Our Panel of Experts:
Tracey Cunningham (Redken Creative Consultant for Color)
Jennifer Snyder (Creative Designer Stylist at DePasquale, The Spa on behalf of ECRU New York)
David Gardner (LA-based celebrity stylist and colorist)
Liam Carey (Ted Gibson Salon, A-List stylist)
Jason Bach (President and CEO of Ted Gibson, color artist)
Mary Katherine Hecht (Pureology PureArtist)
Color & Highlights
1. Brunettes: Create dimension by framing your face with warm highlights, but avoid any color that's more than three shades from your natural hue, advises Cunningham. A dark brown base will help prevent highlights from looking streaky and dated, adds Bache.
2. Blondes: Maintain that carefree, beachy look by introducing soft, subtle shades—less on the golden side, more on the neutral side, says Bach. Adding overly harsh or white tones could suggest that locks have been processed, adds Cunningham. If you prefer chunky highlights, she advises placing them further away from your face.
3. Red Heads: A natural red head is rare, says Cunningham, so don't stray too far from your true hue. It's also important to keep in mind that red hair tends to lighten dramatically in the sunlight. If you're itching for an update, introduce subtle highlights to the crown of the head, as well as to the ends of your hair; this will help add dimension while maintaining the overall shade, he explains.
1. Curly Hair: An experienced stylist will take into consideration each individual curl, cutting to create movement, varying lengths and strand-by-strand definition, says Snyder. "It's tough to find a great curly-hair stylist, so if you see someone with a cut that you love, don't be afraid to ask them who their stylist is," advises Gardner.
2. Straight Hair: If you have thin, straight locks, a short and layered cut with bluntly-finished ends will add weight and promote swing, says Gardner. Consider a bob, or if your face is on the rounder side, try a just-under-the-chin length. Additionally, a long side-swept bang will effortlessly frame the face, even when left unstyled, says Carey. If you're blessed with thick hair, play up the layers and angles for dimension—with straight locks you'll never have to worry about the style looking "triangular." Just remember the most essential hair secret of all: trim regularly for neat, healthy-looking locks.
3. Thick Hair: Adding long layers to thick hair will give it the desired tousled look without promoting frizz, Snyder says. If you'd rather opt for a different style, go for it—just keep in mind that to attain that get up-and-go look, your hair must be cut specifically for the style.
1. Curly Hair: "For spring and summer, we're seeing lots of soft, romantic texture," says Hecht. Skip the gel this season and apply an extra dose of smoothing oil or lightweight moose to give each curl a polished finish. If you're using a diffuser, remember to dry curls with cold air, which helps them set. Minimize hand- with locks to prevent frizz; if you need to scrunch curls, use a towel.
2. Straight Hair: Toss your hairbrush, says Snyder. Instead, apply a volumizing product to the roots for lift—then flip, toss and blow dry hair freely.
3. Thick Hair: The longer thick hair gets, the easier it is to handle, since the weight forces it to behave, Gardner says. (Thick, short hair runs the risk of looking poofy.) Additionally, when it's long, you can easily pull it back off your face to create a full, party-ready bun or pony tail.
Condition & Shine
1. Quick Fix: Hot oil is great for achieving an instant light-reflecting shine, but keep in mind that fuller Julia Robert-hair can better handle constant treatment then fine hair. Gardner recommends hot oil treatment no more than once a week.
2. Long term: Never underestimate the power of a protein-rich diet for strengthening and rebuilding hair. A protein-packed conditioner can work wonders, too.
3. Shampoo: For thick, curly hair, shampooing every two or three days is ideal, as it gives natural oils a chance to condition hair between washes.