Post: Kristin Ess, top photo by Kristin Ess, bottom photos Kristin Ess, Angela Kohler + Tyler Jennings
MERMAID ALERT. Hands down the most frequent question I get asked when I meet people for the first time is how I keep my red hair so bright. Everyone looks at you when you’re a hair colorist as if you’re holding out on some mega-secret that’s finally going to crack the case on color fading. The truth is, there’s a whole list of secrets! There not just one magic potion to pour on your head. If there was, I would own it by now and I would share it with you right here. I’ve written about red hair color on TBD before as a blogger, but now I want to write from the perspective of a fellow redhead. I could just list off a bunch of color safe shampoos but there are plenty of color shampoo roundups online, right? Instead I’m going to give you a rundown of the things I do and things I don’t do to keep my hair the brightest! These are all tips that I know work because over the last decade I’ve been every single shade of roja and I’ve taken lots of notes. Here are my top 10 ways that I keep my un-natural (but totally natural) red hair on point…
- I have a custom conditioner made. You have to find a Davines salon and get a pro to make you one, but it’s worth it. HERE is a salon locator. So many conditioners out there for redheads are off on their tone. They’re either too pink or too yellow or too translucent. Trust me on this. Find a salon and let them mix your exact shade.
- Cool water washing isn’t a myth. In the winter time, I will even knock up the heater temp in the bathroom just so I can handle the cooler water setting. It doesn’t need to be cold, it just shouldn’t be hot. Changing my water temperature did slow the fading and made my hair more reflective in the long run.
- Swimming in a chlorinated pool? NO. Hair exposed for long periods of time in the sun? NEVER. Just don’t do it. Not unless you plan on getting your color done within the next couple days. No… just no. I only swim in salt water or fresh water. If I get in a chlorinated pool, I just won’t put my hair in, end of story.
- Spray leave-In conditioner is a must. I always use THIS ONE because I’ve tried about a hundred and there’s not another one like it. It seals, protects and shines like the top of the Chrysler Building. If I leave on a trip without it, it’s the first thing I have to locate when I land.
- Permanent color, then gloss. So for my own formula, I have someone apply my root color first which is a cream-based permanent color, then I put another cream-based permanent color through the ends. And THEN I go the extra mile and gloss over that while at the shampoo bowl (after my color has been rinsed). It takes about 20-25 minutes and it’s a similar process to a deep conditioning treatment. My hair used to fade like crazy when I didn’t put a gloss over the permanent color. I attribute most of my current vibrance to glossing over the regular cream-based color. You’re definitely going to get charged for that at the salon, but it’s not insanely expensive and it isn’t sold to people without a license. I prefer glossing my hair with Shades EQ which is from Redken. Ask your colorist or find a Redken salon HERE.
- Glosses in between colors. Again, it takes the same time as a deep conditioner so prioritize! I do my roots every 2 1/2-3 months, so I find a time right smack in the middle of my color appointments to get glossed. Again, I gloss with the same Shades EQ formula as before.
- I definitely keep blowdrying to a minimum. I’m not saying I skip blowdrying because my hair has strong wave/frizz and needs to be blown out, I just wash less (see next tip!). I’ve never done my own scientific study on this, but I know from experience that running hot air into my red locks on the daily is a no.
- Invest in a great dry shampoo. My favorites are THIS ($), THIS ($$) but mostly THIS ($$$). Once I became a dry shampoo addict, I started seeing my color fade much less. Obviously the less you’re washing, the less you’re fading.
- Every redhaired mermaid needs an ionic dryer. I use the Elchim 2001. I’ve used it forever and it’s my favorite all around. I won’t preach about the benefits of ionic dryers becuase I already did that recently RIGHT HERE.
In case we’ve never met or you’re just starting to follow TBD, I’m a redhead too, thanks to the powers of pigment. I’m also a hairstylist/colorist. As a professional, we have access to so many great things and I just wanted to share my personal favorites. If you have any tips or products that you’re obsessed with, I would LOVE for you to list them down below in the comments. We always love to hear what you’ve been using and how it’s working for you.
My last words of advice are… Always make sure you give red hair color a chance to stick. It took me about 4 rounds before my red stopped fading so much, mostly because I was blonde before. Don’t expect to go from lighter hair colors to red with no fading the first time, or even the second. Be realistic about it. Also, if you’re going red go through types of red (USE THIS POST IF YOU WANT!) with your colorist. It’s best to be on the same page about which red is which. Don’t be embarassed to take pictures with you! We love it.
PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHICS DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS
This is hands down one of the easiest hair tutorials we’ve ever done, but also one of the chicest! This is an ideal pony for a girl on the go and/or the lazy girl. It’s perfection for anyone who wants to keep it low maintenance but also look like they put a little time and effort in, especially for those early morning call times or meetings. We paired this with a leather jacket and we’re FEEEEELING it. Let’s just jump right in to how it’s done…
- Any texture is great for this pony. If you have straight hair or slight wave, brush it out. If you have curly hair or want to maintain your natural wave for this ponytail, then skip the brushing.
- Put the hair behind your ears in a low ponytail and secure using a clear elastic. You’ll leave both sections from the front/sides out. If you have really thick hair and you want to do this, you might consider taking more hair into the ponytail and leaving less out front. If your sections in front are too thick, it could be hard to conceal them later.
