Category Archives: Hair

Try it: Twisted Pony

I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut with my hair lately. It has reached that awkward “between-cuts” stage when styling it with any attempt at effort requires at least 3 additional products and often, a curling iron. Who has time for that at 7 am?

I’m partial to the messy ponytail for numerous reasons. One reason is that I love to have my hair pulled back off my face. Once it’s back, I don’t worry about it for the rest of the day. Another is that this style begs to be done with second day hair. A little dry shampoo, a little teasing at the crown… throw on some fun earrings and it looks like efforts were made. But you really slept in and probably stopped for a bagel on your way to work. That’s my plan at least.

To recreate this, I’m using the following:

pintail tease comb, $4, here and TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, $6, here
A product thumbnail of Tool Structure Pintail Tease CombTRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

Tips for styling:

1. Section a low ponytail off, leaving out a 2-inch section of the front, extending to the back of your head (this will be the twisted part
2. Spray dry shampoo at the crown and work in gently
3. Loosed the sectioned-off ponytail, and tease the underside crown portion of hair for volume at the back, smoothing over gently before re-securing elastic
4. Twist front sections towards head and back, not too tightly. Secure by wrapping around ponytail and bobby pinning
5. Finally, spray a little more dry shampoo onto the ponytail and tease the tail a bit more with teasing comb for some messy volume.

How To: Organize Your Hair Stuff

IMG_4484IMG_4482Wrangling my hair stuff isn’t easy. But over time I’m been able to develop a system that works really well for me. And that’s what’s most important. So what if I’ve kept my headbands organized in a giant Hefty One-Zip bag for the past 4 years? (Only replacing it once! Holla.)  It’s handy because I can see everything that’s in there and if I need to dump everything out on the bed, it’s not complete chaos with clips and bobby pins and hair scarves falling out everywhere. Just headbands.*

Bobby pins are in an easy-to-access little white porcelain bowl I found at Anthropologie ages ago, while curl clips are clipped onto a Kate Spade dust bag I had lying around. I love how easy they are to find and grab while I’m doing my hair instead of having to dig into a bag. A small bowl could work too, except I  don’t need these on display every day. The dustbag folds up and fits in my sock drawer.

Hair products that I use religiously go under the sink in a bucket in the bathroom so I can immediately apply post-shower. Others that I might use every other time when I style (mousses, curl cream, volumizers, special hair sprays, etc) and some of my special round brushes and curling irons are kept in a large basket along with my blow dryer (usually kept plugged in). And the rest of my products get are hidden away in a linen closet.

Finally, one of my favorite organizational tips is installed on the side of my dresser. It started with a magnifying mirror that I used to check the back of my hair. I just used a command strip to save a little real estate on the top of my dresser. Months later, I added another for my favorite hair brush. Just tie a ribbon or thread a hair elastic through the end of the brush so you have a “hook”. Then I noticed how often my hair straightener and curling iron were left on my dresser, so I added two more hooks and the rest is history. I just plugged them into an extension cord and can report that I use each SO much more now that they’re right there, ready to go.

It’s all about making practical, tactical fixes like this to get organized. I just paid attention to where I used or left things and made it work from there.

*Ok, I see ONE  claw hair clip in there. I swear it snuck in.

How To: Hair Cocktail
Long hair is a commitment. And anyone who blow dries or styles regularly knows it can be an extremely time-consuming one so I’m constantly looking for shortcuts. My simple “hair cocktail” trick is one of my favorites.

It’s so obvious I can’t believe I’m calling it a legit “tip” but it didn’t occur to me to try it like this for a long time. Once hair is detangled and towel dried, just squirt dime or nickle-sized blobs of your (squirtable) products into the palm of your hand, then rub hands together. Flip your entire head over, and scrunch products in, starting and focusing on the ends and avoiding the scalp.  Ta dah. Hair cocktail. In your palm. Products are distributed throughout the hair and you’re not left repeating motions 4 times.*

Common mistakes + extra tips

Professional Tip: *For ages I had a complicated multi-product routine involving a detangler, a gel, a leave-in conditioner and a heat styling or UV/color protection cream or spray. I’d been applying all of them and complained to my hairdresser that my hair was SO hard to detangle.

She explained that I needed to detangle first, then add products which were activating on application and making my hair extra difficult to comb out. Oops. To make detangling even easier, she suggested I try combing my hair out while still in the shower (before rinsing out conditioner). Life-changer!!

