Not all hair types need to undergo the same process.
There are many straightening services on the market to help tame wild hair to help you achieve smoother, sleeker locks. At the end of the day, it boils down to finding the best hair straightening treatment for your needs and hair type. Read on for some pros and cons for each of the most popular in-salon treatments:
1. Japanese Hair Straightening or Thermal Rebonding
Also known as thermal reconditioning, Japanese hair straightening or “rebonding” works through chemically altering hair bonds. Protein bonds in every curly strand is reconfigured to a “straight” hair bond to permanently change its structure. This results in a complete straightening of curls.
Similar to relaxing hair, this method works on most hair types. However, the curlier the hair the more touchups you’ll need. Note: if hair has been subject to a lot of dyeing or heat-related treatments, strands may already be weakened and the results might not be as effective.
It’s best to do this treatment in a salon with a professional. If the straightening solution is left on for too long, it can leave hair thin and brittle. The process takes approximately three to four hours or longer, depending on the condition of your hair. Expect to visit the salon every four to six months for maintenance.
2. Brazilian Keratin Treatments
A more common method, Brazilian treatments are first and foremost a keratin treatment. Hair is straightened by coating the hair in keratin proteins that fill in gaps in the strand, effectively smoothening it out. Hot irons are then used to lock in the keratin, which works to give smoothness and loads of shine as well. The treatment typically lasts between six weeks to three months. Within this period, clients have reported more manageable, less frizzy locks.
Brazilian keratin sessions are less risky than their Japanese counterpart; however, they can still damage hair through the chemical formaldehyde, which is added during the process. This is the best hair straightening treatment for those who have color-processed hair or dry and damaged locks. The keratin protein helps fill in porous hair cells.
As for the cost, a salon usually breaks this down based on hair length. Longer, thicker hair can be more expensive compared to shorter or shoulder-length hair. The treatment lasts anywhere between two and four hours. Also, the stylist straightens the hair twice to get rid of kinks. Leave hair unwashed and down for around 72 hours after the treatment for the best results.
3. Flat Iron
Okay, so this isn’t really a straightening treatment, but for beginners, a flat iron is the easiest way to tame frizzy hair until your next shampoo. When straightening your hair, make sure it’s completely dry before using a flat iron to avoid further damage to your hair. As straightening hair can make hair dry and brittle, be sure to always use a heat-protecting spray and try to go heat-free on days when you don’t need a straightener.
4. Chemical Straightening (Hair Relaxing)
Chemical straightening, or hair relaxing, is the process of breaking protein bonds in the hair. When a certain number of bonds are broken in curly or wavy hair, it then becomes straight. However, as simple as that sounds, the execution of it by a professional is crucial for its success. For example, if too many bonds are broken your hair will go limp and if not enough are broken then the hair doesn’t straighten out. This hair care procedure is no joke. However, for those willing to fish out the money for a quality treatment at a quality hair salon, the results are well worth the money…just make sure to do your research first!
Unfortunately, getting a weekly blowout isn’t an option for most of us, but achieving salon-worthy locks at home is possible with the right hair styling tools. Whether you are in the market for a hair dryer that cuts drying time in half, a multipurpose curling iron, or a hair smoothing volumizer, there are hair tools out there that will seriously up your hair styling game.
We rounded up 6 easy-to-use styling gadgets that are so efficient and user-friendly, they can help turn even a beauty novice into an expert hair stylist.
Best Hair Dryer: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
With over 30,000 likes and a 4.2-star rating on Sephora, this Dyson hair dryer is one of the most popular options around for all types of hair. This high-speed tool is programmed to dry hair fast and prevent heat damage. Many customers who left perfect reviews said not to let the price deter you. They felt it was well worth the cost because the dryer cut their styling time in half and left their hair feeling silky smooth every time they used it.
Best Curling Iron: T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand Set
The T3 Whirl Trio comes with three interchangeable barrels so you can create an array of wavy and curly styles. Customers love the iron’s rapid-response technology, which maintains even heat across the barrel, making unexpected bends and lopsided curls a thing of the past. Sephora shoppers have even called it the “holy grail of curling irons.”
Best Hair Straightener: HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
Amazon customers love this flat iron by HSI Professional so much it’s a number one best seller. The handy tool heats up quickly, helps reduce frizz, and smooths out even the coarsest of hair. One happy customer raved, “This is the best flat iron I have ever had. My hair is dry and curly, this flat iron makes it smooth, soft, and shiny in only 20 minutes.”
