50 Hairstyle DON'Ts and DOs

Real women turn celebrity hair disasters into smash-hit styles.

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September 13, 2010 2:59 PM
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cameron diaz with black bob
James Devaney
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't go too dark. We usually love Cameron's casual blonde bob, but her light skin and blue eyes look washed out with this too-harsh dark dye.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Find a darker hue that flatters. If you have lighter features and want to go darker, go for a medium or dark brown instead of black. To get this style, roughly dry hair on a medium heat without applying any product beforehand. After hair is dry, add a dry spray wax and work through hair until you get that perfect unwashed look, and add a teensy bit of shine just to your bangs.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
DRY SPRAY WAX like Short Sexy Hair Play Dirty Dry Wax, $18.95.
James Devaney
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CELEBRITY MISS

Forget trying to pull off hair accessories the size of your head. Paris Hilton's Christmas wreath is a big don't, no matter what time of year.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Add some flavor with a whimsical accessory pinned right over your part — but keep it small and subtle. To get this look, use a straightening iron to get hair to lie flat against your head. Make a deep side part and pull hair back into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. Fasten in a loop so the ends stick out and mist the entire style with shine spray.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
FLAT IRON like Hot Tools Flat Iron, $39.99.

CELEBRITY MISS

Avoid overdoing the volume. Pamela Anderson channels Amy Winehouse with her over-the-top teased tresses.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Focus on your bangs for volume and height that's chic, not cheesy. Run a styling cream through bangs and dry immediately, pulling the brush down and to the side as you go. Comb an anti-frizz through your hair. Blow-dry sections in back with a round brush to smooth out the look. Then, dry the front pieces by combing them through with your fingers so you get that great, sexy wave.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
STYLING CREAM like Rusk Str8 Lotion, $10.95.

CELEBRITY MISS

Never have two completely different textures compete with each other on top of your head, like Vanessa Williams' identity crisis style.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Play with texture in a natural way by not curling or straightening any distinct sections. To get this look, apply a hair mask in the shower for a strong dose of hydration. Detangle with a wide-tooth comb in the shower, and work a mixture of shine glaze and leave in conditioner through wet hair. Let it air dry.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
HAIR MASK like Alberto VO5 Hot Oil Treatment, $3.89.
Jean Baptiste Lacroix
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't fry hair into a helmet. Too much hair dye and not enough product makes for a frizzy, unflattering crop on Rumer Willis.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Always make friends with a rich conditioner and styling products that add shine and moisture. Run a cocktail of styling cream and gel through damp hair. If you can stand it, let your hair air-dry. Otherwise, use a small round brush to smooth out the very front sections, then blow-dry brush-free on a very low setting.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
STYLING CREAM like Rusk Str8 Lotion, $10.95.
Chris Weeks
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CELEBRITY MISS

Keep one-length hair from getting stiff. Tori Spelling's one-color bob lacks shine and movement, making it look unhealthy.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Give hair some life with texture and shine. Work a texture cream through the ends of your hair. Take a flat iron and use a little heat at the roots so everything is straight and shiny. Use a small curling iron on the ends to make them flip up a bit so you get a different sort of texture. Finish with a shine serum.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
TEXTURE CREAM like Sexy Hair Concepts Short Sexy Hair Slept-In Texture Cream, $15.99.
Shawn Ehlers
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't forgo styling on your quest for hippie-casual waves. Leelee Sobieski's second-day hair is in desperate need of color maintenance and some TLC.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Get the slept-in effect that's still soft and flattering with a little hairspray and heat. Flip your head over and spray with a fine-mist aerosol spray that boasts moveability. Still keeping your head upside down, grab your dryer and give already-dry hair a shot of heat to reactivate the leftover product from the day before. Use a tiny bit of styling wax to define a few pieces in front.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
STYLING WAX like Bumble & Bumble Sumo Wax, $28.
Jamie McCarthy
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CELEBRITY MISS

Why fight your curls? Keri Russell's signature look-at-me curls are pinned back here in a half-wavy, half-straight wallflower style.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Remember to keep curls polished with a spray leave-in conditioner. For a pulled-back style, rake hair back with your fingers to create lift and fasten loosely with a small claw clip, not an elastic. Finger-twirl a few of the loose pieces for extra polish.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
SPRAY LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER like Alterna Hemp Spray Leave-In Conditioner, $20.
Jeffrey Mayer
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CELEBRITY MISS

Never follow in Nicolette Sheridan's footsteps with bangs that have grown out past your eyes.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Grow out bangs in style by flat-ironing them so that they fall off to the side and stay that way. Dry hair with a round brush-use a big dollop of smoothing styling créme to tame frizzies without greasiness.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
FLAT-IRON SPRAY like FX Flat Iron Spray, $5.99.

