50 Best Hair Tips From Around the World
Colombia: Avocado Hair Mask
Some Colombian grandmothers pass on their recipe for chicken soup, but stylist Lutz Karpf learned this instead: Combine two egg whites with half of a mashed-up avocado; leave it in hair for 15 minutes, then wash and condition. It's a fast and inexpensive natural remedy that leaves hair super-smooth.
Brazil: Coconut Hair Cocktail
Forget caipirinhas. Girls from Ipanema get a buzz from this shine-enhancing mixture. "Once a week, apply a cocoa butter treatment mask, let it sit for a half hour, then rinse it out with coconut water," says pro Marco Antonio De Biaggi of São Paulo. "The combination leaves hair incredibly soft and moisturized-it's a trick of many Brazilian women."
Argentina: Hydrate with Aloe Vera
It's all about length, says hair stylist Leonardo Rocco, who was born northwest of Buenos Aires. "Women in Argentina associate long hair with sensuality and glamour." To help keep long strands in shape, he recommends applying aloe vera directly to your scalp or adding it to your usual shampoo.
Guyana: Sardines for Shiny Hair
Mexico: Towel-Dry Tresses
Mexico: Gelatin Hair Mask
Jamaica: Ditch the Blow-Dryer
Jamaica: Cactus Benefits
Puerto Rico: Work with Your Texture
"The island is humid and windy, and women here spend a lot of time at the beach," says Guaynabo stylist Elizabeth Rosado. "Instead of fighting their natural texture, we help them embrace it with soft layers." Opt for long, face-flattering layers similar to Jennifer Lopez's, who is of Puerto Rican descent.
Canada: Cold Rinse
Canada: Effortless Waves
Spain: Lived-in Highlights
Ireland: Shiny Strands
"An old trick in Ireland was to wash hair with rainwater for shine," says Dublin stylist Shay Dempsey. "Now women rely on styling treatments like Sebastian Professional Potion 9. Apply it from mid shaft to ends before blow-drying to help smooth the cuticle so that hair reflects more light."
Sebastian Professional Potion 9, $17; walmart.com
Scotland: Chamomile Rinse
England: Fight the Frizz
"Thanks to the wet and foggy climate, British girls have a real challenge on their hands when it comes to their hair," says London pro Nick Malenko. "I tell my clients never to leave home without an anti-humidity hairspray in their bag because you never know when the weather will turn foul." Try John Frieda Frizz-Ease Shine glossing mist.
England: Blond(ette) Ambition
France: Hydrate While You Sleep
Parisian women know a thing or two about beauty sleep. "Overnight treatment masks are very popular here," says Paris salon owner David Mallett. "To add moisture, many women will rub L'Occitane's shea butter cream on their scalp the evening before a shampoo." Another nighttime ritual: vitamins. "Women take herbal supplements to nourish their hair from the inside. Phyto Phytophanere ($60/bottle of 120 caplets; nordstrom.com) is an all-time favorite."
L'Occitane Pure Shea Butter, $12; qvc.com
France: Air-Dried Style
Belgium: Prep Strands for Heat
"To confront the windy outdoors, women rely on thermal styling products like Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray," says Antwerp-based pro Ed Moelands. "It fixes the style in place when hot tools or heat are applied but still keeps hair shiny and soft."
Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray, $20; jet.com
Germany: The Oktoberfest Rinse
Germany: Au Naturel Volume
Auf Wiedersehen, flat hair. Manfred Kraft, who owns salons in Ottobrunn and Munich, says wheat protein is the new secret ingredient for German women who want to add body to limp locks. "At the moment," he says, "there is a trend toward using organic products that contain natural volumizers." We like the Ojon Volume Advance spray.
Italy: Frequent the Salon
Italy: The Olive Oil (Hair) Diet
"A tradition that my family has passed down from generation to generation is to use olive oil in hair," says Italian pro Giovanni Mele. A tablespoon raked through the strands once a week helps to nourish, condition, and improve elasticity, while also eliminating frizz.
Sweden: Static-Free Strands
To cut down on static, Stockholm stylist Sacha Mitic recommends local brand Sachajuan's algae-rich Over Night Hair Repair, a water-based gel. "It contains minerals that add a moist shine to hair but won't leave it greasy."
