There’s nothing quite as sexy as slapping on a thick, greasy hair treatment, twisting your hair into a sky-high topknot, and waking up to a big pool of leave-in conditioner on your pillow, amiright? Yeah, didn’t think so. For something as wonderful and indulgent as a hair mask, it really couldn’t be any less appealing.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Hairstylist and founder of Reverie Garrett Markenson is making it his mission to bring hair masks, oils, and leave-in sprays into the light of day. “I think it’s time to introduce treatments as a mobile lifestyle ritual, rather than an old-fashioned isolated experience in a salon or at night,” says Markenson. Ahead, he created three looks that are sexy, chic, and not the least bit drippy or lank. Keep scrolling for some major hair inspiration and to find out why you should be swapping out your drying gels and mousses for leave-in masks and oils, ASAP.
For this look, Markenson combed David Mallett Mask No. 1: Le Hydration from root to tip. He gathered the hair in a low ponytail, twisted it until it rolled in on itself, and secured it with another elastic, leaving the ends free. If the ends are looking a little droopy from the oil, hit them with a quick blast of texturizing spray (but not too much — remember, this is a treatment style.)
An important note: When selecting a mask that you plan on wearing for hours, be sure it's protein-free. “Protein treatments can be very reparative, but if you use them too much, they can cause buildup and breakage,” says hairstylist Ursula Stephen. Moisturizing masks are your best bet. And if your hair is superfine, opt for a leave-in spray to achieve this look — otherwise you might need a clarifying shampoo to wash it out, which brings you back to square one.
Scalp treatments used to be all the rage. "Back before shampoo, people would put on scalp treatments and brush them through the hair," says Markenson. And lately, they're making a much-needed comeback. "The scalp is the cornerstone for the integrity of your hair," says Markenson, who urges his clients to look at their scalp like they do the skin on their face.
For this look, he dispensed multiple drops of oil all over the scalp and gently massaged it in with his fingers. He coated the remaining mid-lengths and ends in Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil. "Oils are always best for the ends because the ends are so porous and tend to absorb products really quickly," says Markenson. He secured the hair in two mini pigtails, braided them, and pinned them against the nape.
Arthur Arbesser Jumpsuit.
For this look, Markenson spritzed the mist all over the hair while it was slightly damp. He then rubbed Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil between his hands and smoothed it over the top of the head and down through the lengths. After pulling the hair into a low ponytail, he spritzed a touch of Bumble and bumble Surf Infusion (it also contains moisturizing oils) through the tail and diffused it with a dryer on very low heat for texture. (Gold star if you air-dry it.)
Remember: Just because you've got treatment products in your hair doesn't necessarily mean you're in the clear. Since leave-in creams and oils can make the hair slippery and more elastic (and therefore more prone to breakage), it's important to style slowly and with extreme care. "Pulling things low creates less tension," says Markenson. And avoid the classic topknot. "It's good to have style versatility so your hair doesn't get too used. If you wear nice shoes, you don't wear them every day," says Markenson. When you're done with the treatment, rinse thoroughly with warm water and proceed with your regularly scheduled style. (Which sort of seems a little boring now, doesn't it?)
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