Best Volumizer: Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer
A salon-like blowout at home is something everyone wants, but juggling a round brush with a blow dryer can be tricky. Luckily this clever gadget from Revlon brushes your hair while drying it at the same time. Reviewers couldn’t get over how voluminous and shiny their hair was after using it.
Best Heated Brush: Drybar The Brush Crush Heated Straightening Brush
This heated brush is the closest thing we’ll get to the Dry Bar team doing at-home blowouts. This top-selling tool combines the heat of a flat iron with the structure of a paddle brush to help you create a smooth, frizz-free look in one easy step, whether your hair is straight, wavy, or curly. Eighty-six percent of Sephora customers love it so much, they said they would recommend it to their friends and families.
Best Flat Brush: Wet Brush Pro Detangle Hair Brush
When it comes to hair styling tools, you probably put the least amount of thought into your brush, but the right one can seriously transform your hair! Over 3,300 Amazon customers have given this Wet Brush their seal of approval thanks to its ability to detangle hair with ease (even when your hair is wet). An overwhelming number of customers called it “the best brush ever.”
If you use any type of heat styling tool on your hair—whether it’s a hair dryer, curling iron, or straightener—a heat protectant is a must-have.
Exposing your hair to any type of heat without applying a protectant first is like laying out in the sun without any sunscreen. Without a properly applied protectant, the heat will dry out your hair, making it brittle and prone to breakage.
To find the heat protectant that’s best suited to your hair type, there are a few things you should consider. The most important factor is your hair type and texture.
If you have fine or frizz-prone hair, you’ll want a protectant that will smooth flyaways without weighing down your strands. If you have hair that is already prone to damage, look for a protectant that provides maximum protection of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have thick hair, a protectant that can be applied to wet hair is ideal so it can soak up all the product.
Knowing how you want to style your hair can also help you decide which heat protectant will best serve you. Heat protection should be applied at the very beginning of your styling routine while hair is damp.
If you just plan on blow drying your hair, a conditioning protection mist may be all you need. If you plan on using a hair straightener, using a protectant that will help smooth your hair and create shine will make styling easier. For wavy or curly styles, a protectant that provides texture, volume, and hold can help you achieve curls that won’t go limp after a couple of hours.
Here are our picks for the top 5 best heat protectant sprays that cost less than $25:
Best overall: TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray
If you’re looking for an effective and affordable heat protectant that will leave your hair looking healthy, the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray won’t disappoint.
Best for straightening hair: HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector
The HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector will protect your hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees, thanks to nourishing argan oil.
Best for curling hair: Matrix BIOLAGE Thermal Active Setting Spray
The Matrix BIOLAGE Thermal Active Setting Spray provides heat protection as well as light hold for long-lasting curls and waves that won’t feel stiff or crunchy.
Best for fine hair: Kenra Professional Thermal Styling Spray 19
The Kenra Thermal Styling Spray 19 provides thermal protection up to 428 degrees, helps tamp down frizz and flyaways, and has a truly weightless formula ideal for fine hair.
Best for thick hair: Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray
The Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray will cut down on your styling time, provide heat protection, and leave you with a smooth mane of hair.
Finding the best hair straighteners will make a big difference to your daily routine. Expect no more frazzled lengths and no more static flyaways, because we’ve reviewed six top-rated straighteners (including ghd, cloud nine and BaByliss), to compile a definitive ranking of the very best hair irons that are worth investing in.
- ghd Platinum+ Straightener
ghd are always going to be number one when it comes to the best straighteners. Ever since we discovered them in year 9 and our tresses suddenly went from straggly to pin-straight, they’ve been a stable on the dressing table. The platinum+ styler has a thick barrel when clamped together, which means it’s ideal for curling as the irons give a loose, bouncy ringlet. They also have the world’s first smart styler, which means that they can predict the temperature in each part of your hair needs, and adjust accordingly (so you don’t end up burning your lengths).
- Cloud Nine Micro Iron
Cloud Nine’s Micro Irons are teeny-tiny, which makes them perfect for straightening fringes or short hair. The mini irons work a treat for crafting tight ringlets if you fancy rocking 80s-style curls. Plus, if you’re going on vacation these bite-size straighteners will take up barely any room in your suitcase.
