Fairchild Archiveallure By Elizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine
Frizz, gray hair, the dreaded growing-out phase. You asked your most pressing hair questions on Facebook, and we asked the top experts to answer. Hairstylists Garren and Mark Townsend and colorist Marie Robinson offer the best solutions to your cut, color, and styling issues.
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1. YOUTHFUL HAIR: "I'm trying to do something with my hair that makes me look younger. Should I change the color, get bangs, or cut it short?" -Rajal Vaishnav Mankad
"I've told my clients many times, it's either Botox or bangs," says Townsend, a hairstylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown in New York City and a spokesman for Dove. "Bangs hide wrinkles on the forehead and make you seem more youthful. Long side-swept fringe is the most versatile. But when you asked if you should cut it short, I thought, Oooh, no! That tends to mature people-plus, wearing your hair the same way every day is aging. Instead, go for hair that just hits the collarbone, with long layers. You'll be able to pull it into a ponytail-and wearing different styles makes you look younger." Robinson, of the Marie Robinson salon in New York City and a spokeswoman for Clairol, adds: "If your skin has gotten pale or sallow with age, try warming things up with golden highlights and a rich base color-just don't stray too far. The most flattering base shades re-create the color and depth that you used to have."
2. GROWING HAIR OUT: "What is the best way to grow out a short pixie cut to shoulder length?" -Susan Gaines
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"Let it grow for four months before getting a cut," says Garren of the Garren New York salon. "While you do, try tucking it behind your ears and sweeping your bangs to the side-that's what I did with Victoria Beckham after cutting her pixie years ago. If your hair starts to look puffy, brush it forward or off to one side, and avoid blow-drying. At four months, ask your hairdresser to even it up by cutting the back to create a bob, or to make the back a little shorter than the front-that will make your hair appear longer than it is. After another four to six months, add long layers in the back and cheekbone-length ones in the front. Another trick is to pin your hair up-then people just assume that it's long."
3. HEALTHIER HAIR COLOR: "I have color-treated hair that is prone to breakage. How can I prevent both that and color fading at the same time?" -Vicki Weber
"If your hair breaks easily, it's probably either very fine or has been overly bleached and lost its elasticity," says Robinson. "Hair color always fades eventually, but it will fade more quickly when hair is damaged. To keep it from becoming more porous and brittle, avoid bleach, shampoo infrequently, and only get highlights every eight weeks. Try not to heat-style more than a few times a week, and always use a protective product, such as Wella Professionals Dry Thermal Image Spray. Add strength and moisture by using a conditioning treatment with natural oils, such as ColoristCure by Osyrium, once a week, and trade in your regular shampoo and conditioner for ones that are enriched with protein. Also, drink plenty of water, and take a biotin supplement. It can take up to six months to see results, but it works."
4. BUILDING BODY: "My hair is oily at the roots, but dry at the ends and has no volume. The more I style it, the drier the ends get, but the more I condition, the roots get oilier. Ideas?" -Kimberly Mills
"You're probably shampooing every day, and that can strip away natural oils, so your scalp overproduces oil to make up for it," says Townsend. "Shampoo every other day instead, and follow with conditioner on just the middle to the ends of your hair. I'm also a firm believer in dry shampoo. It absorbs the oil that flattens the hair, so it takes care of greasiness and adds volume at the same time. I like Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo for blondes and Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo for brunettes. Aim the nozzle at the roots, holding it eight to ten inches away-too close makes the hair look white-and then brush the powder out after a few seconds. Finally, use a light leave-in conditioner, such as Dove Nutritive Therapy Leave-In Smoothing Cream, on dry hair from the midshaft down-it will moisturize without compromising volume."
5. FIGHTING FRIZZ: "My thick, straight hair gets frizzy no matter what I do. I have never had it dyed, highlighted, or relaxed. I shampoo and condition once a day, and I rarely use blow-dryers or irons. What can I do? I'm desperate!" -Lani Demerre
"Some people think that leaving their regular conditioner in the hair instead of rinsing it out can prevent frizz, but that will actually dry out the hair," says Garren. "Instead, use a frizz-fighting cream, such as Rene Furterer Myrrhea No Rinse Silkening Fluid. It's heavier than a serum, so it will coat the hair and weigh it down to prevent frizz. Work a nickel-size amount through damp hair from roots to ends, using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. If your hair still gets frizzy during the day, use a quarter-size amount the next time. Then blow-dry your hair smooth with a big round brush; a natural boar-bristle brush is better than a nylon one, which just rips through the hair and can make it fuzzy. Work your way from the bottom layers up-otherwise, you risk making the top frizz. You're better off not flatironing your hair every day, because it can cause damage. But if it's humid, zip a flatiron through the hair to make it look silky."
