1. They start with a great cut
Anyone can have perfect hair with enough styling. The problem is, we don’t always have the time (or skills) to do so. That’s where an expert cut comes into play–transforming a bulky block of hair into a swingy masterpiece that doesn’t require an arm workout every morning.
2. They’re smart about washing it
Everything from shampoo choice (gentle, sulfate-free formulas) and water temperature (lukewarm, please) to technique (soak hair first; then massage shampoo into roots using only the pads of your fingers) ensures that your strands are properly cleaned without being stripped of moisture.
3. They play by their own conditioning rules
First, they never wash without conditioning–even if their mane tends to get greasy. Their trick? Applying conditioner before shampooing. It wards off oil and protects damaged ends from suds (which can further dry them out).
4. They watch out for scalp buildup
Between sweaty strands and our dry shampoo addiction, a bit of build up is inevitable–which can clog hair follicles and hinder growth. Once a week, saturate a cotton ball with tea tree oil or toner and dab it onto your scalp to clear any debris. Shampoo and condition as usual.
5. They keep up with trims
Every two to three months, ask your stylist to snip off a half inch or less. (Since hair grows faster than this, you won’t lose much length.) If you put off trims for too long, split ends will form, which means you’ll have to chop off more in the long run.
6. But they’re sparing with styling
That includes brushing. Simply put, the less you touch your hair, the less you’ll damage it. Instead, work a styling cream through damp hair and experiment with different ways to air dry–like sleeping with soft braids in–to achieve texture.
7. And when they do style their hair, they go easy on the heat
To do this, start by gently squeezing out as much water as you can with a soft T-shirt. Once hair is about 75 percent dry, finish the rest with your blow dryer on a low heat setting. Then give strands a final blast of cold air to lock everything in and amp up shine. And if you want to add curls, instead of wrapping random pieces around the barrel as you normally would, section it off into two to three equal parts first and then curl. This will cut down on styling time while reducing the amount of heat that your hair is exposed to.