BRAID PASTE

the beauty department braid paste

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

Braiding can be a daunting task for even the most nimble fingers. I found something a while back that’s helped me teach people how to braid their own hair. Some super duper helpful stuff called  BRAID PASTE! There are tons of molding pastes on the market, and as I’ve showed you many times before, and I still love/use those as well! But sometimes you have to cocktail a paste with some shine serum because the paste by itself can be a bit too mattifying, causing hair to look a little dull. But braid paste has been helpful on pretty much all hair types when braiding, leaving it shiny but giving it soft hold so the braid doesn’t slip out as you go. Basically the cocktailing of paste and serum are already done for you!

the beauty department braid paste 2

 

For fine to normal hair: I like to use a pea size dab of paste to start and go back in if I need more. Put it in your palms and warm it up. Go middle to ends and then if you need any up toward the root, just use whatever is left on your hands.

For thick or coarse hair: When I braid thick hair, I usally break it up into two sections to apply paste, otherwise I feel like it gets concentrated in certain places and there’s none in other places. I break it up from ear to ear, horizontally, applying to the bottom half first and then the top half. Depending on the thickness, I would use a pea size or slightly smaller per section. Warm it up in your palms and then apply middle to ends. If you need some at the root just use whatever is remaining on your hands after you apply everywhere else.

 

braid paste the beauty department

 

After the paste is on the hair and you’ve done your braid, like a FISHTAIL BRAID, a ROSETTE BRAID or any braid for that matter, you can now loosen it up with ease knowing that the whole thing isn’t going to slip apart as you work some texture into it. It’s just a cool, very helful product to add to your arsenal if you love braiding or if you want to learn how to be a better braider.

Do you have any favorite products for braiding?

PLANNING FOR PLATINUM

the beauty department platinum

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS, ALLIE MARIE EVANS

It seems to be a pattern lately… Girl gets lob. Girl the loves lob so much she gets a bob. Girl goes a little blonder. Girl loves lightest pieces so much she wants them all over, so girl goes platinum. And I love this game! When it comes to the palest shades of blonde there are some things you should know that will help you enjoy the cool-girl platinum life a little more. The brightest shade of blonde always has and always will be classic so whether you’re new to the world of “bleach and tone” or a total veteran, you can use this guide to help better your process. Let’s discuss…

PREPPING FOR PLATINUM:

Don’t shampoo that day. I always encourage my clients to avoid shampooing their hair the same day they’re getting it bleached and toned. A common misconception is that if the hair is dirty the bleach may not cut through. That’s not true at at all. In fact, I typically encourage my girls to not wash two days before they come in for a bleach and tone. Natural oils help coat the scalp and make it less painful in my, and my client’s, opinions. When you shampoo the hair the same day, you’ve stimulated the scalp and bleaching after that can be quite painful. So dirty hair is good! Avoid excessive brushing on the day of as well!

Newness is key. When going platinum, you don’t want anyone “out of touch” doing your color. Instead you may want to go to to a colorist who educates themselves on what new advances are being made in the color world. There are so many new toners, new bleaches, and new additives that you, as the client, depend on your colorist to research and find to make your experience and color as wonderful as possible. Make sure your colorist is up on the newest advances being made in hair color. Of course there are classic/old school techniques and if they work and you’re happy with them, great,

Don’t be cheap about platinum hair. Go to someone who uses Olaplex with their color! It’s a bond rebuilder that gets added into your bleach and it’s worth every penny. I use it on so many people and it’s such a game changer for a bleach and tone. You’ll pay a bit more for the color but your hair feels like it’s never been bleached!

Have realistic expectations. If you’ve never been platinum before, it may not happen the first time around. You may have to settle for a sweet shade of “champagne” or a “winter wheat” that’s almost platinum but not quite on round one. Platinum hair happens when you’ve literally emptied the hair of pigment so getting to that point can take a couple visits, end of story. If your colorist gets you there on the first try, count your lucky stars! But if it doesn’t, have patience. Below is a photo of Allie Marie Evans’ first ever round of bleach and tone. While it’s very pale and very pretty on her, it’s not completely white. And I made sure to tell her that might be the case before we did it. Sometimes it just takes a couple times! Depends on your natural lightness, darkness and previous colors in the hair!

