Fight the Frizz

A friend recently asked me if I had any newly minted advice on frizzy hair. Well! I had wrongly assumed that Texas, while hot, would be less humid than New York. Any difference is marginal at best; in fact, the Keratin smoothing treatment that I had done last August failed me after living in Dallas for a mere two weeks. Yikes!

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Here’s a little office selfie for you, taken an hour or so after yoga. I just brushed it and added another spritz of shine spray. Voila!

My first word to the wise is that you should not wash your hair every day. Doing so dries it out, making you more susceptible to frizz. Also, day-two hair utilizes more of its natural oils, meaning you have a built-in defense. Keep hair from looking greasy by flipping your head upside down and brushing vigorously from roots to tips with a boar bristle brush. Then, apply a small amount of dry shampoo or baby powder to the roots, working it through with your fingertips or a comb. Still not happy? Headbands are still in, girl. Get some.

Now, for the products…

My strange hair has no true identity; it is sometimes close to curly, most often a mess of waves, and occasionally quite straight–right out of the shower. So, I have some options on how I style it, and I like to mix things up depending on my mood, outfit, etc.

moroccanoil

15% off now at fragrancenet.com

If you prefer to wear your hair straight and need an absolutely frizz-free look, the best product suite I’ve used is Kerastase. While pricey, this powerhouse shampoo and conditioner really tame your locks into submission, leaving you with hair that’s soft, easy to blow-dry straight, and without a halo of frizz for up to three days. A less expensive option is L’Oreal’s Ever Sleek, and at a mere $6.99 each for shampoo and conditioner, this is a golden steal. Whatever your shampoo of choice, reach for a de-frizz styling product like Moroccan oil Frizz Controlor Organix nourishing coconut oil. Apply generously to towel-tousled locks, let it soak in for up to five minutes, then blow-dry with a paddle brush.

hbz-BEACHY-WAVES-Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley-053012-deFor wavy hair that would make Brigitte Bardot jeal, reach for wave-specific products from the shower to the shelf. I love Sally Hersberger‘s wavy hair shampoo and conditioner, and they’re each only about ten or eleven dollars a bottle. Use your de-frizz spray of choice and let your hair air-dry for ten or fifteen minutes. Then section it off and blow out with a medium-sized round brush. If you’re not getting enough beachy waves, you can try what I like to call the Twist. Separate your hair as if you were going to make pigtails, pull one side straight out from your head, and twist it tightly around itself. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat on the other side. Flip hair upside down, spray with long-hold hairspray, and flip it back up for gorgeous waves like those pictured above.

6bf0abfc07793ca4a0a4f47d7aa68aeaWant it curlier still? Meet my friend the WAND. My friend Lindsay turned me on to this incredible device and I’ve since let my mom and other friends in on the secret. A clipless curling iron does the work of making those gorgeous waves you love, without the risk of looking Shirley Temple-ish in the least. I like to wrap one-inch sections around the second-to-smallest barrel and then piece them through with my fingertips and some smoothing balm like BioSilk’s top-rated option, pictured below.

biosilk

$14, folica.com

No matter the desired volume of your tresses, top off every look with a spritz (or three!) of shine spray. This will reflect light, making your hair look shiny and giving a polished texture that acts as an extra safeguard against the dreaded frizz factor.

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Try Something New: Accidental Ombre

Premiere Of Warner Bros. "Going The Distance" - Arrivals

drew is the queen of ombre hair. this look is easily achievable with a half to full head of tone-right highlights.

Ombre hair is definitely not new. It’s been a Drew Barrymore fixture for well over a year, and long before her, there were models, actresses, and chic mommies the world over rocking this style. Remember season 4 of Sex & The City? You see my point.

But the funny thing with ombre hair is that it’s finally reached the masses, and it’s doing so valiantly and with ease. A recent commercial for boxed hairdye confirms it; the world’s gone ombre, and you are next. But here’s a question. Why purchase a box of ombre hairdye when you can achieve the look in a much easier way?

