PREP YOUR HAIR FOR SWIMMING

Vacation, staycation, daycation? However you decide to classify your next round of downtime, we hope there’s a pool or an ocean involved. But here’s the thing, little mermaids– you need to prep your hair for swimming, especially if your hair has been colored. We’ve talked about POOL HAIR before but only about what to do after you get out of the water. Let’s take a minute to discuss our favorite pool pre-game. Over the last year, I tested out a few random methods like spraying in leave-in conditioner all over, covering my hair in spray-on sunscreen, It’s not a lot of fuss and will save you so much hassle later. Here’s what I find works the best…

  1. Measure out 4 tablespoons of Wella Enrich Conditioning Mask. I use this particular conditioner because it’s my favorite mask and it leaves  your hair abnormally soft, but you can use your own favorite mask if you don’t have or can’t get that one.
  2. Mix that with 4 cups of warm water. I suggest using a wire whisk to make sure you break up all of the conditioner chunks.
  3. Once that’s done, pour all of it into a large spray bottle and shake it a little more, just in case! (Also shake it again right before you use it.) TIP: Make sure you get a large spray bottle. You’re going to want to soak your hair with this liquid so if the bottle doesn’t put out a lot of spray, it could take longer than desired.
  4. Once you arrive at the beach or the pool, drench your hair in this spray before jumping into the water. I always put it in a braid or bun, but you definitely don’t have to.

I think the reason this works is because much like a sponge, hair soaks up the first liquid it comes in contact with. That liquid works its way to the center of the hair once the hair is drenched and then it has little or no room for pool water or salt water. I’ll be honest, I don’t have scientific proof that this is what happens, it’s just my theory because I can tell you– there’s a HUGE difference in the feeling of my hair when I use this method vs. when I don’t. After 4 days of swimming in a pool in the super-sunshiny desert, this is what my red hair looked like…

If you have any favorite pool hair remedies, by all means share them in the comments below. You know we love hearing about your methods!

SPRING HAIR TREND DIY

PHOTOS: KRISTIN ESS

We love a good DIY, and we particularly love a DIY that includes flowers. Saw one of these floral ribbons at a retail store the other day. It was way too overpriced for my liking so of course we decided to create a version you can make yourself for about $2. It’s a simple thin ribbon with flowers and a bobby pin attached– not rocket science, but sometimes simple is just prettier. You know we love a flower crown but we’re head over heels for this as a new alternative. Here’s how we made it…

You’ll want to find tiny flowers so the weight doesn’t pull the ribbon. We opted for these 3 types but you can use anything small and lightweight. Two of these were free because they were from my garden and then we purchased one stem of rice flowers from a local flower shop.

  1. Collect scissors, 1/8″ thin ribbon, your flowers, a single small bobby pin and some thin beading wire.
  2. Gather a tiny cluster of buds and bind them together using a small piece of your wire. Be sure to tuck the ends of the wire in so they don’t get stuck in your hair.
  3. You’ll want to wrap a few clusters. 5-6 is plenty.
  4. Cut 1 yard of ribbon for short to medium hair and 1 1/2 yards for longer hair.
  5. Tie an extra small bobby pin (they make ones that are shorter than the normal size but if you don’t have that you can use the regular ones.
  6. Last, attach your flower clusters. We spaced each one out a little differently. Just make sure you put an even weight on each side so the ribbon doesn’t slide over to the heavier side.

Use the bobby pin to secure the ribbon just below your part. This will be such a great look for anyone who plans on hitting Coachella or any music festival for that matter! If you make one and wear it, don’t forget to tag us @thebeautydept on instagram! We would love to see yours.

