Tips and Tricks for Beautiful, Low Maintenance Hair
Beautiful hair for busy women
Low-maintenance hair starts with the right cut—and a few style shortcuts that'll save you time, money, and morning stress.
There are a few things to consider when looking for a cut that grows out beautifully and doesn't need to be fussed over. Here, the details.
Last longer between salon visits
There are a few things to consider when looking for a cut that grows out beautifully and doesn't need to be fussed over.
Don't go too short
Although you might think super short hair is low maintenance, the opposite is usually true. “Short cuts require frequent trims and more styling than shoulder length or longer ones,” says Caroline Anderson, director of global marketing for Redken. “Plus, short hair can't be put into a twist or ponytail when you're short on time.”
Say no to lots of layers
"Heavy, choppy layers require more regular cuts, and it's often hard to make them look good at home without a lot of effort,” says Sarah Potempa, a celebrity stylist for Aussie. A blunt cut with long layers only in the front requires way less maintenance, and is universally flattering.
Prevent split ends
To extend your time between cuts, protect your ends, since splits and breakage—which leave the bottom portion of your hair frayed and thinner—are often what send you running to your stylist.
"Shampoo less often, condition your ends, and apply a heat protector before blow-drying,” says Michael Dueñas, celebrity stylist and founder of Hair Room Service. Also, treat hair to a weekly deep conditioner to replenish moisture and seal the cuticles, meaning fewer split ends.
Conceal roots for weeks
Even when roots become obvious, you don't need to go for a full-on dye job. "Hiding roots at home is easier then ever," stylist Michael Duenas says.
Cover a bit of regrowth
If your roots are beginning to show and you want to mask them for a night out, try a spray. In a hurry and see a few stray grays popping out at you? Mascara or dark eye shadow can also cover them up, says Erica Campbell, a colorist at diPietro Todd Salon in San Francisco.
Do a DIY root touch-up that buys you a month
To make more noticeable roots disappear for up to four weeks, try an at-home root kit. Apply it to your part and hairline using the comb applicator, which makes the application process way more manageable. It's that simple!
Get highlights that last for months
You can get sun-kissed streaks without a whole lot of upkeep. Check out these strategies for highlights that look great as they grow out.
Stick within two shades of your natural color
"For most of your highlights go just one shade lighter than your hair color," says colorist Erica Campbell. "Then add a few brighter ones around your face." Your color will look more natural, plus you'll be able to go long before redoing it.
Don't go for a full head of highlights every time
Alternate regular highlighting appointments with "mini" face=framing highlights, which save money and extend the time between your regular appointments. "It keeps your color looking fresh," says Campbell.
Save blow-dry time
Follow these pointers to speed-up your styling
Focus on the sections you can see
To swiftly style a blunt cut with long layers, start by blow-drying using your hands instead of a brush. When hair is still slightly damp, apply a few drops of shine serum and finish drying while running a brush over just the outer sections—don't waste time on the sections underneath, Dueñas says.
If you're curly, skip the dryer
You're in luck: The less you do, the better curly hair looks. "Apply a frizz-fighting cream, then twist individual curls, starting from the bottom, while you air-dry," says Laura Boton, owner of Chicago's Sine Qua Non Salon. Once you've shaped the curls, hands off.
Style while you sleep
It's easy: Wash hair before bed, then towel-dry and smooth in a light mousse or gel. Roll hair into two buns (one on either side of your head) and secure with elastics. "You'll wake up to amazing, soft waves," says Potempa. Boton also recommends smoothing a gel into damp hair and then braiding it into big braids for loose waves, small braids for tighter ones.