Jessica-Biel-Ombre-Hair-from-BelleontheBoulevard

jessica’s is more subtle and only requires a few foils. if you’re new to the trend, i’d try this route first.

Giselle’s stylist has been placing her highlights two to three inches from the roots for years, creating a naturally sunkissed look. On your next appointment, ask for the same. If you normally go super-light with the highlights but are naturally dark, consider warming them up a bit so the contrast is not so stark. If you color your own hair at home, a highlight kit works just as well. Have a friend do the back so you aren’t wonky-looking, but again, space each one south of the root.

givenchy+gisele4

gisele’s is divine. just go ahead and bring this photo to your stylist– you’ll leave happy, no questions asked.

If you want a bolder look, you still don’t have to purchase that silly, ombre-specific kit. Instead, purchase a box of the color of your choice (red works, black is cool for a reverse ombre, the possibilities are endless!) and just don’t dye all the way to the roots. Pick a point where you want the fade to happen and apply color specifically south of that line. If you want to blur it a little for a funky look, use a smaller touch of dye in sporadic bursts above that line, then wash out as you normally would. Ta-da!

So, here’s my naturally, accidentally ombre story. I have not had my hair colored since August, and I have to admit, it looks fabulous. I am constantly getting compliments and questions. “How did you get that ombre hair?” Well, I got blond highlights nine months ago and then got lazy and let them grow out.

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here’s my hair the day after i had it highlighted in august…

I’ll have a few more done next week and then not touch it again till the fall, so I have this lovely ombre alive for the wedding. Really, girls, this look can be as easy as laziness and a budget. Your best bet for on-trend ombre hair is to skip your next couple appointments.

Freedom!

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…and here it is nine months later!

All in the Details

There is nothing so lovely as a surprising little detail added to an outfit. Sometimes it’s a great pair of gold earrings or a sweet little clutch. Sometimes it’s a pop of color in the form of red lipstick or a bright pink belt.

This week it is a delightful neon orange rosette hairpin that Pookie and I discovered at J. Crew. Who knows how these little treasures managed to end up in the sale bin, but I was thrilled to discover it at the cool price of $5.99. Mine! All mine! Well, I got one for her, too. This will certainly be one of my most favored details this summer. What are yours?

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Brunettes have fun, too!

America’s favorite dark-haired beauty definitely knows how to have fun!

Here are some things that are good about having brown hair:

1. However baseless this rule is, people tend to categorize you as “smart” right off the bat.

2. It is easier to blend in with the crowd when you don’t feel like standing out.

3. You can go longer between washes because blond hair tends to look greasier faster (contrary to popular belief).

Now, go back and scratch out the first thing I’ve listed above because it’s absolutely stupid in itself, and I was just as smart when I was blonde as I am now. And I know plenty of idiotic brunettes. And then again, these stereotypes exist. So, I guess we can leave it, even if we don’t agree with it.

If you saw this walking down the street, you would stop and stare. Long, thick blonde locks like this are drop dead sexy. I’ll admit it!

As for Rule #2, blonde girls do tend to turn more heads. It often matters little what her face or outfit look like, but if the blonde hair is flowing, men are looking. And women are looking. And babies and busdrivers and puppies are looking. Because blonde hair is rarer, it is more exceptional, and more noteworthy, and more stare-worthy. So, if you’re a brunette having a bad day you can pull it up into a bun and throw some shades on and guarantee that you’ll get less stares than a blonde who is feeling the same way and did the same thing.

Dirty or clean? You’ll never know…

And then there’s that final thing, about having to wash less frequently. I recently read on a blog that shall remain nameless that only blondes can use baby powder instead of dry shampoo on dirty hair. This is simply not the case. There are a few things to keep in mind, but even black-haired beauties can utilize this cheap and easy beauty tip. First, create a part and commit to it. Then, pull up and hold away (temporarily, with your non-dominant hand) a narrow section of hair on either side of the part, from front to crown. Sprinkle baby powder here at the roots, and brush through. Then, let the top layer fall back into place. The oil will be absorbed by the baby powder and any chance of white showing is eliminated by hiding it with the top layer. The underside of this layer will also absorb the powder, but it won’t show. Genius!