KEEPING YOUR WAVES OVERNIGHT

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

Okay, some of you may already be using a claw clip to put your hair up at night, but are you using them the best way? I’ve always, always, always slept with my freshly waved hair in a fun bun because it just keeps the curl so perfect. But recently I was traveling, I had just blown out and curled my hair and couldn’t find a ponytail holder to put it up. My friend had these mini claw clips with her and offered them to me. I used about 5 of them around the perimeter of a bun to secure my hair while I slept and I couldn’t believe how perfect my waves still were the next morning. Using just one to secure a bunch of hair has given me dents in the past, but the trick seems to be lots of little ones. Ive been trying it out for a couple weeks to make sure it wasn’t a happy accident and it’s still working perfectly. For those of you who take time and pride in curling your hair, or those of you who get blowouts, you’ll definitely want to use this.

  1. We started with “Day 1″ hair. Freshly blown out, waved up and brushed out. (This photo was taken in the evening.)
  2. Flip your head and gather all of your hair.
  3. Now gently start to twist and coil all of the hair into a bun of the very top of your head. You don’t want to twist it so tight that it pulls out or reforms the curls, but it shouldn’t be too loose either. A happy medium is good.
  4. Wrap the ends under the bun. Again, don’t wrap it overly-tight.
  5. Now take your mini claw clips and GENTLY place them around the perimeter of the bun. I truly think the trick is sliding them into the hair without force. I don’t grab a lot of hair with the clip because that’s when you start to get dents. You’re going to use 4-5 clips so no need to get it all secured with just one.
  6. In the morning the bun will be a little loose, which is totally fine. Remove the clips.
  7. Shake it all out.
  8. Add a little shine serum to your ends.
  9. Or massage in a little dry shampoo at the root if you need it.
  10. In this photo you’ll see it’s been brushed out using that favorite brush of mine!

That’s it! These clips are available pretty much everywhere– RiteAid, Walgreens, Duane Reed, 99 cent stores, Target, Walmart, everywhere! They usually come in packs of 4-10 and they’re pretty cheap. Good luck! Let us know if you try it or even if you already do this in the comments below!

BRUSH BATH

The two most dreaded words of the season: spring cleaning. Naturally you’ll do the windows, you’ll deep clean your room, break out some lighter-weight bedding, but will you shampoo your hair brushes? I realized this post needed to happen when I was talking to my client the other day. She said she was having a very hard time getting the silky smooth blowout that she normally gets. I asked her if she had been doing anything different recently and she said she was using a volumizing mousse for a while but had stopped. I asked her if she had shampooed her brush between then and now and she just gave me this stumped look. I’m pretty sure she realized right then why it made sense. But I explained that you blowdry with product, it obviously transfers onto the brush. If you do that for a couple/few weeks you will have a build up of product that will transfer right back into wet hair when it’s dragged through. The product on the brush will also attract dust. Long-ish story short, she shampooed the brush and then we got a cute email titled “hooray” to let us know that it fully did the trick. Seems so obvious but when you can’t see the product just by looking down at the brush you really don’t think much about it. It’s not just mousses either– it’s leave-in conditioners, hairspray, thermal protectant, serums, pomades, etc. If you’re a product user, take the time every couple of weeks to shampoo your brushes like this…

  1. Looking at your brush doesn’t tell you much. Looks good enough, right?
  2. Look at it a little closer. On metal-core round brushes, you’ll often see product that’s been burned while sitting on the metal. Particles come off and get in your hair the next time you run it through your freshly shampooed strands.
  3. Before taking them for a dip, use the wide side of a comb to get the hair out.
  4. I specifically encourage you to use a clarifying shampoo. I like THIS ONE + THIS ONE. Don’t just use soap as that can leave behind even more residue.
  5. Fill the sink up about halfway with medium to hot water while adding your clarifying shampoo. Let them sit for about 5 minutes– enough to soften the hardened product particles.
  6. Using a basic scrubber (which I get from the 99 cent store) rub at the core of a metal round brush or at the padding of a flat brush. If you’re cleaning a natural bristle brush, massage it with your fingers under the water instead.Rinse them well with cold water. Make sure you’ve removed all the shampoo.
  7. Now either lay them out to dry or blowdry them on medium heat, which is what I like to do.
  8. See. No more nastiness! You’re sure to get a much better blowout when you have freshly cleaned brushes. This only takes a few minutes and makes all the difference in the world.