A Top Hair Stylist’s Tips for Salon-Ready Hair on the Go

Oscar Blandi’s fabled 13,000-foot salon has long been a destination for beauty enthusiasts and fashionistas visiting New York. It is a wonderful throwback to an earlier time where glamour reigned supreme over edge, which explains why so many mother-daughter pairs (and even the occasional son) line the waiting area on Saturdays. Large portraits of celebrity clients, like Kelly Ripa, Sophia Vergara and Faith Hill, known for hair with timeless flair rather than extreme makeovers, grace the walls.

Blandi’s color and cut outlook for winter is straightforward, and adaptable to people of all ages, backgrounds and fashion preferences. “While runways, magazines, and fashion ostensibly set the trends, the majority of women and girls prefer the longer hair,” says Blandi, a native of Naples, Italy. “Graduated long bobs and bobs are what would be considered edgy. That said, long layers will always be in style, as (the technique) works with a variety of hair textures.”

No matter where you (and your daughter or son) have hair done, Blandi offers these tips to protect the investment, especially on the road:

  • In winter months, hair often becomes brittle and dry. One way to help prevent this is to use a low-sulfate shampoo, especially for color treated hair, and have a small bottle of it packed. Low-sulfate shampoo, not always in hotel amenity kits, has lots of emollients and moisturizing elements that won’t strip the hair’s natural oils, and help maintain that moisture and shine.
  • Try not to wash your hair too often in the winter. I suggest a healthy amount would be three to four times a week. Instead, pack a travel-sized, nice dry shampoo, so you aren’t stripping your hair’s natural scalp oils.
  • Between the cold air and hot showers, we aren’t realizing how dry our hair becomes in the winter. I find it is beneficial to try using a humidifier at night for that extra boost of moisture while you sleep. As a bonus, it will also help moisturize your skin and help prevent illness. Portable humidifiers for travel are widely available at various price points.
  • Use a thermal protectant while styling your hair in the winter with flat irons, curlers, and hair dryers. These types of tools expedite fading color and cause dullness and split ends. I recommend applying deep leave-in conditioner about once a week to help enrich your hair with vitamins and strengthen the ends. If you have curly hair, try dabbing a bit of caster oil on the ends to restore shine before flat ironing.
  • Every winter, I see an increase in breakage at the nape of the neck, from high collars and heavy scarves. Silk, cashmere and softer fabrics will allow the hair to slide along the fabric instead of rubbing and breaking. Also try sleeping with (and bringing along) a silk or satin pillowcase for the same reasons.