How Hollywood Stars Keep Their Hair From Getting Destroyed

Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin spills their secrets.

How Hollywood Stars Keep Their Hair From Getting Destroyed
(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

Isn't it ironic that Hollywood stars epitomize hair goals, yet break every rule in the book...daily. Hot tools. Constant dye jobs. Elaborate hairstyles. Tons of products. All this, with nary a split end in sight. It's infuriating and such a conundrum to us, that we had to get to the bottom of it. And who better to give us and education than celebrity hairstylist and OUAI (pronounced "way") Haircare founder Jen Atkin. Here, the Kardashian confidante lays down the law of inducing hair envy while keeping the health of your strands 💯.

They take their hair regimens seriously—and stick to 'em

"Stars in Hollywood know that looking good is part of their career, so they take their beauty regime very seriously and never skimp on taking care of themselves," explains Atkin. If you want your mane to stack up, you've got to put in the time—and that's where the art of multi-tasking comes into play. (Conditioning treatments and Netflix binges FTW).

They take vitamins, because it all starts *within*

Supplements will improve things dramatically, especially for hair that's regularly heat styled and processed. "Popping vitamins ensures scalp health, allowing it to grow in faster, thicker, and healthier," she explains. Hair-specific vitamins—Atkin has formulated hew own for OUAI—can also address problems like oily scalp, thinning hair, and dry strands.

They subscribe to the hair #maskforce

"While most stars need to be made up in hair and makeup most days, they spend their off days allowing their hair to soak up a hair mask ," she explains. These deep conditioners (like the OUAI Treatment Mask) are designed to combat the damage of constant heat styling and chemical damage. It'll leave your strands softer and smoother after one go, but you'll see the best results when you do so at least once a week for deep restoration. "If you're crunched for time, apply to your strands pre-workout and braid in to the let the nourishing ingredients absorb into the hair with the added heat from your exercise," suggests Atkin.

They use wigs and hair pieces

Whether it's for a big role, photo shoot, or a one-night-only statement look, hair pieces are commonplace in Hollywood. "I think they're great because if the star isn't committed to the new hair color, the change can really set back their hair goals," says Atkin.

They color their hair gradually (most of the time)

"When it comes to hair color, although stars are known for dramatic color changes, what most people don't realize is that these changes take time," she explains. "Most women will gradually change their hair color, like how Khloé Kardashian made her way to blonde bombshell over the course of a year, thanks to Tracey Cunningham."

This isn't to say that celebrities don't take the express route. But when they do, it's an all-day (or even several day) process to get there, with lots of conditioning in between using formulas like Continuum, which repairs the hair as it lightens, says Atkin.

They may or may not be drying their hair with an old cotton t-shirt

Tempting as it may be towel-off everything when you hop out of the shower, when it comes to your hair, your old NSYNC No Strings Attached tour T-shirt is your best friend. "I always suggest my clients dry their hair with an old cotton t-shirt instead of a towel out of the shower," she says. "Wet strands are much more fragile and prone to breakage and the harsh fibers of a towel can be too aggressive. "

They brush their wet hair with the right brush

And that's not the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to fresh-out-of-the-shower hair. "You should also be wary of what kind of brush you use on damp hair," says Atkin. "Something with too much tension will stretch the hair too much, which also exposes it to breakage." Believe it or not, her go-to is actually Sheila Stotts' Extension Brush. If its metal, needle-like teeth work are gentle enough for hair pieces, it'll make a world of difference for natural, breakage-prone follicles.

They use heat protectants when styling

If you use hot tools, this is a non-negotiable step in styling. Hair oils, like OUAI's signature African Galangal, Aman, and Asian Borage oils will protect hair from heat damage and keep color from fading, says Atkin.

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Beauty Editor

Lauren Valenti is Vogue’s former senior beauty editor. Her work has also appeared on,, and in In Style. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Culture and Media Studies and a minor in Journalism.