7 Styling Tricks Hairstylists Use on Themselves

Faith Xue
PHOTO:

Pepe León

During my sixth-grade choir tour, I became quite skilled at braiding hair. Our uniform at the time consisted of a navy blazer, a pleated red plaid skirt (shudder), and loafers (the patent kind from Macy's, not the Alexa Chung kind), while our beauty uniform was composed of a bare, natural face and two tight, perfect french braids. Nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rihanna walking down the street sporting this beauty look, which just goes to show that after-school choirs are totally cool and should be treated as such.

As we were bussed from one choral festival to another, the girls would gossip and braid each other’s hair—not out of some weird (false?) notion of femininity but rather out of necessity. If our french braids weren’t perfect, we’d be chided—and our chances of winning first place would decrease (it made sense at the time). It wasn’t until much later that I realised that the deftness I had acquired during this formative period had not translated to my own head of hair. French-braiding someone else’s strands was easy; french-braiding my own hair was near impossible, as I found out one frustrating evening in high school. I settled for my lazy-girl low side braid instead, and bid my French braiding days adieu.

I flashed back to this a few weeks ago when gathering quotes from hairstylists for a story. All of the tips were smart and nifty, but I couldn’t help but wonder (not to get all Carrie Bradshaw): Could tricks and lessons learned from doing other people’s hair really be applied to someone who is trying to do their own? After all, adding bendy waves to someone else’s hair requires a completely different technique than adding them to your own (as does pretty much every type of hairstyle, from buns to braids). Thus, I took it upon myself to ask some top hairstylists (with really good hair, I might add) to share the styling tricks and products they actually use on themselves. Which braided hairstyle is actually doable when you only have two hands and a very limited view of the back of your head? How do you dry and style your own bangs without looking like an '80s pageant girl? You’ll find all of these answers and more ahead.

Keep scrolling for seven styling tricks top hairstylists use on themselves—then apply them to your own hair.

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