These tips and tricks will give you tresses that look like you just left the salon.

By Rachel Wermager
Updated March 11, 2021
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Going to the salon and getting your hair professionally colored and cut is one of the biggest confidence boosters. (You don't just walk out of the salon, you strut with your head held high.) Wouldn't it just be amazing if we could look (and feel) that good every day? With expert tips straight from hairstylists, you can. You deserve to have a good hair day more than once every six to eight weeks, and you can have beautiful tresses without spending your entire paycheck on hair care products. Here are tips, tricks, and even some secrets from stylists to make your hair look amazing.

Indian woman outside with long hair smiling
Credit: adamkaz/Getty Images

1. Artificial Sweetener Cuts Dye Irritation

The chemicals in hair dye, like ammonia, can cause an irritated, itchy scalp. To prevent it, Stephanie Brown, colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City, adds a few packets of Sweet'N Low ($4, Target) to the color mix. The pH levels of the sugar substitute help offset or lessen ammonia's uncomfy side effect, she says.

2. SPF Tames Frizz

Want a slicked-back style for a summer day? Johnny Lavoy, a celebrity stylist for PRO Beauty Tools, uses a dollop of creamy sunscreen as a styler. Try Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen ($34, Sephora) which is also excellent for your face. The thick lotion tames frizz while giving your strands and scalp some protection against UVA and UVB rays.

3. Baby Powder Doubles as Dry Shampoo

When Devin Toth, a hairstylist at SCK Salon in New York City, needs to refresh hair or build volume, he reaches for baby powder instead of dry shampoo. "I like the application because you can pour it on one specific spot," he says. "Sprays cover a broader area." Or, if sprayed too close to the hair, it delivers too much product, he says. There are also powder dry shampoos available, including Bumble & bumble Bb.Pret-A-Powder ($28, Ulta).

4. Hidden Ponytails Keep Sleek Styles in Place

A low-maintenance hairstyle that looks super polished is great for virtual meetings. When creating a tucked-behind-the-ear look, Toth pulls the section of hair taut and anchors it in a low ponytail behind the nape of the neck. The ponytail will hide behind the rest of your hair resting on top of it, and your tuck will stay in place all day, Toth says.

5. Lip Balm Prevents Dye Stains

No one wants a ring-around-the-hairline stain from hair dye. Lavoy prevents it by coating the surrounding skin using a stick of lip balm before coloring hair. The waxy balm acts as a color-proof barrier. The Sugar Advanced Lip Therapy Treatment ($26 at Sephora), is useful for your strands and your pout.

6. A Can of Hairspray Can Smooth Flyaway Hair

Matt Fugate, a consulting hairstylist at Kérastase Paris, uses the actual hairspray can to smooth flyaway hair. Try the R+Co's Outer Space Flexible Hair Spray ($32, Saks Fifth Avenue.) Holding the can like a round brush, Fugate places it to the hair and runs it down from root to tip.

7. Aquaphor Boosts Shine

Enzo Angileri, celebrity hairstylist for Infusium 23, always keeps a tube of Aquaphor ($4, Walgreens) in his on-set bag. First, Angileri thins out the thick ointment by rubbing it between his fingers. Then he applies it directly to flyaway strands. Angileri says you can also apply it to dehydrated ends. "They appear healthy and shiny immediately," he says.

8. Dry Shampoo Secures Bobby Pins

If hair accessories always seem to slide down your strands, this trick is for you. Celebrity hair and makeup artist Erica Whelan spritzes her bobby pins with dry shampoo, such as the Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo ($26, Ulta) before popping them into her client's hair. The powdery coating gives the pins more grip so that they won't slip out of even the finest strands.

9. Eyeshadow Covers Gray Roots

It turns out, your go-to neutral shadow has more applications than, well, coloring lids and brows. To cover silvery roots in a pinch, celebrity hairstylist Ricardo Rojas dusts them with a powder eyeshadow in the same shade as his client's hair. Check out the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow ($29 at Sephora), which includes several shadows.

10. Espresso Colors Hair

A shot of espresso doesn't just give you a much-needed energy boost. When the hair color goal is a deep chocolate hue, Rojas adds the strong drink to his hair color mix.

Comments (3)

July 22, 2018
I’m desperate. My top hair, mostly sides, is poor and fizzy but not curly, compared to my ‘underhair’ which is smooth with structured curls. Suggestions please. Thank you for reply
July 22, 2018
I love this! How cool to use flat iron to curl! Just heat and twirl. And, I like that makeup tip. Useful.
July 22, 2018
As a retired hairdreser I would NOT recommend trying any of this.