According to celebrity hairstylist Irinel de León, now is the perfect time to lay off the heat and excessive hair products in order to let your natural hair shine.
"It's important that people understand that we're in the generation it's like product, product, product," she tells E! News in a recent interview. "You know like this product for this, use that product for that—but a lot of people don't realize that an excessive use of products leads to tons of build-up on not only your scalp, but the rest of your strands which can clog the pores of your hair and affect your curl pattern, your wave pattern and the overall texture of your hair."
The mastermind behind your fave celeb hairstyles including Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashain, Kourtney Kardashian, Hailey Bieber, Chrissy Teigen and Karlie Kloss is now giving us her tips and tricks for the best hair glow-up.
In an interview with E! News, the New York City native and current Ouidad brand ambassador also gave us the 411 on how to achieve an effortless hairstyle at-home, the different methods and habits you can choose to implement into your daily hair routine in order to get it looking positively radiant and of course, her tricks to how she styles the hair of all our favorite celebrities.
Read our interview with the stylist below!
E! News: What are some of your tips and tricks on how to achieve the perfect effortless hairstyle look from home?
Irinel de León: I'd say probably utilizing whatever natural texture you have—if you have wavy or curly hair, probably using styling creams and just scrunching it into your hair and letting it air dry. I personally love the Ouidad Curl Quencher—it's like an intense curl cream for curly hair. For girls with straight to wavy hair, I'd probably saw a low, pretty bun with face-framing tendrils is really flattering on pretty much every kind of face shape or texture.
In terms of at-home styling tips, I'd probably say look at what you're using… if you absolutely need to use heat, well I'd say lay off the heat first of all during this time. Kind of give your hair a little bit of a break during this time just because a lot of girls, we torture our hair and we're constantly putting heat on it or pulling it back. We're doing all sorts of things in our everyday life, so if you must use it then a tip I would have would be to make sure that your tools are actually clean. It's so important.
It's something that a lot of people just don't talk about. If you need to use a blow dryer, making sure that your blow dryer filter is clean because that can cause overheating. Making sure your brushes are clean to make sure all the bacteria is out of there so it's not building up bacteria on your strands or on your scalp.
E!: That's a great tip. A lot of people at home might not realize that when they're doing their hair.
ID: It not only causes overheating, but it also can damage your tool. So, whether you're using a nozzle, or however you're using it, it can really cause overheating and lead to more damage to your strands than necessary. For more at home styling tips, I'd say utilizing the natural oils that we have on our head. A lot of people are just not washing their hair as often as they normally would. So if you have super oily hair, use that oil on your scalp to just like brush it through with a board bristle brush down through your strands to make sure that the rest of your strands are coated.
It might sound kind of gross, but it's super helpful for your strands and also for your scalp, too. I'm a huge fan of very sleek hairstyles and using what you have is super important. So, if you have super oily hair, part it down the middle and just sleek it back into a low pony and then wrap the hair around and create a bun.
E!: You mentioned we should all stay off the heat right now… What else should people be doing right now to get our hair back to the healthiest it can be?
ID: I would say for sure try to mask, I call it "mask and chill." Apply a treatment mask at least once a week to your hair. You can like sleep in it, you can leave it in all day. One of my favorite hydrating masks that has a ton of nutrients and just like really yummy ingredients for your hair is the Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask. I normally put it in after I've washed my hair. I'll either braid my hair or I'll let it air dry or I'll wrap it in a bun and just let it be. So you should definitely be masking your hair.
Other things that you should probably be doing is avoiding a terry cloth towel on your hair. It's so bad for your hair. It strips your hair of moisture and also make sure that you're making small changes around your house, you know. I think that's one of the biggest ones, avoiding a terry cloth towel and make the switch to a micro cloth towel. It absorbs the moisture, but it doesn't strip it of moisture. If you don't have a microfiber then using an old cotton t-shirt—using that to dry your hair is super helpful especially for girls with wavy or curly hair. One of the worst things you can do is use a terry cloth. For straight or wavy hair, too, it's one of the worst things you can do.
A lot of girls just wack their hair with a brush, with a detangling brush, and you can actually hear it detangling. If you can hear your hair detangling, it's no good because the hair is the most fragile when it's wet. You just want to make sure that you're being extra gentle, starting at your ends and working your way upward. Even if that means detangling it in the shower and not after you've rinsed the conditioner out. I'd probably say those things are super helpful and you'll definitely see a difference in the frizz and just the quality of your hair as well.
E!: You work with some of the best celebrities including Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Hailey. Their hair always looks so amazing and of course, it looks effortless. Do you ever get any requests? Or how do you maintain an effortless but chic look with all of your clients?
ID: Oh my god, it's so hard because I feel like I spend an hour and a half making it seem like you just rolled out of bed and you have the prettiest texture. It's an art. It really is because you don't want to style someone's hair and make it seems like it's too done, so I feel like I strive to achieve a very effortless "I'm done" look, but still you have a pack of extensions and I use different types of tools on you.
E!: So what you're saying is… it's really hard to look effortless.
ID: It is! Unless you're a French woman who has this like really pretty effortless texture, it's, yeah… But usually I'll use two different tools on clients. I'll use a flat iron and a curling iron. It's important to create different types of texture in the hair.
So, if you want to, I don't know, if you want to have effortless waves or something, you can achieve that using two different tools. You can go in with a curling iron, and kind of go through and curl your hair by creating different twists in the hair, going forward, going back, and switching the direction. And then raking your fingers through it once it's all done and cooled down, and then you can go in with a flat iron and just touch up a couple of pieces and just create a different kind of texture just to break up the texture of the curling iron so you have a couple different things going on, but it will end up looking super effortless in the end, and then texture spray is my best friend for styling.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.