LANGUAGE OF LAYERS (part 1)

Two things that have been consistently problematic for most people I meet (or hear from via email) is that they are confused about layers and equally confused about how to ask for what they want from their hairstylist. I wanted to start a new series to help us get through that together! My hope is that with a little extra information, nobody will have to suffer through a haircut they didn’t want ever again!

For this first post, we’re going to deal with straight and slightly wavy hair. And for the next post we’ll do stronger waves to curly. There’s so much information and I don’t want to confuse anyone further, so if you’re rocking strong waves or curls be patient and wait til my next post. I promise it will be worth it!

Below I’ve created some visuals for some of my favorite types of haircuts. I didn’t do the haircuts below, only the one up at the top, but these are great examples for what you need to know. Take these with you when you go to the hairstylist if you need to! I promise, we appreciate a good visual becuase it helps us to identify what you see.

ASK FOR:

  • a blunt cut that clears the shoulders.
  • no layers
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide on the most flattering length for your face, somewhere between your chin and your shoulders.
  • if your hair is superfine but you have a ton of hair, you may want to ask your hairstylist to do a subtle undercut in the back so it doesn’t appear too bulky and unflattering behind your head.

GOOD FOR:

  • making fine hair appear thicker.
  • anyone who likes to wear their hair straight.

ASK FOR:

  • the haircut you want, and then some subtle layers added to it. Short layers don’t mean that your top layer is short in length. Short (when describing layers) simply defines the distance between one layer and the next. Think of it like this– it’s just a “short distance” to the next layer.
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide where the layers should go. Around your face? All the way around? Should there be some in the back? Each person will need weight taken out in a different spot or maybe all over.
  • I like to point cut when I do subtle/short layers but each stylist will do it differently. If you like a more subtle looking layer, just ask for exactly that! Make it clear that you don’t want choppy and you don’t want tons of piece-y-ness. (Is that actually a word??)

GOOD FOR:

  • removing that “bell” shape or “triangle” shape that can be left behind by a blunt cut.
  • those who like to part their hair in different places on different days. Flipping or parting your hair on one side and then switching to the other can cause one side to look very heavy. Subtle soft layers will remove some of that.
  • anyone who gets bored with a blunt cut.
  • someone wanting a short cut but also wanting to add volume.

ASK FOR:

  • a blunt cut on the bottom with some piece-y layers for movement and texture.
  • something low maintenance that can be blow dried or air dried, curled with an iron or look good straight.

GOOD FOR:

  • bloggers. HA! I’m kidding. But isn’t this such a blogger haircut.
  • those who love the EVERY DAY WAVE.
  • anyone growing out their fine to normal hair.

ASK FOR:

  • a classic women’s layer cut.
  • nothing too “textured”.
  • subtle layers in back, medium face framing layers in front.

GOOD FOR:

  • normal to thick hair.
  • anyone who lives for their 1 1/4″ curling iron and/or a perfect ponytail.
  • all Lauren Conrad, Rosie HW and Kate Middleton lovers! These ladies all carry a very classic and timeless look that can also be amped up to the next level with some messy waves and good product from time to time.

ASK FOR:

  • texture, texture, texture!
  • weight to be removed or thinned out.
  • soft, subtle undercutting to enhance texture on the ends and keep dense ends from appearing too thick.

GOOD FOR:

  • volume seekers.
  • those with tons of hair.
  • anyone who loves a more lived-in look or “undone” hair style.
  • someone who has natural wave and loves to air dry.

ASK FOR:

  • long layers. Again, just as I mentioned above in the short layers section, it’s not about the length of the layer you ask for! It’s about the distance between the longest layer and the shortest layer. As you see in this photo, Lily has some really long pieces and some much shorter pieces. The distance between the bottom layer and the top layer is significant. This would be considered long layers.
  • tell your stylist you love a boho vibe. Most hairdressers know exactly what that means by now– long layers with natural-looking messy waves. When my clients like things like this I typically reference “Free People hair” and “Olson hair”. Both of those scream natural texture and we always end up on the same page.

