Ever wish you had your own personal hairstylist at your beck and call, ready to offer their expertise for all your pressing hair dilemmas? We did, too, which is why we’re starting a new column called Ask a Hairstylist, featuring celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend. (He’s responsible for the Olsens’ iconic tresses, coifs their younger sister Elizabeth, and styles the strands of Dakota Johnson, Shay Mitchell, and others. Oh, and he’s Dove’s go-to hair guru). In this series, Townsend offers up the next best thing to having a 24/7 hairstylist: a seasoned pro who’s willing to answer all your burning (not literally) hair questions.
What’s the best haircut and style for someone who’s all about wash-and-go?
My number one rule when it comes to hair is a simple one: Don’t fight your texture! I often see clients who have deep-fried their hair to achieve a day-to-day look that just isn’t manageable. The straight-haired girls are curling and waving as if their lives depended on it, and the ladies with textures are straightening their hair to death. But it’s not their fault—they usually come in with a haircut that doesn’t allow their locks to air-dry beautifully. You have to have the right haircut for your texture to really wash-and-go with ease, but just think what you can do with the extra 30 minutes every day!
Keep scrolling to find out my advice on cuts for three types of hair textures and my styling tips!
Straight hair can get a bad rap for looking thin without a voluminous blowout, but the problem is not the texture—instead, it’s usually the haircut. Too often, women equate body and volume with tons of layers, but these over-layered ends are actually what’s causing the hair to look flat or fine. Straight hair needs a cut that will fall into place, so it’s best to stick with chic, structured haircuts—like a bob or a lob, as pictured here on Kerry Washington—with some face-framing layers.
Blunt ends make the hair look thicker. Ask your hairstylist to feather the ends of your hair to keep the edges soft.
Dakota Johnson is the perfect example of a wash-and-go girl with straight hair, and I love that she has the choppy bangs to give her long bob a bit of an edge.
Rose Byrne has the coolest choppy lob. On damp, straight hair, I like to add a few pumps of Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave-In Foam ($5) (This item is no longer in stock—we suggest Nexus Hydra-Light Leave-In Foam, $17, as a replacement) and let it dry naturally. This moisturizes the hair and gives it flexible hold as it dries (ladies with fine straight hair can skip conditioner in the shower and just use this as a leave-in). After the hair is dry, spray dry shampoo throughout the hair during the day for added volume and texture.
Let’s just be honest and say it: Wavy-haired ladies have it inherently easier than women with straight or curly hair. Their natural texture lends itself to air-drying beautifully, and there will never be a day that beach waves go out of style. We are seeing a lot of hair trends lately that are ’60s- and ’70s-inspired, like Zendaya's long waves, and I love that the shag is making a return, but it’s more modern and feminine with a wavy texture.
You want to bring out your hair’s natural wave or bend, so this is the cut that needs lots of layers starting around lip length and continuing around the whole head. This new shag looks fantastic with or without a bang, and it’s longer than the shags of the ’60s, so it gives you more versatility. Rosie Huntington-Whitely is a great example.
After showering, apply a big dollop of a mousse, like Dove Nourishing Curls Whipped Cream Mousse ($8), and rake it through the hair with your hands to distribute it evenly from roots to ends to eliminate frizz, while keeping the waves defined and shiny, which will result in a look similar to Suki Waterhouse's loose curves. This is my favorite product for air-drying hair!
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE a curl! When I’m lucky enough to work with a naturally curly-haired client I rarely go for a blowout—I like to play up the curls and texture as much as possible. If curly hair is cut completely blunt, you can get an A-line or “Christmas tree” effect, but if it’s too layered, the ends can look thin and scraggly. I like to keep the layers on the longer side and make sure to cut the layers bluntly with scissors, avoiding razors or thinning shears at all costs!
I’m beyond obsessed with the haircut Ted Gibson just gave Tessa Thompson—it’s an absolutely brilliant long bob with face-framing layers. Curls do require a little more love to keep them looking bouncy, healthy, and touchable, so I tell my curly-haired clients to use a detangling conditioner and comb it through while in the shower.
Look for products that will add moisture to the curl without weighing it down. Anything too heavy will cause the curls to fall and lose their bounce.
After showering, it’s important to seal the hair cuticle, so I rake a few pumps of Dove Absolute Quench Cream Serum ($7) through the curls and then do not touch it! The less you touch the curls while drying, the more defined and beautiful they will be. Solange is an example of serious curl goals!
Want more hair inspiration? Here’s the one haircut that looks good on everyone.