Hair Care Tips From Bobbi Brown
Bobbi to the rescue
Got a hair dilemma? Bobbi Brown—celebrity stylist, beauty guru, and Health magazine columnist—answers your questions and shares her secrets for beating summer frizz, winter dullness, and all the other hair care problems that can arise.
How can I prevent my highlights from turning brassy?
— Erica Weber, Westport, CT
Bobbi: The sun interacts with every shade of hair color and causes them to oxidize (even in winter), so it's smart to wear a hat whenever you're outside. When my champagne-colored highlights start looking brassy, my colorist mixes me a purple/blue-based shampoo (the tint takes out those coppery tones).
While it won't make my highlights champagne again, it does turn them a soft brown. Wash with it at least once a week to keep your highlights (whatever their color) from turning on you. Or run back to the salon for a toner—it won't cover grays, but it will extend the life of your highlights.
I hate my bangs. What can I do?
— Kim Eliza, News York City
Bobbi: It's one of those things that's happened to all of us. Aside from wearing a hate or headband, I've found that it helps to style bangs all piece-y (using a tiny dab of styling cream). Once they get longer than your brows, you can pin them to one side with a bobby pin. Another idea to get them off your face: Hold the bangs together up in the air and twist back over your head, then cross two pins over them to secure. Be patient—it could take at least four to six weeks for bangs to (noticeably) grow out.
What's the best way to treat dry hair?
— Lauren Angueira, Miami
Bobbi: I've been styling my hair with a hair oil from Moroccanoil (moroccanoil.com for salons) ever since my hairstylist introduced it to me last year. It's made of argan oil, a rich emollient that adds moisture to your hair, and hydrating vitamins A and E. Simply apply it after you shower and before you blow-dry (the oil doubles as a heat protectant). I know I sound like a hair commercial, but it leaves my hair glossy and silky to the touch.
How can I freshen my hair at the gym without washing it?
— Kelsey Pasmore, Chicago
Bobbi: Two words: dry shampoo. Discovering this product has changed my life! Dry shampoos are powders that contain cornstarch and/or silica to absorb sweat and oil. Flip your head over and apply the powder to your hair's under layers. Then add a little to your hairline and part, gently patting it in with your fingers. Give your head a big shake, an voila! An instant, fresh style.
I wash my hair at night. How can I freshen it in the morning?
— Jen Bryson, Chapel Hill, NC
Bobbi: Women with naturally wavy hair can get kinks—especially around the nape of the neck—due to humidity or sweat. A simple cure for common bedhead: Take a spray bottle filled with water (I find adding a little conditioner to the water helps smooth the kinks even faster) and lightly mist the area. Then work through the spot by restyling it with a brush and blow-dryer.
Do I need to change my makeup if I change my hair color?
—Rosa An, New York City
For the most part, adding a few highlights or going slightly lighter or darker won’t affect the colors you wear on your face because your skin tone stays the same. However, any drastic hair change may require some makeup tweaks.
Going much lighter? Switch to cooler shades like light pinks on your cheeks, purples on your eyes, and pinky-reds on your lips. If you go dark, try warmer shades like rose and berry colors. If you go red, use caramel colors on your lips and eyes.
How can I make my highlights last longer?
— Ashley Nevins, White Plains, NY
Bobbi: Instead of paying to color it again, try a DIY highlight enhancer, which revives color with natural tints. Brunettes should rinse with 2 cups of cool black coffee over damp hair in the shower; leave on for 10 minutes, then shampoo. If you’re a blonde, use 3 cups of cooled chamomile tea throughout wet hair; wait 15 minutes before shampooing. Redheads, add 1 cup of rose hips (from a health-food store) to 2 cups of boiling water, let cool, then leave on damp hair for 20 minutes before washing.
Bonus: All of these condition as well!
I hate my hair color. What can I do?
—Kate Mulligan, Normal, IL
Bad color happens. But you don't have to live with it. Go back to your salon or pick up the phone as soon as possible. Often it's not a hard fix: I once rang my colorist after I realized he made my hair too dark, and a rinse with Prell shampoo, which contains a strong detergent that can strip out new color, fixed the problem!