GOOD FOR:

  • natural wavy hair.
  • long hair that is fine (but lots of it), normal, thick or wavy hair.
  • those who love using a wand to curl.
  • anyone who loves to air dry.

ASK FOR:

  • major texture! Maybe even to be cut with a razor if your hairdresser thinks you need it. Razors generally give lots of texture but can also be bad for certain hair types– let your pro decide. I typically only use razors on fine hair when it needs a little bulking up.
  • something that will bring out some waves in your hair.
  • to remove any unwanted weight or bulk by adding lots and lots of layers.

GOOD FOR:

  • anyone who wants to rough dry and rush out the door.
  • those who love to wear their hair down.
  • face framing and those with bangs.

Stay tuned for the next “Language or Layers” hair post this week where we’ll tap into which layered haircuts are best for WAVES & CURLS!

(and yes, I’ll be doing a tutorial on how to get the waves in the top photo soon as well!)

CURL REFRESHERS

Lately I’ve been super into wearing my natural waves. You know, a new haircut with lots of layers makes wearing your hair wavy/curly look a lot more fun and it definitely makes it a whole lot easier to style. (The right haircut is EVERYTHING for curls and waves!) The problem a lot of us have with wearing our natural texture is the dryness factor. I put product in my hair (like this and this) to boost my waves but that doesn’t do me any favors in the moisture department. I always think my waves look best (aka: BIG) on the 2nd and 3rd day but they tend to feel pretty dry by then.

To solve this issue, I started out by spraying water on my hair (Evian spray to be exact), and that helped refresh the look but didn’t give me any moisture. I then turned to my favorite leave-in conditioner in the photo up top which you can find HERE. Depending on your curl or wave this may or may not be right for you. It’s a tiny bit heavier when it’s sprayed on dry hair than it is when you spray it on wet hair. When you put it in wet hair, it dissipates and soaks in as it dries. When you spray it on already dried hair it seems to just sit on top of the hair but don’t get me wrong, it doesnt feel bad! I personally like the way this one works with my hair. It makes my waves soft to the touch and helps them lock together better.

If you’re looking for a good refresher, try that one or some of these gems. Spray the suggested amount on day 2 or 3 to keep that “crunch” away!

click the links to shop…

  1. SHEA MOISTURE
  2. DEVACURL
  3. OUIDAD
  4. ORIBE
  5. BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
  6. PHYTO

WEDDING HAIR ACCESSORIES

photo: kristin ess

When it comes to wedding hair, a great accessory can be icing on the cake. Not only can the subtle sparkle of a hair piece add significant detail to your look, but it’s something that can be handed down from generation to generation if it’s well made. For the last year, I’ve been looking rather closely at some very special pieces. I would even go so far as to call them investment pieces. Bridal hair accessories range vastly in price and there are so many different styles– combs, pins, vines, chignon wraps, crowns, half crowns, etc… so it can be very overwhelming if you’re not sure which accessories go best with which hairstyle or dress. I’ve arranged the pieces below by type, so that should be quite helpful. It’s always a good idea to try your wedding accessory on with the hairstyle you’re planning on wearing, so once you have yours in-hand, get your bobbypins out and try it with one of our wedding tutorials like THIS, THIS and THIS (there are even more if you search “wedding”)!

post/graphic design: kristin ess all photos courtesy of BHLDN

These partial pieces are incredible for a significant amount of shine without wrapping around the whole head. Put them half way around a bun or running up the side of a french twist for some next level glamour. Click the links for more info on each.