6. LONGER HAIR-FAST: "Is there a way I can make my hair grow faster?" -Victoria Foley
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"An over-the-counter supplement called Viviscal used to be this great fashion secret that was only sold at stores like C.O. Bigelow in New York City, but within the past year I've started seeing it in drugstores-all the models take it," says Townsend. "Two of my clients shaved their heads for movies, and then one of them took it. Her hair grew back so much faster and even came in thicker. It's not an overnight fix, but all of a sudden, three months later, your hair has grown two inches instead of one." (We ran this by dermatologist Jeannette Graf, who said that the ingredients in Viviscal are safe and can be helpful.)
7. CURLY-HAIR CUTS: "My long, curly hair is triangular. What do I tell my stylist so that I can get a modern cut without looking like an '80s rocker?" -Kari Abbott Thomas
"Short layers on curly hair can cause that triangle look," says Garren. "In the front, layers should hit at an angle under the cheekbone, and then drop down to long layers by the breast so that the curl is all around the perimeter of the face instead of looking puffy at the top. In the back, you want longer, blunt layers so the hair drops down in softer waves. But it's not bad to look like a rocker-so long as it's in a cool way."
8. SPLIT-END SOLUTION: "I'm trying to grow my hair long, but I get a lot of split ends. How can I get rid of them without losing length?" -Fallon Robles
"I'm going through this right now with Ashley Olsen. She wants to grow her hair down to her waist and won't let me give her a real haircut, so I convinced her to get what I call a dusting," says Townsend. "Every 10 to 12 weeks, ask your stylist to trim just the split ends-some will even do it as part of a blowout. I know every product in the world claims to repair split ends, but that's really hard to do. Plus, a lot of those products are so heavy, and there's nothing worse than greasy split ends. I prefer leave-in creams. Rub a little bit just over the split ends to hold them together temporarily. That should last for about six hours, so carry the cream in your purse for touch-ups."
9. WAVES MADE EASY: "How do you get nice loose waves like all the celebs have?" -Sara Quinn
"Start with a light anti-frizz serum, like Dove AntiFrizz Serum, on damp hair," says Townsend. "If your hair is fine to normal, add a volumizing mousse, like Suave Professionals Volumizing Mousse, from roots to ends. If your hair is superthick, use a spray volumizer all over, such as Phyto Phytovolume Actif. Then blow your hair out with a round brush. When the hair is dry, spray three-inch sections with flexible-hold hair spray, then wrap around a one-and-a-half-inch curling iron, holding it vertically and stopping just short of the roots. The key is to twirl the hair around the barrel without using the clamp and leave an inch out at the bottom-if the ends are perfectly curled, the style looks too done. Twist the front sections away from your face and alternate in the back, wrapping some pieces toward your body and others away. That way, your hair won't fall into a perfect wave pattern. Once you're done, run a finishing cream, like Oribe Crème for Style, through the hair."
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10. HIDING GRAYS: "My brown hair has already started graying (I'm 22). What's the best way to cover the strays?" -Ali Demulling
"Demipermanent color is an easy way to blend away grays without much commitment," says Robinson. "It fades after four to six weeks, so you won't have obvious roots. Pick a shade that matches your natural hair color by looking at the swatches on the box; they're more accurate than the picture on the front, but a lot of people don't realize that. Finding at-home color that matches light blonde and red hair can be trickier, so look for a brand that offers lots of different shades. Clairol Natural Instincts has a great range and washes out gradually. Apply the dye over the whole head. Don't worry about only covering up the gray strands-that's difficult to do and not really necessary. If you need an immediate fix, you can cover a few grays temporarily with a root touch-up pen, but I usually prefer using a loose matte eye shadow. Pick one that's close to your hair color, and use a wet shadow brush to dab it on the roots."
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