionated. It’s always a good idea to show up to work with ideas prepared, pictures of looks and inspiration. When working on a client, its always important to ask questions, get the vibe of the look or shoot and to always work together with the makeup artist so the entire look comes together well.” 

–Laura Polko, scunci celebrity stylist 

4 / 10

“If you color your hair at home, rinsing out all the color can be a little tricky. One of my favorite tricks (and a great way to get color super glossy) is using hair color to remove hair color. At the salon, we call this an emulsion. After hair color has processed, throw on a pair of gloves and jump into the shower. Bring in any leftover color and mix in a little water. Begin by massaging in the mixture at the hairline in a circular motion, really working through the roots. Massaging helps to remove any excess color from the scalp, while creating extremely shiny hair. Added bonus: It adds moisture to the hair and breaks up the line from the previous hair color application to the current or what we call the ‘line of demarcation.'” 

–Estelle Baumhauer, color director for eSalon

5 / 10

“Being in the industry for so long, I’ve learned so many tricks that I love to share with women at home! The most important thing has been the importance of education and using the right tools. I invented the Beachwaver because being in the beauty industry taught me that editors and writers were not hairdressers. I always assumed that beauty editors were really good at doing their own hair, but I was wrong! I saw a need for a curling iron that all women could use on themselves, from editors to my celebrity clients to friends and women everywhere.” 

–Sarah Potempa, celebrity stylist and inventor of the Beachwaver

6 / 10
“To keep frizz at bay, I like to wrap a dryer sheet around the nozzle of my Conair 3Q blowdryer, set the heat to high and air pressure to low, and run the sheet down the shaft of the hair while blowing hot air onto the hair.  This eliminates static and smooths extra frizz, with zero product added.” 

–Michael Duenas, celebrity hairstylist 

7 / 10

“When I travel, I always pack two bags and double/split up all my color tools. That way, just in case I lose one bag, I can still do my job with the other.” 

–Rita Hazan, celebrity colorist and owner of Rita Hazan Salon in New York City

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8 / 10

“The biggest trick I’ve learned is to choose a style and color that is compatible with your time, lifestyle and budget. Some hair looks are so incredible, but the reality is that sometimes the time, cost and lifestyle required to maintain is not realistic. To determine what will work for your specific needs, ask your stylist and colorist three key questions: How long will this look take to style daily or weekly? How often will I need to maintained my look in salon? How much can I expect to pay each visit?” 

–Kate Reid, director of COLOR.ME by KEVIN.MURPHY

9 / 10

“To create amazing highlights, it is very important to look at the entire head including cut, style and hair texture. Not just the individual components. Great highlights look sunkissed, they are deeper (darker) on the root and lighter on the ends, and they complement the person’s cut, style and texture. My tip is approach the highlight as if you are composing a painting.” 

–Nelson Chan, founder of Nelson j Natural Salon in Beverly Hills

10 / 10

“When curling your hair, make sure to hold the curl closed in your hands to cool before dropping. Doing this will ensure your curls last twice as long than curling and dropping. Also, don’t forget to apply your favorite product before you curl to help them last longer. Mine is Matrix Style Link Mineral Airy Builder Dry Texture Foam.” Another tip: If you have fine hair and want a lush ponytail, wrap extensions around the pony tail and secure with a bobby pin. No one will know it’s not your real hair!” 

–Nick Stenson, Matrix Style Link celebrity stylist

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