- Take both side sections, give them a light mist of strong hold hairspray, then pull them back over the top of the ponytail. Twist them into a half knot.
- Now take those two pieces and wrap them around the ponytail and under.
- Use small/strong bobby pins to secure the remaining pieces under the ponytail. We kind of “stuffed” the longer bits up underneath the base of the ponytail before bobby pinning.
- FInish off by smoothing out any flyaway hairs with a light veil of hairspray!
That’s literally it. Are you guys into these simple styles? When you try it on yourself, take a picture and post it on instagram and tag it with #TBDgirlonthego so we can see it and possibly repost!
PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS
HI! Let’s take a short break from our “Summer Braid” series in the hair department, shall we? A couple days ago I posted a photo on instagram of a client wearing a very voluminous bun on set. I jokingly referred to it as her cotton candy bun which was followed by a lot of requests for a tutorial, so why not?! This is exactly the way I did hers so follow along and recreate the look at home. I’ll also show you how I made that thin goddess-y headband!
You’ll need some embroidery thread. I love the metallic kind and above we used gold but you can use any color you want; mix, match, cooridinate with your dress, whatever! You can usually find embroidery thread at your local fabric/craft store. Here’s a link in case you can’t find it near you. A whole lot cheaper than most headbands these days! Okay, let’s get to the tutorial steps…
- Start with a clean, dry, wavy ponytail. You want the ponytail to be large enough to create major volume in your bun making! If you need to add some extensions, try doing it like we did in THIS TUTORIAL! Give it a little wave with a wand or curling iron to plump it up even more!
- Now you’re going to use your comb to tease sections lightly. Don’t make it into a rats nest, you just want to give it a few slow, long back-combs with the wider side of your comb. Remember, you’re not teasing for height, you’re just teasing for more volume so be gentle on that hair!
- Take all of your ponytail in one hand and give it a light spray. Here we’re using this strongholding hairspray by Sexy Hair. Now twist it into your high bun shape.
- Start pinning around the base of the bun. Make sure you’re using strong bobbypins!
- I forgot to photograph it but, you should also grab a tail comb. That’s what we used (as you can see in this photo) to gently pull at the bun while adding a little more superholding hairspray. I like doing this more than using my fingers because it doesn’t smash anything. It’s such a tiny tail and you can work it into the middle of the bun to pull more volume pretty easily! Tail comb > fingers.
- Now you’re going to need more of that magic pixie powder they refer to as texturizing powder. Remember? We discussed it in detail right HERE! Sprinkle a bit of that in front of the bun. This is going to help hold the embroidery thread in place, big time! I sprinkle it all the way around the bun, even in the back by the nape of the neck because nothing disappoints more than your headband sliding while you’re out and about. The powder is mattifying so it keeps the hair from having any slip. It’s magic I tell you.
- Take about a yard of embroidery thread. Start in back as you see in photo 7. Bring it up and around the front past your ears.
- Cross it over in the center. Switch pieces into the opposite hands after you cross it over and then tie it together near the nape of your neck. If you don’t have the texturizing powder, you’re going to have to do a lot more work to get this thread to stay put. Lots of hairspray and a couple tiny bobbypins should do the trick.
- Once you’ve tied your goddess headband in the back, take the tail of your tailcomb and pull a little in between the strings. I just prefer the look over the hair being flat under the bands.
- Now for the final step, pour a little bit more of your texturizing powder over the bun and break it up with your fingers until it has that cotton candy bun look!
Will you try this? If you do will you pleeease tag us so we can see it? Last week we posted a bunch of your Twishtails on our IG, which looked SO amazing by the way. Find us at @thebeautydept and let us know once you’ve posted by hashtagging your with #TBDcottoncandybun
PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS
BACK with another fun summer braid! This a great one for almost any length hair because it’s a half-up hairstyle. Even if you’re sporting a bob you can make a shortened version of this. It’s easy but because it’s all behind the head, you may want to enlist a braiding bestie to help if you don’t have the arm strength or reach. Here we go!
- Pull two pieces from each side of your head. You’ll want to treat this like a half-up hairstyle so you’ll be pulling your sections from the front hairline/above your ears.
- Join them together in the back using a clear elastic.
- Now create a regular fishtail braid from the pony you just made. If you don’t know how to do that, you can see our classic fishtail video tutorial HERE!
- Tie it off at the bottom using another clear elastic.
- No carefully cut the elastic out at the top. Get someone to help if you need to so you don’t cut your hair.
- Sprinkle a little texturizing hair powder on your braid! If you missed our post on hair powders, you can find it HERE!
- Tap the powder into the braid and gently tug at your braid to give it some texture and volume!
- Now you’re simply going to take the braid and twist it over.
- Slide a large bobbypin into the base where you twisted the braid. This will keep it flipped and create a twisted look. I didn’t photograph this part, but you should wrap the bottom elastic with a tiny piece of hair and secure it with a bobby pin, or use one that matches your exact color.
Here’s a shot of that same braid on blonde hair! We would LOOOOOOVE to see you try it. Take today’s #twishtail challenge and give this a shot. Take a pretty photo of it and we’ll repost our favorites and tag you on our instagram page! We are @thebeautydept for anyone who doesn’t know. Happy Saturday, and good luck! Can’t wait to see your photos…