Hairstylist's Secrets to Super Soft Shiny Hair

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Is It Possible to Get Salon Shine at Home?

Salon Blowout
Photo by Quiet Noise Creative/Getty Images

You know how it is: you leave the hair salon after a cut and blowout and you just can't stop touching your hair; it's soft, shiny, and full of body. What kind of sorcery is your stylist using to get your hair to feel like that, and why do your efforts fail when you try to recreate that blowout at home? It's two-parts product, one part tools, and one part skill. Even if you're lacking in skill, these steps can help you get closer to a salon-perfect blowout at home.

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It Starts With a Really Good Shampoo

The brand of shampoo you use is actually secondary to how you use it. Did you know you're probably shampooing your hair wrong altogether? Your hairstylist is getting your hair to look great because she's making sure your hair is shampooed properly and that the buildup and impurities are removed by scrubbing and rinsing really well. If you haven't used a clarifying shampoo in a while, it may be time to rid your hair of all the products and gunk that your hair collects.

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Conditioner Counts

Trust us, your hair and your scalp's appearance and overall health greatly depend on the use of the right conditioner. When people hate conditioner, we typically find it's because they don't rinse it well enough, causing build-up and making hair get greasy and flat. It's not the conditioner's fault. Pick the right conditioner for your hair type and be sure to rinse very, very well.

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Bring on the Magic Potions

Hair serums and other products can help reduce frizz and add shine.
Microzoa/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images

Now that you've figured out how to wash and condition your hair like a real professional, you need to use a product. Really and seriously, your stylist is getting your hair to feel awesome by using more than one product on your hair. Of course, everyone's hair needs a different product combination and we'd be here all day if we tried to cover that, but the vast majority of people can get a great blowout with three products:

  1. Hair oil
  2. Frizz reducing/smoothing serum
  3. Blow-dry spray

I use this exact combination of products on 90% of my clients in the salon and always get impressive results. The exact products and brands can vary by hair type, personal preference, and availability. If you love the way your hair feels after your stylist is done with your hair, ask her what she's using to make your hair feel that way.

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Everyone Should Use Hair Oil

Woman using hair oil
John Davis/ Dorling Kindersley/ Getty Images

Hair oil hydrates, softens, detangles, reduces frizz, and tames unruly hair. I put it in my hair after towel drying and before touching my hair with a comb or any other products, and the same goes for my clients. Apply hair oil primarily to the ends of your hair, using a very small amount in the midshaft and toward the scalp. If your hair has a tendency to get oily or greasy, keep the product away from your scalp.


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Smooth Serums for All Hair Types

Stylist applying products to client's hair.
Aleksandar Nakic/ E+/ Getty Images

Even if your hair isn't terribly frizzy or unruly, a smoothing serum can make all the difference in your blowout, and take your hair from average to incredible. Admittedly, I skip this step on the few clients I have that have super smooth, zero frizz hair, but those people are pretty few and far between. Most people battle some kind of frizz, curl, or unruliness and can benefit from a little smoothing serum.

Apply your smoothing serum on freshly combed hair. You won't need a lot. I like to let my hair air dry a little before using a smoothing serum. It helps to keep the product from thinning out due to excess water in your hair. To apply, rub the product between the palms of your hands and work through your hair with your fingertips. Comb through to make sure the product is evenly distributed.​

Our favorite smoothing serums right now:

  • CHI Straight Guard - this hair smoothing serum is great for all hair types and adds impressive shine. Compare Prices
  • Mark Hill's Magic Drops - this formula is super lightweight and won't weigh even the finest hair down.
  • 12 Benefits Pink Addiction - this smoothing serum is a little heavier and works wonders on thick, coarse hair. Compare Prices

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If You Haven't Discovered a Blow Dry Spray Yet... Hold on to Your Hair Do

Style Sexy Hair 450 Blowout Spray
Photo Courtesy of Sexy Hair

After applying your smoothing serum, apply a few sprays of blow dry spray to your hair. Concentrate the product at your ends and comb through to make sure the product is evenly distributed. The extra moisture and shine that my favorite blow dry sprays give make such a difference in the way my client's hair feels. They also happen to smell amazing.

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The Right Tools Make All the Difference

Woman blow-drying her hair Digital Vision/ Getty Images

Getting a great salon-perfect blowout is mostly the result of great products, but the right tools will ensure better results. You'll need two things:

  1. A really great ceramic round brush or vent brush
  2. A professional quality hair dryer

I see women skimp on hair tools all the time. That tired plastic hairbrush in your bathroom drawer is not doing you any favors, ladies, and investing in a professional quality hair dryer will make a bigger difference than you could ever imagine.