There’s no such thing as perfect hair, but that doesn’t mean that you should settle for a look you’re not in love with.
What is the definition of perfect hair?
“It could be how it falls, how it feels, its color or all of the above,” says Stephanie Shadid, master stylist at D-Rock Salon. “One important characteristic needed in order to achieve all of the above is healthy hair.”
In order to get the healthiest hair possible, Shadid says it starts with maintaining the integrity of the hair through proper maintenance and product use at home, along with seeing a stylist who is “taking a great deal of care while performing chemical services.”
First, a little dose of reality: “There is no such thing as perfect hair,” says Irma Wheeler, founder and owner of Illusions Salon of Shirlington. Achieving great hair depends on the products used and starting with a good haircut. Then, she says, it is all about the weather any given day.
Since we can’t change the weather, here are some steps we do have control over to give our hair the best chance of looking its best.
Are you washing your hair the right way?
“It cannot be stressed enough, the importance of a fantastic shampoo and conditioner. If you are looking to achieve a beautiful final result it is not just the brand you use, but the specific type for your hair and the way you wash, rinse and condition your hair,” says Tania Ferrel-Saldaña, founder of Colour Bar. She gives us the steps for the perfect wash.
How Often Should You Wash?
If you had told me two years ago that I would wash my hair twice, maybe three times a week, I would have been horrified and disgusted.
[There are] a couple of different things going on. One is the fashion and the style of hair is much more lived in, much more worn. And, frankly, the products have gotten so much better. The quality of shampoo and the quality of conditioner, especially if you’re investing in the good stuff, it makes an enormous difference in how long your hair can feel and look clean.
Dry shampoos and salt sprays help, but one of the errors that people commonly make is not taking the time to properly wash [their hair] so they don’t feel like it lasts as long as it should; they’re not getting in there as well as someone else might for them at a shampoo bowl.
My tip for everyone: When you wash your hair wet it, squeeze out all of the sopping wet moisture, put the shampoo in, comb through your hair with something that doesn’t pull on [your hair] 10 times, with the shampoo in. It’s one way to ensure that you’re getting all the way to the scalp even in the hard to reach places. Rinse, squeeze out the drippy and then do the exact same thing with conditioner.
We’ve been so trained to not put conditioner on the roots, but if you’re using dry shampoo, you really need conditioner on your scalp, roots to ends. –Mary Shaffer, co-owner and stylist at PR at Partners
“You could have the best haircut in the world and the best color in the world, but if you do not finish the look with at least a few minutes of styling time and products, it will never look as vibrant, bright or hold the right shape the way it’s intended to. Even if, for example, you just use a large (2-inch) barrel curling iron to quickly run through your hair in a few big sections, your hair will look much smoother and finished than it would had you just let it air dry and go.” –Shadid
Best Shampoo and Conditioning Products
Tania Ferrel-Saldaña, founder of Colour Bar, recommends:
For fine, colored hair: Gold Lust shampoo and conditioner by Oribe
For medium, colored hair: Beautiful Color shampoo and masque by Oribe