The Secret to Expensive Looking Hair

The Secret to Expensive Looking Hair | Progression By Design

I want Blake Lively hair. Every girl does. I mean can you really blame us? She basically rocks a gorgeous hair style at all time. Beach waves, bomb shell curls, messy pony. You name it, she works it. Why does her hair look so freaking good all the time? Yes, she probably does have a team of stylists dutifully watching her sleep waiting for her to wake up and get ready. It’s cool… But for the rest of us that don’t have a personal hair stylist, we too can have gorgeous, expensive looking hair at all times.

The Secret to Expensive Looking Hair

The keys to expensive looking hair are products and maintenance. Skimping on these extra steps and products will result in average looking hair. I’m not saying that you need to add twenty extra hours to your beauty regime, but time and effort will result in healthy, happy, expensive looking hair.

Okay great Marie, but what does that even mean?

1. Products

I used to think that all I needed was shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, and heat protectant. Ehhh not quite. There are a ton of superfluous hair products on the market, but investing in these six staple products will elevate your hair game and give your hair that expensive look that you are wanting:

Thickening Spray – Spray some of this on your roots and throughout the length of your wet hair. This thickening spray will lift your hair away from your head and give it some body while keeping it light and smooth. My personal favorite is Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Hairspray. It adds volume to your blowout without weighing your hair down!

Dry Shampoo – This product gives your hair an added kick of volume while sopping up the excess grease from your roots. Dry shampoo is great to use when you are trying to preserve the longevity of a blow out! Try Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. I have tried so many different dry shampoos in the past and this one seriously works. No wonder it won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award in 2015.

Texturizing Spray – This miracle in a bottle is perfect for reviving second day curls and adding overall volume, and well- texture. Texturizing spray is applied directly to dry hair, but unlike dry shampoo, this spray can be applied from root to tip.

Silicone Defrizzer (must have for curly hair) – Head off the frizz before it takes a hold and apply to wet hair from root to tip.

Hair Spray– This is an obvious, but necessary product! I use two hair sprays, one for the heavy duty jobs on the under layer of my hair like teasing, (TRESemme) and one for a lighter mist on the outer layer of my hair (Moroccanoil).

Conditioning Oil – This is healthy oil adds moisture and sleek shine to your hair! Apply to the shaft and ends of your wet hair! Stay away from the roots with this one! Favorite: Moroccan Oil (I use the one for light colored hair)

Quick Tip: Shampoo. Rinse. Repeat. Not a shampoo company marketing gimmick. I have recently started doing this and have seen such a difference in the texture and shininess of my hair! The first round of shampoo kicks the grease, and the second round gets the last bit that you missed the first time.

DIY Salon Blow Out at Home | Progression By Design

2. Blow Outs Rule All

When it comes to getting that “just left the salon” look, blow outs are the way to achieve it. If you can swing the extra expense once in a while, get your blow out done by a professional and take notes on their technique. However, if you are like me and would rather buy shoes, you can achieve the same salon quality look at home! I’m not going to lie, I still haven’t completely mastered this technique, but the more that I practice it, the better that it turns out.

Not only does the blow out look good by itself, it acts as a foundation  for every other hair style, curly or straight. It smooths and shines the hair and preps it to be further styled. All of those gorgeous Hollywood up dos and curls started with good blow out!

Quick Note: While having a high quality blow dryer isn’t absolutely necessary to blow out your hair, it is highly recommended. High quality blow dryers like my personal favorite Dry Bar’s Buttercup Blow Dryer, add shine and softness to your hair while cheap blow dryers do not.

STEP ONE: When you step out of the shower, use paper towels to blot out as much water as possible. Using paper towels instead of a towel minimizes the frizz. Finger comb your hair as you blow dry it until it is about fifty percent dry.

STEP TWO: Spray thickening spray onto your roots to create a texture that your style will hold on to. Continuing drying your hair until it is just slightly damp (about 75% dry) targeting the roots.

STEP THREE: Place a nozzle on your dryer and begin blow drying the front section of your hair with a medium size round brush. Take a medium size section and comb through it with the brush until it is completely dry. Pull the section in front of your face while still on the brush and aim the nozzle down to avoid frizz. Do not unwrap the brush until the section cools completely. Tip: If you have the time, unwrap each section from the brush and secure with a pin to ensure that the slight curl stays.

STEP FOUR: Repeat this step on another front piece. Remember to go for the top layer and brush through to smooth and completely dry. Re-wrap the section around the brush and blow dry again with the nozzle aimed downward on the rolled section.

STEP FIVE: Continue this process with the back sections. It is much harder to reach so try to focus on making the ends look good. Take out your previously pinned curls and smooth any stray hairs! Hello expensive hair!

Tip from the Professionals: Blast your hair with cool air at the end of your blow out to close the cuticle and set the hair style!


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Ombre Hair - How to Make Your Hair Look Expensive | Progression By Design

3. Maintenance

THE CUT | Maintaining the health of your hair is just as important as using the right products! In the past, I have been guilty of avoiding my hair stylist because I wanted to grow my hair out. Now, I just take a Biotin supplement. Not only did Biotin jump start my hair growth, but my nails and eye lashes as well! (Umm.. heck yes.)  Regularly trimming your hair maintains its health and keeps it from looking dry and cheap. No one likes split ends!

