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Our 32 All-Time Favorite Hair Care Tips From The Pros

photo of client and kerastase products

As beauty editors, we have access to some of the best and most well-known hair care pros in the business. From Tracey Cunningham to Jason Backe, pros share their best hair care tips about everything from cuts and color to styling and hair care.

Asking us to choose our favorite hair care tip is like asking a mother to choose her favorite child—impossible! Instead, we’ve decided to share our 32 favorite hair care tips of all time.

Whether you’re trying to find the perfect haircut or are deciding which color service is right for you, these tips have got you covered.

Cut

Cut Hair Wet And Dry

“I highly recommend cutting hair both wet and dry every time. I love trimming hair and shaping when they just sit in the chair and the hair is styled or air dried as they wear it every day. After I shampoo and treat it, I cut the hair again wet, then I check everything for balance and further details after their blowout. Clients appreciate it and you truly can customize an ideal haircut.” - Pepper Pastor, Kérastase brand ambassador and stylist.

Layers Are Universally Flattering

[Layers] hide flaws and give options to every hairstyle.” - Danielle Keasling, Matrix artistic director and owner of Salon Karma in South Carolina.

How To Tell If Your Face Is Round

"A face is considered round if the width all the way around is fairly even and full." - Lauren Sill, Shu Art of Hair artistic principal and creative director of Luxelab LA.

When In Doubt, Grow Your Hair Long

Long hair can work for all textures, styles and personalities which makes it an indisputable staple in women’s haircuts...They’re always being redone and modernized, so there’s always something new to try.” - Kristjún Holt, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador.

The Lob Is The Ultimate Haircut

[The lob] enables women to cut off their length without losing their femininity." - Matt Fugate, Kérastase consulting hairstylist.

Photo credit: @monarchhairco.

Color

How To Achieve Flawless Balayage

“A soft touch, visual placement, and a customized approach all come together for the perfect balayage execution.” - Min Kim, L'Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and colorist.

When To Get Lowlights

“Ask the stylist what colors go well with your skin tone and eye color...Lowlights are perfect for anyone whose color is starting to look flat and monotone.” - Laura Gibson, L'Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador.

Coloring Your Hair Is An Investment

“I have clients that I see every month to maintain their blonde just as they like...Think of your hair color as a long-term investment and not something you’ll do once and forget about.” - Tracey Cunningham, Redken brand ambassador and celebrity colorist.

Pick The Metallic Shade Perfect For You

“When in doubt, look to jewelry. If silver looks best on your skin, stay cool, but if gold is better, try warmer versions.” - Min Kim, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and salon professional.

The Perfect Low Maintenance Color Upgrade

“If you want to simply maintain your current color, focus the highlights in a specific area—like around your face—or are trying highlights for the first time, then a partial application may be the best choice for you.” - Shannon VanFleet, Redken artist and brand ambassador.

Use Color To Contour Your Face

“Stylists experiment with different colors for different face shapes to see what tones might elongate, minimize, and ultimately create an idealized oval shape.” - George Papanikolas, Matrix celebrity stylist and brand ambassador.

Who Should Opt For Highlights

Highlights are best for those who want a more blended overall result with less dimension. It’s also suitable for everyone but especially best for clients with finer textures as it gives body to limp strands.” - Min Kim, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and stylist.

Pick The Perfect Colorist

“Dramatic change requires a lot of brain work. A good colorist can rely on solid formulation and a thorough understanding of color theory. A little formulation mistake can have a horrible outcome...Find a colorist with a strong social media account that shows a wide variety of transformations.” - Jason Backe, L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador and celebrity colorist.

How To Achieve A Natural Color

“You should avoid too many highlights if your desired end result is natural looking [color]...Tons of baby fine highlights all over the hair create the appearance of a single process color.” - George Papanikolas, Matrix celebrity stylist and brand ambassador.

Care

Don’t Cheap Out On Hair Tools

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get—so I would suggest [customers] look for more value. What’s the value of the iron? Is it going to give them the benefits that they’re looking for? Is it comfortable for them to hold?...What a lot of consumers look at is brand and price when they need to look at what is going to be best for their hair.” - Sam Villa, Redken brand ambassador.

How To Determine Your Hair Texture

“To determine your hair texture, take a single piece of hair and slide it up and down between your thumb and another finger..If you can’t really feel the strand of hair, your texture is fine. If you can feel it and it feels like a thread, you have medium texture. If you can really feel it, and it feels like a heavy thread or a thin wire, your texture is coarse.” - Michelle Lindsay, L'Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and artist.

Be Realistic About What Hair Products Can Do

“Products aren’t going to permanently change the characteristics of the hair you were born with. If you’ve always had fine, thin hair, products aren’t going to give you mass amounts of hair, but products can make the hair look and feel fuller.” - Michelle Lindsay, L'Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and artist.

