SOFTENING UP A WAVY BOB

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Ooh la la! As mentioned many other times here on TBD, I have always found major hair styling inspiration in the perfectly undone style of French women, particularly French women in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I mean, to be fair, I find lots of inspo in many types of women, but there’s something very special about how effortless women in France look just strolling around casually – as if they’ve carried this look on for generations. The look, of course, is totally polished – but never like they’re trying too hard. If you’re jonesing for a perfectly undone way to style your bob, try this trick (which ironically, totally and completely involves effort).  

Let’s begin with a few key tools:

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  1. Spritz your THICKENING SPRAY or apply MOUSSE  on damp strands and blowdry. We used a THIS round brush for added volume.
  2. Begin curling hair in alternating horizontal sections with a curling iron. The size of the section should correlate to the size of the iron. We used THIS 1” iron on Nora’s bob. For medium lengths, use a 1 1/4″ or 1 1/2″ for long hair. Insert the iron into the section midway, roll down to the root and then gently open and close the barrel just a little as you continue to rotate it, which slowly feeds the ends into the barrel. This technique creates volume at the root, rather than just the ends. After releasing the curl, gently roll it back into place and insert a setting clip.  
  3. The sections on either side of the part are curled downward, towards the face.
  4. As we move down the side of the head in vertical sections, we alternate directions – this curl placement is up away from the face.
  5. Once you reach the crown of your head (the top few inches of hair that will fall over the back), curl these pieces horizontally back, as shown in the image. Make sure you hold the section straight up from the scalp for maximum volume before inserting the iron.
  6. Once the front of your hair and crown are curled and clipped, curl the back in the same manner, but don’t worry about clipping it in place. The back of your head has more hair than the sides, so if the underneath hair is less curly, the overall look is more uniform.
  7. Remove setting clips in the same order you put them in.
  8. Lift your hair up in sections and add in some texture spray like THIS one to give it a little lift off the root.
  9. MY SECRET: grab the DIFFUSER and set it to low heat, medium wind. Begin flipping your hair around while inserting the blowdryer from ends to roots. Just hold for a moment, then move on to the next section. The goal here is for the heat to break up any patterns, giving you a more undone look.
  10. Once you’ve diffused, you’ll be left with soft, alternating waves without a distinct pattern. Give it a light veil of hairspray if you need it!

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**The finished look from the profile. A subtle, bouncy wave that’s not too curly or cutesy. This technique works great on long-haired girls too! Just make sure to use a larger curling iron. It’s a gorgeous way to fake a pro blowout.

Don’t forget to tag us @thebeautydept in your pics on INSTA when you’re flipping your soft waves back and forth!

THE TEMPORARY TAPE EXTENSION MIRACLE

hair extensions The Beauty Department

So, you lusted after Michelle Williams’ chicly-crafted pixie and raced to your hairdresser for the famous chop, perhaps a bit…prematurely? Then a few months into the awkward grow-out stage, you’re rocking an unbecoming shaggy mullet while she’s slaying an on-point, shoulder-length LOB?! Ladies, it’s not witchcraft: it’s tape extensions! They’re a powerful tool in the battle against out growing out a short, uneven and aggressively-layered haircut. Trust that I speak from experience: My own spontaneous pixie has had me playing the grow-out game for well over a year now, and that, in conjunction with a love for this bright blonde life, hasn’t exactly ushered me into a healthy, uniform length. Some days I need to fill in the gaps and some days (when wearing my hair up) I don’t! I love that they can be used in this temporary way vs. a real application by a pro which lasts many months. So, when I’m not doing THIS TREATMENT THIS PRE-SHAMPOO FIX  or BRAIDING it up to avoid heat damage, I’m reaching for the tape-ins to give me those full front corners that give a bob it’s coveted form. Here are the steps, if you find yourself longing for the same thing:

1) Start with clean, dry hair. Make sure to use a CLARIFYING SHAMPOO and only condition, if necessary, but NOT the root area! (Getting conditioner or any product near the scalp before applying tape extensions can cause them to slip.) Now blowdry smooth and flat iron to make sure there aren’t flyaways – when little individual rogue hairs get pulled by the tape it hurts! Also, waves can hide a multitude of sins, but straight hair will give you the true story of what’s going on with your cut.

**Note: know your limits: stick to the hair in the front sides of your head and avoid attempting the back. If your hair needs allover length or volume, or you’re looking for a more permanent solution, a trained professional should hook you up.

2) Have everything you’ll need ready to go once you start parting, and make sure to prep and tape all your extensions if you’re reusing them (instructions at the bottom).

3) Create a clean horizontal parting where you want to apply your extension, and clip surrounding hair out of the way. Try to avoid hairlines and your main part by about 1″. Make sure to hold the extension up first to ensure it’s the right length.

4) Remove the paper backing from the extension, holding just below the tape to avoid touching it. The transfer of oil from your fingertips will lessen its staying power.

5.) Apply right below your parting and press down firmly to smooth and adhere.

6.) Drop down clipped-up hair to gauge the difference. We decided the bang was still too heavy, so we added another extension at the top corner of the head – right before it starts to round into the top – to break it up.

7.) Once happy with one side, repeat previous steps on the other side and check for balance.

8.) The finished look. Dreamy. What a mini miracle! Remember to put your extensions in the same place each time or you’ll end up having to trim the tips to get it to look right, which then shortens the extensions!

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We completed the look with THESE waves to blend layers together and give the hair a little extra fullness.

