50 Best Hairstyle Secrets

How to get healthy hair, and tips for your best hairstyles and hair colors.

hairstyle secrets
Get Your Best Hair Ever
1 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Get your best hair color: Use your current color (even if it's dyed) as a gauge when selecting your formula — and never lighten or darken your hair more than two shades at one time. Read the 10 commandments of sinfully rich hair color.
Fabio Pettinari
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2 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Eat for healthy hair! The best follicle fuel? Omega-3 fatty acids (found in cold-water fish like salmon) and protein (think nuts and cheese), says Oz Garcia, a nutritionist in New York City. More tips about how to keep your hair at its healthiest here.
Dan Lecca
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3 of 50
Hairstyle Handbook

Use a small curling iron (holding it parallel to your head) and wrap small sections (about an inch) around the barrel for a glam, '40s look.

Do your entire head, curling all the way up on one side of the part. Vary how much curl you get on the other side so you leave a bit of super-smooth roots on one side.

Spray your whole head with a setting spray and a bit of shine spray when you're done.


MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS

SMALL CURLING IRON like Revlon Studio 35 Professional Styling Iron, $6.99.

SHINE SPRAY like Sunsilk ThermaShine Detangling Shine Spray, $4.49.

SHINE SERUM like Motions At-Home Salon Smoothing Shine Serum, $5.99.

Ben Goldstein
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4 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Never made it home last night? Liberate yourself from the notion that you can't use your guy's products. Men's products tend to be formulated for superior hold anyway, so you can get some high-style looks. Find out how to look good even while being bad!
Olivia Graham
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5 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Go glam and gorgeous. A combination of blow-drying and air-drying creates a great, balanced style. Use a little straightening balm and blow-dry heavier bangs so they lie straight. Find out how to tame your hair in just a few minutes.
Dan Lecca
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6 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
If you straighten your curly hair, a silicone serum is the key to prolonging the straight look. Lightly apply a dime-size amount, focusing mostly on the ends, after you blow-dry and flat-iron hair straight. Should you flat-iron or blow-dry? Find out why you should do both.
Ben Goldstein
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7 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Control those hair impulses! Before dyeing your blonde locks black, use modern technology to see how you'll look with that color. Upload your photo and try on a style at the virtual hair salon.
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8 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
For the sleekest results on any tress type, use a 1500- to 1800-watt hair dryer when styling; anything less powerful allows your cuticles to curl up while you're blow-drying. See our best hair-straightening tips here.
Greg Delves
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9 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Do your hair in five minutes: Spritz a leave-in conditioner mist on dry hair. Then tame flyaways with an antifrizz serum — work it through your hair and scrunch. Finally, use a little mousse on the ends to keep them looking healthy. Got less than 15 minutes to style your hair this morning? Try our fast and easy styles for curly girls.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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10 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
A half-up, half-down hairstyle complements any hair type. Use the ends of your eyebrows as a guide and pull up hair from each end of your forehead. Bring hair up to the top of your head and secure it with a barrette. Finish it off with a light spritz of hair spray. Add texture to your style with the help of some velcro rollers. We'll show you how to do it, step by step.
Ben Goldstein
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11 of 50
Hairstyle Handbook
Thick wavy hair will give you that incredible, movie-star bounce-and-gleam if you get long layers cut.

Combine leave-in conditioner and styling cream for the perfect balance of hydration and control, comb through damp hair and air-dry.

Rub a little shine serum in your palms and gather hair like you're making a ponytail so you evenly coat every strand.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER like Paul Mitchell Original The Conditioner, $16.

STYLING CREAM like Philip B Crème of the Crop Finishing Crème, $25.

SHINE GLAZE like Pantene Pro-V Smooth and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum, $6.49.
Ben Goldstein
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12 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Is blonde right for you? Yes, if you were blonde(ish) as a child. If your hair was fair when you were small, especially by summer's end, you probably have the right skin tone to pull off blonde as an adult. Not sure which color you should go for? Find your best hair color here.
Greg Delves
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13 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Try a fun bun! Moving a messy bun from the back of your head to the side instantly upgrades your whole look. Mist dry hair with spray gel to give it some hold. Next, brush all your hair to one side, pile it in one hand, and twist until it folds up into a chignon. Slide in bobby pins. Discover other ways to style a long, layered cut.
Greg Delves
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14 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
For maximum oomph while you blow-dry, lift sections of hair toward the sky, directing hot air at your scalp. This "cooks" the roots and dries them in an upright and lifted position. It's back: big, sexy, full-body hair. Here, the pros reveal their top tress-transforming tricks.
Joshua Jordan
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15 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Trimming your bangs doesn't have to end in tears. Start with clean, dry hair, styled as you usually wear it, and gently grasp a section of hair between your fingers (don't pull!). If your bangs go straight across, keep your fingers horizontal. If they are slanted, your fingers should be too. Here, more tips on trimming your bangs.
Jesse Frohman
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16 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Disguise damaged hair with the right tool. Grab 2-inch-wide sections of hair midshaft with a flatiron that has rounded plates. Quickly drag the iron to the ends, slightly turning your wrist as you go. This will give the hair a slightly tousled, wavy effect — which minimizes the look of frazzled ends. More of Marie Claire's favorite tools here.
Jesse Frohman
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17 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets

