Hair in a Hurry
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Hair in a Hurry

Time flies when you're caring for your hair. Hair pro Mark Garrison offers the following helpful tips for efficient hair maintenance without giving up your entire day.

All in Good Time

Hair abides by time? Works best on a schedule? Who knew? Yes, it seems there's a time and place for everything, even hair issues. Experts have long been privy to the fact that whatever your hair concern or desire, there is an optimal time to pencil it in to your day planner. Use this helpful chart to plan efficiently:

Time to: Create Curls Lead Time: 3 hours before event/going out Why? Allows enough time for hair to relax into a natural-look style.

Time to: Go super straight Lead Time: 2 hours before event/going out Why? Humidity begins to take its toll right away -- be sure to apply a sealant (wax, pomade or silicone spray) for more lasting results.

Time to: Do an up-do Lead Time: When hair is unwashed, ideally for 2 days Why? Natural oils and atmospheric gunk help control hair, keep it in place -- clean hair has too much slip.

Time to: Change your haircolor Lead Time: Fall or winter Why? Damage control -- brightens and restores after summer abuse.

Time to: Change your hairstyle Lead Time: 2 weeks before an event Why? Hair needs time to adjust to a new way of styling -- as do you.

Clock Your Salon Time

Type A personalities -- or anyone with a full day -- can get a bit restless when clocking salon time. To get the most from your visit and still have time left in your day, try these time-trimming tips.

  • Schedule your next appointment before you leave the salon. Book maintenance cuts 4 weeks out; for shorter styles, make an appointment in 5 - 6 weeks, and for long hair, you can plan on coming back in 6 - 8 weeks.
  • Allow yourself 60-90 minutes for a haircut or single process color, and 2 1/2 hours for highlights.
  • Call ahead on appointment day to see if your stylist is running on time. If not, don't despair. Be grateful you've gotten a heads-up: you can spend more time on work, with the kids, etc., rather than sitting endlessly and flipping through magazines in the salon waiting area.
  • Take the first appointment of the day if you want to get in and out quickly. Select the last appointment if you want your stylist's unhurried attention.

Avoid Time Traps

Consider these suggestions for at-home hair care in a hurry:

  • You need to wash hair only every other day -- less-frequent washes are actually better for hair.
  • For quick dries: Avoid heavy conditioners as they retain moisture. Wrap hair in a towel and squeeze out excess before blowing dry.
  • When blowing hair dry, use your fingers until hair is 80 percent dry. Then use your styling brush to finish the job.
  • If you use hairspray, use an aerosol or dry version. Pump sprays are wetter and require more drying time.
  • If your daily hair maintenance exceeds 20 minutes per day, you may want to consider a more time-friendly style.

For more information on Mark Garrison and his New York City salon, go to