Number 1. Your hood is held down with a primary and secondary latching system. This is to prevent the hood from flying up into the windshield while driving. If the primary release is triggered or fails the secondary latch will catch the hood striker and hold it down. To open the hood both the primary and secondary latches must be released. The primary release is inside the vehicle usually to the left of the driver and down toward the foot well, visible at the bottom of the dash, it is a two or three finger pull out and it will say "Hood". The secondary release is harder to find. In most cases the hood will have to be lifted up slightly to see the secondary release and is usually located towards the center of the hood. Sometimes you have to peek up into the void between the grill and the hood and you will see the release. Most vehicles have hydraulic hood lifts to hold up the hood, but not all. Older cars have an arm that is directly in front of the radiator, it swings up and connects to an oblong hole on the underside of the hood. If you have your owner’s manual, it will give you exact details to the location and operation of the latches.
Once you open the hood, look around and get familiar with the layout of the things you have no idea what they are. You will see things like fluid reservoirs, which are clearly labeled and marked. Your owner’s manual has a detailed breakdown of the location of these critical fluid locations and instructions on how to maintain proper safety levels. Find your washer fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid; coolant reservoirs engine oil dipstick and automatic transmission fluid dipstick. If you do not have an owner’s manual, go on-line and Google your vehicle model and year. Most likely you will find what you are looking for.
Occasionally spray the release and spring with WD40.