HAIR SERUMS

hair serum the beauty department

Recently I realized that we’ve never really had a specific chat about hair serums. There are so many different formulas from silicone-based, to alcohol free, to natural, to curl enhancing, etc… All of them promise to deliver mega shine on the driest, dullest hair. But there’s more to it than that. I thought it would be fun to break down 8 of my favorites (each being my jam for a different reason), tell you what I’ve experienced with each and tell you who I would recommend them for. I tend to apply some sort of serum on almost every head of hair that I curl which I think is a major contributor to why my curls get so perfectly piece-y. I think the only real way to gauge your love for a hair serum is to put a drop in your palm and try it on your hair! But this may be helpful in directing you to the best bottle for your specific needs.

 

hair serum roundup the beauty dept

 

1. Josie Maran Argan Oil: I tried Josie Maran argon oil for skin along time ago. Loved it and even would put a little in my hair from time to time even though it wasn’t specifically formulated for that. Then I decided to try the actual hair are going to oil. Argan Oil is a superior source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and moisture. I find that this one penetrates into the hair very naturally and never leaves any kind of residue. I would recommend this for all hair types.

2. Kerastase Lumiere Liquid: since the day I tried this I have been obsessed and never worked without this in my kit. It has a heftier priced tag but even when I use this on almost every client, I will still have a bottle for nearly a year. You need one to two drops for most hair types. A little goes such a long way. This is the first serum that I have ever seen that gives EXTREME glassy shine and is literally weightless. I love to put this in a clients hand, have them wrap around in their palms, and see the shine while they feel absolutely nothing. I am baffled by this product. I would recommend this for anyone wanting insane shine with zero weight.

3. Kiel’s Silk Groom Serum: I love this stuff for straightening curly hair. It’s pretty weightless. I apply it on wet hair before I blow dry and I can still get volume but it also helps give a little slip to the hair which helps minimize tangles in the blowout process. I also like this one because I can put a couple drops on before I blow dry and a couple drops on after I blow dry without feeling like it’s too much. I would recommend this for those with curly hair who like to blow their hair out straight with volume, also for defrizzing finer hair because it’s very lightweight. I also love to put this on the ends when I air dry! 

4. Bumble + Bumble Thickening Serum: this stuff is very interesting to me. When you put it on wet hair overnight, it works to “plump” up the hair making it appear thicker and fuller. I love this for when you have an event the next day or for a day you really really really want big hair. But this is not something I would say to use all the time. I think this stuff is so cool but I’ve noticed with repeated use the hair starts to feel a little dry. I think this is an incredible product on the right occasion. I would recommend this for anyone with superfine hair who wants a boost of density and volume.

5. Ouidad Shine Glaze SerumThis brand specializes in curly hair and I have found that girls with curl need their own special formulation. Curly hair needs a little weight but nothing too heavy. This particular little bottle provides the right amount of of shine, weight and curl encouragement through moisture. I don’t typically use this on freshly washed curly hair. I apply it on day two or three when curls start to feel a little more dry and start breaking up, causing frizz. I twirl it in from middle to ends but I avoid putting it at the root. I also love to apply this to curly hair before an updo because it makes sections easier to pull apart. I would recommend this for girls with strong wave, light curls, tight curls and kinky curls.

6: L’Oreal EverStyle Smooth + Shine SerumThis is an awesome budget friendly alternative! It’s super affordable and I love that it’s alcohol-free. Let’s say you have over-processed highlights and you’re trying to repair your hair… You’ll always want added shine but you’ll also want to stay away from anything alcohol based. So this is your bottle. It’s moderately light-weight, it rinses clean with just water, it creates shine and it protects your hair from the elements. I would recommend this to anyone who trying to defrizz and add shine, but wanting to stay under $10.

7. L’Oreal Sleek It Serum SpraySome people who sit in my chair are just not great with product application, and that’s totally okay. Luckily this stuff came out! It’s a serum in spray form so all you have to do is push the pump down. It’s super easy to apply and comes out in a fine mist so you can spray it and then brush it through with a soft boar bristle brush, ensuring an even application. It soaks into the hair nicely and it’s less difficult to over-apply than drops. I’ve never had it feel greasy but I’ve only used this a few times. I really just love the application. I would recommend this for anyone with fine hair who tends to get a greasy look when applying serums. I also love it for a super shiny sleek flat iron look.