- Argan Oil Straightener
These straighteners have plates infused with argan, which is supposed to give your hair a shinier finish. We love them because they have a variable heat control which means you can adjust the temperature and prevent the irons from frazzling your locks.
- Toni & Guy Fluid Metal Styler Gift Set
These oil slick-inspired irons glide over hair seamlessly, so whether you’re straightening or creating waves, you can avoid those annoying indents through the strands. Like a couple of the others you can adjust the heat dial, making them ideal no matter what your hair type, plus, it’s inexpensive.
- Titanium Ionic Professional Straighteners
These sleek straighteners heat up in a matter of seconds, which means there’s no annoying wait time when it comes to getting ready. The zero-drag titanium plates are some of the smoothest around, meaning they glide over frizz easy-peasy.
Having long hair gives you plenty of options and ways to play around with different hair styles! Long hair styles can be fun and playful or chic and classic. No matter how you style your it, your long hair style will never go out of style and will turn heads wherever you go.
We’ve rounded up a bunch of inspo pics of ‘dos that take minimal mirror time.
Laura Harrier’s Romantic Curls
Sometimes, when you’ve slept on your curls for a day or two, they look even better. Harrier’s loose ringlets adorned with a hair clip is the perfect touch to jazz up this simple look.
Margot Robbie’s Loose Braid
Pull your hair back into an effortless braid for a no-fuss style that works like a charm. Margot Robbie’s center parted allows those drop-dead features of hers to shine through.
Kendall Jenner’s Bubble Ponytail
Got a bunch of hair bands lying around? You need to try a bubble ponytail. It’s one of Jenner’s most photogenic hairstyles to date, and that says a lot considering the 23-year-old has already worn more hairstyles than the average human will in one lifetime.
Cara Delevingne’s Long Side Plait
Delevingne’s romantic side plait she wore during Paris Fashion Week this year is perfect for special occasions. Although it’s impossible to choose one style I love the most on Hollywood’s resident hair chameleon, this side-swept braid is certainly up there.
Save yourself the time and stress of curling your entire head of hair and try Sampaio’s brushed-back style instead. This structured slick-back makes things a bit easier because you’ll only have the ends of your hair to worry about curling.
Sophie Turner’s Soft Waves
Soft waves, especially when they’re reminiscent of Old Hollywood, will instantly dress up your hair with timeless glamour. Turner looks so dreamy with these cascading curls brushed over to one side.
Camila Cabello’s Face-Framing Layers
Layers + long hair = a dynamic duo. Just look at how Cabello’s feathered, face-framing layers fall in all of the right places. The texture adds such a gorgeous shape to this lengthy style.
So, you’ve decided to go for a short hairstyle. But which crop are you going to choose? A great place to look for short-hair inspiration is your favorite short-haired A-listers. Once you’ve deciphered which short haircut you love and which is likely to suit your face shape and hair texture, you can take a picture to your hairdresser!
There is a dreamy short hairstyle for everyone, and some of our favorite celebrities prove it. There are so many short hairstyles and haircut ideas to draw on. And of course, short hair can be incredibly versatile; you can play with texture, partings, accessories, and even add in braids to mix up your style from day to day.
If the question “Should I cut my hair short?” regularly pops into your head, then why not go for it? Check out our list for the ultimate A-list short-hair inspiration.
It shocked fans everywhere when Emilia Clarke went for an almighty chop, and we love it. She revealed her inspiration was Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous ’90s cut, as she wrote on her Instagram, “Me: I’m thinking when Gwyneth and Brad had the same haircut. @jennychohair: I got ‘chu.”
Yara Shahidi’s face-framing curls look incredible with this chin-grazing bob.
Irina Shayk stepped out with a seriously daring new choppy bob-and-fringe combo at the Dsquared2 Milan spring 2019 fashion show. We love this daring look on her. What do you think? Do you think it’s real or just a very good wig?
Jenna Dewan has had short hair for a while, but at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, she revealed an even shorter, sleeker bob complete with a center part. Oh, and we love her yellow eye shadow too.
Kate Hudson makes growing out a buzz cut look effortless with this textured crop adorned with a simple black headband at the 2018 Golden Globes.
Upgrade that lob with a slicked-back wet look like Selena Gomez.
Kylie Jenner’s sleek bob will suit round-, oval-, square-, and diamond-shaped faces.