Tackle day-old brown hair trouble with an elastic and a spritz of long hold hairspray.

And, unlike blonde hair that might appear brassy when dirty, brown hair is more likely to retain its color. Just make sure to brush it several times a day when dirty, or to slick it back into a high, tight pony or bun with a boar bristle brush, and you’re in business. Now, as much as this post has been very pro-brunette, I will admit that there is a bit of a Cinderella inside of me that still wishes she were blonde. So, blondies, don’t be offended. We all have to cover up our little jealousies with triumph. These days, brunette-ness becomes me, but one never knows when she might venture back… to the light side.

Easy tip: Straighten like it’s 1974

Are you sick of over-styling? Ready to retire your flat iron for a few days, but unwilling to brave the city streets with a wavy mane? Fear not, my little budding beauties. Taking a few pages out of our mommies’ old style files might just help. Let me explain.

The year was 1974. My young and effortlessly gorgeous mommy was a straight-up hippie trapped inside the body of a curly-haired diva. What to do? While she never laid out her locks on an ironing board and straightened them with an actual iron (Yes, that happened in those days!), she did develop a system of creating straight hair that would last. Here were her two (easy! safe! pretty!) solutions. Despite all the great products and tools today, one of these might just work for you.

Option One: The Campbell’s Soup “Stick-straight” Method

For the coveted Ali MacGraw hair, Mom and her pals would take two Campbell’s soup cans, wash them, and remove the labels. They would part wet hair in the middle and create to large rolls, wrapping hair around the cans and affixing at the back of the crown with long hair pins.

The bottom half of the hair was pulled straight from one ear to the other, flattened against the head in a long swirl and held in place with small metal hinge clips (you can use bobbies instead) spaced about a centimeter apart each. Mom owned one of those crazy hair dryers you sit under at the salon, but you can try this at home without. Just be prepared to wait a couple hours before it’s dry and ready to unravel.

Option Two: The High Pony Slight-wave Method

For tresses that were smooth but with a little bit of bounce, Mom would shower at night and pull hair back straight into a high ponytail.

Thank you for the photo, thedailymakeover.com

Rather than affixing with an elastic she would hold it there with one hand and with the other, twist hair around itself into a high bun. She would hold this bun in place with bobbies and let it dry as she slept. In the morning, she would take it out and brush through, letting her long loose hair fall into a straight style with just the right amount of body.

Staying Pow(d)er:

For both looks, Mom made her at-home straight hair solution last with the aid of baby powder. If you’ve run out dry shampoo, you can do the same. Just a little sprinkle at the roots followed by a proper brushing will have you looking freshly washed in no time.

Cozy Country Cute

While living it up in the Green Mountain State, I wanted to look as relaxed as I felt. After all, Vacation days are few and far between when you have a day job, a freelance career, and a ton of other responsibilities. However, even while keeping the beauty routine low-maintenance, it was important to me that I looked cute in photos. The solution was a minimalistic approach with a focus on the details: hair, eyes, lips.

When you're rocking a wave, little fly-aways hardly matter. On Day Two, I pinned the front over towards the side to hide any grease.

Hair

We arrived at the lovely Waitsfield Inn and marveled over the sweet owners, spacious downstairs hangout room, and beautifully snug room where we’d be staying for the next four days. As Joshy inquired about the WiFi login info, I was already in the bathroom, assessing the dim lighting and lack of blow dryer. Uh oh. My usual go-to for a long weekend is to wash and straighten my hair once (or maybe twice) and experiment along the way with ponies, braids, or headbands. And dry shampoo. My approach when I leave my flatiron in Brooklyn and the inn has no offerings? Wash at night, and let the curls go wild.

Black waterproof liner is enough to make my eyes pop out in a wash of wintry white!

