When doing our hair at home, we want the process to be simple but the results to be meticulous, salon-quality. That’s not too much to ask, right? Riiiight. Since that outcome’s not always easy to achieve, we went on the search for simple styling tips, reaching out to celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolas, who was happy to oblige. With a client roster that includes the Kardashians, Mila Kunis, and Nicole Richie, Papanikolas is one of the most sought after hairstylists in Hollywood, and he knows a thing or two about working hair magic on ladies that don’t have a lot of time to spare. Here, he walks us through ten of his go-to styling tricks to achieve volume, add texture, and get rid of frizz—all in a fast, efficient way.
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1. Wash Your Hair the Night Before to Get Perfect Curls. Curling irons work best on “dirty,” second-day hair. So, in order to get the most out of your curls, wash and blow-dry your hair before you go to bed and style it in the morning. Papanikolas suggests washing with Matrix Biolage CLEANRESET Normalizing Shampoo.
2. Press Dry With a Towel to Prevent Frizz. If you are prone to frizz, dry your hair first by pressing and twisting with a towel, but be sure not to rub it as we are often inclined to do.
3. Blow Dry Your Hair Upside Down for Extra Body. If you are trying to achieve major volume, you can amp it up by blow-drying your hair upside down.
4. Cool Dry Your Hair to Prevent Frizz. After you blow-dry each section of hair, give it a shot of cool air from the blow-dryer to set it and prevent it from frizzing.
5. Clip Your Hair to Create Volume at the Root. To add oomph at the scalp area (especially if you have curly hair), partially blow-dry your hair, then divide it into 2-inch to 3-inch sections, and loop over and clip at the scalp. Dry the loops with a diffuser, spritz with hairspray, and then unclip.
6. Hairspray Your Brush to Prevent Flyaways. If you are going for a sleek updo, first spray your brush with hairspray and then run it through your hair before you style it. This will keep flyaways at bay, yet still allow for movement. Papanikolas uses Biolage Complete Control Fast-Drying Hairspray.
7. Use Dry Shampoo to Add Texture. Most people use dry shampoo to get rid of oil build-up at the roots of their hair after they’ve skipped a shower or two. But you can also use it to add texture to clean hair so it is easier to style and doesn’t look poofy. Just be sure to spray it into the mid-length section of your hair, between the roots and the ends. (Papanikolas’ favorite is Matrix Design Pulse Clean Remix Instant Dry Shampoo.)
8. Curl From the Middle for a Modern Look. When using a curling iron to create a more tousled and modern look rather than the usual manicured “sausage curls,” start curling at the mid-length section, rather than the end of your hair.
9. Flat Iron a Braid for Textured Waves. If you’re going for imperfect, casual waves, instead of using a curling iron, start by braiding your hair. Then press a flat iron over the braids, and let them loose.
10. Spray Bobby Pins With Dry Shampoo for Extra Hold. Before pinning an updo, spray dry shampoo all over your bobby pins and let them dry. This will make sure your pins and hair are in place all day.
Beauty Editor Megan Cahn covers all things beauty for ELLE.com.