Sleek Hair 101: How-to

Elizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine

Once you cross over from straight hair into supersleek territory, you risk looking either bald or like you've dunked your head in melted butter. Done right, "sleek hair will look really, really healthy and glossy," says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins. Not obviously flatironed, oily, or (worse) fried. "There's such a resurgence of sleek hair this fall, because it's a way of making hair look polished and luxurious," adds hairstylist Harry Josh. "It's the opposite of the beauty waves and the extensions that were so popular. I think we're all looking for a change." Whether you hair is straight or has a natural wave, the best styles for fall are polished, smooth, and lustrous. Upgrade your sleek-ifying routine (or start from scratch) with these tricks, and your hair will look like it was styled by a pro-not a pastry chef.

See more: The 6 Most Flattering Haircuts for Round Faces

Hawkins has the sleek blowout down to a science:

1. Before you set foot in the shower, distribute a small dollop of hair oil-look for the word "nourishing," "hydrating," or "repair" on the label-all over your hair with a paddle brush. Give the oil about ten minutes to sink in. Then shampoo, rinse, and comb conditioner from roots to ends. Rinse again, and gently wrap your hair in a towel.

2. You know how humidity causes frizz?
Well, blow-drying your hair in a muggy bathroom has the same effect as standing in a rain forest. Move your dryer to your bedroom.

See more: The 10 Commandments of Mascara


3. Start using more silicone than a Playboy Bunny.
Before you blow-dry, spray a leave0in conditioner or heat protectant with silicone all over. Then comb a dollop of anti-frizz serum (or cream, if your hair is curly) from roots to ends. If you hair is fine, look for serums with water as the first ingredient; silicone or oil for thicker hair.

4. With a vented paddle brush and a good deal of muscle,
blow-dry your hair straight down (until it's almost dry) using the nozzle attachment.

See more: Top 21 Drugstore Beauty Bargains


5. Switch to a medium-size round brush with boar and nylon bristles.
With the brush underneath, stretch the hair up at the roots and then down toward your waist in a slight arc, pulling the brush straight through the ends instead of turning them under. Move quickly to minimize damage.

6. Once the hair is dry and has cooled down,
mist a lightweight aerosol shine spray along the length of your hair to make it look glossy.


See more from Allure:
The 12 Best Eye Creams
10 Hairstyles That Make You Look 10 Years Younger
Best of Beauty 2012
The 10 Most Gorgeous Hair-Color Ideas for Brunettes