Top Hair Trends for Spring

The No. 1 rule in the world of hairstyling, “Hair follows fashion,” couldn’t be any truer this spring. And thank goodness the runways had some good stuff for us this season! The Michael Kors gals sported uncontrived versions of the go-to ponytail. The Betsey Johnson models brought sexy bedroom hair back with sultry texture. Marc Jacobs gave us glammed-up curls by mixing the regular old spiral curl with a bit of messy texture. Read on to get real-life tips on how to bring these styles to the streets.

Textured waves are all the rage this coming spring. To get the look, you’ll need a curling iron, setting spray and a little bit of time. Start with clean, dry hair. Use a medium-sized curling iron (3/4-inch for fine hair and 1- to 1 1/4-inch iron for medium to thick hair). Beginning at the nape of the neck, take sections that are about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Spray each section with a light hair spray before winding the hair in a candy cane motion. Wind the hair in different directions to avoid the pageant look. Stay about 2 inches from the part before wrapping your final sections so the root stays flat.

Next, turn your head over and run your fingers through your hair. Lace or tease for added volume and give a final blast of spray. That’s it, ladies. Be warned, this style is not for the meek. A combination of classic ’40s hair meets unfussy ’70s hair gives it a fashion-forward flair.

The voluminous blowout is back. Hooray! We’ve been sleek for far too long. To get the look, prep wet hair with a volumizing spray. Rough-dry your hair until it’s about 75 percent dry. Then, using a medium-sized round brush (try a blonde boar bristle for extra shine), take sections that are equal to the width of the brush size; that will typically mean a 2-inch section. Blow-dry each section, wrapping the hair around the brush while applying heat. Keep taut, but don’t pull too much. Try to keep the hair wound around the brush. To get maximum volume, you want to move the dryer rather than the brush. Continue until all sections are complete. On fine hair, you’ll want to pin each section for extra hold. Give a final dose of a light hair spray, let the sections cool, and rake your fingers through the style for a gorgeous sexy look.

Pretty ponytails are a gal’s best strategy for a lazy yet stylish day. They’re also a great second-day look for either of the above sets. To bring allure to your pony, pull it up high and sleek by using a flat bristle brush. (The more bristles, the better for a smoother finish.) Next, lace or tease your pony for added fullness. Spritz lightly with your favorite workable hair spray and you’re off to a fabulous day in a flash.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/SavchenkoJulia

7 Steps to Frizz-free Hair Forever

Frizz: It’s what turns a good hair day bad. A cheery mood sour. A casual glance in the mirror to reapply lipstick into a moment of tress distress. To manage frizz, you have to first understand why it happens and then learn how to beat it.

What Is Frizz?
Frizz happens when dry hair collides with humidity. Those parched, porous strands suck up the excess moisture in the air. As the strands swell, the outer layer (aka cuticle) of your hair lifts. The result: The smooth tresses you left home with this morning are now a ruffled, haywire mess. 

7 Steps to Frizz-free, Silky, Healthy Hair
Fighting stress means maintaining your hair in the best possible condition. Here are the seven elements of an anti-frizz defense.

1. Moisturize.
Frizz-free hair starts in the shower, with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Well-hydrated hair is less likely to absorb water from the humid air. Be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly to make sure the conditioning ingredients are distributed to every thirsty strand.

2. Dry your hair gently.
Gently blot your hair with a towel for two to three minutes. Don’t rub your hair vigorously or wrap it in a towel turban; both will disturb the hair cuticle. Next, detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb.

3. Heat-style the right way.
To minimize damage from hot tools, let your hair dry at least 50 percent before you use a blow dryer. During these 20 minutes or so, avoid touching your hair to keep that cuticle intact.

4. Use a heat-protectant product.
Apply a heat-protectant product before you use your blow dryer or any other hot tool.  Always use the nozzle on your dryer, and keep it pointed downward. Using a large natural-bristle round brush, dry your hair from roots to tips, one section at a time. Forget drying your tresses with your head flipped upside down, says Cheng Tan, a stylist who’s regularly backstage during New York Fashion Week shows. “That method just creates frizzies on the top layer of your hair,” she says.

5. Set your style with an anti-frizz hairspray.
This is especially important if you have thicker hair because the increased amount of protein in your sturdy locks makes them able to absorb 40 percent more moisture than fine hair.

6. Tame hairline flyaways on the fly.
If your hair is straight, lightly spritz a baby toothbrush with a shine spray, and skim over the fuzzy halo. Keep curly locks smooth by rubbing a pea-sized dab of an anti-frizz styling cream between your palms. Then gently run your palms over the surface of your hair.

7. Keep your hair healthy.
Regular trims and deep conditioning once a week will maintain your hair in tip-top shape -- your best guard against frizz. Remember to always handle your hair gently: Don’t brush it roughly or rip elastics out of your pony. Pampered hair will reward you with pouf-free beauty!