8. Kenra Blow Dry SerumI’ll be honest… I bought this one because I liked the way it smelled! But I was pleasantly surprised when I started using it on clients who tend to heat style the heck out of their hair because this stuff seriously protects! Sometimes a client will come to get color/highlights and skip a haircut. It always seems to be the ones who blowdry and curl every day. If the ends are dead and split and I can see that with my eyes, it kills me. But this stuff helps me sleep at night because I apply it to the hair before (and even a drop after) heat styling and it conceals/bandaids dead dry ends. Those white, crusty split ends are virtually impossible to find after this is applied. And even though I know they’re still there, not seeing them or feeling them helps a lot. I would recommend this to anyone with dry ends, anyone stretching out their haircuts, and anyone who tends to heat style every day.

HOLIDAY HAIR ACCESSORY IDEAS

TOP + BOTTOM PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

You know we’ve always loved a good gold accessory around here, or any metallic hair jewel for that matter. But today we’re seeing stars! Something about these stellar headbands, clips, combs and charms take us to our holiday happy place and we think you’re going to love them, too. It’s a good idea to have one or two of these sparklers in your purse up til NYE just in case a seasonal soiree pops up unexpectedly. Let your hair down and pair one of gems with an LBD like we did on my little sis in the top and bottom photos! Here are my current faves…

StarStuff the beauty department

 

  1. STARS ABOVE HEADBAND
  2. ASTRA COMB
  3. MINI STAR CLUSTER HEADBAND
  4. STARRY NIGHT HEADBAND
  5. KENT FRENCH BARRETTE
  6. INDIVIDUAL STAR HAIR CHARMS
  7. STAR CLUSTER HEADBAND 
  8. GOLD STAR IRON-ON HAIR CHARMSIES

 

star hair accessory the beauty department

And last but certainly not least, this mighty sparkler which I will personally be wearing this New Year’s Eve can be found HERE. We want to see your sparkles as always on instagram! Tag us in your photo @thebeautydept so we can repost!

HAIR TALK: THE BOB

photos/post: kristin ess

photos/post: kristin ess

Earlier this week, we did a post on everything you need to know about the lob. But what about the bob? Maybe you’re considering taking the plunge and going short right away! Or maybe like most people who get a lob, you decided almost immediately to take your relationship with that collarbone length cut to the next level. It’s really easy to get addicted to taking off more length once you’re in the lob/bob family. Here are some of the main questions I get asked about going for a real bob and some great things for you to know if you’re about to do it. DO IT!!

  • What qualifies as a bob? You want to make sure the hair clears the shoulders, meaning there should be (even if just a little) space between your longest piece and your shoulders. I started a hashtag called #cleartheshoulders on instagram hoping to build up reference photos for bob lovers. The first couple photos at the bottom are cuts I’ve done that qualify as bobs in case you need a visual reference. People have added some photos of lobs that don’t quite “clear the shoulders” but you’ll see mine in there and can use them for visual reference with your stylist!
  • Can I wear a bob? There are a couple of key things that I look for when considering a bob on a client. If your shoulders are extra wide or if your neck is really short, I will probably encourage a different style, either longer or shorter. Bob haircuts put the focus on your neck, decollatage, chin, shoulders, face and jawline. You have no security blanket of hair when you get a bob. Everything about you is out there and on display so if you have any particular insecurities about your upper self, now is the time to get rid of those and let it all shine!
  • How do I make sure my hairstylist understands what I want? {Same answer as the lob} Bring photos. Bring these photos. Gone are the days of ego-driven hairstylist who take offense to you bringing in pictures. We live in a Pinterest-reference world, right? Make a small folder of images to show your hairstylist and let them piece it together. I’ll look at my client’s collections of photos and gather what they like and dislike through one short convo about those images.
  • What do I ask for specifically? For this particular cut, you would say “I would love a textured bob that clears my shoulders. I would like softened bluntness on the bottom and I would like it to fall somewhere between my chin and my shoulders when it’s dry.” Then your hairstylist will help you figure out exactly what length between your chin and your shoulders would be best for you.
  • Can I have a lob with my texture? {Almost the same answer as the lob} Yes. Your hairstylist will know what is best suited for your personal texture. But rest assured, this length looks great on the straightest hair, waviest hair and the curliest hair. The bob is perfectly ideal for thos of you with baby fine hair. It creates a much thicker, healthier and fuller look if you tend to get weak, string-y ends.
  • What styling tools do I need? I don’t let my clients leave without either THIS or THIS. The first one is the best investment you’ll make for styling your bob. The second one is a slightly more affordable alternative and a personal favorite amongst clients of mine who are on a tighter budget, but still an investment. (ALSO, NOT SURE HOW LONG THIS WILL HAPPEN BUT I JUST SAW THAT THE FIRST ONE IS ON SALE! And that almost never happens!)
  • What products do I need? Product-wise I always recommend THIS or THIS mousse paired with THIS or THIS pomade. Start off with mousse on wet hair, blowdry or air dry (whichever gives you the best texture) and finish with a lightweight, water-based pomade after using your flat iron or wand.
  • How often do I need to get it cut? Bobs grow fast. If you want to maintain the length between the chin and shoulders, I would say get it trimmed every 4-6 weeks. But, if you’re willing to wear both the bob and the lob, you can go more like 8-12 weeks.
  • Can I do it with bangs? Yes! But much like the lob, you just want to make sure it doesn’t start to look like a wig. Hair covering the forehead and falling on the sides of your face can overwhelm and hide your gorgeous mug and nobody wants that. Personally I think this cut has a much “cooler” vibe without bangs, but that’s just my opinion. And even if you cut it with bangs, you can up your cool factor through your style.

