Hairstyling Tricks

Hair stylist with different hair styling tools
There are tricks to every trade, and hairstyling is no exception. Many women find themselves falling into a rut with regard to their hair styles because they think many of the looks that are popular today are too difficult to manage. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some of the most common “looks” in hair fashion today, and the tricks to getting them perfect.
Slicked Back
To get a smooth finish to the “slicked back” look, the secret is to rinse the hair with warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for a few minutes prior to applying the styling product. The application of heat and moisture will break the physical side bonds in the hair and allow it to be combed smooth and flat. All but the curliest of hair can be made to lie smooth and straight along the curve of the scalp.
The styling product should be applied – use a strong hold styling gel for maximum control – and massage it through the hair with the fingers. Comb the hair with a wide-tooth comb first to ensure there are no tangles, then switch to finer toothed combs to further smooth and define the styling.
Big Volume
Whether your hair is a medusa’s nest of snaky curls or sleek and straight, you can pump up the volume in your hair by approaching the problem upside down. That’s right, after shampooing and conditioning, apply some styling gel to the scalp ends of the hair and massage it through the hair to distribute it. Comb through the hair with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute the product then flip your head over.
Dry the hair using your blow dryer on low heat setting or with a diffuser attachment. Start at the scalp and be sure to hold the hair out from the head to get maximum lift at the root ends of the hair. Continue to dry the remaining length of the hair until the hair is halfway dry along the shaft, at which point you can upright your head and finish drying the hair as desired.
If you have curly hair, you may need to lightly mist the hair with a styling spritz, spray gel or hair spray and scrunch the hair to redefine the curls. Straight hair can be misted with a touch of shine enhancer and combed through to give that glossy look to the ends.
Clean Partings
If you want to add a more formal air to your style, try adding a cleanly defined side parting to the ‘do. Make the look as clean and clear-cut by using a touch of styling gel or anti-frizz serum to smooth away any stray or unruly strands. Even the addition of a clean parting to a loose flowing hairstyle can give it a new lease on life. Or give it a basis for a whole different look.
For a fun variation, try adding clean parting to French Twist styles, a ponytail style or simple chignon.
Blunt Bangs
When you want to create blunt bangs but are worried about keeping your line straight, try using a headband (or a ribbon) wrapped around your head to give you a guideline. Be sure to adjust the guide to the desired length (and don’t forget to make allowances for “bounce back” in the hair due to curl or lift at the root) and only make your cuts below the guide, not above. This will make sure you can keep your lines clean.
For the mega-straight styling, the right tools rule: You need a large flat-paddle brush and a good-quality flat-iron. Shampoo and condition the hair; apply protective, leave-in products and blow out the hair using the flat-paddle brush to get the hair as smooth and straight as possible while drying it. Finish the job by misting the hair with spray and flat-ironing it smooth in thin segments.
Sculpted Curl
Sometimes you want a style that has something a little different to it. You want a clean, sleek look, but you don’t want the same old “slicked back” look. Well, try a finger wave, or sculpted curl, to make the look more exciting.
Treat the hair as if you are planning to create the slicked back look. Once the styling gel has been applied, use your fingers and a comb to form curves and ridges in the hair. Allow the hair to set (meaning dry) and use a comb to break the gel and soften the look of the hair. The result is a look that is clean and tidy, and visually interesting.
Are you tired of creating up-styles that seem too flat? You can puff-up your up-styles with a little teasing. No, don’t go making fun of yourself. Tease your hair – backcomb or back-brush it. By dividing the hair you intend to style into two halves and backcombing the inside of the halves 10-12 strokes each, you can bring the halves back together, smooth out the outer hair create the style as desired, with a fuller result.
Stacy - Hair Stylist     ©
Photo: Shutterstock