Entries Tagged as 'Hair Style'
You wrote a post once about using mousse, and I’m trying to find it. I just had a baby and the awesome hair I had during the pregnancy went away with the hormones. Can you also remind me what brand you use?
New Mommy with Flat Hair
Congratulations on the new addition!
The post about using mousse can be found here. As for which brand I use, my fine hair responds best to Pantene Triple Action Maximum Volume Mousse ($5). However, it can make your hair a bit dry, so remember to condition regularly.
Aside from the Pantene, the only other brand I would ardently recommend is John Frieda’s Luxurious Volume Building Mousse ($7). It’s designed for fine hair, and I really like it, but I’m very brand loyal.
As for expensive mousses, I’ve tried many varieties, but I always head back to the drugstore. I don’t notice much, if any, difference between the pricey salon brands and the mousse you can buy at Wal-Mart.
When I first saw the ads for “anti-aging” shampoo, all I could think was: Why does my hair need protection from aging? After all, doesn’t hair grow, get cut and grow back. Even long-term damage is temporary if you have a pair of scissors. Amirite?
But a friend is obsessed with Alterna shampoo, like I’m obsessed with the Clarisonic, so I decided to give it a try. Luckily, I could bypass spending $64 for shampoo and conditioner (does it come with elves to wash it for me?) by purchasing Alterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging To-Go Kit ($30).
After using the shampoo and conditioner, I noticed that my hair seemed shinier and perhaps a bit fuller. It also felt softer. But unless this product can guarantee Disney Princess-level hair (and the cartoon, hair-braiding birds to go with them), there is simply no way on Earth that I would spend that amount of money on a product that, literally, gets washed down the drain.
However, there was an upside to my Alterna experience.
Also contained in the kit is Alterna’s Overnight Hair Rescue Treatment ($38). And this product, ladies, is the goods. So skip the shampoo, bypass the overly sticky hairspray, and go straight for the Rescue Treatment.
If your hair is damaged by color, chemicals or heat, this product can save it. My hair was looking rather lackluster after summer highlights, chlorine from the pool and all of that August sunshine, but two applications of this treatment and my hair is smoother, shinier and softer than it was before the abuse began. And now that my hair is back to normal, I still smooth a little on my ends to protect them from the daily brutality of hot rollers.
Also, most overnight treatments recommend that you wear a shower cap or lay a towel on the pillow to protect your sheets. I can never sleep that way. So I love that the Alterna treatment absorbs within minutes and doesn’t leave a damaging residue on my high-thread-count pillowcases or, more importantly, my acne-prone skin.
Bottom line, whether your hair is in need of a serious intervention or your ends just need a little tender, loving care, this is a great product. I still don’t buy into the anti-aging shampoo nonsense (especially at $64 a throw), but this treatment serum is fan-tas-tic. And since a little bit goes a long way, a full bottle should last for a long, long time.
It’s a paradox: Women who have curly hair want straight hair; women who have straight hair want curly hair.
My hair doesn’t hold a curl very well, but sometimes, if the humidity is low and the wind isn’t kicking up, I can indulge in a wavy style. The trouble is, it takes so much time to curl my hair the way I like it, and there is always one section that requires three or four passes before it will curl. And multiple passes mean heat damage.
I spotted the Conair Curl Secret ($99) in a magazine. The company promises that the machine will give you perfect curls with minimal effort thanks to its automatic curling system. The notion that a gadget could curly my hair without twisting and turning my locks into a burned-up mess was intriguing, so I ordered one to try. But part of me wondered if this device was The Air Curler’s high-tech cousin.
To use the Curl Secret, you place a one-inch section of hair into the chamber. The device then twists it around the heating element and begins to curl the hair. When the device beeps multiple times, you release your grip on the handle and out comes a perfectly curled piece of hair. At least in theory. (You can watch a video demo, here.)
In reality, it takes quite a bit of practice to use the Curl Secret. If you put in too much hair, the device admonishes you with an angry beep. And if you don’t pay attention to how you’re holding the device and how much hair you’re curling at a time, you could wind up getting your hair stuck in the device. A situation that would likely result in a burned off chunk of hair. Awesome.
Once I got the hang of using Curl Secret, it took me about 15 minutes to curl all of my below-the-shoulder hair. The device has a size selector that allows you to choose tight, medium or loose waves, but since you can only use one-inch sections, the look isn’t as loose and modern as I would like.
That being said, Curl Secret does curl your hair as promised with minimal heat damage and less time than it would take twisting a curling iron manually. As for staying power, the curls softened during the day, but my hair was still wavy by the evening.
Bottom line, if you like the look of curly hair but you want to make the process easier on yourself, try Curl Secret. The device does what it promises, creating a bevy of perfectly formed curls with minimal effort and heat damage. However, the curls are of the tighter spiral variety and the size limitations make it difficult to create larger waves. But given the time it saved me, the fact that every piece of hair curled on the first try (after some practice) and the absence of any burnt ends, I was happy with my purchase.
My advice? If you want to try Curl Secret, buy it from a retailer who will let you return it if you’re dissatisfied, like Ulta.