How do you keep your hair frizz-free? Tell us below or connect with us @TheStyleGlossy

Fabulous Winter Hair!

Baby, it’s cold outside! But here’s a thought to keep you warm: With a few easy tweaks to your daily hair care regimen, you can have beautiful shiny locks on even the chilliest days. 

Make no mistake, winter is trying on our tresses. “There’s no getting around it -- winter means dry flyaways,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, a dermatologist in New York City. “The cold, dry air outside and overheated rooms inside definitely makes hair dryer.”

That’s not all: Dry air also causes negative ions to build up on our hair and clothing. Touch a metal doorknob when you’ve just come in from the cold and you might feel a little shock. Take a look in the mirror, and you’ll experience a second shock: All those negative ions are causing your hair to stand on end. 

The best defense against static-y hair is moisture. “Water molecules neutralize the buildup of negative ions,” says Krant. Her advice: Shampoo your hair less frequently (say twice or three times a week instead of daily) and switch to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

Here are some other expert tips on how to have hot-looking hair even in winter:

1. Safeguard your hair against heat.
Always apply a heat-protective product before using any hot styling tool -- blow dryer, flatiron or curling iron. “I recommend using a heat protector year round, but it’s especially important in winter,” says Julia Papworth, a Hollywood stylist who has worked with celebs like Cameron Diaz, Rashida Jones and Sarah Silverman.  “Because your hair is already dry, hot tools can cause even more damage.”

In a pinch, a mist of light-hold hairspray will offer some protection. “You just want to be sure there’s something between the heat and your hair,” says Papworth.

2. Shampoo the roots; condition the ends.
Shampoo and condition your hair strategically, advises Cheng Tan, who created the “lived-in” hair look for the Rodarte runway show during the recent New York Fashion Week. Apply shampoo only to your roots -- that’s where the oil is -- and conditioner to the bottom two-thirds of your hair. (Hair is healthier at the roots.) “Picture your hair in a ponytail,” says Tan. “Condition what’s on top and shampoo what’s left in the pony.” 

3. Add a dry shampoo to your product regimen.  
Used every other day, it will help stretch the time between washings, says Tan. Plus, applied to clean hair, dry shampoo can make a blow dry last longer. Cutting down on the frequency of shampoo and the use of hot tools is a winter win-win.

4. Prevent hat hair.
Choose hats that don’t fit too snugly. A loose beanie will keep you warm and stylish. Another strategy: Pile you hair into a loose high bun before you put on your hat, suggests Papworth. When you take off the hat, undo the bun and run your fingers through your hair to pump up the volume. Short hair? Refresh you locks with a quick blast of dry shampoo. (Keep a travel-size bottle in your purse or office desk drawer.)

5. Switch to a silk pillowcase.
Cotton pillowcases absorb moisture, which is a good thing during steamy summer nights but a beauty sleep no-no when your locks are already dry. Silk or satin, says Tan, will do a better job of helping your hair retain moisture during the winter months. 

Shampoo Secrets

Take a stroll down the hair care aisle at your local drugstore and you'll find dozens of shampoos for every type of hair. “Not all shampoos are alike -- there really is a big difference between products designed for different hair types, or to achieve different looks," explains leading hair care research scientist Steve Shiel, a Pantene hair care expert who holds a doctorate in organometallic chemistry."Shampoos contain different types and levels of active ingredients, designed to provide conditioning, detangling, volume and many other benefits to get healthy hair."

Don’t simply reach for the prettiest bottle. Instead, think about both what type of hair you have -- fine, coarse, curly, color treated -- and what you are trying to achieve with your overall style.          

Thin, Fine Hair
Styling product residue, dirt from the environment and excess hair oils can easily weigh down thin, fine hair, causing your locks to appear limp and lifeless. A daily volumizing shampoo can do wonders, leaving hair clean while providing a thicker, fuller appearance. The weekly use of a clarifying shampoo will help you avoid excessive product buildup.

Thick Tresses
Thick hair can easily become dry and dull, so a moisturizing shampoo is essential for maintaining beautiful tresses. Go easy on the amount of shampoo you use; the size of a quarter is a good guideline since thick hair is very porous and easily absorbs products. To eliminate the buildup that often accompanies this absorbent hair type, use a clarifying shampoo once a week that is designed to remove residue.          

Curly Hair
Managing curly hair can be a challenge, especially since it has a tendency to look dry and dull. The first step to taming your curls is a gentle hydrating shampoo specially formulated for curly hair.

Make sure you also use the right shampooing technique. Squeeze about a quarter-size dollop of shampoo into your palms, and gently massage your scalp, never using your fingernails. Then, work the shampoo to the ends and rinse with cold water.

Colored or Highlighted Hair
Shampoos specifically designed for color-treated hair work to replenish the protective lipid layer on the hair shaft that is weakened by hair dye. Dr. D'Anne Kleinsmith, a dermatologist in West Bloomfield, Mich., suggests staying away from shampoos containing sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is used to create lather. “These sulfates can remove color more quickly than a sulfate-free shampoo,” she says.

