Celebrity hairstylist Kevin Mancuso shares his 5 hair commandments

Crossing paths with an actor, model or red-carpet insider is a given at New York City’s Nexxus Salon. This is especially true during the Nexxuss-ponsored Tribeca Film Festival, which is when we arrive at the all-white space to sit down with creative director Kevin Mancuso.

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Even with his non-stop schedule and lengthy celebrity client roster – the salon’s portrait wall includes photos of Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford – Kevin says he’s had the time to get to know stars like Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman during appointments. “I’ve done tons of stuff with Natalie,” he tells us. “I feel close with her, even though she’s based in France.” Before he was off to style another star, Kevin filled us in on his formula for enviable hair.

Nexxus Emergencee Shampoo and Conditioner, from $14, at select salons, nexxus.ca

1. KEEP IT SIMPLE

“A painstakingly effortless look starts with having the best foundation – [healthy hair] makes achieving any style much easier. When it comes to products, it’s really about the simple items that are always in demand. Spray gels, mousses and leave-in creams that optimize texture will enhance the look of the hair without weighing it down.”

2. SPOT TREAT

“You have to look at issues that affect your hair separately, especially if you’re concerned with texture. If you have dry patches or your hair is ombré, wash your hair with a shampoo for volume when the roots get greasy. Then, use a conditioner on the colour-treated part only; this way you won’t over-dry your hair.”

3. TRENDS ARE GUIDELINES, NOT RULES

“Nineties supermodel hair is back, but this update should be tailored to each individual. It’s about wearing the style, not letting it wear you. You don’t have to be Cindy Crawford or Claudia Schiffer to pull it off either. You’re not serving yourself well by being literal with anything – unless you’re really having fun with it.”

4. SHOP HAIR CARE LIKE SKIN CARE

“People tend to have a better understanding of their skin type than their hair type. Get used to thinking about hair care like you do skin care, by starting with the ingredients. When you’re shopping, look up the top-line ingredients in a product online and find out what each of them is before buying.”

5. LOVE YOUR SCALP

“Care for your scalp the same way you would the skin on the rest of your body. You want to have a clean scalp and avoid dehydrating it. If you have any sort of skin condition that requires cleansing, you need to cleanse your scalp. Clarifying your hair is equally important if you’re using a lot of heavy products.”

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