Practical Tip: To make detangling ever easier, I keep a wide-tooth comb hanging in my shower and swear by Biolage Fortethérapie line specifically. LOVE it.

Product Tip: Over time I’ve also learned to embrace product multi-taskers. My conditioner acts as a detangler while Moroccan Oil is both a leave-in and a heat-protector.

image source

How To: Kate Middleton Hair Tutorial

I think we all want Kate Middleton’s hair right? Polished, bouncy, with a little ladylike curl…what’s not to love. It’s definitely attainable with a little dexterity but I found that the right tools, a good video tutorial, and some patience really helped my first attempt at it this morning. Just two heads-up: If you’ve never used a round brush before, you might want to ease into this because that’s the lynch-pin here. Also, this is easiest done to layered hair.

Look Breakdown

lightweight blow dryer
volumizing mousse
round brush (mine is a Morrocan Oil one)
metal double prong curl hair clips (like these)
medium hold hair spray (mine is Nexxus)
soy paste (for taming frizz, broken hair, and flyaways)

Steps I followed:

Prep: Anytime I’m planning to heat style for something like this, I try to wash my hair the night before so it has a chance to air dry a bit overnight to limit damage. Before bed I just added my usual styling products—Moroccan Oil, Bumble and Bumble Styling lotion and some leave-in conditioner—before gently twisting hair into a loose  bun high on my head. Don’t make a ponytail, then a bun because it will dent your hair. Just twist the tail to keep strands together, then coil it around itself. This prevented my hair from drying too much overnight.

Blow Dry: This morning I just loosened the bun, before I sectioned hair off into 3 sections at the crown. Next, I worked some volumizing mousse into the roots. I probably overdid the mousse on just the top of my head and will try it all-over next time, but I wanted to follow the video tutorial’s directions for the first time through. Then I rough-dried my hair using my fingers, flipping my head upside down to encourage lift, and side to side to discourage any particular part, until it was 75% dry.

Volume and curl: Next, I re-sectioned the hair at the crown into 3 parts and starting with the front, used my roundbrush in front of each section, while blasting heat at the root and rolling the brush forward and up. After 1-2 blasts like this, I’d move the brush to behind this section and brush and roll the hair back (away from face) and blast with hot/then cool air a few times. On the last blast each time, I’d put the dryer down (ok, it was between my knees, still on, facing down), so I could free a second hand so I could coax each just cooled brushed curl into a fluffy curl and pin to my head with a prong curl clip. I repeated for just three sections, set with hair spray, then took the clips out and was done. If I’d had more time, I’d have done my whole head like this but I was in a hurry, so I only focused on the crown area so the face framing sections and top layer of the back would be styled. It’s the  little trick I picked up from stylists over the years that make the difference I tell you.

How To Do Glamour Curls

deep part glamour curls - to do this look, create a deep side part, apply styling cream from the ear down, and curl hair from the ear down, towards your face in 1 1/2" chunks, holding the barrel pointing to the floor. Do not break apart curls. Spray with a fine mist hair spray and add a little shine serum to ends
Glamorous hair and makeup like this just scream “classic Hollywood screen siren” to me—which is a good thing. It’s polished, chic, and timeless, yet still soft and romantic enough for a date. You might think this look is too fussy to DIY, but when I explain how easy it is, you’ll be doing it in no time.

How to do Glamour Curls
1. Create a deep side part to damp, freshly washed hair.
The deep part is crucial. It’s all about the drama.
2. Apply styling cream from the ear down, and rough blow dry hair with fingers until 75% dry. Do it upside down to really get some lift, or use a root lift spray.
3. Lightly tease front or “bangs” section for some lift right where it will swoop forward over your forhead
3. Smooth hair with a brush, then section the side and back sections off
If your hair is curly or wiry, you may want to smooth it down a bit with a hair straighter, but try not to destroy all that hard-earned lift at the root
4. Next, with a 1.5″ curling iron, curl hair from the ear down, towards your face in 1 1/2″ chunks, holding the barrel pointing to the floor. You want to grab large sections and remember:Do not break apart curls.
5. Finally, tuck the side with the part behind your ear, smooth down any frizz with a dab of styling putty or non-shiny pomade, spray with a fine mist hair spray, and add a little shine serum to ends
and you’re done.