CELEBRITY MISS

Don't wear an informal ponytail to a formal occasion. Sheryl Crow's casual style is more fitting for spin class than for the red carpet.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Keep a slighty-messy updo looking chic with a low, textured ponytail. Spritz hair with spray gel and rake fingers through hair. Gather hair in a low ponytail at the nape of the neck, securing with a small elastic. Then twist the hair, secure the impromptu chignon with large bobby pins, allowing the ends to stick out. Pull a few pieces out in front if you want a slightly more undone appearance.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
SPRAY GEL like Matrix Biolage Bodifying Spray Gel, $16.99.
Jeffrey Mayer
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CELEBRITY MISS

Never slap on messy hair extensions like Britney Spears did after her infamous head shave if your hair is going through growing pains.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Always grin and bear it if your short hair isn't long enough for natural-looking extensions. In the meantime, try this quick but polished updo for short hair. Grab a handful of bobby pins and take little sections of hair and twist them back leaving the ends sticking out so you get a messy chignon effect. Finish with a fine mist of hairspray to keep everything in place.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
VOLUMIZER like TREsemmé Volume Big Boost European Root Lift Spray, gives you instant oomph. $4.69.
Jim Spellman
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CELEBRITY MISS

Tan skin with white-blonde hair — like Brooke Hogan's — never looks natural and overdoing the bleach leaves hair dry and unhealthy.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Rock a beach bum look by using a brightening shampoo to bring out your highlights, instead of dyeing hair a one-tone blonde. After towel-drying hair, spritz root to end with a salt spray to create natural, surfer-girl style. Dab a little leave-in conditioner on the ends if they start to look fried or dry/dull.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
BLONDE SHAMPOO like John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo, $6.49
Marc Grimwade
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CELEBRITY MISS

Go easy on teasing when it comes to your mane. The extra volume can leave hair looking damaged and unhealthy, like Tara Reid's 'do.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Reach for the mousse. Use a volume mousse right at the roots and dry hair with a nozzle attachment to focus air right at the roots. Drop the brush and shake out your hair as you dry so you get extra oomph all over.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
VOLUME MOUSSE like TIGI Catwalk Extra Strong Mousse, $12.
Jim Spellman
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CELEBRITY MISS

Never let short hair hang lifelessly. A short cut can be sexy, but without proper styling and products, straight hair cropped short like Renee Zelwegger's won't do anything for you.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Always pump up the volume. Start with a volumizing shampoo to get some life in your locks. Run a mousse through your roots and blow-dry while running your fingers through your hair. Use a nozzle attachment to focus air right at the roots for extra lift.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
VOLUMIZING SHAMPOO like Pureology Volume Shampoo, $26.

CELEBRITY MISS

Never pair overly-done, thick curls with a half-up, half-down style. Jennifer Lopez's hair overwhelms the rest of her, and you can practically still see the barrel of the curling iron in those ringlets.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Use a super-moisturizing shampoo — thick, textured hair needs more moisture than most. Run a curl cream through your damp and newly hydrated locks, and use a diffuser on medium heat to kick-start the drying. Diffuse until hair is half-dry. Once hair is dry, go back in and use a large-barrel curling iron on three or four two-inch sections.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
CURL CREAM like MOP C Curl Curl Defining Cream, $14.95.
Eamonn McCormack
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't let frizz get out of control if you're going for a bedhead look like Mary Kate Olsen — without the right product, it'll look messy, not intentional.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Start by finger-combing through dry hair to get a little volume and separation. Mist hair with spray gel to give separation, texture and hold, and pull one side loosely back, keeping hair in front of your ear.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
ANTI FRIZZ like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Cream, $5.99.
John Shearer
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CELEBRITY MISS

