Sleek Hair 101: Products & Tools

Courtesy of UltaCourtesy of UltaElizabeth 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.

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Pre-shower, distribute a hair oil,
such as L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil or Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme, with a paddle brush. Try Goody Start Style Finish Paddle Brush (lpsalons.com; leonorgreyl-usa.com; Goody, target.com).

Smoothing shampoos and conditioners
contain styling ingredients to make hair lie flat. We like Redken Smooth Lock Shampoo and Conditioner (redken.com for salons).

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Silicone makes hair sleeker and softer
and guards against heat-styling damage. Use a leave-in conditioner with silicone, such as Kérastase Sublimateur Jour (kerastase-usa.com).

Anti-frizz serums are best
for hair that's straight or wavy. Try Living Proof No Frizz Weightless Styling Spray for fine hair and Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smooth & Shine Serum for thick hair. For curly hair, choose a creamy formula, such as Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Silky Moisture Whip (livingproof.com; Suave, drugstore.com; pantene.com).

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The hot air from your blow-dryer is counterproductive,
since it causes the hair shaft to swell. Set your blow-dryer to medium heat. A good-quality blow-dryer with a high wattage, such as John Frieda by Conair Salon Shine Dryer, uses a stronger air current-not more heat-to dry the hair.

Tame flyaways with a lightweight hair spray,
such as Tresemmé Tres Two Ultra Fine Mist Hair Spray. Spritz it in the direction you want the hair to lie, and hold hair down with your hands for a few seconds. Then mist an aerosol shine spray, such as Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Sleek Finish 5-in-1 Serum Spray, on just the length.


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