Our friend Reagan Baker — of hair tutorial and beauty uniform fame — is basically a hair genius. After 15 years as a top stylist, she’s always able to answer our toughest questions. “Over the years, I’ve learned little just-left-of-common-sense things that can help people have the best hair of their lives,” she says. Here, she shares six tips for all hair types…
Found! An All-in-One Product
If you’re going to use only one product, Reagan swears by Oribe Crème for Style, which adds volume, tames frizz, defines waves and protects from heat. “It’s the only product that somehow manages to tame unruly hair and give body to flat hair, which are opposite problems for opposite people,” she says. “Wow.” It works while air- or blow-drying — just take a chickpea-size dollop and rub it between your hands, apply from the middle of your hair downward, and pat whatever’s leftover on your roots. Bonus: Even the scent has a cult following — with incredible notes of bergamot, jasmine and sandalwood.
Avoid Winter Hat Hair
Hats are a cold weather essential (Reagan loves the pompom look). But wearing a hat can smash hair down and can leave it looking flat. Here’s an easy solution: “Before pulling your hat on, switch up your part,” says Reagan. If you part it on the left, do it on the right; if you part it in the middle, a deep part on either side will do. When you take your beanie off, switch it back, and your hair will have volume and life.
How to Know When You Need a Haircut
Many hair experts suggest getting a cut every six weeks, but Reagan says it varies for different people and typically recommends eight to ten weeks. How can you tell? Try the feel test. Rub the ends of your hair between your fingertips, and if it’s crispy (you might even be able to hear it), then book an appointment, stat.
One Tool Worth the Splurge
When it comes to hair tools, Reagan says a great blow dryer is the number-one thing to invest in. (She recommends this one.) Higher-end models will last longer, ensure healthier hair and work faster. She also recommends always using the nozzle. “If you blow-dry without it, your hair will go all over the place,” she explains. “But the nozzle concentrates the air flow, which makes hair, no matter what type, much smoother.”
Getting A Sexy Curl
When using a curling iron, it’s easy to veer into Shirley Temple ringlet territory. But if you’re looking for a more laid-back look, one simple move makes all the difference. Wrap your hair around the curling iron (always leave out at least an inch at the bottom), and when you release it, pull the curl completely straight from the end for a few seconds while it cools. Let it go and voila, relaxed waves that are anything but girly.
Dry Shampoo is Everything
“I have 200 reasons why dry shampoo is the love of my life,” says Reagan. Living Proof is her go-to because of the clean scent and how it doesn’t leave icky residue. Washing too often can strip hair of its natural oils and dry it out, so she recommends cleansing your hair every other day – or less. “It’s worth the effort to train your hair,” she says. “It’s a time saver, makes your hair healthier, and gives you that cool bedhead look.” But she couldn’t do it without the oil-sucking powers of her favorite product. Dry shampoo doesn’t only keep hair from getting greasy, it also adds texture and volume. The trick is to massage it in with your fingertips to get that root lift that comes with a wash.
Have you tried any of these? What kind of hair do you have? What are your styling secrets?
(Photo of Reagan by Ana Gambuto. She’s wearing this sweater, these jeans and this lipstick. This post is sponsored by Nordstrom, a retailer we love for its amazing customer service. Plus, they always offer free shipping and returns. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that support Cup of Jo.)