Eric Booher, a stylist at Meridian Design Group in Carmel, Indiana, suggests you start your night-before routine with the right products. "Shampoos are labeled – this one's for oily hair, this one's for dry hair, this one's for color-treated hair," he said. "The science behind those labels is the pH balance." Nail the pH balance to keep your cuticle – the shaft surrounding each strand – smooth. Ditto for conditioner. "A conditioner smoothes the cuticle down, and when the cuticle is smoothed down it's more like a glass surface — it shines and reflects," said Booher.
An open cuticle makes hair tangled, dull and frizzy. To have manageable hair in the morning, make sure your cuticle is closed, or smooth, before bed. Shampoo can over dry your hair, which opens the cuticle. Unless you have oily hair, only shampoo every other night. "Your hair's natural oils are the best conditioner," said Booher.
Hair with a little wave is perfect for night-before styling. Wash your hair before bed. Gently towel dry, and apply a dollop of mousse — the mousse keeps curls intact while you're sleeping. Go to bed with wet hair, and you'll wake up with body and a natural curl. Apply a little pomade to de-frizz, and you're good to go.
If you fall asleep with wet hair, you will wake up to flat or bent spots. Instead, shampoo and condition, then blow dry your hair with a round brush. Put it in a loose pony tail on top of your head. "That way, the curl is able to stay in the hair without it being flattened while you're sleeping," said Booher. "In the morning, just pull out the pony tail. Since it's been lifted to the top of your head, it'll have volume throughout the day."
If you've had your hair straightened, wash and dry at night. In the morning, wet your hair with hot water and style as usual. "Hot water helps push oils down the hair shaft," said Booher. If you don't have a blowout, wash your hair and use a round boar bristle brush to dry your hair. In the morning, run the brush through your hair to add volume and body.
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