Scroll through Kristin Ess‘s Instagram and you’ll see why she’s considered the queen of perfectly-imperfect beachy waves. She’s a pro. In fact, she’s the hairstylist responsible for Lauren Conrad’s signature surfer-girl-chic style. She’s also the woman behind Lucy Hale’s enviable haircuts. (The blunt bob is still major goals in our book.) And if you can’t snag an appointment with her, have no fear — her namesake hair-care line (which includes products for all hair types and textures) makes her expertise accessible to everyone.
Whether you have been following her for a long time or are just now hearing of her, it’s clear to see that her name is synonymous with great hair. So it only makes sense that when we asked you to tell us your favorite hairstylist for our Readers’ Choice Awards, your answer was Kristin Ess. You also sent in some of your top hair questions, which Ess answered.
Below, see what she has to say about hair thinning, scalp care, and keeping hair healthy.
How can you prevent hair from thinning?
Ess: It’s important to keep follicles from getting clogged. Exfoliating your scalp reduces product and oil buildup. Try a [weekly] treatment with salicylic acid or a scalp scrub. [Editor’s note: We’ve also talked to dermatologists about this, and they agree.]
What is one way to restore a dry, irritated scalp?
Ess: I love doing a pre-shampoo oil treatment. I leave it on for an hour or two. Not only does it moisturize a dry scalp, but it also helps protect it from drying out further when you shampoo.
Is there a remedy for damaged hair?
Ess: Get a haircut. It’s impossible to reverse damaged hair, but you can make it feel softer and look shinier by using [conditioners] with oils, butters, and even fatty alcohols. Cetyl alcohol, lauryl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol all have moisturizing benefits.
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A version of this story originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe to the print magazine here.
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