Your Top 25 Hair Questions, Answered

Katie Dunlavy of the Pearl Pages facing away from the camera and holding hands with her two daughters, all three are wearing white Lularoe tops, Lularoe denim and have long hair.

Hello, my gorgeous friends! I‘ve been getting so many good hair questions from you all, so I put together a list of the top 25 questions I’m asked from here and in the salon. Honestly, as I wrote these answers I thought, wow, each of these could be its own blog post. You can be sure there’s more hair tips and tricks to come. Read on through and I bet you’ll learn something. If I left off a question you want answered, feel free to leave a comment! I’m here to help you get the hair you’ve always wanted. Let’s dive into your hair FAQs:

  1. What’s the best shampoo and conditioner?

We know every head of hair is different and has different needs. But if I had to choose ONE that would be great for all people, it would be Davines OI shampoo and Davines OI conditioner. (Which, by the way, we ship for free 😉 ) These products give you shine, softness, and body. Whatever your hair needs, OI helps with it.

  1. Best hair spray?

Big Sexy Spray and Play. It gives you a good hold, it’s not matte or shiny, it’s just a nice frizz-free finish. In the salon, we’ve tried every other hair spray under the sun but this is one we always come back to. Now, if you need a good concrete-level hair spray for a dance competition or another high-hold situation, Amika Headstrong is your spray. My hairstylist bestie argues for Kenra Platinum. Grab a travel size if you want to test it out before you buy a full-size hair spray.

  1. Best hair oil?

I am all about Davines OI All in One Milk. This spray helps with tangles and elasticity, it’s a heat protectant and it fights frizz all while promoting shine. Did I mention it smells amazing? Literally all in one.

  1. How can I grow my hair long like yours?

It’s not complicated: quit messing with it! Pick a color and stick with it. Make only minor adjustments to your hair color for say, 5 years. Use high-quality products and tools. Be nice to it, brush it with a good brush, love it. Still not growing how you want? Keep in mind that your diet, environment, and lifestyle play a huge factor. Your hair is a direct result of your inner and mental health. If it’s good for you, it’s good for your hair.

  1. How do I do a messy bun?

Oh! I have a blog just for you: Easy Messy Bun How-to For All Hair Types (With Video!)

  1. My scalp is itchy, what can I do to help?

First, check out my blog post on ‘How to Shampoo.’ If that doesn’t help, check out Davines CALMING shampoo and Davines CALMING superactive. Both of these bring relief and promote healing to the scalp. Davines also has a RENEWING line of products and in-salon treatment that could be very helpful. I’m always happy to talk—send me a message with your specific scalp situation and we’ll figure out which one is right for you.

  1. How do I get my hair to look less greasy?

Again girl, I have a blog for you! And a blowdry blog that could also help! Still not getting where you want to be? Give the DEDE or VOLU lines from Davines a try. Do you use a good clarifying shampoo? Everyone should add clarifying shampoo to their shower regimen. It removes any buildup and gets your hair and scalp nice and clean. I use mine once or twice a month. Your own clarifying shampoo use depends on your lifestyle. Do you work out often? How much styling product do you use? The more sweat or products you add, the more often you should clarify.  

  1. How do I get more volume?

Again, that shampoo and blowdry blog could help! High volume hair starts with a strong foundation. I also really like the VOLU Hair Mist from Davines for soft volume. It won’t get your hair to heaven, so if you’re a bigger-hair-is-better girl I would recommend Big Sexy Root Pump mousse (Amazon link?). VOLU adds a nice texture at the root and with proper blowdrying it does give you some real volume. I also like the VOLU spray over Big Sexy Root Pump because it doesn’t make my hair feel sticky or gross. If you want to be able to still touch your hair, go with VOLU Hair Mist. If you want SERIOUS volume and don’t care what your hair feels like, go with Root Pump.

  1. What products do you recommend for men?

Hanz de Fuko through and through. Mike and I researched the best men’s hair products hard. We love Hanz de Fuko both as a company and for their products. They have so many options, and they’re designed to be “cocktail products,” meaning you can mix and match for a custom look. Mike uses Claymation and Quicksand. The Natural shampoo and conditioner are also great for men. They even have a fun quiz on their site where you can get product recommendations for your hair type.

  1. Are professional products really that important?

YES. If you only believe one thing I ever tell you, BELIEVE THIS. Skimp on your paper towels, toilet paper, laundry soap, ANYTHING before you skimp on shampoo and conditioner. It makes a 100% difference. I know some of the products I recommend are a tad pricey, but they’re worth it for the results you get. If you can’t swing it, Redken and Biolage make great products (except for Biolage Raw, it’s garbage). I’ve used Redken and Biolage on and off since I was in kindergarten and they’re on sale regularly at Ulta. Listen, If you have a quality handbag but are using Suave, you are doing yourself a disservice! Your hair is on your head ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Invest in yourself!

  1. If I can only afford ONE product, which is more important: professional shampoo or conditioner?

Again, I stress that you should make the purchase of both a priority. But I also understand the question. The answer depends on your hair. If you have fine or short hair, I would say shampoo. If you have long or thick hair I would go with conditioner. The longer your hair is the more important a quality conditioner is to keep those ends healthy and prevent breakage.