Stock up on platinum stuff! You’re definitely going to want some purple-based toning supplies for home use. Purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel so when you’re trying to cancel out unwanted brassiness and yellow tones, you’ll need things that have purple pigment in them. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Schwarzkopf Bonacure Shampoo Okay, this shampoo is scary purple when you look at it in the bottle. People are often afraid of it when they see it for the first time, but it’s hands down my favorite purple shampoo for toning out yellow. It’s not as intense as it looks in the bottle, it tones amazingly well (and smells sooooo good).
  • ColorWow Brass Banned Mousse This stuff is pretty cool. It’s basically like a styling mousse but with tone in it! You apply it to damp hair and then blowout and style as usual. I love this because you don’t wash it out and most things that you use to tone at home get washed out but this is great for any intense yellow-y sections you may have. Mousse is mainly used to boost volume at the root and most platinum girls get brassy at the root more than anywhere else, so this is a win-win!
  • Rita Hazan Gloss Breaking Brass I love this because this is something you can do on your hair at home to tone and create shine. It’s like toner and treatment in one! I like to tell clients to put this on the root area for about 5 minutes after you shampoo, then work some through the middle to ends for 2 additional minutes (ends will soak it up much faster than the roots). Then you rinse everything and condition. It’s a great substitute for anyone who can’t get into the salon for a gloss in between colors.
  • Sachajuan Silver Conditioner There are a trillion purple shampoos but there are not a lot of great purple/silver conditioners out there. For someone who really gets brassy it’s great to use purple shampoo but maybe it’s not enough? Maybe you like it super silver-y. Maybe you need additional reinforcement with some purple conditioner! I’ve been super into Sachajuan’s conditioners in general lately, they’re SO good!
  • Shu Uemura Colour Lustre Cool Blonde Holy grail. The most intense at-home gloss toning I’ve ever seen. This is for those who love that ashy silver look ONLY. It’s pretty amazing but no joke, you must like ashy or silver tones. It’s expensive but very worth it. You put it on like a conditioner after you shampoo and it tones like crazy, not to mention, makes the hair epic shiny and soft. Ah-may-zing.
  • Shimmer Lights A budget-friendly classic! This pack comes with shampoo and conditioner together. It gets the toning job done, but it’s not my favorite for the way it makes the hair feel. But if you’re trying to save money this will do the trick and you’ll like the way it makes your wallet feel! Maybe do a deep conditioner or coconut oil application once a week if you use this.
  • John Frieda Toning Shampoo and Condtioner LOVE this for subtle toning. Let’s say you’re at that perfect platinum place, and let’s say you just need to maintain, this will be your jam (your very affordable jam!). It has subtle purple tones in both the shampoo and conditioner. It’s not overpowering and won’t make your hair ashy. It keeps the hair a nice shade of neutral.
  • Bumble and Bumble White Dry Shampoo This isn’t like the other white dry shampoos. It doesn’t become translucent and blend into the hair. It’s a pretty intense white powder that stays I would encourage you to get if you end up with brassy roots. You spray it anywhere you feel too yellow-y and it blends out the yellow nicely. You don’t want to over-do it with this or you might end up looking a little too Marie Antoinette for your day-to-day liking. But it conceals any yellow at the root temporarily, making it appear more white.

Don’t wait 2 months to get retouched. Okay, I understand if you like the platinum look with roots. Very cool-girl for sure. However, if you wait too long in between visits, it can be difficult for your colorist to control the consistency of color at the root. Your natural body heat accelerates the bleach at the scalp, if there’s more than a full inch or so of regrowth, you could end up with what we call “bands”. Bands are inconsistencies in the hair that you can usually see when you lift the hair up straight from the head. You don’t want them and the best way to avoid them is to get your platinum hair redone every 4 to 6 weeks at the latest.

Don’t book other things around it. From a colorist’s perspective, you’re asking for a miracle if you want to go platinum for the first time and then make a dinner date a few hours later. Just don’t. Make sure you don’t put a time constraint on your hairdresser when you’re doing this for the first time. It can take all day or maybe just a couple hours. Better to plan for more time for both you AND the colorist.

It’s going to be more expensive for the first time around. Depending on your hair, you could have a lot of color correcting that needs to happen in order to get to the palest blonde. Once you’re there, root upkeep is a different story. But the first time you do this, you’re probably going to pay a pretty penny. Just know that. When I take a client platinum for the first time, I charge them in the same way I would for a color correction, because you just don’t know how long it will take and how many bottles of color you’ll go through. The first time is an investment.

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS, ALLIE MARIE EVANS

If you have any favorite tips, trick or products you like to share with your fellow PLATINUM peeps, leave them in the comments below! We love hearing your favorite things, too and so do our other readers. XX

THE MACRAME BRAID

PHOTOS/POST: Kristin Ess

PHOTOS/POST: Kristin Ess

Okay so this braid isn’t actually macramé but it reminds me of it, hence the name. This might be one of the easiest braids to do and I can’t believe we’ve never done it for you! This looks even better if you have highlights because it shows so much dimension but still looks great on solid colors as well! I honestly feel like we’re moving away from more complicated braids, but the ones that are quick and easy with lots of fun texture are forever cool. Here’s how you do this one!

macrame-braid-tutorial-the-beauty-department

  1. Prep the hair by waving it up just a little. We used a 1 1/4″ barrel iron to get subtle waves. Add 2 messy dutch braids, on on each side (see photo) and secure them with small clear elastics. It doesn’t matter where you start the dutch braids. Some like them a little higher and some like them a little lower depending on face/head shape. You can do whatever you want! For this, we started at temple height in front and met them together in back.
  2. Now cross those two dutch braids over each other and pin using a bobby pin.
  3. Next you’re going to make a regular braid down the back. Use the tails of your dutch braids as 2 of the pieces and then grab the 3rd piece from right underneath where your dutch braids meet. Braid all the way down.
  4. Now all you’re going to do is grab 2 of the pieces from your regular braid and hold them together kind of tight. Take the single piece and hold it tight in the other hand.
  5. Start sliding the two pieces UPWARD. It will start to bunch up and become a cool macramé inspired braid.
  6. Once you slide it all up you’re going to have a long tail. You can tie it off with a clear elastic there or do the same technique again and take it further.

