Is there such a thing as a “wash-and-go” haircut? I really want my beauty routine to be low-maintenance but my hair is something else. I hate spending time on it, but I still prefer it weren’t ugly, you know? Traveling makes it even more difficult, because I don’t want to bring an arsenal of tools and products.
That’s why I called upon my good friend and hairstylist Catherine to talk me through the secrets of low-maintenance hair.
Catherine has over 8 years of experience in hair and makeup, styling stars and performers for television, editorial shoots, and fashion shows.
Learn how to pick a style, communicate with your stylist, and save time doing your ‘do.
Q. Do you have any tips for picking a low maintenance haircut?
A. Pick a haircut that is appropriate for your hair type. Certain shapes look amazing on straight hair, but they just don’t work on curly hair and vice-versa. You should also pick your stylist according to their specialty. Although not many salon owners will admit it, no matter how versatile their stylists are, they are usually most comfortable dealing with specific hair issues. Feel free to ask the receptionist or salon manager who they suggest for the service (cut/color) you are planning to get. This is key, especially for curly hair types!!!
Be creative in your choices without forgetting how much time you have to do your hair or which tools you have at your disposal.
Also, make sure that you pick a length that you can easily manage. In some cases that may be quite short (to avoid excessive drying time) or pretty long (so you can braid it or have it in a pony tail).
Be creative in your choices without forgetting how much time you have to do your hair or which tools you have at your disposal. Most of the “undone” or “messy” looks you see on social media posts took A LOT more effort than you would imagine to become Instagram worthy.
Q. Do you have any tips for communicating with your hairdresser?
A. Do your research before your appointment! Make an inspiration board with several different photos of the style you would like. Having a bunch of them together lets your stylist see the general trends of what you’re looking for. If two of the photos are a different length or shape, your stylist will be able to point that out and make sure they aren’t doing the wrong thing.
To make sure you get what you want, explain your ideas as best as you can in your words and stay away from trendy buzzwords.
Try to use simple language. It’s tempting to repeat things you hear stylists say, or things you read online, but just as in other fields, hair styling has it’s own vocabulary. To make sure you get what you want, explain your ideas as best as you can in your words and stay away from trendy buzzwords.
Lastly, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll never walk into a salon and tell the stylist that they can “do what they want” to your hair. You might want to try : “I’m not sure what I’d like and I’m open to your suggestions today,” instead. Remember that what a stylist thinks will suit you the best may not always be ideal if they don’t know you that well.
Q. What low-maintenance haircuts do you recommend for straight, thin, wavy/frizzy, curly hair?
Straight hair is awesome because you can get away with pretty much anything. Lucky you, straight blunt bangs might actually dry well and give you an automatic edge. You could also easily manage shorter styles.
Try a mid-length or short cut to avoid weighing down your hair (which makes it look flat). Don’t forget that layers remove weight and that you might want to avoid them if your goal is to make your hair look fuller.
If your hair isn’t sure what it wants to be, stay away from shorter styles. Wavy-Frizzy hair is a great texture to get a mid-length layered cut and then style it by applying mousse on towel dried locks before braiding or twisting and letting air-dry over night. If you’re quick at braiding or good at pinning, you can get away with longer styles.
Curly hair is best suited for squared out layers. Avoid cuts that use too much circular graduation or layering (round shapes!) if you want to pass on the “big fluffy poof” look.
Q. What are your favourite time-saving tips for styling your hair?
A. In my opinion, shorter styles should be blow dried (especially if you wash your hair before going to bed). Towel dry your locks and then apply a heat activated styling product. Dry your hair with a flat brush and let it cool a bit before lying down or putting on a hat! You’ll see that the 10 minutes you took to dry your hair nicely will save you a lot of time styling. Hair that dries wonky stays wonky!
Braiding or twisting hair and setting it with pins under a scarf over night is a great time-saver for mid-length to long hair. If you want to save time, but you’re addicted to your blow dryer and hot tools, consider drying and styling your hair once and then riding out that style for several days by using scarves, headbands or by pinning it up.
Braiding or twisting hair and setting it with pins under a scarf over night is a great time-saver for mid-length to long hair.
Some types of curly hair are simply nicest when a moisturizing curling lotion is applied on towel-dried hair. Quickly take large strands and twist your hair into the shape of the curl. If it isn’t working and the hair is falling flat, try twisting the other way, as you might be working against your natural curl. Let your hair air-dry, or use a diffuser on your dryer. (Diffuser tip: set the heat at high and the air flow at low for less frizz).
Q. What are your favourite products right now?
A. Pravana hair colour and haircare products!