There’s a cliché that summer is the best time to go blonde. While you can go lighter at any point throughout the year, there’s something about the warmer months that inspires women to make a change. There are plenty of other hair trends on the rise as well just in time for Spring. Are you ready?
Low Maintenance Bangs
Anthony Nader, Salon Owner and Creative Director at RAW Anthony Nader:
“Bangs are a game changer and it shows that you can still have a longer hair shape, but still have some shorter lengths framing your face. I find that most of my clients love longer bangs cause there cool and easy to style which is so important. Push them back, sweep them forward, you decide.”
Textured “Cool Girl” Bobs
Anthony Nader, Salon Owner and Creative Director at RAW Anthony Nader:
“Dua Lipa’s graphic “cool girl bob” is the perfect example of how you can wear this haircut and not look old. Keep the texture “undone” rather than restricted and poker straight. Dua’s bob is definitely on my radar—girls are already asking for this and it’s not even summer yet!
Alex Fuchs, National Education Director at La Biosthetique Australia and Director at Fuchs Salon:
“The retro style high ponytail, as seen on Bella Hadid, is for sure making a comeback and alongside it the scrunchie—who would believe that? Reason for that is that we are seeing a lot of 90s influence also now back now in hair trends.”
Alex Fuchs, National Education Director at La Biosthetique Australia and Director at Fuchs Salon:
“The big summer trend I predict is the messy bun, as we just saw on Megan Markle at Wimbledon. It’s a very soft look and is suitable for most face shapes. Everyone can do themselves—that’s why it’s ideal for summer.”
Super Long HairJoey Scandizzo, Co-Creative Director of ELEVEN Australia:
“Pulling off this look starts with the right haircut, for this extreme long hair look ask your hairstylist for a definitely line at the base. Next, it’s all down to what you do at home, because super long hair looks best when it’s healthy and well maintained. Make sure you add protein to your hair as well as moisture.”
Hair gel seems to be an integral part of our initiation into the world of grooming. When we first begin experimenting with a ‘hairstyle’ it seems the first product we turn to is a sickly, plastic-scented, gluey mess in lurid packaging. Those who dabble with gel quickly learn it can withstand wind, rain and a double header; hell, you could even sleep in it and hair wouldn’t budge. In the early days, gel abuse is common, but when you know how to apply it properly, it’s actually hard to beat.
What Is Hair Gel?
Hair gel is a styling product that typically has a clear, jelly-like consistency and is known for its shiny, wet look and elastic properties.
Who Does It Work For?
Gel helps those who struggle to restrain their natural hair texture. It smooths away curls and repels moisture, so it keeps frizz in check. Gel is also an essential ingredient for short to medium length slick back styles, sharp side partings and retro shapes such as a pompadour or rockabilly quiff.
How Should You Use Gel?
Who better to ask how to use gel than some of London’s top hair stylists? “I think gel had a bad reputation because it can make hair super crispy when it dries, and it can even cause hair breakage when you touch your hair if the hold is too strong,” says Davide Barbieri, session stylist with regular clients including Robbie Williams. “Modern gel formulations are nothing like their crunchy, flaky predecessors and are easy to remove,” he says.
“Always start with a small amount when using for the first time and apply evenly to damp hair before styling into the desired shape,” adds Joshua Gibson, session stylist at Sassoon, who’s worked on editorials for i-D and L’Uomo Vogue.
The Best Hair Gels
Sebastian Liquid Steel
When only the strongest hold will do, recruit this heavyweight. Joshua Gibson says, “Liquid Steel is one of my go-to gel products in my kit. It does what it says on the tin—it gives the strongest hold—and nothing will move a sleek look made using it except washing.” Be warned: this one dries super-fast so it’s for advanced gel users only.
Eco Styler Professional Styling Gel
Want a no-gel look with a strong gel hold? Lee Machin, session stylist, who creates show looks for Missoni and regularly works with actors such as Jamie Dornan and Douglas Booth, goes for Eco Styler Professional Styling Gel Krystal Clear. “This is my favorite gel. You can blow dry it in on wet hair to get volume and hold for quiffs and it will dry and look completely product free. I also love it for catwalk shows and for sleek wet looks and it won’t flake.” It’s also the best value for money.
Bumble & Bumble Bb.Gel
Want a natural look? Davide Barbieri favors the flexible hold of the Bb.gel from Bumble & Bumble when testing out new styles. “It doesn’t dry too quickly so you have more time to change the shape of the style,” he says. It also gives great natural-looking shine and firm hold once your style is set.
