There's no need to spend hours at the salon before your next big event. Alex Noonan asks the experts about their top tips and time-saving styling tricks for achieving an A-list look in minutes.
You want: Extra volume in your hair at the end of the day.
You need: To create lift at the roots by flipping your head upside down and blasting hair with your blow-dryer on a hot setting, then follow with a cool shot to set the style. With your head still tipped forward, "use your fingers to shake hair through at the roots to get extra oomph", suggests leading hairstylist Brad Ngata, who also relies on a dry shampoo or thickening dust for extra height. "Velcro rollers are also a great option. Put in a few at the top and mist with a bit of hairspray before removing."
Best buys: Hair FX Self Gripping Rollers; Kevin.Murphy Powder.Puff Volumising Powder.
You want: A day-to-night look in minutes.
You need: To add instant glamour with an up-do. Try a style that's sleek on the sides and dishevelled on top. "Start by pinning aside a horseshoe-shaped section from your hairline - above the outer edge of each brow - to your crown," advises Hamish Glianos, creative director of People Hairdressing in Sydney's Potts Point. "Gather the loose hair underneath into a high ponytail and wrap into a bun; secure with bobby pins. Backcomb the top section and lightly pin into the bun." Don't worry about the top being too neat, as the raw texture adds to the appeal of this look.
Best buys: Elite Professional Tail Comb; Lady Jayne Fringe Pins.
You want: A more vibrant hue.
You need: To refresh your shade with a colour-boosting conditioner, says Simon Bright of Desmond & Molly Jones salon in Surry Hills, Sydney. If you don't have one, he suggests blondes rinse their hair with chamomile tea, or mist on the juice of half a lemon combined with water. You'll need the heat from the sun or your hairdryer to help activate the mix. For redheads, he recommends using tomato sauce as a hair mask and washing it out after 20 minutes.
Best buys: Ojon Restorative Leave-In Treatment for Blondes; Andrew Collinge Brunette Salon Conditioner; Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo.
You want: To tame fly-aways.
You need: "To use a shampoo and conditioner that contain a humectant [such as silicone] as your front-line protection against humidity," advises Ngata. He also recommends choosing styling products that contain silicone to help control fly-aways. Rub the smallest amount between the palms of your hands and apply to your mid-lengths and ends, or, if you're out and about, a touch of hand cream will also do the trick.
Best buys: John Frieda Collection Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hair Spray, $15.99; Schwarzkopf Extra Care Straight & Glossy Zero Frizz Straightening Crème; L’Oréal Professionnel tecni.art liss control+ Intense Control Smoothing Serum.
Top to bottom, left to right: Hair FX Self Gripping Rollers; Schwarzkopf Extra Care Straight & Glossy Zero Frizz Straightening Crème; L’Oréal Professionnel tecni.art liss control+ Intense Control Smoothing Serum; James Brown Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo; Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Hairtherapy Moisture Kick Spray Conditioner; Moroccanoil Curl Control Cream.
You want: Instant glamour.
You need: "Hair accessories. It's the easiest way to dress up your look," says hairstylist George Giavis. This season, black headbands made a statement at Karl Lagerfeld, while leather ties concealed hair elastics at Hermès. For night, don't be afraid to adorn your 'do with a jewelled creation for high-impact chic.
Best buys: Lady Jayne Bandeau; Diva Headband; Louis Vuitton Hairclip; Hermès Hair Comb; George Giavis Swarovski Bow Tie Clip; George Giavis Baby Bling Clip.
You want: To extend the life of your blow-dry.
You need: "To revive your hair by tipping your head upside down and blasting it with a hairdryer on a cool setting," says Ngata, who also suggests you use a dry shampoo for added body. "If you want extra volume, pull hair up into a ponytail at the top of your head before going to bed. Avoid a mark by securing it with a soft scarf, rather than an elastic." To prevent matted or "bed" hair, also invest in a silk pillowcase that helps to reduce the friction between your hair and pillow.
Best buys: James Brown Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo; Slip Silk Pillowcase.
You want: To take control of your curls.
You need: A moisturising boost. "When curly hair goes frizzy, it's because it's dehydrated,” says Glianos, who applies a leave-in conditioner followed by a styling cream to smooth fluffiness. To reactivate your waves, Ngata calls on a light misting of water infused with rosemary, but "if only a few curls have gone astray, dampen them individually and then twist around your finger", he suggests.
Best buys: Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Hairtherapy Moisture Kick Spray Conditioner; Moroccanoil Curl Control Cream.
You want: High shine in half the time.
You need: A cushioned brush. While it may sound simple, stylists agree that this traditional tool is one of the most effective ways to reverse dullness. Ngata also recommends a radiance-enhancing spray, but go gently as too much can result in a look that's more greasy than glamorous.
Best buys: Hairs & Graces 100% Boar Bristle Pad Brush; Sebastian Professional Halo Mist Weightless Shine Spray.
You want: To wake up with a sexy style.
You need: Five minutes before bed to prepare for next-day boho waves. "Tie slightly damp hair into a high ponytail, plait it, wrap into a bun and secure with bobby pins," says Glianos. Next morning, release your lengths, run your fingers through the kinks, smooth a small amount of serum through the ends and you're ready to walk out the door.
Best buys: KMS California Dry Shine Styler; Scünci No Damage Elastics.
You want: A second-day styling solution.
You need: To glam up a ponytail. If you're going high, lightly tease the crown first and then pull your hair straight back and secure with a snag-free elastic. For added polish, take a small amount of hair from the underside of the ponytail, wrap it around the elastic and secure with a bobby pin. Alternatively, opt for a low style teamed with a deep side part or messy bun at the nape of the neck. Finish with a spritz of hairspray to keep it in place throughout the day and night.
Best buys: Lady Jayne Bobby Pins; Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Flexible Style Hairspray.
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