Beyoncé. Oprah. Twiggy. Few individuals have enough clout to go solely by their first name. What does it take to join the ranks of this exclusive circle? Or be the first hairstylist people call when shooting a magazine cover? Or give Madonna her iconic Marilyn Monroe-inspired hairstyle? Garren, the legendary New York hairstylist has managed to do just that.
With over 1,000 magazine covers ranging from Farah Fawcett to Kim Kardashian under his belt, he is a fixture in the first-names-only club (FNOC, for short).
Garren started in the fashion industry in the 1970s, landing his first Vogue cover on Rene Russo in 1977. He did Oprah’s hair for her first Vogue cover in 1998. Most recently, he worked on Lana Del Rey’s Vogue Italia’s June cover and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas’s December Vogue cover.
But now, he spends the majority of his time working on the paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, petroleum-free and keratin treatment-safe hair brand R+Co, which he helped co-found.
And in the midst of styling models backstage and creating new formulations, Garren gave us his top haircare tips. We recommend taking notes!
Tip #1: Use Light Products to Extend a Blowout
Use products that give you hold but don’t weigh your hair down. Dry shampoo is a great tool in your arsenal to help refresh a blowout. The best way to apply dry shampoo to make sure that no white residue shows is to flip your head over and blast cold air with a blow dryer. “This helps keep the style but cools the cuticle down at the same time,” he says.
Tip #2: Don’t Go More Than 4-5 Days Without Washing Your Hair
Although it depends on the hair type, it is important to wash your hair regularly to keep your scalp healthy and prevent product build-up. “For anyone not washing this regularly (i.e. curly hair), be sure to focus on hair repair by masking, conditioning and stay[ing] away from products that strip the hair when you do wash,” says Garren.
Tip #3: Understand What Ingredients Go into Your Hair Products
“It’s more [about] understanding your products, than staying away from certain ones,” he says. Once you know the primary focus of your hair product, you have to make sure you aren’t overusing one type of ingredient or product. It is important to understand how your shampoos, treatments, scrubs, etc. work collectively. If you have any questions or need guidance, make sure you talk to your hairdresser.
Tip #4: Use Heat Protectant
“It is really important to take care of your hair all the way from roots to ends because when ends have too much heat, there is no way to repair the hair without cutting or trimming,” says Garren. If you use hot tools often, maintenance is very important. He recommends the R+Co PALM SPRINGS Pre-Shampoo Treatment Mask to help restore heat-styled and damaged hair that needs a bit of conditioning. The mask can also be used during the day as a hydrating protectant.
Tip #5: Take Oral Supplements to Promote Hair Growth
The best way to promote healthy (and fast) hair growth is to follow a healthy diet and maintain regular haircuts and trims to remove split ends. One thing that can help is taking a biotin capsule to boost hair strength. Viviscal is another tablet you can take if you are struggling with hair loss. “You must be consistent if you decide to take this supplement,” says Garren.
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