Turbocharged Hair in Minutes

Haven't we all fantasized about long, luscious locks or a healthy, shiny head of hair worth getting cast in a shampoo commercial?

Good news! Gorgeous hair is achievable -- on a daily basis. With a few tips to incorporate into your routine, a great coif can even be achieved within minutes. Your guide to a well-managed mane starts here.

Frizz Control
“It turns out that for hair, friction is a major issue,” says Bharat Bhushan, a professor who specializes in nanotibology (the measurement of very small things). He and his team of researchers conducted a comprehensive study of human hair on the nanometer level. They discovered that daily activities, such as brushing, washing and drying induce friction. Over time, this constant rubbing causes wear and tear on the tresses.

“In healthy hair, the cuticle edges lay flat against the hair shaft. As hair gets damaged from chemical treatments or wear and tear, the cuticle edges begin to peel away from the shaft,” writes Pam Frost Gorder in the article on Bhushan’s findings, “Nanotechnology Confronts The ‘Bad Hair Day,’ Tests New Conditioner.” “When damaged hair is exposed to humidity, the hairs plump up and the cuticles stick out even further, leading to frizz.”

Find the right conditioner: It will evenly coat strands from root to tip. This will definitely shave off styling minutes when you try to smoothen strands before heading out.

Custom Cleaning
Well-conditioned wisps start in the shower. Depending on your hair type, shopping for the right shampoo also helps prep locks for optimum styling. Steer clear of older formulas, which strip natural oils and leave strands extra-stringy. New good-for-you shampoos not only gently cleanse your hair, but are also nontoxic to the environment.

In terms of choosing the right wash for your hair structure, pay attention to the shampoo labels. For fine, limp hair, go for a volumizing formula that gives extra bounce even with minimal styling. For curly locks, opt for a rich, conditioning formula that combats frizz and leaves ringlets (or waves) soft and shiny. If dandruff is a concern, switch to a specialized, medicated shampoo until flakes disappear or lessen noticeably, and then start using any of the new gentle formulas mentioned above.

Tools Assessment
The brushes, hair dryer, rollers and other styling tools you use also contribute to how quickly you can get out the door. Check your styling stash: Do you have the appropriate brushes, and do they have to be cleaned? Is your dryer powerful enough? (Also check for a “cool boost” button.) How long have you had your flatiron? (The newer ceramic ones are gentler on hair.) Staying updated on the newest styling technology saves you time and effort when it comes to keeping your crowning glory in its best shape.

Styling 101
Salon pros dip into their styling bag of tricks, especially when entertaining multiple clients or are working in fashion shows, where time is of the essence. Here are some of their strategies that you too can employ:

  • Stand tall. Some pros ask their clients to remain standing for the first few minutes of cutting hair, to ensure straight lines and accurate angles. For at-home styling, standing up versus sitting down makes you work faster. You can also move around this way with ease and reach for styling products and brushes.
  • Go for the flip. When blow-drying hair, bend forward and aim the nozzle toward roots while tousling hair with hands. This is one of the fastest ways to achieve volume without having to meticulously divide hair and blow-dry in sections.
  • Mix and match. While you don’t need every product available, it’s good to be strategic with what you use. From shine serums and volumizing mousses to sculpting gels and mouldable waxes, find your perfect styling combo and enjoy fab-looking tresses.