1. Squeeze-dry your hair Prevent frizz by using a paper towel to gently wring water from your strands post-shower, suggests Adir Abergel, Fekkai celebrity stylist. “The paper won’t create as much friction as a towel, so your hair ends up less frizzy. It also absorbs more water than a cloth towel, really speeding up your drying time,” he explains.
2. Slip-proof your updo Spray dry shampoo on a bobby pin before sliding it into an updo, suggests Mark Townsend, a consultant for Dove Haircare and a Los Angeles–based stylist with many A-list clients. The spray’s powdery texture gives the pin extra grip, which keeps it from sliding out. Try Dove’s Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo ($4; drugstores).
3. Tend to your scalp, not just your strands If your hair is misbehaving, maybe the problem is product buildup on your scalp—something clarifying shampoo won’t sufficiently cleanse. The result? Clogged hair follicles, weakened strands and possibly slowed hair growth. To get rid of that grime, Kyle White, a senior colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in Manhattan, swears by oldie but goody Sea Breeze Astringent ($5; drugstores). Apply to your scalp once a week with a cotton ball, then shampoo as usual.
4. Shield your locks from harsh shower water “The water you wash your hair with may contain chlorine, minerals, even rust from old pipes,” says White. “All these things can enter the cuticle of your hair and alter your hair color.” To minimize discoloration, he suggests investing in an Aquasana Shower Filter ($85; aquasana.com; less expensive filters are available in hardware stores).
5. Wash before you color It’s a myth that unwashed hair takes dye better than squeaky-clean strands, says Jennifer J, an L.A.-based colorist who has tinted Julia Roberts’s tresses. In fact, your color-ist needs to see your actual color in order to determine the most flat-tering hue for you (and product buildup can make your mane look darker). So before your next appointment, suds up.
6. Never tell your stylist you want “bangs” This seemingly straightforward word can be interpreted lots of differ-ent ways, says Kevin Mancuso, a celebrity stylist and the creative director of Nexxus. Say “bangs” and some stylists imagine Goldie Hawn’s eyelash skimmers. Others see Mia Farrow’s wisps in Rosemary’s Baby. Don’t find out the hard way that you and your stylist have different visions. The surest way to be on the same page? Come prepared with a photo from a magazine or an image bookmarked on your iPad. Do the same if you’re contemplating a new hair shade. Color company Aloxxi has even created a look book (available at salons that carry the line) filled with hair swatches so colorists and their clients can finally speak the same language. Go to aloxxi.com for more info.
7. Turn up the heat on volumizing stylers “Many volume-enhancing products are heat activated,” says Susanna Romano, co-owner of Salon AKS in New York City. So combing or scrunching them in, then letting your hair air-dry will not make the most of their lifting effects. A better bet (even if you don’t blow-dry your whole head) is to aim warm air at your roots, activat-ing the stylers and giving your hair the oomph you desire.
8. Take care not to over-Atkins your hair “A deep protein treatment or con-ditioner [often billed as strengthen-ing on the label] helps reinforce weak hair, but you really only need to apply it every two months,” says Rita Hazan, owner of an eponymous salon in Manhattan (and the color guru behind Uma Thurman’s golden hue). Using protein on the hair more often than that may cause build-up that she says can “strangle” the hair, leaving it dry and brittle. One strengthener we like: Fekkai Protein Rx Anti-Breakage Treatment Mask ($30; fekkai.com).