Casey Campisi (@hairbycaseyveda), a recent inductee in to the MODERN SALON 100 Game Changers, not only loves creating updo’s for her clients at Depasquale The Spa, Morris Plains, N.J., but enjoys teaching upstyling skills to fellow professionals.

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MODERN reached out to Campisi to get some of her favorite tips and tricks. Here she shares her top seven:

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1. PREP: Prep is everything! The better the prep, the easier and more secure the updo. It also ensures your client will love her hair. After a good consultation, thorough prep is the most important thing: product is key. It’s all about choosing the right products and tools for that look and then mapping it out. Mapping out your style before starting it can help by giving you a mental step by step to follow instead of figuring it out as you go along. 

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2. PRODUCTS: Match your products to your desired texture. Creating the best texture for your style makes all the difference. I can use a completely different set of products from one look to another depending on the texture desired. If I want a very textured matte gritty result, I use dry textured gritty products like texture sprays or chalk powders. If I want a sleek smooth shiny result, I use wetter silkier products like oils or setting sprays.

3. THE FRONT: Don’t forget about the front. In my opinion the front view of an updo is truly the most important. For a client, aside from the profile, it is the most photographed view and the one she sees in the mirror. I always say to make the front a ‘dressed up’ version of how she loves it normally.  Some face framing pieces are almost always going to be flattering as well. If they love the front, they will love anything you create in the back, so it is just a beautiful bonus! 

4. IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BASE: For good balance create a base in your updo. Visually, balance is so important. A good way to ensure you have balance is to create a base, then bring everything to that base. For example, if you want to make sure your style stays centered in the back make a bun as your base in the middle back and add hair as needed into the bun. This way it will always be perfectly centered. A base can be anything from a bun or braid to hair stuffing or extensions. I like to use parts of the body for flattering base placements. I think a nice spot for a high style is lined up with the chin. A good place for a mid-back style is level with the eyes. 

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5. SECURITY: Every stylist and client wants that style to last. One of my favorite tips for strong hold is to use elastics with or in place of your bobby pins. Either to secure loose ends or to hold a larger section, I use them all the time. I also use jumbo bobby pins or roller pins most of the time which are stronger and hold more hair. Hairnets are also amazing for securing larger sections of hair and can be molded into any shape you like. Extensions are another perfect asset to a style for added security. They hold curl and pins better and add fullness and texture. Ofcourse products and setting time are extremely important factors for hold when it comes to any style. For looser looks, a good tip is to anchor your sections almost all the way down before pulling them out then finish securing them. This will help your style to appear loose and romantic, but still remain secure. 

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6. TOOL CHOICE: Choose the right tools for the job. Different tools give different results. Choosing the right appliances can make your job a lot easier and more predictable. You don’t have to have a variety of tools if you know how to create different looks using one tool. For example, your flat iron can create curls, loose waves and obviously super straight styles to name a few. Other tools include your combs and brushes and even your pins.  Brushing - versus combing - out a curl set gives you very different results. Once you get to know your tools, your options are endless.  

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7. THAT FINISHING TOUCH:  When it comes to finishing, my best advice is to slow down and back up. Take a step back and analyze your style. Look 360 degrees around and make sure you love every angle. Try to use products specifically for finishing so they aren’t too heavy or sticky. Taking pictures also helps to show areas you may not love and want to fix. Other finishing touches like hair accessories/jewelry and makeup help to complete any style. 

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