After the braid is done, look in a hand mirror at the back. Loosen up and give texture to the braid running down.  Here’s a view from the front as well! Isn’t Alissa Griffith just the prettiest!? You can hear some of her music HERE!

Here’s a bigger view of the back!

macrame-braid-2-the-beauty-department

If you do this, please show us a photo or tag us @thebeautydept on Instagram! #TBDmacramebraid

HOW TO STYLE A LOB OR A BOB

PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

There’s no way I could go one more day without posting this tutorial! I’ve had requests on here, on the gram, on pinterest, on my cell phone and in person for this tutorial and TODAY is the the day, y’all! Many have mentioned that they’ve been very inspired by all the bobs and lobs out there– so much that you went in for the chop. Problem is, looks great leaving the salon but you can’t mimic it at home, right? Let’s fix that! This is one of my favorite ways to style a lob or bob (I typically do it the same way for both) and I fully believe that you can do this! Don’t psych yourself out, just act cool. We’ve enlisted the help of one of the most beautiful beings we know, ALLIE MARIE EVANS. She’s hilarious and gorgeous and very smart so we thought we’d beg her to take a break from her YouTube channel to come help us out with this look. Here we guh!

how to style a bob by the beauty dept

PREPPING THE HAIR:

  1. You’re almost always going to want a styling aid for this. Nothing major, just a light weight mousse like THIS, THIS or THIS.
  2. You’ll want to make sure you distribute it evenly. Use a comb or a brush to move it through if you need to.
  3. Begin rough drying with the nozzle on your dryer. THIS is my classic favorite as far as dryers are concerned. For the most part I like to use my fingers to rough dry the hair, maybe brushing lightly if something tangles up.
  4. Give it a good flip to the opposite side to keep it from feeling flat. Once it’s all the way dry, detangle with a gentle detangling brush.

styling a bob lucy hale lauren conrad kristin ess the beauty department

CURLING: The objective with this technique is to break the hair up into 3 horizontal sections. Then you’re going to want to curl each section in a different direction.

  1. Ali is doing a heavy side part in this tutorial so the sections will be a little larger on the heavier side. Begin by clipping up your first section.
  2. Using THIS 1 1/4″ barrel curling iron, curl pieces back/away from the face.
  3. Clip up your next section above that one.
  4. You’re going to want to curl this section forward/toward the face.
  5. Now your 3rd section should come down.
  6. This section will be curled backwards/away from the face as well.
  7. Do the same thing on the other side. If you’re doing a heavy side part like Ali, you can split the less heavy side in 2 sections instead of 3, but you’ll still alternate directions for each section. In other words, if you split it in 2, curl the bottom section toward your face, then let down the top section and curl it away from your face.
  8. Add a veil of lightweight hairspray all over for a little extra support. You don’t need to spray your sections before you curl because the mousse that’s dried in will give you all the thermal styling hold you need.

DON’T COMB OUT YOUR CURLS UNTIL THEY’VE COOLED. 

kristin ess bob the beauty department

 

MOST IMPORTANT TIP:

One of the most important things you’ll want to do on each section when you curl is “drag” the curling iron out. As you see we’re using a marcel iron (aka: the iron you see a lot of hairdressers using) but you can definitely still do this with a regular spring iron. You just inch the curling iron toward the ends and then lightly “drag” it out when you’re almost to the ends, which creates more of a straightened look at the tips. If that technique is hard for you, you can always quickly/lightly tap the ends with your flatiron.

kristin ess lob the beauty department

FINISHING: 

  1. Work your hands through the hair in a scrunching motion first.
  2. You’ll start to see a tousled but pretty texture emerge. This is the point where I like to add my favorite product cocktail of  a serum like THIS or THIS mixed with a lightweight water-based pomade like THIS or THIS. I rub them together in my palms and work it in at the root for a little extra texture. Then whatever is left on my hands gets dragged through the ends.
  3. Check the sides and back with a hand mirror. Add a little more spray if needed.

I hope this helps you gorgeous gals who have been trying to get your hair right since you cut it. If you do decide to try this and you love the way it looks, add it to the #cleartheshoulders hashtag on instagram! It’s so fun to see how you all style your bobs and lobs! Good luck!