Pro tip: if you're at a blowout bar and want a style that holds the perfect amount of bounce (who doesn't, right?) ask your stylist to use Kate Middleton as a reference. Widely considered the patron saint of good hair, behind every enviable look is her mane man Rossano Ferretti, who, fun fact, coined the term balayage all the way back in 1987, and revolutionized the industry with his "invisible cutting" technique. Unlike a blunt cut, the method hides any evidence you were even chopping your layers in the first place, and even if you go for a dramatically shorter length, there aren't any harsh ends to serve as an indicator. "It came from my unsatisfaction with what I was seeing—I was never happy with the results of seeing the scissor in the haircut, and even in the street, you'd see the layers and be able to tell where the scissor hit the hair," he tells InStyle. "Years ago, I woke up at 5 in the morning and realized the problem. It's not about the scissor or the fingers, you have to follow the motions of the hair using your body, and cut accordingly." During his haircutting sessions, Ferretti will lean in and follow the direction of your hair, and the method can be done on both super-straight and very curly hair, not to mention everything in between. "For 30 minutes, we are one—I follow you, I follow the hair, you follow, and there is no line of demarcation," he says. "The way of cutting hair is changed to a free-flowing concept while paying respect to its natural nuances." Demand for the invisible haircut is high at his many salons, which have worldwide outposts in New York City, Verona, Rome, Paris, and many other locations, so as you wait for your turn on the list, you can adapt the pro's overall philosophy to hair in the meantime. Here, Ferretti outlined four golden hair rules to follow for layers worthy of an actual tiara.
Keep It Timeless
Sure, trendy cuts and colors are fun to experiment with, but when establishing your trademark look, stick to a classic one that feels organically you. "Beauty is about harmony, and I can't cut your hair without taking your personal style and face shape into consideration, so when we do consultations with our clients, I need to know you and what you like, otherwise I won't know how to make you happy," says Ferretti, who notes that most of his clients don't bring in reference photos. "If you bring a picture, of course it makes your stylist's job quicker and easier, but someone else's haircut may not be the best option for you." Guidelines are fine, but Ferretti recommends not working against how your hair naturally is, and before committing to a cut, a thorough consultation with your stylist that touches on how your strands behave and the look you'd like to achieve is always important. "I never really talk about trends—the goal is to be beautiful in your own way, so it's about personalization," he adds.
Work With Your Natural Color and Texture
At Ferretti's salons, the pro veers away from any treatments that can be overly-damaging on the hair, and even when doing color, he takes a very organic approach. His "Aquarella" technique, which is similar to the "Babylights" effect in that it mimics a gradual lightening by the sun, uses your base color as a reference, and only veers one to two shades from it to add dimension. Rather than covering the first signs of greys with a darker tint on some clients, he'll enlist this method in an effort to avoid too dramatic of a change. "I've been suggesting to people my whole life to use the hair in the most organic way. If you already hae a nice haircut, you can follow your natural hair movement when styling, or even air-drying," he says. "Use your hands to separate your hair while it's damp, then pin your curls, layers, or wvaes into place for a few minutes. Just follow what the hair does, and let it dry in the most organic way."
Wash Your Hair Less
You've likely heard whispers that washing your hair on the daily isn't necessary, and Ferretti is here to confirm your beliefs. "Shampoo two to three times a week. Really, two times a week would be the perfect balance," he says. "If you wash every day, it tends to create the opposite effect on your hair. If you're oily, the oil comes more often as you wash as the foam in shampoo can strip your hair." How often you deep condition depends on your hair type, but generally speaking, once a week is a good amount to indulge in a mask or treatment. Unless you go to the pool or gym every day, less is more in terms of the lather-rinse-repeat motions, and your blowout has more staying power as a result.
Develop a Hair Regime
Especially when getting your hair colored, a solid after-care routine is needed to maintain the pristine state of your strands. In addition to your shampoo and conditioner, Ferretti suggests making it a point to use a hair oil and serum prior to styling, especially if you live in an area with a lot of pollution. "You have to give your hair extra protection, especially considering the region, how the water is, and how polluted it is," he explains. "You can have a gorgeous haircut, but if you don't have the correct regime, it won't hold up. In the way a bad cream can ruin your skin, harsh products can impact your hair."