Hair Care 101: Tips from My Stylist
Newsflash: I’m super low maintenance about my hair. Sure, I’ll wash it, condition it, get it cut (twice a year..), etc. However, I do very little relative to most people, likely to the dismay of my fabulous stylist - Lisa Tran. She’s been doing my hair for as long as I can remember, and she knows exactly what I like, which in my opinion is extremely important. The relationship between hair stylist and client is just like that of a therapist. You sit in the chair, lean back, and talk while they get to work. Same thing, no? Conversation after conversation, I’ve learned a ton about hair from Lisa over the years, and I wanted to share with you some of her best tips.
My hair is naturally dirty blonde, so I like to lighten it up with highlights, especially in the summer months. Blonde is extremely difficult to take care of though, as bleach can really dry it out. Lisa uses the Kerastase Bain Therapiste haircare system on my blonde hair to help keep and maintain thickness and strength. She also recommends breaking up highlighting appointments with toning so that you don’t always have to colour it. This tends to remove brassiness more efficiently than a purple shampoo at home would. If you have to use purple shampoo, however, she recommends the Fanola No Yellow shampoo, or the KMS Color Vitality Shampoo for a more affordable option.
We also like to talk about trends of the moment. Lisa tries to convince me to dye my hair lilac purple, but as I mentioned, I’m too low maintenance for that. She’s noticed that balayage is still a huge trend, and that a lot of her clients have come in requesting long fringes that are parted down the middle. In terms of colouring over grey hairs, preference depends on the person. It’s not bad to start colouring your hair early, but Lisa recommends to ensure you are maintaining the health of your hair if you start at a younger age.
I’m slowly learning over the years that hair care is equally as important as skin care. Every time I head into the salon, I tend to complain to Lisa about how frizzy and broken my hair ends up in between visits. She says that using a treatment in replace of conditioner can help reduce frizziness, but if you’ve got finer hair, only do so once a week because it can tend to weigh it down. For extra frizzy, curly hair, use a curl promoting mask like the Kerastase Discipline Curl Ideal Masque and just don’t rinse it all the way out. It will continue to moisturize and nourish throughout the day.
For colour treated hair, it’s best to wash twice a week with cooler water as it’s better for your scalp. This is especially the case with reds, as hot water can cause your colour to fade more rapidly. On top of that, long-term sun exposure (especially on a beach vacation) can effect the vibrancy of your colour. Pick up a serum with sun protectant to prevent fading. Just like skincare, it can be worth it to spend more on styling products to use at home. Think about it this way: why spend all this money on getting a cut/colour/treatment done at the salon and then neglect to maintain your hair at home? Sometimes it’s worth it to splurge.
However, if you are more of a DIY type, Lisa likes to use coconut oil treatments with tea tree to reduce itchiness on the scalp. She leaves it in her hair for an hour if she’s staying at home, and then washes it out with her regular shampoo.
Styling is where I seem to have the most trouble. I like to have my hair done because I feel more put together, but.. you know.. low maintenance. Recently I’ve been heat treating my hair more, either curling it or using a flat iron, so using a product with strong heat protectant like the Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Hair Milk is essential to prevent further breakage. When I do heat treat my hair, Lisa suggests that I use low heat. It doesn’t really have to be on full blast to achieve the look you want. If you’re going for something straighter, a blow dryer and paddle brush works best. Dry it as much as you can without the brush, and then touch the dryer to the brush to style it. If it’s still not to your desired straightness, you can use a flat iron and a shine-enhancing serum for a sleek look.
For curls, she uses the Vibrastrait Vibrating Flat Iron in the salon, and has tried to teach me how to curl my hair with a flat iron numerous times to no avail (sorry Lisa!). This creates a more natural wave rather than tighter ringlet curls. At home, I use a 19 or 25 mm curling wand for bouncier, more voluminous curls.
FOR THE GUYS
Quick tip: For guys with straight hair that doesn’t hold a style, Lisa suggests styling it when it’s damp. Apply your products, and let your hair dry with the product in it for extra hold.
If you want to visit Lisa and pick her brain yourself, head over to Salon M Squared in North York, Toronto. What type of hair do you have? Do you colour it at all? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments.