The 10 Best-Kept Hair Secrets

Great hair doesn't just come from good products and genes. Try these insider tips (some of which may contradict what you've heard) to see if they help whip your locks into shape.

1. Head massages do more than just feel good.

Take a few extra minutes to massage your scalp when shampooing. It stimulates hair follicles to open pores and clears dandruff or dirt that blocks the follicles' natural oil from creating healthy, shiny hair.

2. Too-hot hair washing can lead to dryness and frizz.

If you wash your hair in lukewarm water followed by a quick rinse in cold, it will help seal ends and protect its moisture. Take care to twist it gently when towel-drying. Never rub!

3. Your stylist is NOT just trying to sell you something.

Stylist commissions on salon products are never worth as much as their reputation. If you trust them to trim your tresses, why not trust their product expertise as well? If they push a product that's out of your budget, ask for a drugstore recommendation.

4. Daily shampooing is NOT always a bad idea.

As much as you're cautioned not to overdo the shampoo, people with very oily hair or a rigorous fitness schedule may need to wash their hair every day. If you're worried about drying out your hair, keep the shampoo focused on your scalp, and use conditioner all over your hair.

5. Dirty hair is best when styling up.

If you're planning on any kind of up-do, braids, or ponytail, skip washing your hair. Hair that's a little bit oily will be easier to style and stay in place. You can always sprinkle a little dry shampoo on your bangs to prevent them from looking greasy.

6. Sometimes you should just start over.

The more you handle your hair, the more you can damage it. Instead of spending an hour fighting with hair that won't do what you want, don't be afraid to say "uncle" and rewet or rewash it.

7. Too-straight, single-length hair draws attention to the lines in your face.

Unless you have the skin of a teenager, you probably can't pull off a super-straight hairstyle without drawing attention to fine lines, wrinkles, and a softening jaw line. Opt for a few layers and/or some gentle waves to soften up your face.

8. Add volume to hair by flipping your style to the other side.

If your hair seems flat, trying styling your locks or bangs on the opposite side. It can add some natural body.

9. When wearing a hat, don't condition your roots.

Hats can stimulate your scalp to sweat and produce oil. If your hair is normal to oily and you're wearing a hat on the way to work, start your conditioner about two inches from your scalp and run it to the ends.

10. Get in good with your stylist.

Stylists have good days and bad days just like the rest of us. Ensure yours is in the best frame of mind for your session by being on time, tipping well, and never forcing her to squeeze you in on short notice.