I don’t know about you – but I’m always stressed about getting a new haircut, how to take care of my hair, and what products are best (there are so many to choose from!) I recently had the chance to chat with Jamal Hammadi, fashion stylist extraordinaire and get advice on all of these topics.

Jamal has worked with some of Hollywood’s most coveted stars. His clients have included Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, James Franco, Claudia Schiffer, Tilda Swinton, Naomi Watts, and many more. His hair care line, Hamadi Organics, is “Tested on Actresses, Never on Animals™.

First up, Jamal put together this great video about how a stylist best chooses a hairstyle:

SM. How often should I get my hair cut?

It really depends on the length of your hair. Longer hair can go longer, but for any length – if you want to keep it healthy – you need to get a trim every 6 to 8 weeks. Even if you’re trying to grow it out you should still get the ends trimmed so they don’t fray. Or as an alternative to keep the ends healthy, nourish them with the Hamadi Healing Serum. It’s always about strengthening the ends of your hair. Also if you want to grow it long, I always recommend prenatal vitamins and fish oils.

SM. How often should I wash my hair?

This depends on several things like your lifestyle, your activity level, your hair length and the type of scalp you have (whether it’s oily or dry). I think it’s best to wait as long as possible between washes… Yes, ladies! A few days, if you can. It’s best to skip at least a day or more between shampooing to give the hair and scalp a break. Hamadi Organics Hair Washes are extremely gentle and offer a pH balance of 5.5 which is the skin’s natural pH level. They cleanse the scalp and purify the hair of toxins without stripping the hair.

SM. What’s the difference between the cheaper “drugstore” version of hair products and the more expensive “salon” versions?

The difference lies in the ingredients and the percentage of those ingredients. Some lower priced products might contain similar ingredients but in different quantities, less of what we as a customer want of the good stuff and more of what our hair does not want. Hamadi Organics uses the finest essential oils and organic ingredients. We continually research to find which ingredients work the best and also which of those ingredients are environmentally safe, which is an important factor for us at Hamadi. We also believe that choosing organic products for our skin and hair is like a good organic diet, not only is it better for our bodies, it is better for the planet. It’s time to be more conscious, we are all connected – to the earth as well as to each other.

SM. What is your ideal haircare routine – from start to finish?

Definitely use a quality hair wash (naturally, I recommend Hamadi Organics!) only as often as needed. Be sure to fully saturate the hair prior to applying the hair wash. Then rinse, only repeat if really necessary. Apply a high quality hair conditioner and leave it on for at least three minutes, being sure to rinse thoroughly. Out of the shower, use styling products that are moisture based, like Hamadi Organics products which are rich in Shea Butter and essential oils. On a weekly or bi-monthly basis treat your hair, and yourself, to a hair mask. If your ends are in need of extra moisture use a healing serum. Once a month apply the healing serum to the scalp for a scalp massage to rejuvenate both the scalp and the hair. A healthy scalp is integral to healthy hair. Keep your hair in its optimal health with regular trims and choose products with ingredients that are biodegradable and composed or essential oils and organic ingredients. In addition, some tools that can really make a difference are ionic hairdryers and flatirons which are designed to protect your hair from the heat. Also, wooden combs and natural bristle brushes that massage the scalp are great.

SM. Are there any chemicals/ingredients I should avoid in my products?

Parabens, and sodium laurel sulfates are the big no-no’s. A good rule of thumb is if it’s good for the Earth, and thus biodegradable, it will be gentle for you and your hair.

SM. What’s the best way to get out of a hair style rut?

Check out what’s around you. Look at magazines. What inspires you? Your stylist should know what is possible for your hair type and lifestyle. If you don’t have a regular stylist and want to try something daring, be sure to get a quality recommendation. It’s important that the person knows what they’re doing and what your hair can do.

SM. Are there any big themes for fall?

Ombre is still a great style and affords you time to decide if you like the darker color or prefer the lighter one, it’s a cool look. The bright colors are playful and not going away anytime soon, especially with the recent fashion shows featuring some grunge era styles. Have fun and be experimental. Heights for bangs are coming back alongside super sleek looks. It’s really a great time to express yourself.

SM. Do you have any tips for formal events?

I like a sexy, modern up-do. Clean and off the face, very Grace Kelly. I always like to see skin and a long neck. So, naturally, up!

Thanks so much to Jamal for his time and tips!  Make sure to visit Hamadi Organics to check out all the products there and head on over to subscribe to Jamal’s Facebook page.