Styling Hair: 13 Top Salon Secrets

Tips and Tricks For "Wow" Hair

Hairdresser preparing to cut customers long hair in salon
Caiaimage/Gianni Diliberto/Getty Images

Hair stylists know every trick there is to make your hair look fantastic. And now, they're sharing their secrets so you can create salon-quality looks at home. Below are 13 of the best tips and tricks.

Secret #1: Yes, you can shampoo daily

While the "no-poo" movement is huge, shampooing daily is totally okay, especially if you have oily hair. Shampoos these days are gentle enough to be used daily; it's the blowdryers, flatirons and curling irons that do the most damage.

So if you have super oily hair, go ahead and shampoo daily. Just try to let hair air-dry or go easy on the heat products.

See How Often Should I Shampoo My Hair? for more information.

Secret #2: Dirty hair is easier to style

Stylists prefer if you don't wash hair the morning of an updo; dirty hair is easier to mold and holds styles better. If you have a big night coming up and want to wear a sophisticated updo, skip washing your hair beforehand. It will make molding your hair into a French twist or a chic chignon much simpler.

See dozens of gorgeous updos for inspiration

Secret #3: Get runway hair with Velcro rollers

If you want real body, get yourself some Velcro rollers. Fine, straight hair sometimes can be tricky to roll. But stylists have found that spritzing fine hair with flexible hold hairspray and curling it with an iron before rolling it onto a Velcro roller can help. It gives your hair the grip it needs, and after you take out the rollers, you'll have fantastic body and volume.

See How to Create Soft, Loose Waves

Secret #4: Want Sexy, Messy, "Just Off the Beach" Waves?

If you want sexy, tousled waves, skip the perm and use a salt spray instead. You can buy a commercial spray, or you can make your own with water and rock salt. Spray liberally, scrunch your hair and let it air dry with beautiful texture.

Secret #5: You can give yourself a professional blow dry

Blow dry salons are popping up all over the country. For about $30 you can get a perfect blow dry that will last you a couple days to a full week, depending on your hair texture. But if you want to save money, you can get salon-worthy results by doing your own amazing blowdry.

A proper blow dry is a bit labor intensive, but once you perfect it, you won't go back to the salon for those $30 blow dries.

See How to Blow Dry Your Hair

Secret #6: Bangs are hot, just make sure you get the right bangs

There's nothing quite like bangs to shave years off your face or update a boring hairstyle. And the good news is that bangs are hot, hot, hot right now.

A very hot look right now is blunt bangs paired with long, straight hair. Sexy. Especially with perfect highlights. Not ready for the thick bangs? Try side-swept bangs paired with long layers. Layering hair with bangs works best because it's less boxy while allowing your hair to grow out without looking too extreme if you decide to grow out the trend. Just make sure your side-swept bangs hit the middle of your brows -- any shorter and you'll look dated.

See What Bangs Work Best for Your Face Shape? 

and Why You May Not Be Blow-Drying Your Bangs Correctly.

Secret #7: Yes, you can go blonde or red

Some skin types work best with colors than others. Most olive-skinned women (think Jennifer Lopez or Linda Evangelista) can get away with any hair color: Blonde, black, brunette and even red. Women with pink tones have a harder time and can't get too drastic. But believe it or not, pink skin tones tend to work well with red hair color. As for going blonde, if you were fairly blonde-ish as a child in the summer, then you are a good candidate for going blonde as an adult. But olive-skinned girls with black or brown hair can look great blonde, too. Have a stylist help pick the right tone for you.

More on hair color:

  • Can You Go Blonde?
  • The Hottest Hair Color Trends Today
  • 20 Gorgeous Red Hair Colors

Secret #8: Don't go long and blah

You know the look: Hair that's gone just a little too long, has no style and is just plain, well, blah.

We've all been there. What this hairstyle says to the world is "I am low-maintenance and can't be bothered with regular salon visits." This is fine if you aren't interested in making an impression on anybody and feeling fabulous. But it isn't sexy. Cut in some layers, add some bangs, get some highlights, cut your hair to shoulder-length, which is the hottest hair length of the moment. Just get yourself to a salon, pronto.

Get inspired with these cool cuts:

  • Most flattering hairstyles by face shape
  • Hairstyles featuring bangs
  • 20 of the hottest shoulder-length hairstyles today

Secret #9: The secret to "piece-y" hair

You know the look you're going for. That long, wavy hair where the waves seem to fall in pieces. Some stylists swear it's in the cut. It most definitely is, but you also need the right product.

To get the "piece-y" look, you want long layers: Hair that's just one length simply won't do. Your stylist will also want to lighten the thickness of hair by texturizing. Texturizing basically lightens the load and gives hair needed body. Texturizing also gives hair thickness at the roots, allowing it to fall in sexy, soft waves.

Once you have the perfect cut, however, don't forget the product. A good pomade run through hair helps separate pieces.

See How to Get "Piecey" Hair

Secret #10: Buns are cool, just keep them loose

Updos aren't just for prom, New Years and Lois Lane. A loose, casual updo is a quick way to look pulled together. Simply finger-comb hair into a low, disheveled bun or knot and attach with a ponytail holder and bobby pins. And please, leave the tight, ballerina 'do for the dancers.

Check out these photos of loose buns.

Secret #11: A temporary end to frayed ends

Here's a stylist secret courtesy of Marie Claire: When suffering from the nasty frayed endsies, hairstylist Rodney Groves spreads the leave-in treatment, Kerastase Serum Nutri-Sculpt through dry hair, then blasts ends with a blow dryer. We recommend you put this product on your list and keep it around for those moments before every haircut when we need help (and fast!)

Secret #12: Don't wait too long before color touch-ups

If you get your color touched up on a regular basis (about every 28 days) you may actually keep your hair from unnecessary damage. Not waiting too long means your stylist won't have to dye your whole head due to color fading. In the meantime, cover up roots with a home hair-color kit. Although there are great root touch-up kits out there, a regular dye kit will do you. And don't worry about perfectly matching, it's likely not going to happen on a salon dye job and no one will notice. Swap out the brush that comes in the kit and instead uses a clean mascara wand (you can get these at any drugstore).

See 11 hair color tips only your stylist knows

Secret #13: Shiny hair doesn't have to be genetic

Stylist knows the secret to sheen is to spritz or add a couple drops of shine serum. Try Bumble & Bumble Shine.

Liked this? There's much more on haircare:

  • How to Pick the Most Flattering Hairstyles for Your Face Shape
  • What Bangs Work Best for Your Face Shape? 
  • 10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Hair Texture