Eyes

I got my lashes touched up at Courtney Akai a couple weeks ago. They look utterly perfect, and don’t require any makeup if you’re on the run. I recommend these for any girl who likes a lot of drama, or wants a no-fuss morning routine without sacrificing the pretty factor. A little black liner on bottom is all you need for a sexy night look when you have these extensions!

This peony pink lipstick is a pretty choice for day or evening.

Lips

We all know I love a pop of pink on the lips. I wore a different pink or peach lipstick every day and tons of Kiehl’s No. 1 to keep my lips from chapping in the cold/snow/rain/sun. Bing!

Crimp Happy

Backstage at Mara Hoffman, crimped bun

I realize I neglected to share my Fashion Week photos here. This was for two reasons; one, many of them were needed for other publications and two, I’ve been completely distracted and haven’t paid enough time or attention to my most precious project, Sparkles & Fun. So, the moment has passed and these items are not exactly newsworthy, but what I will do is share things as they come up or interest me and reference back to the S/S shows. Today, it’s the crimp.

As a little girl, I loved having my hair crimped. Mommy would then pull it all up into a side pony or leave it down and adorn it with a bow. I might be in my (mid? can we still call it mid?)-twenties, but I firmly believe I can still get away with some crimpage. And yes, you can too. Here’s how to make it work.

Do it up:

Thank you for the photo, Refinery29

Whether you’re feeling French twistie, chignon-like, or even more creative, a fully crimped updo is where chic meets funky. I love this look for day or evening. Simply crimp your hair in medium-width sections throughout, and separate it into two halves, top and bottom. Divide top half into one section on each side of your head; pull back, roll up, and pin. With the remaining hair, create a large, poofy chignon (accuracy and perfection are NOT necessary here). Pin all around. Spray generously.

Accept the fact that you’re a sexy broad. And wear it down and huge.

Borrowed from a Parisian fashion mag. 'Nuff said.

Okay. I’m all about the pretty. We know this. But there is something irresistibly delicious about a big ‘ole mess, especially one that looks chic. To achieve a perfectly rockin’ look like this one, it’s best to try two different types of crimper, or two separate plates on your one iron. You want some sections to be narrowly crimped, and others to be wider. Also, you’re going to have to tease your hair. Quite a bit. When finished, flip your head upside down and spray underneath. Hold there a moment until the underside of your hair no longer feels sticky. Flip back up, poof with fingertips, and head out on the town to wow the world with your fiercer-than-fabulous, so-what-if-I-look-like-the-80’s, wonderful, sparkly new ‘do!

Easy tip: How to do an Up-Do

Ever since my little-girl ballet days, I’ve understood the undeniable chic of a well-done chignon. Love French twists for brides. Totally dig a high, tight pony on just about everyone. But with my somewhat sticky-out ears and broad shoulders, a part of me always feels like an ugly little boy with my hair pulled back. I know it might sound strange, but the hair-up situation is a tough one for me to pull off.

Perfect little ballet bun at a 2007 Elie Saab runway show

Oh, but the agony of wearing one’s hair down every single day. It’s hot and can be annoying, not to mention the fact that it must look utterly gorgeous at all moments when being worn down. I suffered so severely from the fear of looking like a boy in high school that I remember clearly the very first–and only–time I attempted a bun in ninth grade. It was eighth period Social Studies and I was wearing one of those thick-cottoned long sleeved Abercrombie tees that were so very important my freshman year. I was so hot that I felt my face flush and sweat forming at the back of my neck.