This extension method will typically last until your next shampoo, or 1-3 days. If you use a different tape-in extension brand, also use their bond remover to make sure the process goes smoothly. As I mentioned above, if you’re in a pinch you can use a LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER. Spray directly onto the tape and gently lifting to remove. If you feel any tension, add more conditioner until they easily glide off. To prep extensions for future use, remove excess tape, wash well with clarifying shampoo and condition just the mids-ends, then let air dry. Once dry, apply the brand’s pre-cut double sided tape and leave the paper backing on until the next time you’re ready to get down.

You did it! This little trick can be a total lifesaver during the grow out process, and as you’ve seen, just a few pieces in the right place can make a huge difference. Now go make plans to be seen!

Have you tried tape-in extensions the non-permanent way? Let us know if they worked for your hair in the comments below!

INSTAGRAM HAIR HEAVEN

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Let’s be honest… if I were to log actual hours spent on my phone looking through Instagram at all the women with good hair, no doubt I would be in absolute shock! No apologies here, though. When I find a good head of hair on insta, I go into some hypnotic state and all of the sudden find myself deep-creepin’ those curls, braids, waves and windblown strands for an unhealthy amount of time. In this new series, I want to shine some light on those who I think are really ahead of the game in the hair department and tell you a little bit about them so that maybe they can bring some beauty to your daily feed as well. Here we go…

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name: jessica lee buchanan

instagram: @jessleebuchanan

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Hair goals, beachwave goals, air dry goals, freckle goals, bronze goddess goals… I could keep going with the goals list, but you should just go see for yourself. There’s no way you can look at Jessica’s photos and not want to run to the beach, apply coconut oil to your hair and go play in some clear blue lagoon.

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name: hannah faith

instagram: @hannahfaith__

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Origninally, I was drawn to Hannah Faith’s page because of her feed. It clear that she’s an artist first and foremost, and happens to have one of the best heads of hair on instagram, in my opinion. Here you’ll find so much beauty inspo intertwined with travel, taste, colors and other girl bosses. Bonus follow: her creative agency @weareinbloom!

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name: georgia fowler

instagram: @georgiafowler

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There’s no way I need to tell you why this Kiwi kills the off-duty-model-beauty game. Her hair is so perfectly undone and makes me never want to touch a hair brush again (#InShowerCombOutOnly!) Even though she’s from New Zealand, she’s giving me vintage French film girl vibes AF.

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name: aleksandra zee

instagram: @aleksandrazee

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I love blonde wood and I love blonde waves. How can you not be obsessed with this woodworking STUNNER?? She’s killin’ the game with her inlay art pieces all while looking so flawless, you’d never know she lifted a finger. Luckily she told me her top 3 hair faves: THIS LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER, THIS DRY SHAMPOO and THIS SALT SPRAYGet them all and grab a piece of art while you’re at it!

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name: mairaly rodriguez

instagram: @harmonicurls

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Rarely am I blown away by someone’s hairstyling range but this girl is off the charts amazing. She explores so many looks and nails them all so perfectly. From her gorgeous, voluminous, bouncy natural coils to her bantu knots to having faux locs on lock, I would say she’s my new favorite. It took me about 3 seconds to find her youtube and subscribe. Mega fan of this baby face beauty.

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name: alanna nicole doherty

instagram: @alannanicolex

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Anyone with hot pink tips the color of bougainvillea, chic/cheerful style and thick natual hair is a very welcome addition to my ever-growing beauty feed on instagram. That brings us to Alanna Nicole who is quickly style blogging her way to the top! But wait… can we pleeeease talk about that hair color again tho??

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name: maggie rawlins

instagram: @maggierawlins

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I stopped in my insta tracks when I realized this is the girl everyone brings me pictures of as hair inspo. She’s in all the Planet Blue look books and you may also recognize her from some Wild Fox shoots as well. I recognized her from the torn magazine pages that get shoved in my face more often than I can tell you. Enjoy following this blonde bombshell.

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name: lesley buckle

instagram: @freshlengths

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You will be blown away by this angel-faced Brit. Her hairstyles are perfection and her lip color choices legit had me bolting over to ASOS since she’s also an insider there. Be prepared to creep deep into her archives of both hair and makeup.

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name: frida aasen

instagram: @frida_aasen

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This girl gives me all the modern-day Brigitte Bardot vibes. It’s almost like a doll and an angel and supermodel had a baby named Frida. I just want her to clog up the feed with her perfect blonde windswept vacation hair. PLEASE!?

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name: rachael ann lunghi

instagram: @laceandlikes

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This girl is a baddddd ass. She’s a stylist, she’s a florist, she’s a gorgeous vision. Her page is full of beauty in so many forms. She’s positive and powerful and real and her posts are so meaningful. Follow her for perfectly curated feminine realness.

CURRENT OBSESSION: BUN CUFFS

bun cuff accessory summer hair the beauty department

Intuition tells me you throw your hair into a top knot occasionally, no? I get it: in less time than it takes to slip on ‘dem sweats, you can whisk imperfect strands into a quick bun that keeps them out of sight/out of mind. But what if you want to ditch the sweats and head out for an impromptu girls night? Give your curling iron a rest and pick up our new favorite accessory: lé bun cuff! This fast-growing micro trend is a dreamy way to elevate your basic bun with minimal effort for maximum effect. We’ve rounded up a list of our current favorites, and there are so many options!

Also, don’t feel limited to working these with a simple ballerina bun – some of these would look great with a FUN BUN, HALF-UP top knot, or a LOW BUN too. You’ll have an easier time if you create your look first with a hair band, then add your favorite cuff. (Click the pic to shop that style)

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