Nioxin Thickening Gel
Fair or fine hair? Gibson recommends Nioxin Thickening Gel. “It’s is great for lighter hair colour types like blondes, or where receding is an issue. It still has strong hold but isn’t concrete and brushes out easily.” The formula contains thickening polymer technology to form bonds between gaps in the hair to give it a denser looking appearance.
Fudge Hair Gum Extreme Hold Controlling Gel
Want the hold without the shine? Carmelo Guastella, Men’s Grooming Director at Gielly Green Four Seasons in London, recommends Fudge Hair Gum Controlling Gel. “It gives hair volume with strong hold and control, without going totally stiff, and the finish is matt. The other quality I like about this gel is that you are able to put your hands through your hair, breaking up the stiffness of the gel. And it leaves no residue or flakes.”
Davines Strong Hold Cream Gel
Tim Pateman, session stylist, uses Davines Strong Hold Cream Gel on fashion shoots and on clients at his salon, The Lion & The Fox. “This strong hold gel gives a great wet look, which is easily pliable when water is added to allow control before the style sets in place. If you like a tight barber look with a top that is going to stay where you want it to stay—use this.” It doesn’t flake and a little goes a long way. For best results always apply to wet hair.
Straight hair is stylish, pretty, and convenient, especially for winter time. The problem, however, is that many of the tools used, such as heat and chemical straighteners, are bad for your hair. Over time, they dry it out, split the ends, and you end up with straight hair that’s not nearly as attractive as it once was.
Fortunately, there are some other methods for encouraging curly or wavy hair to straighten out naturally, without using heat or chemicals. You won’t get the pin-straight look from the iron, but you’ll have healthier hair that’s more or less straight with volume.
- Brush wet hair until it dries
After washing your hair, let it air dry completely, but continue to brush it every five minutes. Pull out and hold each section of hair for a few seconds to encourage it to straighten out.
- Wrap wet hair tightly
When your hair is wet, comb and divide it down the center. Comb the left portion all the way over to the right and wrap around the back of your head, securing with bobby pins. Flip the right section over the left side, wrap, and pin in the same way. Let it air dry completely. You can wrap in a silk scarf and sleep on it to reduce frizz.
- Roll your hair
Use large hair rollers to roll sections of wet hair and secure them tightly against your head. Let dry completely. This is important, because the slightest bit of moisture can make the curl or wave come back.
- Use overnight hair hands
Divide damp hair into one or two low ponytails. Fasten with a soft hair elastic, then add additional elastics every inch or so down the ponytail, in order to hold it together. Make sure the elastics are fairly loose so that they won’t leave a noticeable mark on your hair. Go to sleep and let it out in the morning.
- Twist hair into a bun
If you have fairly obedient, straight-ish hair to begin with, then this method will likely work for you, though it’s not effective on stubbornly wavy hair. Make a ponytail of damp hair and twist like a rope. Wrap around itself to make a bun and secure with an elastic. Let air dry, then brush out.
Having a good curly hair day is harder than it looks. Good news is you’re in the right place to get your easiest, healthiest hair routine ever. Here are five curly hair tips and tricks that will keep waves and curls looking shiny and strong.
1. Always comb your hair from the bottom up
Starting at the bottom allows you to gently detangle each knot, rather than compounding them all toward the bottom and yanking your way through with a comb.
2. Trim regularly to avoid split ends
Split ends are never a good look (not to mention they can make your hair frizzy!). If you want healthy curls that look bouncy and fresh, head to the hairstylist every six to eight weeks for a quick trim.
3. Use product “cocktailing” to customize your haircare regimen
Product cocktailing is simply mixing two or more products together to meet your specific styling needs such as smoothing serum plus mousse, and coconut oil plus styling gel. Both allow for supreme hold without leaving your hair dry and crunchy.
4. Rely on a wide-tooth comb, never a brush, to detangle
Curly hair is the most fragile type on the block, and each curl is a potential breaking point. Using a wide-tooth comb is the gentlest way to detangle curls and it doesn’t disrupt the natural curl pattern as much as a brush would.
5. Apply a conditioning treatment to your ends
When your hair goes through a dry or dull phase, what you don’t want to do is weigh it down with a ton of product. Simply use your fingertips to apply a dime-size blob of styling cream or oil to your ends, giving them extra moisture and bounce.