damaged hair

Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark

The Damage-Fighting Hair Tricks I Learned from Celebrity Hairstylist Peter Butler

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a rocky relationship with my hair. Whether it’s from over-using a flat iron or botched attempts at DIY colour in my teens, my brittle strands still suffer the consequences of these blunders years (and a few dramatic chops) later. While I’ve learned to treat my fragile tresses with a more delicate hand, I still jumped at the chance to sit down with Peter Butler, a celeb hairstylist who’s primped the A-list manes of Claire Danes, Kate Upton and Evan Rachel Wood, and tap his wisdom on dealing with damage.


Here’s what I learned from my chat with the hair wiz:

Ready to Go #SAGAwards #ClaireDanes #Hair @vidalsassoonproseries #Makeup @itsmatin @MarcJacobs

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Avoid breakage like a pro
Butler’s number one tip for preventing breakage? Avoid tugging your hair while blow-drying, as tools run a high risk of getting caught in damp hair. If you do find yourself in a sticky situation, fear not, as Butler has a way out. “If you’re blow-drying and your brush gets stuck three quarters of the way down, that’s where your cuticle is getting really rough. If you stop and mist [the section] with a leave-in treatment and continue to blow it dry, it will smooth out.” Butler’s a fan of Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Ultra Moisture Express Repair, which will soften hair and help tools glide through strands more easily. He also suggests ditching rubber and metal hair accessories (which can pull or rip strands) in favour of a softer alternative, like Stylize No Snag Elastics.

Austrailian Moment @kateupton @walteriooss #oopsACover! @si_swimsuit #tbt #PowerWind #BeachHair

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Identify damage at a glance
Without the keen eye of a stylist, spotting damage can be tricky. Butler recommends keeping an eye out for split ends, a lack of volume and stubborn tresses resistant to styling. “[The hair is] not really doing anything. It’s lifeless—it doesn’t move as much; it’s dull, limp and just flat.”

Tie it Up to Go #HairSetandReady @rebelandabasketcase @Billboardmagazine #LIVE @tobyfleischman #MU #PeterButlerHair

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Master tousled beach waves without using heat
Butler knows a thing or two about laid-back beach hair—he’s styled the locks on the covers of seven Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues. For effortless waves without using a curling iron, he recommends starting with towel-dried hair and dividing it into four sections. Knot each section, then spritz Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Extra Volume Lift-Up Spray over the knots and let them air dry. “You’ll have nice loose waves without the crunchy feel.”

Tame frizz fast
While heat styling and humidity are major contributors to frizz, running your fingers through your hairstyle can also lead to fly-aways. “The less you touch hair, the less frizz you’re going to get,” says Butler. “Style it when it’s damp, set it with your fingers and leave it alone.” If fly-aways do strike, Butler likes to reach for an oil spray to smooth strands. Ogx Argan Oil of Morocco Weightless Reviving Dry Oil will keep strays at bay without weighting down hair.