Avoid breaking up a natural dark mane with orange chunks. Bai Ling's rich black haircolor looks scary, not sultry, with rust-colored stripes.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Use a color-enhancing shampoo to keep dark locks glossy, and keep hair dye and highlights within two shades of your natural color. Use an anti-frizz serum before drying hair so hair doesn't get too bushy.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
COLOR ENHANCING SHAMPOO like Ultimate Brunette Shampoo with Vibrant ColorComplex, $4.99.
Chris Pizzello
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't forget to tame flyaways and frizz if you're sporting a sleek, straight style. Jennifer Aniston's silky strands could use a dab of product at the crown.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Keep her smooth with shine serum. Make a strong middle part while hair is damp and dry hair on a cool setting. Then, methodically flat iron one-inch sections from root to tip. Run the shine serum through your hair, using your palms to really smooth down any flyaways at the roots.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
FLAT-IRON LOTION like Got2B Flat Iron and Blow Dry Lotion, $5.99.
Danny Martindale
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CELEBRITY MISS

Skip going overboard with your updo. Amy Winehouse's signature beehive seems to be growing exponentially. It may work for her, but this birds' nest should not see the light of day in the real world.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Try out a funky style. To get this look, blow-dry hair with a vent brush and then run a flat iron over one-inch sections, flipping the ends up slightly. Take a section of hair a few inches back from your hairline, spray with a setting spray, and roll the section forward over a round brush to make a clean loop of hair. Tuck the ends under and fasten securely with bobby pins.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
SHINE SPRAY like TIGI Bedhead Headrush Shine Spray, $15.29.
Gregg DeGuire
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't overdose on products. Demi Moore's look falls flat — even the best LBD can't save a ho-hum ponytail paired with greasy strands.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Always disguise unwashed hair with this style. Spray some dry shampoo at the roots to sop up excess oil. Work it through the ends as well to add volume. Pull hair half back, keeping hair loose for a softer, less-extreme style. Rewet and dry bangs to freshen everything up.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
DRY SHAMPOO like Klorane Gentle Shampoo With Oat Milk, $11.
Eugene Gologursky
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CELEBRITY MISS

Never let bangs grow wild. Is that Elle McPherson under there? If you're going to cut thick, bold bangs, make sure you keep up with your trim appointments. A couple of millimeters can make or break this look.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Remember to keep bangs looking healthy with regular trim and plenty of shine. To get this look, start with your bangs and spray them down with a little water mixed with leave-in conditioner. Dry them using a small round brush so you get a little oomph right at the ends. Spritz with shine spray.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER like Alberto VO5 Detangle & Shine Restoring Daily Leave-in Conditioner, $3.99.
Jamie McCarthy
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CELEBRITY MISS

Don't paint on obvious highlights. Fergie's blonde streaks are anything but d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Keep highlights looking natural by placing them where the sun would naturally hit, like around your face instead of perfectly-spaced around your entire head. Bring attention to them by blow-drying while raking fingers through your hair. Make a side part and take a section on one side of the part. Backcomb it to create height and then push the hair forward to create a "bump." Secure with bobby pins.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
VOLUME SHAMPOO like Neutrogena Clean Volumizing Shampoo, $3.79.

CELEBRITY MISS

Never make extensions obvious with a dramatic color difference between your natural hair and the fake piece. Eve's mane would look glam if it weren't for the blonde tail.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Take advantage of your endless mane, whether it's fake or all natural. Go for loose, glossy waves by blow-drying well-conditioned hair with a round brush. Take the sides and back of your hair and roll them up using large hot rollers. Mist with setting spray and take out after only two to three minutes so hair doesn't look too done.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
HOT ROLLERS like Conair Instant Head Hair Setters, $29.99.

CELEBRITY MISS

Never attempt to snip hair yourself — Courtney Love's too-short bangs have a DIY feel to them. If you're going for short, uneven bangs, they're best left to a professional, especially for the first cut.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Why not play up choppy bangs with lots of texture? Apply a texture spray to damp hair. Roughly blow-dry, working hair through your hands. Take a mini flat iron and straighten sections for definition and shine.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
TEXTURE SPRAY like GHD Sea Spray for Waves, $24.

CELEBRITY MISS

Never let your crop veer into dangerous business in the front, party in the back territory like Scarlett Johansson.
Ben Goldstein
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REAL HIT

Always accessorize. If your hair tends to get frizzy at the roots and flip out at the ends, use that to your advantage and rock a hat, keeping all the visible style in your ends. Take a large dollop of mousse and run it through towel-dried hair. Roughly dry your whole head with a blow dryer. Take a small-barrel curling iron and define face-framing bits.

MARIE CLAIRE RECOMMENDS
MOUSSE like Joico Firmwhip Design Foam, $16.

Celebrity Style Flops
What were they thinking? Stars' most famous red carpet style missteps.