Giving in to the heat, I reluctantly borrowed a hair tie from a classmate and pulled it all up into a loose, high bun. When my teacher (whose class I had been in for five months) walked in, he asked me if I was new to the school. This was the moment I decided it was time I hightail it out of my hair rut and learn how to experiment. Here is some of what I’ve learned:

For the moment of worry about bumps, cowlicks, and/or uneven parts:

The best way to pull together a chic updo if you have an awkwardly placed cowlick or trouble getting your hair to stay flat on top is to incorporate a braid on one or both sides. This draws attention to the braid and away from any bumps or imperfections. I really like the style shown by Anne Hathaway below. To achieve it, create a deep part on one side of your hair. On the half that has more hair, start a loose French braid a couple of inches below the part (where your roots would start if you hadn’t touched up your color in a couple of months). For an inside-out French like Anne has here, just reverse the regular French braid process, pulling from under rather than braiding over.

Anne gets it right by adding a dangly earring and plenty of liner

Once you’ve braided to the nape of your neck, pull all of your hair together in a low, loose bun. Wrap hair around itself twice and affix all around with bobby pins. Spray to hold, but let any wisps fall as they might. This look is effortlessly chic, and can be worn during the day or to a cocktail party–or both!

For when you want to look refined and polished, but not like a granny:

Messy buns are great, and they’ve remained popular for years now from the runways to the streets. But for some offices and events, they are just too… well, messy. Here is a sleek and easy updo that will keep hair off your face, out of your eyes, and off of your boss’s “Please Re-read our Dress Code” list.

Pull hair back tight, smoothing the top of your head with a boar bristle paddle brush. Create a high pony (if you think it’s too high, it’s probably just about right), leaving about a half-inch section of hair out of the pony underneath. Once you’ve affixed with your ponytail holder, wrap the extra hair around several times to create the illusion that the pony is being held in place by hair, not elastic. Two or three bobby pins from below should do the trick to keep it in place. Spray.

This is what the back of your hair should look like before you curl it.

Then: with a medium-barrel curling iron, take small sections of hair and create tight waves throughout the pony. Spray everywhere with an illuminating hairspray and some Sally Hershberger shine spray. Voila! Like Rihanna, you’ll look peppy, pretty, and ready to rock!

If your ears stick out, like mine do:

Girl, you still deserve to pull your hair up! Here are my favorite tricks for drawing attention away from the ears…

1. Keep some hair in your face. Letting a few pieces dangle will keep eyes moving and make you feel like self-conscious.

2. Body at the back… or on top. A big, voluminous bun or punchy pony creates enough drama to balance your perky ears.

3. Makeup, makeup, makeup. Dark, dramatic liner makes the focus all about your eyes.

4. Remember that no one’s perfect. We all have our little woes. And it turns out, even if you think you look like a boy with your hair up, your boy probably doesn’t agree…

Rain, Rain… Well, you know the rest

The only good thing about today’s muck and misery is that I finally got to break out those Cole Haan’s I’d been yearning to wear. But after a beautiful weekend in Florida, it was less than wonderful to step out into a cold, dark downpour this morning. Yes, New Yorkers, we can officially call this a squall. Let’s hope things change soon, because I would really like clear skies for Fashion Week… and of course, my twenty-don’t-worry-what birthday, which is on Sunday.

A few tips for making it through the rain!

1. Always, always, always keep a tiny, good quality umbrella in your bag, no matter the season or forecast. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the apartment on a seemingly perfect day, only to find myself in line at Duane Reade thirty minutes later buying yet another fifteen-dollar umbrella that would break only one rainstorm later. I nabbed by totes version at TJ Maxx for a cool $15 earlier this summer, and its pale colors and sturdy construction never disappoint.

2. Don’t try to be that cute girl who rocks opened-toe shoes in a storm, warm or not. Sure, you might want to hang onto summer past its time, but soggy sandals are just not a good look. And not to go there, but let’s just go there. They’re stinky. Boot up, sister!

3. Chill with the hair. No matter what you’re trying for, you just won’t achieve it in nightmare weather like this. I like to stick to a low, side chignon with pieces coming out, or top off my manic waves with a headband to fake some order. Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t forget plenty of waterproof mascara. When the rest of you is melting, at least your peepers will still pop.

Michelle William's loose, wavy style is a perfect example. A little spritz and you're good to go, even with some rain-induced frizz factor.