  1. Twinkling Flare Headpiece
  2. Secret Garden Headpiece
  3. Lady of the Manor Headpiece

post/graphic design: kristin ess all photos courtesy of BHLDN

Embellished combs are great because they’re easy. There’s no stress in putting them in the hair and are amazing for someone doing their own hair, let’s say on a destination wedding. Hopefully your hair is nothing but perfect on your big day, but having a vintage-vibe comb on hand can be amazing if anything gets messed up with your updo or chignon. Slide it in to conceal any little bits you don’t love. I LOVE the way the comb looks running up the side of the braid in photo 3. Here are the links for these…

  1. Crystal Clover Comb
  2. Fanfare Comb
  3. Silvestre Comb

post/graphic design: kristin ess all photos courtesy of BHLDN

How stunning and subtle are these pins. They can be used on nearly any type of hairstyle. These are also amazing because you could wear them again on your first anniversary or for a night out with your soon-to-be-husband. It would be so sweet to have these sitting on your vanity to always remind you of the day you got married. These also make incredible bridesmaid gifts in my opinion because they’re small and not overwhelming. Click the links for info…

  1. Nicobar Hair Pin
  2. Whimsical Hair Pins (2)
  3. Pearled Daisy
  4. Petit Flora Hair Pins
  5. Crystallized Hair Pin

post/graphic design: kristin ess all photos courtesy of BHLDN

These are all thin to medium sized halos. They’re stunning and a little more subtle than the group at the bottom. Many of these thin halos can also be worn as necklaces, believe it or not! They have thin ribbon that ties in back and are also incredible bridesmaid gifts. I love these and I DIEEEE for the Sakura Halo braided in to the hair. Might be one of my favorites. See the links below…

  1. Sakura Halo
  2. Portici Halo
  3. Buttercup Halo
  4. Pearl Petal Halo
  5. Waterway Halo
  6. Starry Skies Halo
  7. Bluebell Halo

post/graphic design: kristin ess all photos courtesy of BHLDN

This grouping is for someone who likes flower crowns but wants something that lasts forever. I love fresh flower crowns too, but it’s a shame they only last for the day. So amazing to pass this on to a child or friend and to see how they would wear it. If you’re getting married in the woods, mountains or natural setting, you’ll probably need one of these…

  1. Breathless Halo
  2. Pearly Dreams Halo
  3. Carmen Halo
  4. Honeysuckle Halo
  5. Aster Halo

photo: kristin ess

In the world of hair accessories, there are two particular women I think are incredibly special and talented. They both stand out in such different ways to me. One is Jennifer Behr and the other is Myra Callan of Twigs + Honey. Hop over to their websites and check out their instagrams HERE and HERE.

The sparkly slice of heaven, called the Arielle Chignon Wrap in the very top photo is by Jennifer and can be found HERE. And the superfine sparkling vine in the last photo was crafted by Myra for her 2015 collection and will be found HERE.

WORKOUT HAIR

photos + post: kristin ess graphic design: eunice chun

Lately we’ve been getting a lot of workout hair questions. So let’s do a little series of workout hair ideas, shall we? This one is pretty simple but quite effective. If you go to spinning, dancing or kickboxing, there is a ton of motion. With classes like pilates, yoga and barre, you probably do a lot of posing and don’t want to break your concentration to gather all your hair back up into another bun when it falls out. Luckily, this hair will do the trick for both types of workout whether you’re gonna shake, shake, shake or not. Here’s how we did this cute braid bun combo…

  1. Start with your hair in two dutch braids. If you don’t know what a dutch braid is, it’s just like a regular french braid but it’s inside out. In other words, if you’re crossing over when you french braid, then you would cross under when you dutch braid. Tie these two off at the bottom using a small clear elastic.
  2. Cross the braids over each other near back hairline.
  3. Now wrap them around each other all the way down. Tie that off with another clear elastic. You can leave it at this point (because it looks pretty cool already) or you can do step 4.
  4. Use THESE MATTE BOBBYPINS to secure the bun. These come in a half shiny, half matte pin combo packs. (I stumbled on this trick by accident! I had these bobbypins in my office sitting on my desk to be photographed and used the black ones to put my hair up in a bun. The bun literally did not move at all for the whole day and I’ve been using these ever since.)

Hope this is helpful to some of you to keep the hair off your neck/shoulders. Do you like this workout hair series? Do you want to see more? Any specific requests?