How To Begin Repairing Your Hair

“When someone’s hair is very distressed or damaged due to mechanical or chemicals, a reparative shampoo is prescribed. But it should eventually be replaced with a hydrating shampoo so that your hair doesn’t get a protein overload.” - Jeremy Taylor, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and stylist.

What To Do With Split Ends

“Once the hair strand has begun to split, it can sometimes be temporarily mended. But ultimately, it just needs to be cut off. If the split ends are not cut off, they can and will continue to split up the hair shaft leading to more severe damage and breakage.” - Ashley Brown, Mizani artist, educator, and brand ambassador and owner of Cheveux Salon in Wisconsin.

How To Grow Your Bangs Out Flawlessly Every Time

“Face framing layers are your friend! Avoid having the only layer in the front be the grown out bangs, or they will be obvious forever...Soft layers help the grow out [process] because the bangs become one of the layers instead of the only short hair in the front.” - Lauren Sill, Kérastase brand ambassador and stylist.

The Difference Between Fine Hair And Thin Hair

“The actual diameter of the hair is smaller when it comes to fine hair. The difference between fine hair and thin hair is density...it's very common to have a lot of fine hair. I, myself, have a lot of fine hair. If your hair follicles are fewer, your hair density is thinner. Fine hair is commonly limp, flat, and lacks volume.” - Matthew Morris, Kérastase artistic director and brand ambassador.

Don’t Crank Up The Heat

“365 is really hot, if you put your finger on 365 it will burn you...Hair and skin are very similar, so I usually as a rule of thumb say, if it will burn your skin it will burn your hair. So with a curling iron, I’ll have my clients touch the iron over the spot that the hair is on and when you can feel it’s hot enough, release the curl.” - Chelsea James, L’Oréal Professionnel artist and brand ambassador.

How To Camouflage Dandruff

“Style your hair with lots of volume and texture—think fuller beachy waves or voluminous curls. This will lead the eye away from the scalp. Wearing sleek, smooth styles will only draw attention to the scalp and ‘part line,’ making your dandruff a focal point.” - Ashley Brown, Mizani artist and brand ambassador.

When To Switch Up Your Hair Care Routine

“You might want to add a mask if you’ve experienced damage...You might want to also use a mask if the overall feel and luster of your hair is dry and dull.” - Michelle O’Connor, Matrix artistic director and brand ambassador.

How To Apply Conditioner To Greasy Strands

“One of the largest mistakes we make is the amount of conditioner used and the application technique. I always suggest adding an almond size amount of conditioner to the mid-lengths down to the ends for the best results.” - Carly Quist, Kérastase tech artist and brand ambassador.

Use The Shampoo And Conditioner From The Same System

“Some systems only promise certain results when the entire—or most of—the system is used together...For example, the Pureology Smooth Perfection system provides 72 hours of frizz-free hair when the shampoo, condition, and one of the stylers is used. Hair care systems are designed to work together, which means they can target the specific concern or desired end result as you go.” - Ruth Roche, Redken master artist.

What Causes Split Ends

Split ends usually occur when hair is not cared for properly...It splits because it’s weak, dehydrated, and heat damaged.” - Ruth Roche, Redken master artist.

Photo credit: @sarahnicolle.

Style

The Key To Achieving A Long Lasting Blow Out

“When it comes to the blow-drying technique, is it critical that you actually let the hair cool down on the brush. If you don’t there will be a little bit of moisture in the hair still and that moisture throughout the day will collapse the blow dry or make it revert back to its natural texture. So it’s really important that you give it a very good blow dry, make sure it’s completely dry but also letting it cool down on the brush and that will give longevity.” - Rodney Cutler, Redken brand ambassador and celebrity stylist.

How To Properly Apply Hair Products

“To ensure that every strand is covered and protected, section your hair and apply product section by section, combing it through along the way.” - Rachelle Hawkins, Mizani artist and educator.

Photo credit: @billyporges.

Men’s Hair Care

The Best Way To Hide Signs Of Balding

“Honestly, I recommend guys go shorter which gives the hair more dimension whereas longer hair I feel makes the thinning or balding more apparent. When we obviously try to hide something is when it’s more noticeable.” - Mikey Denton, Baxter of California brand ambassador and barber.

How To Care For Your Beard

“Definitely condition your beard with a conditioner….a dime-sized [dollop] of hair conditioner is just right. Condition twice a week if possible—that will keep your beard looking nice. Comb your beard throughout the day so your beard doesn’t tangle. And, lastly, add a beard lotion or a beard oil. That will ensure softness and control throughout the day.” - Josh Velazquez, Baxter of California brand ambassador and owner of Prohibition Barber Co.

The Best Razors For Facial Hair

“Cartridge razors are razors in a protective case with gel inserts on the front and back to protect you from cutting your face while you shave...Cartridge razors are for men who shave regularly and don’t necessarily have the time it takes to shave with a safety razor, but still wants a close, comfortable shave every time.” - Erik Taylor, Master barber and Baxter of California brand ambassador.

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