50 Best Hairstyle Secrets

Get Your Best Hair Ever

December 27, 2008 10:19 AM
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hairstyle secrets
Fabio Pettinari
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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.

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.

Hairstyle Secrets

Create lustrous waves by dampening your hair, then smoothing it with a dryer and a round brush. Once it's straight, use a large curling iron to create loose spirals at your ends. We recommend more tools here.
hairstyle secrets
Olivia Graham
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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!

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.
Ben Goldstein
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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.

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.
Greg Delves
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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.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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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.
Ben Goldstein
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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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Hairstyle Secrets

Is your hair volume-less? The solution could be as easy as a trip to your stylist. If your hair just sits there, even after you've blown it dry, set it, or curled it, at the very least get a trim. Are you due for a hair makeover? Find out here.
Greg Delves
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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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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.
Joshua Jordan
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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.
Jesse Frohman
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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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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.

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.

Greg Delves
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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.
Ben Goldstein
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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!
Greg Delves
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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.
Ralph Mecke
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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.
Ben Goldstein
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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.
Greg Delves
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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.

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!

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.
Fabio Pettinari
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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.

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.

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.

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.
Ben Goldstein
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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.
Jesse Frohman
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Hairstyle Secrets

For short hair, keep a sleek bob looking chic by going in for frequent bang trims. Use an antifrizz serum before drying hair so it doesn't get too bushy. Who says short hair isn't sexy? We show you the right way to style your short crop.
Ralph Mecke
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Hairstyle Secrets

Create vintage waves. Curl 1-inch sections of hair with a curling iron, then roll them in a forward direction; pull out the curls using a round brush and a blow-dryer. Get Hollywood hair for your special occasions.
Getty Images
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Hairstyle Secrets

Get the perfect blow-out: Use your hands instead of a brush as you blow-dry, alternately going with the way hair grows and against it to maximize volume. Keep going until hair is mostly dry, but not completely — about three-quarters of the way. See more tips on perfecting the art of the blow-out here.
Olivia Graham
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Hairstyle Secrets

Keep a cute clip on hand for occasions when you have to look pulled-together fast. Tease the top of your hair, then use the clip to secure the rest in a messy knot. Find out where to buy the hottest hair accessories here.

Hairstyle Secrets

Get runway hair in 45 minutes: First, coat hair with thickening spray and blow-dry. Then, curl hair away from the face. After curling, wind hair up into pin curls and let cool. Brush waves, apply styling cream to ends, and then set with hair spray. See more hair action at New York's Fashion Week.
Sarah McColgan
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Hairstyle Secrets

When the subject is hair, fat equals happy. Use a volumizing shampoo. Next, apply a bit of thickening mousse to give your style hold and height. Flip your hair over and dry the undersides of your strands. Then flip up and finish styling with a big, round brush. Click here to learn how to get more volume in seconds.
Greg Delves
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Hairstyle Secrets

Use photos when getting your hair colored — even pics of colors you don't want. 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. Learn more tips to achieve your best possible hair.
Jesse Frohman
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Hairstyle Secrets

When you go to a new salon, treat it like a first date. If it's the first time you're seeing a stylist, dress up a little. This allows the stylist to get a sense of your personal style, so he can give you a cut that works with it. Read up on conversation topics to avoid on your first salon trip, and other salon etiquette tips here.
Fabio Pettinari
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Hairstyle Secrets

Want a minimal-upkeep style? Unlike heavily layered 'dos, close-to-one-length hairstyles require fewer trips to the salon. They also let you fret less about styling, since you won't have to contend with any wayward layers. Do more with fewer beauty steps.
Greg Delves
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Hairstyle Secrets

To boost limp locks, wrap 1-inch sections of hair around hot rollers, securing about an inch from the scalp. Once the curlers have cooled, remove and gently break up the curls with your fingers. Finish with a light misting of hair spray. Discover more pro tools, and how to use them!
Dimitrios Kambouris
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Hairstyle Secrets

Want to camouflage a prominent nose? Spray your roots with volumizer, then lightly tease the hair at your crown to draw the eye upward — and balance your features. Learn how to play up other features. It's all in the haircut.

Hairstyle Secrets

Do less, look better! Save time in the shower by skipping the supersuds routine. Shampoo just your scalp: Apply a dime-size amount of shampoo to your scalp, quickly massage, then rinse. The water will pull the shampoo through the rest of your hair and remove any grime. Other time-savers can be found here.

Hairstyle Secrets

To hold on to hair color for longer, never rinse with very hot water as that may loosen pigment molecules from freshly colored hair. The secret to your perfect hair color? It's not your skin tone. Find out what to match your strands to.
Ben Goldstein
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Hairstyle Secrets

Get expensive-looking hair by using simple, chic accessories. You'd never find a scrunchie on a socialite's strands! If you're going to wear your hair up or back, invest in a hair accessory that's leather, suede, or laden with jewels — materials that say, "This cost some cash." Discover other ways to make hair look more posh.
Ben Goldstein
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Hairstyle Secrets

To add some curl to your straight strands, start with volumizing mousse on towel-dried hair. Blow-dry your hair with a paddle brush, and then roll it, setting each curl with a spritz of hair spray. After taking out the rollers, toss and scrunch hair for a natural look. Click here for more ways to get the perfect curls.

Hairstyle Secrets

Is your hair aging you? An updated style will help you look forever young. For example, a long style transformed into a cute bob, à la Katie Holmes, keeps you looking fresh and youthful. See what works and what doesn't on famous faces.
Ralph Mecke
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Hairstyle Secrets

Get the perfect blowout... Don't try to blow-dry sections of hair that are more than an inch thick — the hot air will not be able to pass through. Opt for small sections and be sure to dry each thoroughly before moving on. Get more tips for the perfect straight style here.
Erin Toland
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Hairstyle Secrets

Change requires courage, and when you're embracing a drastic change in your look, you want to fall in love with the results. Make sure you bring a photo to the salon to help your stylist understand what you are looking for. Follow a Marie Claire staffer as she has her long hair chopped into a bob.
Ralph Mecke
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Hairstyle Secrets

For long, cascading curls, wash and deep-condition so you get a healthy shine. Dry hair with a round brush, then use a large curling iron and, alternating 2-inch sections, roll hair around the barrel in one direction and then again in the other to create a ripple effect. Find more 30-minute styles here.
Ben Goldstein
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Hairstyle Secrets

Frustrated that your straightened hair starts curling up before you have your morning latte? Look for styling products that don't list water as one of the first five ingredients. Adding moisture to your hair after straightening will make it curl. Even straight hair requires some work to look sleek. Here is a list of products that you need to achieve a chic straight look.