the bob the beauty dept

HAIR TALK: THE LOB

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

Perhaps you’ve noticed the lob and the bob are taking the world, or at least our social media feeds, by storm. It’s a really fun time to make a big hair change and you want to make sure it’s done right. Today we’re talking all things lob and later this week we’ll cover the bob. I thought it would be fun to go into detail about these cuts here because it’s hard to answer all your questions on Instagram and Twitter. Here are the questions I get the most about lobs, specifically, and my best answers for each. If there is a general question that could be good for the group that you don’t think I covered, add it to the comment section below and I will add it in an update within the week!

  • Can I wear a lob? Almost anyone can wear a lob and your hairstylist will let you know if you shouldn’t. It actually has nothing to do with face shape. I have cut this on pretty much every face shape out there. I would say the only people I would avoid cutting a lob on would be people with extremely thick or thin hair. Not just regular thick or thin, we’re talking a mega mane or baby, baby, BABY fine hair. Cutting this on extremely thick hair could take so much work and thinning out to make it look similar to this that it may be really hard to style on your own and it simply may not ever look like this after leaving the salon. If you have incredibly thick hair, it’s better to stay a little longer with your length and then get this kind of texture! If you’re the girl with super-duper baby fine hair, try a bob instead. Something that falls between your chin and your shoulders. Super fine thin hair at this length can look stringy when texturized like this, even if the bottom is cut blunt and texture is added to the top layer. A few hours into your day, the hair might separate and just look weak.
  • How do I make sure my hairstylist understands what I want? Bring photos. Bring this photo. Gone are the days of ego-driven maniac hairstylist who take offense to pictures. We live in a Pinterest-reference world, do we not? Make a small folder of images to show your hairstylist and let them piece it together. I look at my client’s collection of photos and can gather what they like and dislike through one short convo about image.
  • What do I ask for specifically? For this particular cut, you would say “I would love a collar-bone length lob with texture though out. A tiiiiiiny bit shorter in the back than in the front.”
  • Can I have a lob with my texture? Yes. Your hairstylist will know what is best suited for your personal texture. But rest assured, this length looks great on the straightest hair, waviest hair and the curliest hair.
  • What styling tools do I need? I don’t let my clients leave without either THIS or THIS. The first one is definitely and investment but gives you that “flat iron wave” look without having to perfect the flat iron wave technique. The second one is a very affordable alternative and a personal favorite of mine.
  • What products do I need? Product-wise I always recommend THIS or THIS mousse paired with THIS or THIS pomade. There are plenty of great alternatives to both but you should start off with mousse on wet hair and finish with some sort of great, lightweight, water based pomade.
  • How often do I need to get it cut? Lobs are different than a bob because a bob can grow for a while and turn into a lob, whereas the lob can start to flip out at the bottom in an undesirable way as it grows out, so you’ll need to keep it as close to collar bone length as possible. I would say 6 weeks is good on average.
  • Can I do it with bangs? You certainly can, you just want to make sure it doesn’t start to look like a wig (unless that’s your jam). Hair covering the forehead and falling on the sides of your face can overwhelm and hide your gorgeous mug and nobody wants that. Keep the bangs lights and sideswept if possible. Make sure they go well with the texture of this cut.

the beauty department lob

 

Again, if there’s a question you think I didn’t cover, let me know below and I do an update! Good luck if you decide to make a big change, pretty peeps!