Nothing takes the sheen off shiny brunette strands faster than dousing them with hair spray. If you must shellac, follow with a spritz of shine serum. Find out what the most common at-home hair-coloring mistake is, and how to avoid it.

Don Flood
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18 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Ever wonder how celebs attain their great-looking, full locks? We have one word for you: extensions. We recommend: Hairdo Clip-In from Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves, $85 to $95 for synthetic, $500 for natural. Make extensions look natural.
Greg Delves
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19 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
To get curly hair under control, deep-condition at least once a week and stick to minimal shampooing. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle hair while still in the shower. Cocktail some leave-in conditioner and antifrizz and run through wet hair. Allow it to air-dry so you get smooth, well-behaved curls. Learn how to train your curly hair with our Hairstyle Handbook!
Ben Goldstein
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20 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
To achieve high-wattage shine, wash your hair the night before and then let it air-dry. Hair is much stronger when it's naturally dried; plus, your scalp's own oils are better than any product. Get Ken Paves' secret weapon against flyaways, and other must-have hair products here.
Greg Delves
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21 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Sometimes, you just know you need to revamp your look. To update a long curtain of hair, have your stylist take off some length, chop in shorter layers, and cut long, side-swept bangs. Find out how to tell if you need a new look.
Ralph Mecke
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22 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
How to wear the classic bob: Make sure your ends reach your shoulders (if your hair is curly, they should fall just past your shoulders to compensate for shrinkage). Have your stylist lightly razor the tips so that they flip a bit. What you don't want: the blunt-cut, overly "round" bob favored by your local weatherwoman. The three classic haircuts anyone can wear.
Ben Goldstein
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23 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
If you usually put your hair up, avoid huge accessories and overly curly updos (you'll look like Shirley Temple). If you leave it down, avoid overstraightening (the "Cher hair" trend has passed) and bad texture. Find out more updo and downdo do's and don'ts.
Greg Delves
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24 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Keep your hair young by chemically processing as infrequently as possible, and avoiding anything that pulls on it, such as tight rollers, ponytails, weaves, and braids. Not only can they cause breakage, but they can destroy your roots permanently, rendering them unable to produce hair. Score instantly younger-looking strands!
Pidjoe
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25 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Want to go red? If your strands are very dry or damaged, they will have a hard time holding on to small, red-color molecules. Your mane has a better chance of becoming radiant red if it is well cared for (read: you deep-condition weekly, get regular trims, and don't heat-style every day). Learn how to pick the right red for your skin tone.
Dan Lecca
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26 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
If you get a major haircut, don't assume the old shade will work well with your new 'do. Most of the time, hair color should be inversely proportional to length — i.e., short blonde hair can go lighter and brighter, while longer blondes look better warmer and deeper. Get a no-fail strategy for making your hair color last longer and stay truer.
Fabio Pettinari
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27 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Want a sexy low ponytail? Use a volumizing spray on wet hair, then blow-dry. Brush hair back and tie with a thin elastic, wrapping a quarter-inch thick piece of your hair around the elastic. Finish off the look by spritzing some hair spray on your fingers and patting down flyaways. Watch our step-by-step videos on how to get the same polished style with a high ponytail.
Dan Lecca
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28 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Going from light to dark? Change your makeup, too. Smoky eyes work well with dark, dramatic hair color. Read one woman's story about going from blonde to brown.
Don Flood
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29 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
Get a gorgeous up-do. Gather hair at the nape and twist upward toward your crown. Slip a few bobby pins into the sides to secure the strays. Off to work? Paper clips can get the job done, too. Want shiny, movie-star hair? We tell you how to get it.
Dan Lecca
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30 of 50
Hairstyle Secrets
For African-American hair, try a leave-in conditioner and a strong-hold gel for the perfect mix of control and conditioning. Rake the products through damp hair with a wide-tooth comb. Scrunch hair to add volume. Once hair has air-dried, use a serum to touch up any frizz or flyaways. Get real tips for African-American hair from real women here.
Ben Goldstein
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