How Hairdressers Make Hair So Unbelievably Soft

soft hair

Stocksy

You know how it is: you leave the hair salon after a cut and style, and you just can't stop touching your hair. It's soft, shiny, and full of body, and as much as you know your stylist would hate you tugging on it, you just can't resist. What kind of sorcery are they using to get your hair to feel like that, and why do your efforts always fail when you try to recreate that feel at home? Even if you're no professional, these steps can help you get closer to a salon-perfect style at home every time.

01 of 05

It Starts With a Really Good Shampoo

Did you know you're in all likelihood shampooing your hair wrong altogether? A proper shampoo is essential in making your hair look its best.

If you haven't used a clarifying shampoo in a while, it may be time to, in order to rid your hair of all the product buildup and impurities that it collects day-to-day. Because these kinds of shampoos strip the hair, limit your use to just once a week or when you otherwise really feel like you need a deep clean. 

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Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo $29
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If you have curly hair, or if your strands feel like they lack moisture, you might be shampooing too often. Instead of removing all the oils from your hair, you could actually benefit from adding a few more with a cleansing conditioner as a shampoo. Instead of stripping the hair, a cleansing conditioner replaces the hydration your strands lack while washing away the impurities.

02 of 05

Conditioner Counts

How do hairdressers make hair so soft? Your hair and your scalp's appearance and overall health greatly depend on the use of the right conditioner. When people hate conditioner, it's usually because they don't rinse it out well enough–which causes buildup that weighs the hair down and makes it greasy. The key here is to pick the right conditioner for your hair type. If you don't know your hair type, get your hairdresser's help, and be sure to rinse very, very well. If your hair gets oily quickly, apply the product mostly toward the ends of your hair where it's the driest, and avoid applying it directly at the roots. 

If you have curly or coarse hair that needs an extra dose of moisture past conditioner, add a conditioning mask into your weekly hair routine. After only a few uses of a nourishing product like this, you'll notice the change in the look and feel of your hair for the better. 

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03 of 05

Go Easy With the Hair Brush

Everyone is guilty of jumping out of the shower, messing up their hair with a rough towel, and ripping a hairbrush through the tangles and knots with reckless abandon. But have you ever been to a salon where a hairdresser treated your hair with that level of neglect? Probably not. Take a cue from your stylist, and softly squeeze excess water from your hair. Then, gently work your way from the ends of your strands to the roots while brushing. The lighter and softer you are when combing and brushing your hair post-shower, the less breakage and frizz you'll create, and the smoother and softer your hair will feel. 

04 of 05

Bring on the Hair Serums

Shampoo and conditioner are very important, but you also need to pay close attention to the styling products you use when looking for soft, shiny hair. If you love the way your hair feels after your stylist is done with your hair, ask them what they're using to make your hair feel that way. Of course, everyone's hair needs a different product combination, but a great place to start is with three main products: hair oil, frizz reducing/smoothing serum, and blow-dry spray. Use them all, or stick with just one, depending on what your hair needs. 

Hair oil hydrates, softens, detangles, reduces frizz, and tames unruly hair. Apply it after towel drying and before touching your hair with a comb or any other products. Apply hair oil primarily to the ends of your hair, using a very small amount in the mid-shaft area and toward the scalp. If your hair has a tendency to get oily or greasy, keep the product away from your roots.

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Even if your hair isn't terribly frizzy or unruly, a smoothing serum can make all the difference in your blowout. Apply your smoothing serum on freshly combed, slightly air-dried hair. To do so, rub the product between the palms of your hands and work it through your hair with your fingertips. Comb through to make sure the product is evenly distributed.​

After applying serum, apply a few sprays of blow dry spray to your hair for added moisture and shine. Concentrate the product at your ends and comb through to evenly distribute.

05 of 05

Invest in Quality Styling Tools

Getting a great salon-perfect blowout is mostly the result of great products, and the right tools are a part of that. Whether you prefer to wear your hair curly or straight, invest in a professional quality hair dryer (with a diffuser attachment for curls) for the times when you heat style your hair. While an overuse of hot tools can cause damage to your strands, heat is useful for activating styling products and closing the hair cuticle for a smooth, frizz-free finish.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Gavazzoni Dias MFR. Pro and contra of cleansing conditionersSkin Appendage Disord. 2019;5(3):131-134. doi:10.1159/000493588

  2. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overviewInt J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450

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