Product Recommendations

Here are some of my personal favorites to re-create this look:

styling creme

Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme, $25
The more you use, the more hold you’ll get, so build up gradually

Helen of Troy Hot Tools High Heat Spring Hair Curling Iron 1.5 Inch Model 1102
Helen of Troy 1.5″ curling iron, $41
This has lasted me FOREVER and I use it 2-3/week

Look Breakdown: Lea Michelle

When Lea Michelle first got bangs I thought it was a mistake, but recently she has been rocking this ombre look that really balances them out and makes all her best features pop. See how the lighter brunette tones pick-up and enhance the color of her eyes? The tonality gives a rich dimension that brunettes often lack.

On to her cut. The curved bangs are shortest just above the brows and arc down to show off her cheekbones. To make her fringe thick but piecey, her stylist Mark Townsend started it two inches back from the forehead and vertically snipped into the ends. Layers were cut from the chin down. The final result? Gorgeous length without the bulk that looks gorgeous styled straight or wavy.

Polished bedhead

As a long-haired girl through and through, every once in a while I get frustrated with my hair maintenance regime and do something drastic like chop it all off.  Luckily, my most recent fit of cut-it-all-off ended with this perfectly imperfect tousled coif that I can style into what I call polished bedhead (above, please excuse the terrible lighting) or just regular old mussed up bedhead. It’s just a matter of how much of my natural wave I coax out with products.

surf spray
Polished Bedhead
To style the above, I sprayed Bumble and Bumble surf spray all over damp hair, then blow dried with a huge round brush for volume. Once dry, I took a 3/4″ curling iron to curl the bottom layer (ears down) of hair away from face using the clamp, only holding for 3-5 seconds for a very loose curl. Tousle with fingers and you’re done. I didn’t even use hairspray.

Mussed, undone bedhead
To get the rumpled, careless supermodel behead, less is more. Less washing it, that is. Invest in a great dry shampoo or sprayable root powder. Both “dirty” up hair and gives instant playful texture. Pomade is the other crucial product you need on hand at all times for this look. Rub a little pomade on finger tips (key is little) and pinch ends of hair for a defined and piece-y look.

Vintage-Glam Updo

Nicole Richie at the FiFi Awards – source

On anyone else, this nod to 60’s glam might be a little much, but it works on Nicole Richie. I  love that it still feels so modern and fresh, and  love how the earrings draw attention to the neck and collarbone area, two spots I think everyone woman should play up. While I normally like to break out all the sparkles I can find for a NYE look, something up this is so fun, yet sophisticated, that I might just bookmark it to ring in 2013. It would be really pretty for a bridesmaid, bride or wedding guest too. Here a few great tutorials to do this hair:

  • Voluminous braided bun by Keiko Lynn
  • Sock it to me simple bun updo via Allure
  • Oscars-inspired ultra glam bun updo via Glamour

Shades of Blonde

I was perusing earlier and found a really great write-up on the specifics of different shades of blond. Here is a link to the original feature and here are some of the details on my personal favorites. Bonus: Celeb hair stylist tips and product recommendations included.

Carrie Underwood’s “Buttery Blonde”Buttery Blonde Carrie Underwood
Blondes with brown or hazel eyes, like Carrie Underwood, need to build dimension from the roots. Whatever color the lightest flecks of your eyes are, that should be your base. Request a quick “base bump” to warm up the roots first, and consider caramel or honey lowlights to bring out your eyes.

Bake Lively’s “Warmed-up Marigold”Rose Gold Blonde Blake Lively
Rona O’Connor, Lively’s colorist, mixes golden, honey, and apricot hues for a multidimensional color and finishes with nearly ivory highlights around the front to brighten the face. Because the lowlights underneath are prone to fading, she recommends frequent conditioning masks, like Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair 60-Second Treatment (a favorite among her busy celebrity clients).

Jennifer Lawrence’s “Sun-Kissed Streaks”
Blonde Sun-Kissed Streaks Jennifer Lawrence
Avon global colorist Lorri Goddard, who lightened Jennifer Lawrence’s hair after The Hunger Games, recommends gently hand-painting on different shades of lightening cream without foil to mimic the effect of the sun. The technique, called balayage, requires skill, so make sure to find a colorist who specializes in it before booking your appointment.

source: 1,; The 9 Sexiest Hair-Color Ideas for Blondes




To dye or not…

After over a year and a half or growing my hair out for my wedding and religiously keeping up with highlighting, I’m ready for a change… maybe. Here are just a few of my “inspiration” pics:

Pinned Image

During my research, I came across the following which I found very interesting:
Honey, beige and caramel blondes are suitable for warm skin tones. So file that away, warm skin tones.

Wish me luck!

xoxo, Wendy