Now that the summer has unofficially passed me by, my sun-drenched and chlorine-exposed locks are looking dull and dry. Reviving my tresses in time for the chilly days of fall won’t be easy, but unless I want my head to be covered in more straw than a Halloween scarecrow, I need to mount a rescue operation. Here’s how to breathe life back into dry, damaged hair.
Step One: Trim your split ends. Cutting out the dead weight doesn’t need to involve a trip to the salon. The blogger over at Ring Finger Tan Line has a helpful tutorial that explains the most effective method for trimming your own split ends. My only alteration would be to strongly advise against using kitchen or craft scissors to cut your hair. Instead, try a pair of inexpensive shears or, my favorite, eyebrow scissors. (The tinier scissors greatly lessen the risk of over trimming.)
Step Two: Deep Condition. Recently, I tried Living Proof’s Restore Mask, and I love the way it brought my lifeless locks back into bloom. It’s not heavy or greasy, and it’s the kind of conditioner you could use on your ends every day without weighing them down. Need a drugstore alternative? Aussie 3-Minute-Miracle is still the best under-$10 conditioner around.
Step Three: Cut Out the Shampoo. When your hair is losing its luster, shampoo is the enemy. So either take a break from shampooing entirely (updos and a light spritz of dry shampoo on the roots), or switch to a baby shampoo or a conditioning rinse like Wen. I like to take a week or so off from shampooing when my hair goes down hill.
Step Four: Leave-In Conditioner. If you must use heat on your hair, you need to protect it. Spritz a little leave-in conditioner or apply a bit of argan oil to the ends (I prefer the light Moroccan Oil) to keep all of your work from being undone.
Step Five: Cover it Up. When my hair is seriously fried from highlighting, I like to go to the salon for a toner to help take out the brassiness and give my color some richness. Then, I become a big fan of updos. Pinterest is a great place to find tutorials, or if you’re clueless about updos, try a styling tool like the Sarah Potempa Wrap-Up that helps even the most clueless stylist make a lovely bun or twist.
I started reading your blog a few months ago. Love it.
My question is about hair. Ever since I read this NYT article, I’ve been contemplating the once-unthinkable perm. A friend of mine got a digital perm, and she ended up with gorgeous loose waves. My hair is fine, but there’s a lot of it, and it barely holds a curl. Like you, I prefer big, voluminous hair. I’m tempted to take the perm plunge. Do you have any experience with or opinions about the new generation of perms?
This may shock some of you, but I used to perm my hair. I found that light wave really pumped up the volume when I straightened it, and I could leave it curly and get a nicer undo. I only stopped perming it because after my last hairdresser retired, I couldn’t find anyone in D.C. who knew how to perm my hair without a) frying it or b) making me look like I was wearing a clown wig.
I’m not sure that there is anything particularly “new” about these perms. But I’m not averse to adding a bit of chemically created wave to my hair, provided you heed some ground rules.
Size Matters. If you’re going in for a perm, make sure that your stylist uses a rod that will give you medium-size or larger curls. The size of the rod depends on the hair length. I also recommend using two sizes to get a more natural looking waves.
Care for Your Hair. If you color your hair (and who doesn’t these days), especially if you lighten your hair, you need to have a long chat with your stylist about which type of perm to use to prevent ruining your color and damaging your hair. Some damage is unavoidable, but lower ammonia perms and other formulas are available that will minimize the issue.
For some women, a perm isn’t a good option because their hair is too fine, too processed or too damaged. Only your stylist can tell you for sure if a perm is right for you and your hair type.
Curly Hair Takes Work. The biggest misconception about permed hair is that it’s so easy to care for and style. It’s certainly easier than blow-drying, straightening and curling our hair every day, but that doesn’t mean it’s maintenance free.
First, you need to find a shampoo and conditioner that will moisturize your curls without weighing them down. I like the Ouidad product line, but if you need a drugstore brand, try L’Oreal Ever Curl.
Then, you need to find styling products that will enhance and hold your curls. Creams are a bad idea because they will weigh down the hair, and gels will give you a crunchy 80s perm that will have zero movement.
I recommend a volumizing and curl defining mousse like L’Oreal Everstyle or Pantene Curl Mousse. I also use a curl enhancing spray like Frizz Ease Dream Curl or Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray for looser, beachier waves.
Lastly, you need to dry it. For that, you need a decent blow dryer and a diffuser. A number of curly-haired friends have purchased the special DevaCurl hairdryer and diffuser set, but since my curls are temporary, I just buy a Conair diffuser cuff for $8.
Conditioned. When my hair is curly, I like to do a deep condition every week or every couple of weeks. This is especially important if you are straightening your waved hair on a regular basis. Aussie 3-Minute Miracle is inexpensive and works well enough.
Like I said, if you put a lot of work into your straight hair and you’re looking for a break from straightening it every day, try a perm. But be sure to find a stylist who gives perms regularly, this is not a time for a newbie. If you don’t like it, you can always straighten it.
So have you permed your hair in modern times? Know if a DC-area stylist who does a good job? Or do any curly girls have tips on products to use?