Czech Republic: Pump Up the Volume
"Czech women have very fine hair so everything is about volume," says Prague stylist Libor Sula. A popular national cure: Kérastase's Volumactive line. "From the shampoo to the styling products, they all give fool proof body."
Czech Republic: Onion Rinse
Hungary: Combat the Elements
"Our air is dry and the water is hard, so a lot of women suffer from limp hair," says Hungarian stylist Tamas Tuzes. Bumble and Bumble Thickening serum plus a blow-dry gives hair a nice lift and bounce."
Croatia: Keep Your Color
Five months of frigid cold can keep Croatian women from the salon for extended periods. To preserve color during the winter, Zagreb-based stylist Ivana Spicer tells her clients to use gentle, sulfate-free products by Label.m's organic hair-care line.
Romania: Sweeten Your Conditioner
Greece: Keep Hair Color Rich
Greek women who are blessed with really thick, dark hair know how to keep it like that. "A shampoo that contains walnut leaf extract creates a deeper, richer hair tone," says Athens colorist Vassilis Stratigos.
Africa: Whirl Your Hair Straight
Before the days of chemical relaxers and flatirons, South African women used a process known as whirling to straighten their strands. Port Elizabeth stylist Sandy Bishop explains the technique: "Wrap wet hair tightly around the scalp and place a stocking over the head to hold it in place. Use a blow-dryer to remove 80 percent of the moisture, then remove the stocking and wrap the hair in the other direction. Dry completely, take the stocking off, and brush the hair. It will be dead straight."
Egypt: Castor Oil Cocktail
"In Cairo, where my family is from, a popular conditioning treatment is castor oil mixed with crushed garlic," says N.Y.C. colorist Rita Hazan. "Add a drop of lavender essential oil to the combination and apply to dry hair overnight; rinse in the morning and you have lush, hydrated hair."
India: Neem Oil to Nourish Hair
In a country with more than 1 billion heads of hair, there are many tricks for keeping strands healthy. Mumbai stylist Natasha Naegamvala recommends following your regular shampoo with neem oil. "Massage a few drops into the scalp, then rinse," she says. "The oil acts as a lubricant to prevent friction and breakage."
India: Give Hair an Espresso Shot
Greece: Sun and Sand Defense
Before hitting the beach, Greek women use olive oil to slick their hair into a tight ponytail. "This protects strands against dehydration from the sun and salt water," says Athens hair pro Ilias Zarbalis. Take a cue from Greek actress Maria Menounos, who wears her ponytail sleek with a mini-pompadour.
United Arab Emirates: Secret Glamour
"Women who spend a lot of time socializing come into the salon two or three times a week for blowouts and styling," says Dubai stylist Natalie O'Sullivan. "Although they wear the traditional abayas, they still want their hair looking very glamorous underneath." The Sex and the City crew demonstrated their flair for undercover glamour during last year's big screen adventure to Abu Dhabi.
Australia: Real Surfer Style
Thailand: Humid Hair Relief
"The climate here is so hot and humid, women need to shampoo their hair often," says Bangkok pro Saisuda Chuawiwat. "To help restore moisture, I recommend Kérastase Chronologiste."
Russia: Pamper Your Ponytail
Vodka, caviar and...horse shampoo? "Believe it or not, the latest craze here is surprisingly unfancy and inexpensive," says Moscow stylist Andre Drykin, who says many Russian women use the equine-formulated Mane 'n Tail shampoo. "It makes their hair thicker and healthier."
China: Switch Up Your Style
China: Take-Out Tresses
Thailand: Coconut Milk Shampoo
Vietnam: Lush Lotus Treatment
Japan: Start with the Scalp
"Japanese women believe that beautiful hair begins at the roots," says Japan-born stylist Takamichi Saeki, who runs a salon in New York. "They will often use treatments to exfoliate and deeply cleanse their scalps several times a week or before every blow-dry. The Nigelle LX products are very popular because they are gentle yet effective."
Japan: Boxwood Combs
Australia: Eucalyptus Treatment
Australia: Sun Shield
The intense sun Down Under can zap the moisture out of even the plumpest hair, says Brad Ngata who owns a salon in Sydney. "Anti-frizz products that also offer UV protection, like Kérastase Soleil-Mirco-Voile Protecteur, are always top sellers."