Instead, opt for a color-enhancing shampoo, which can impart a little color between treatments. Be cautious when selecting the shade of your color shampoo, warns Claudio Lazo, owner of C the Salon in Studio City, Calif. A red stain on blond hair can turn your hair pink, and blond pigments on brown locks may yield lackluster results.

Now that you know how to pick the shampoo that’s right for you, here’s advice on how to use it.

Shampooing Tips
If you start your day with a grueling spinning class, you may want to shampoo daily. If, however, extending the life of a labor-intensive blowout is your goal, you’ll want to opt for a less-frequent shampoo schedule. Just be sure to wash your hair before it gets too dirty, as particles of grime can damage your hair during combing.

You don’t need to worry about harming your hair with daily washing. "Shampooing will not in itself damage the hair, since modern shampoos do not lift the cuticle," explains John Gray, author of The World of Hair Colour. "Harsh shampoos were used in the past, and acute and irreversible tangling or matting sometimes followed shampooing. This kind of matting is seldom seen nowadays, since most modern shampoos contain conditioning agents that protect hair."

When you are ready to lather up, focus first on the scalp, hairline, behind the ears and around the temple, because that's where the concentration of your hair's sebum -- or oils -- can be found. Then continue shampooing downward to prevent the hair cuticles from opening, which can cause split ends. Kleinsmith recommends shampooing with warm water, as hot water can be drying. And never pull, tug or scrub wet hair. Instead, use your fingertips to distribute the shampoo.

One application of shampoo is generally enough to remove oil, dirt and residue from the hair fiber. However, Shiel suggests that those who use a lot of styling products -- particularly waxes and pomades -- may want to rinse and repeat to reduce buildup.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/LeggNet

What Your Hair Says About You

Good things happen to women on their good hair days. 

That may sound silly, but think about it: Chances are you were feeling your most confident glowing self when you aced that job interview, flirted with a handsome guy (or two) at the supermarket, had a terrific time at a party or gave a smashing presentation at work.

In their book, The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful, Beverly Hills dermatologist Debra Luftman, MD, and Miami psychiatrist Eva Ritvo, MD, call this “the beauty-brain loop: ” When we feel physically attractive, we project a sense of self-assurance to the outside world. That confidence makes us even more beautiful, people respond to us more positively, and we take actions that help us achieve what we want.

And the first thing people notice about us: our hair, according to the authors. It not only shapes our inner sense of beauty but also the way people respond to us. We asked three women with common hair types how their hair makes them feel and what they do to reverse bad hair days.

Hair Type: Fine
“When my hair is flat and my ends are frayed, I feel invisible and I retreat,” says Laurie D., a 39-year-old dog groomer in Newport Beach, Calif. But “when my hair is blow-dried and polished, people look me in the eye. That makes me feel better about myself, and I’m definitely friendlier and more outgoing.”

Hair Rx: To keep fine hair looking its fullest and healthiest, do what Laurie does: Apply a deep conditioner every couple of weeks, put on a shower cap and run a dryer over your head for a few minutes. Laurie also uses a texturizing cream on her ends so they look defined rather than wilted.

Hair Type: Long and Thick
Tara K., a 30-year-old New Jersey lawyer, has the opposite problem: long hair so thick it easily looks too voluminous and unkempt. “I feel prettier when my hair is newly flatironed,” she says. “The angles are sharper, and it looks fresher.”

Hair Rx: To maintain a polished look, Tara chooses products formulated to smooth thick hair. She also minimizes damage from hot tools by always using a heat protectant when she styles her hair. “I spray it on each section right before I flatiron it,” says Tara. “That not only protects my hair, it also makes it easier to straighten, so I don’t have to do as many passes with the flatiron.”

Hair Type: Curly
For Linda U., a 44-year-old New Jersey schoolteacher, every day was a battle between her and her curly hair. “In the morning, I’d weigh my hair down with a ton of products,” she says, “but after a couple of hours it had frizzed and puffed up so much I felt too self-conscious to even go out and do my errands.” Even worse, her unruly hair undermined her feelings of authority as a teacher.

Hair Rx: Linda finally got the upper hand when she found a hairdryer with a rotating brush. It helped her achieve salon-like styling, and she began using a deep moisturizing treatment created for thick, curly hair like hers. “My hair used to look like a horse’s mane,” she says. “Now it feels soft and has lots of luster.” That, in turn, has helped Linda feel “more put together and professional,” when she’s standing in front of her class and meeting with parents.

Taking extra steps to make our hair, as well as our skin, look its best isn’t a superficial pursuit, the authors of The Beauty Prescription conclude. When you feel good about the way you look, you turn on an inner light that changes how you move through the world and how people react to you. So, take some advice from Laurie, Tara and Linda, and the beauty buddies in your own life, and shine on.

How does your hair make you feel every day? Talk about it below or @TheStyleGlossy

Photo: Corbis Images