THE COLOR | Maintenance is equally important with color. If you have dark hair, going Gwenyth Paltrow blonde probably isn’t the best idea. Not only is maintaining this two process color time consuming, it is expensive! Plan to see your hair stylist once every two weeks at LEAST. Failing to maintain your hair color will instantly cheapen your haircut and your entire look. Make sure to get a color that you can afford to maintain. Ombre is a great color style for those of us with budgets! It gives you a ton of leeway with root maintenance since your roots are a completely different color than your ends. Expensive color has subtle  depth with a healthy mix of low lights and highlights. Avoid the monochromatic painted on effect! The most expensive color looks the most natural. Just because it is flashy and obviously color treated doesn’t mean that it looks good.

Some Extra Tips for Preserving Your Color Investment Longer:

  • Wash your hair less often
  • Use shampoos and conditioners specifically for color treated hair
  • Wait 48 hours after your hair was colored to wash it
  • If your hair is going to be exposed to chlorine, wet your hair with normal water first. The hair follicle will absorb most of the regular water first and less of the damaging chlorinated water!

Following these simple steps will result in expensive looking hair that looks shiny, happy, and healthy! Remember that good products and maintenance are everything. With a little dedication and a few minor investments, you can finally give other people hair envy! So worth it. Don’t forget that expensive looking hair doesn’t stop at maintenance, make sure and add quick and easy five minute hairdos to your arsenal to fully dominate the hair scene.

Happy styling y’all! 





  • Reply Caroline @ The Caro Diaries July 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Such good tips! I’m still trying to master a blowout at home.. my sister is fab at it, but mine flop within an hour 🙁
    Caroline @ The Caro Diaries recently posted…21 Things I Learned in 21 YearsMy Profile

  • Reply Alessandra July 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    My hair is the WORST! (Really). I love Olivia Palermo’s hair. Your blow out tricks are genius! I just toss the nozzle around a bit and run outside the door. I’ll be treating my hair with a lot more care now xx

    Alessandra | The PumpUp Blog
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  • Reply Ashley July 21, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    love love love love love this post! xoxo
    Ashley recently posted…Workflow: July 17th, 2015My Profile

  • Reply Nicole July 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    The most important thing to having expensive looking hair is *not showering every day.* Your hair gets dried out because you’re constantly stripping its natural oils! Going 3-4 days without washing will give you guaranteed silky, shiny hair. (At least for me!) x Nicole |

  • Reply Jenny July 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Great tips!
    I definitely need to try a thickening and texturizing spray — that’s the only thing I am lacking from this post.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys
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  • Reply Macarena July 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Rinse and Repeat is something I always do! It really does make a difference. Plus, I try to only wash my hair about 3x a week which helps for dryness, 🙂

    xo //
    Macarena recently posted…Florals + the Perfect Denim Jacket.My Profile

  • Reply Tiffany Khyla July 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Blake Lively seriously has some perfect hair. Really, she’s just perfect in every way, but that’s a whole different story. I use a few different products on my hair, but I’ve seriously never used any of the things that you mentioned. What am I even doing?! I’m also guilty of going several months without going to get a haircut. Split ends are something serious by the time I end up in the chair. Thanks so much for all of these hair tips! I’m always looking for ways to make my hair look fabulous.
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  • Reply Courtneyann July 21, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Great Post!! I loved it!! If only I could master the blow out, haha
    Courtneyann recently posted…The Trapeze DressMy Profile

  • Reply Jordyn July 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Okay I want to hear more about your experience with Biotin supplements. I have heard that they only really help if you are biotin deficient…but it sounds like they have been working for you? Loving these hair care tips, I didn’t know you were supposed to wash your hair twice…I have a feeling it’s going to be a bit of a game changer for me (:
    Jordyn recently posted…Interior Design UpdatesMy Profile

  • Reply Lauren July 21, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Ok I am SO confused. Is the lady in that photo JLo? It looks so much like her but I can’t figure it out and it’s driving me nuts!!! Love these tips, by the way!

    The Fashionista’s Diary

  • Reply Annie July 21, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I’ve never heard of the paper towel trick but I definitely need to try it because my hair gets major frizz/static. I am pretty simple with my hair because it kind of has a mind of its own so I don’t really bother, but I definitely want to try your blow out method as well as go buy a thickening spray!

    Annie // Annie N Belle
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  • Reply Brittany Lockwood July 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I LOVE this post! My first thought was “ain’t that the truth,” and that I can’t wait to start applying some of these tips for Blake Lively-esque hair!

    xx. Brittany | Southern Soul
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  • Reply Annaliese July 21, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    This is such a great post!! Just in the past year I have really started to invest in some key hair products (like finding a great hair spray and two dry shampoos that I love), and also I have finally found a hair curling technique that I LOVE!! I still need to master the blowout though… 🙂

    xoxo A
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  • Reply Jasmine Watts July 22, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Great tips! I’m always looking for ways to make my hair look fabulous and can’t wait to try these tips!

  • Reply Seersucker Sass July 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    These tips are AMAZING! I’m excited to give my hair a blowout now 🙂 My eyelashes have been falling out lately, so I will definitely look into a Biotin supplement.

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass
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  • Reply Ashley Mason July 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips! I’m always looking for ways to make my hair look better and these will definitely help!

  • Reply Sarah July 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I’m a big proponent of dry shampoo and conditioning oil! Thanks for the tips!


  • Reply Alicia July 23, 2015 at 10:21 am

    This is a fantastic post! It’s a little hard with ethnic hair and I can’t follow all of these tips exactly, but I’m going to forward these to my friends who are in need of a little hair therapy 🙂

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise
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  • Reply Nathalie February 10, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Lovely tips, some of which I had no idea of. Will be going to get my thickening spray ASAP)
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