How to Get the Hair You've Always Dreamed Of

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Volume: Can Ya Give Me a Lift?

When the subject is hair, fat equals happy. "The quest for volume starts with the right products," says Steven Dillon of New York's Pierre Michel Salon. First, he advises, find a volumizing shampoo that also removes buildup (which weighs hair down). Next, apply a bite-size bit of thickening mousse or spray to plump up hair cuticles and give your style hold and height. Vavoom celebrity stylist Mark Townsend (who rules the big-bodied waves of Penélope Cruz) believes it's all about the blowdry, "since so many styling products are heat-activated." Flip your hair over and dry the undersides of your strands. Then flip up and finish styling with a big round brush. We've also seen stylists at many photo shoots cheat a little by throwing in a few Velcro rollers while the model's hair is still warm from blowdrying — works wonders. If you're still volume-challenged, Dillon thinks your haircut may be to blame. "Consider something chopped at the collarbone or above, with layers longer in front," he advises. "This look never falls flat."

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Health: The Well-Fed Head

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Since survival is about adapting to the environment, by now, hair should be extinct. For while we embrace 21st-century techniques — coloring, perming, and heat-styling — the strand itself hasn't evolved (it's still the fragile fiber it's always been). Unless we protect it from modern processing, it will perish — or at least look like death. "The secret to healthy hair is feeding the follicles," explains celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi (who has coiffed Tom, Katie, and Suri!). Use a protein-rich shampoo every other day, he suggests, to avoid depriving strands of the scalp's natural oils. The protein will also increase hair's elasticity, adds Trevor Attenborough of Nioxin, "so it's better equipped to withstand the elements." Once a month, indulge in an exfoliating scalp treatment to encourage healthy hair growth — and, daily, eat foods (or take a supplement) rich in zinc (fish and nuts), vitamin C (citrus), and iron (spinach) to build strength.

Shine: The Gleam Machine

Want shiny movie-star hair? Think like a Hollywood lighting director and create a light-reflecting surface — which is exactly what the outer layer of hair is when "flattened." (It's no coincidence shampoo-commercial hair is typically pin-straight.) Says Edward Tricomi of the Warren-Tricomi Salon, "Naturally, start with a shine-enhancing shampoo, but then be sure to rinse with cold water — as cold causes everything to constrict." Also, blot hair dry with a towel, as rubbing will "rough up" the strands. Natural-bristle brushes work best at distributing the scalp's oil throughout the hair. Some great luxury home remedies include sleeping on silk pillowcases and "polishing" your hair root-to-tip with a silk scarf.

Color: Hues Clues

Asking your colorist to read your mind when it comes to color is a losing game. Michael Murphy of New York's NAO Salon & Spa urges clients to bring in photos. "Even to show us colors you don't want," he says. "People define 'gold' differently: Are you talking Meg Ryan's or Ivanka Trump's?" Of course, with so many variations of blonde, brown, and red available, how's a girl to choose? Andrew Bartfield, VP of education at L'Oréal Professionnel, says opt for a shade that brings out your eye color rather than your complexion. "Eyes don't change with the seasons, like skin tone often does." Then, to keep the hue, use color-enhancing shampoos and conditioners (but limit to three times a week) — and never rinse with very hot water as it may loosen pigment molecules from freshly colored hair.

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