Still, you may need to make an appointment for a quick gloss or toner to soften the shade. Good luck!
My hair is so static-y in the winter. How can I fix it?
— Alex Jennings, Savannah, GA
Bobbi: Those flyaways are caused by a lack of moisture in the air. A few of my tricks: First, I apply a daily leave-in conditioner—well-hydrated hair resists static better. Also, after applying face moisturizer, I’ll run any left on my hands over my hair to flatten frizzies. Hats are another big culprit. Spritz hairspray on your brush and run it through your hair before throwing one on. It works!
Do you have any quick hair-drying tips?
— Katie Greenthal, Los Angeles, CA
Bobbi: Step out of the bathroom—the humidity in there extends your drying time. Blot (don’t rub!) wet hair with an absorbent microfiber towel and air-dry for a bit. In a pinch, facial moisturizer can double as a hair product, preventing frizz, according to my hairstylist, Eric Dominguez of Eric Salon in Montclair, New Jersey. I also swear by a pro-grade blow-dryer, like the Solis Titan Dryer S407T ($130; 800-323-4252).
My hair gets so dry in the summer. How can I add moisture?
— Amy Trainer, Milwaukee, WI
Bobbi: I also suffer from super-dry hair, since I spend most of my summer at the Jersey Shore (haven’t spotted Snooki yet!). My quick fix? A homemade mask that uses hydrating coconut oil to bring my locks back to life. Warm oil on the stove over low heat. Then clip hair into sections, and use a pastry brush or small paintbrush to apply oil all over, starting with the ends and working your way up to the roots. Next, gather and clip hair at the crown, and leave oil on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
How can I keep my hair color from turning brassy in the summer?
— Katie McConnaughey, Queens, New York
Bobbi: The best strategy is to shield your hair from the sun. My colorist says UV rays love to break apart hair-dye molecules, which can lead to fading. I’m a fan of baseball hats in the summer, but you can also wear a bandanna. At the beach, I protect my hair by coating it with regular spray-on sunscreen, which leaves it super-shiny. Also, I use a color-correcting shampoo or conditioner that eliminates brassiness by depositing just a bit of color pigment.
Spray to protect: Bumble and Bumble Color Support Conditioner for Warm Brunettes ($23; bumbleandbumble.com)
How can I ditch my hairstylist without hurting her feelings?
—Lizete Alves, West New York, N.J.
I know it’s an uncomfortable situation, but, trust me, hairdressers are used to this—it’s part of the business. If you plan on going to a new salon, you don’t actually have to say anything; in fact, you might not want to, in case you decide to return to your old stylist. If you want to try someone new at the same salon, tell your current hairdresser you’re in the mood to experiment. She’ll understand.
What's the easiest way to add body to my hair?
—Renee Henry, Little Valley, N.Y.
Bobbi: I turn my head upside down and add a lifting mousse to my roots while itâ€™s still damp. The key is to not apply it on top; you have to get it underneath, right at the roots. I also find adding loose curls or waves helps give my hair extra body. There are even little pocket-sized curling irons you can throw in your bag or stash at the office if you need to re-curl or add body at the end of the day.
Twirl with: TS-2 Go Curl Mini Curling Iron ($35; amazon.com/beauty)
What's the easiet way to hide my roots?
— Karen Stinchfield, New Canaan, Connecticut
Bobbi: I can sympathize. I dye my hair, too—and I’m just 5 feet tall, so everyone notices when I have roots. To hide them, I dab a cotton swab in gel eyeliner and blend it over the new growth along my part. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Sepia Ink ($21; bobbibrowncosmetics.com) matches my hair perfectly.
What's the best way to style my hair when I'm in a rush?
— Ali Peene, Washington, D.C.
Bobbi: There are three elements to your look: hair, clothes, and makeup. So on days you don’t have time for your hair, just put it in a low ponytail, make sure you’re wearing a nice outfit with the right accessories, and put on your makeup. It’s not about looking perfect—it’s about balancing the three elements.