Celebrity hair stylists have become well-loved public figures over the last few years, with many of them sharing tips on Instagram for how to achieve the perfectly polished tresses of their star clients. But finding a way to get into the chair of one presents a challenge, and it could even cost you a flight across the country.
When I moved to California, I was lucky to stumble upon an under-the-radar celebrity stylist in San Francisco. Jerome Molles owns Studio 323 in San Francisco and trained at Byron and Tracey Salon in Beverly Hills, which had celebrity clientele like Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, and Nicole Richie. He now has the privilege of working with many of Silicon Valley’s female executives and entrepreneurs.
If you’ve ever wondered how celebrities seem to always step out with shiny, perfectly styled hair, the truth it that it requires effort, know-how, and time. In one of my trips back to California, I got Jerome to spill his A-list secrets for growth, shine, split ends, and more.
Q: What products do celebrity hair stylists recommend for healthy, beautiful hair?
Women tend to use cheap products, but a quality shampoo and conditioner can’t be replaced. Choose cleansers and conditioners that serve your hair’s needs (dryness, volume, etc.). If you color your hair, a color-specific, sulfate-free line is key for the color’s longevity. I love Oribe. Try Oribe’s Signature Shampoo and Brilliance & Shine Conditioner.
Q: How often do celebrities wash their hair?
Shampoo your hair 1-2 times a week, max. If you go to the gym and sweat, you can rinse the hair and run a light conditioner through the ends, but don’t use shampoo.
Washing too often leads to a dry scalp and dry hair. Also, using cool water is especially important for colored hair. Hot water actually pops open the cuticles and pulls the color out.
Q: What are celebrity go-to products for heat styling?
If you blow dry, curl, or straighten, a heat protectant is key for your hair’s health. Use it all over the hair, not just the ends. I love Oribe Supershine Light because it adds moisture but doesn’t weigh the hair down.
Kerastase Ciment Thermique is a great option as well. Be sure to wring the hair out thoroughly before drying. Don’t brush or dry when the hair is wet; squeeze the water out to avoid friction.
Q: What are your favorite masks and how often should I use one?
A mask is a great option to replenish the hair week to week. I recommend once a week; leave it in as long as you can.
One of my favorite, old-school celebrity products is L’Oreal’s Mega Moisture Creme. It’s about $10 for a huge pot on Amazon. I recommend putting it all throughout the hair, tying it up loosely in a ballerina bun, and just leaving it all day. If you want a luxury option, there’s Oribe’s Gold Lust Deep Conditioning Mask.
Q: How to you grow hair long and strong?
In L.A., I had a celebrity client who was constantly chopping her hair short and growing it long again for different movie roles. She swore by a combination of Prenatal Vitamins, Biotin, and Black Currant.
I personally don’t think what you eat has any role in hair growth or health, but people have varying opinions about this.
Seeing a hair stylist or getting a trim is a one time thing, but what you’re doing day to day – the home care – is what makes the biggest difference in the hair’s health and vitality. (Natalie’s Note: See my extended tips for growing long hair in this post.)
Q: What should I look for in a hair colorist?
Word of mouth is best. If you see someone on the street and love their hair, ask them where they get it done. Another resource is the Redken database; search your area with the filter “certified colorist.” Yelp reviews and Instagram portfolios can be skewed because clients are incentivized to review and stylists use filters on their photos.
I always say that “Your hair is the one piece of jewelry you can’t take off. You have to love it all the time,” so don’t be afraid to interview colorists or set up a consultation before booking. Ask if they adjust their photos on Instagram, and make sure they care about the integrity of your hair over time.
Also, the more detailed someone is, the better. If they throw the highlights in, let you sit and have someone shampoo it out, it’s a no go in my opinion. I customize the color for every client by combining balayage and traditional foiling techniques—you can request this from your colorist.
Q: How can I prevent breakage and split ends?
The heat protectant, mask, and regular care will help, but I also recommend gentle hair ties —cloth, bungee, or silk—to prevent breakage around the place where you tie it up. A silk pillowcase can help prevent breakage and frizz too.
Q: Do you have any tips for girls on a budget who need low-maintenance, lasting color?
The skill of your colorist will come into play here. Ask for a very thin weave on the part and on the hairline so that it doesn’t grow out quite as blunt. For blondes, a purple shampoo up to twice per week will also help with maintaining the brightness and tone of the hair.
Shop Jerome’s A-List Products & Tools
I hope you guys learned something new from this celebrity hair stylist Q&A with Jerome! Be sure to give him a follow on Instagram, and for more hair care tips, check out my blog posts on how I returned to my natural blonde color, what I use to grow my hair long and healthy, my honest Dyson hair dryer review, and this video on how I curl my long hair.