  1. How can I protect my hair in the summer?

Summertime is hard on the hair. I get it: pools, lakes, and SUNSHINE. OOoooo it can cause a head full of problems. I recommend covering your head when possible with a cute hat or scarf. It’s also helpful to get your hair wet with sink water or bottled water prior to getting in the pool or lake. Your hair is like a sponge so saturating it with “clean water” can keep it from soaking up harmful chemicals. You can even up the protection by putting conditioner in your hair prior to getting in the pool. I wet Iley’s hair, cover her hair in conditioner, and put it in a loose braid to keep it healthy. As far as specific products? I was in love with Aloxxi’s leave-in conditioner for all things summer but they switched formulas. I’m currently testing the Davines SU line of summer products and I’ll let you know the results. Oh, and check your labels for SPF—yes, your hair needs sunscreen too!

  1. Am I too old for long hair?

NO! If your hair will allow it, go for it. I don’t know who came up with this ‘long hair is for certain people’ rule. We are all different and beautiful in our own way. If your hair will grow long, GO FOR IT!

  1. My hair always looks the same no matter what haircut I get, help!

Are you styling it the same way? I mean, if you’re going through the same motions, this can definitely happen. The cut is the foundation, but the styling is a big part of how your hair actually looks. Pay attention to how your hairstylist does it. Or try switching things up. Use a different heat tool or technique. Add in a product you’ve never tried, like a good texture spray!

  1. Bangs, should I do it??

Bangs are like a tattoo on YOUR FACE. Ok, maybe extreme, but both are extremely annoying to change your mind about. If you’re considering bangs, think about it long and hard. Bangs require a lot of maintenance. Even if you don’t fix your hair, you WILL have to fix your bangs. I’m not trying to talk you out of it, just making sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s always an adjustment when you first cut them, you’ll probably hate them for a week even if bangs were a good call. You could always buy a clip-in pair to try out before you commit.

  1. My hair is falling out, what should I do?

There are SO many different reasons your hair falls out, and the good news is most of them aren’t permanent. Did you start any new medications? Mood meds and blood pressure meds have been known to cause hair loss in some people. Look up your side effects! What are you eating? ARE you eating? A healthy diet with plenty of protein and good fats is love for your hair. Are you stressed out? Girl, when my clients are stressed I know right away! I can see a divorce or workplace drama coming in the door. I know “reduce your stress” is the advice for everything but I promise: IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. I lost so much hair when Ada was diagnosed, most of it right in the front. I now have these 4-inch long not-bangs growing in to deal with. Fun! If none of what I’ve mentioned applies, talk to your doctor. From experience, I recommend documenting any hair loss. EVERY woman thinks they are going bald at some point and if you want answers faster, you need the data to back up your concerns.

  1. What hot tools do you recommend?

Currently, I’m on the hunt for a reliable brand that won’t let you down. It seems like whenever I find something that works, they discontinue it or update it in a way that makes it…worse. However, I will say this: if you can buy it at Walmart or it costs less than $50, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY.

  1. How can I make my hair look thicker?

Any product with a matte finish will give you a thicker look. I particularly like the Davines VOLU Shampoo and VOLU Hair Mist when prepping hair for extra volume.

  1. Why won’t my hair stay put with a bobby pin?

Are you using it correctly? Let me grab you a graphic!

A black bobby pin with the wavy part face up and the words "wrong way" next to a bobby pin with the flat side on top and the words "right way" by Katie Dunlavy of The Pearl Pages.

The flat part should be on top, see? Also, not all bobby pins are created equally. I like Salon Care or MetaGrip just fine. And if your bobby pins are always magically disappearing, you NEED this cute little magnetic bobby pin holder.

  1. How can I get my hair to actually hold a curl?

A good shampoo and blow dry will set the foundation for any style. Use Davines Your Hair Assistant Blowdry Primer on your damp hair before you blowdry. Then prep your dry hair with Kenra Thermal Styling spray. (Note that this spray can change the texture of your curls, add it if your hair REALLY doesn’t want to hold a curl.) Use a professional heat tool or try the Hot Tools brand at Sally’s—they aren’t bad. Hold each curl until it cools once you release it from your heat tool. This will help your curls set. On the other hand, if you’re trying for looser curls, you can pull the curl down as it cools to make it more wave-like.

  1. Purple shampoo? Blue shampoo? What’s the deal and which one should I use?

Well, think about a color wheel: purple is across from yellow, and blue is across from orange. So purple shampoo will help cancel out yellowness and blue shampoo will help tone down brassiness. Are you seeing more yellow? Use purple shampoo or conditioner. Seeing more orange tones? Go for blue.

  1. Is drug store color ever OK to use?


  1. Why does my hair feel so great when you wash it?

The products I use and the way I shampoo⁠⁠—again, this dang ‘How to Shampoo’ blog is just essential. I shared my favorite shampoos and conditioners above, but feel free to leave a comment or send me a message for a personalized recommendation. 

  1. I bought the same shampoo on Amazon, why doesn’t it smell like the one from your salon?

Just like there’s fake Gucci, there are fake hair products. I know, it’s a sad story. Professional brands only sell products through salons or directly from their manufacturer account on Amazon, so those the only places you should buy them. Buying hair products from TJ Maxx or Ross is also a bad idea. They’re cheaper because they’re old, damaged, or often, not the real deal.

  1. What is the best thing I can do for my hair?

Use professional products, be healthy, be nice to your hair, and don’t drastically change colors. Every time you deposit and lift color you’re compromising the integrity of your hair. We want to keep that hair as strong and healthy as any other part of your body!

Whew, that was a lot⁠—I hope these answer your questions! Did you learn anything? Got a follow-up question? Tell me in the comments. If you use any of these tips, show me!! Post a picture using #thePearlPages and I’ll repost it to my Story.



3 thoughts on “Your Top 25 Hair Questions, Answered

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