We tend to have braids on the brain 24/7 during these hot summer months in California. Best part is that braiding can often save us from excess heat styling with blowdryers + curling irons, which is very helpful when dealing with dryness or trying to nurse damaged hair back to a softer state. Recently we were introduced to Pantene Pro-V’s Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner and because it’s so moisture-packed we immediately thought of using it as a braid aid! This is a really simple way to braid + moisturize at one time so you’re getting a double dose of healthy hair (conditioning + saving on heat styling) while sporting your favorite braided look. We’re essentially creating our own leave-in conditioner and turning it into a styling product! Here’s how we did it…

pantene moisture renewal hack the beauty department

pantene the beauty department braid aid

  • Shake well.

the beauty department pantene

  • Apply to wet or dry hair.
  • Braid as desired!

beauty dept pantene moisture

TIP: I love using this trick before heading to the gym in the morning. I shower, shave, wash my hair, get out, apply this spray and braid. Then when I’m done at the gym I can just do a quick rinse in the shower and go instead of a taking a full “normal” shower.

braidaid the beauty department pantene

You can do this on dry hair too, of course! I tend to focus more from middle to ends and only use a tiny bit toward the root. Focus on dryness and places where your hair gets the least amount of natural oils: middle to ends.

pantene braid aid the beauty department

Once you apply spray and braid your hair, wait about 10 minutes for it to absorb and dry a little, then gently pull at your braid to loosen it up. The conditioner serves as a great texturizer because as it dries it feels a little more like a styling cream.

When you go to rinse the conditioner out, you’ll feel the benefits and as your hair dries, you’ll see them! Now we really wonder how many “conditioner hacks” there are out there. Do you have one? If so we’d love to hear it in the comments below!

(this post was created in partnership with our friends at Pantene)




We’ve had a lot of inquiries on the tortoiseshell hair color trend and we’re about to break it down. In my opinion, the E True Hollywood Story on tortiseshell hair is that it focuses on warmth and has 3+ colors. There’s typically a warmed up darker color at the root which bleeds through the middle for some dimension, a warm mid-light and then a light golden highlight. Your colorist will know what you’re looking for if you show them this round up of photos. It would be nearly impossible to achieve this at home so basically don’t even try it. You can however maintain the look at home by using some very important things which I’ll list below…

tortiseshell hair color the beauty department

Tortoiseshell really revolves around golden tones and warmth so if you’re trying to avoid having gold tones, this is not an ideal color for you. This is for those who want those “brazilian brown and blonde” tones that really sparkle and look sun-kissed, as opposed to the cool, neutral or muted tones you get when maintaining with violet-based toners and purple shampoos.

thebeautydepartment tortise shell hair


To keep your golden tones fresh and from fading, you’ll want to use a color depositing shampoo and conditioner to keep the warmth from fading. Here are my favorite golden blonde depositing shampoos (click link for more info and pricing)

tortise shell hair the beauty department


As far as gold depositing conditioners, these two are my faves…

tortiseshell blonde hair the beauty department


There’s a fine line between brassy and gold, so be careful not to get into the wrong zone. Your hair colorist should be able to tell you when you need a gloss or toning but for the most part, you should be able to just go with the gold.

the beauty dept tortiseshell hair color




CLEARLY we’re overly obsessed with rose, rosé and champaign hair colors right now, so why not another simple summer braid tutorial on hair that’s just been colored? This particular pony/braid combo is one of the easiest things to do if you know how to do a simple french braid. You can do this on hair that’s medium to long in length, and you can add some extensions if your hair is too fine or tends to lack texture. We didn’t add clip-ins here but if you need some, do it! Alright, here’s how get the look…

Start with dry hair. It can be clean or not. If it’s a lil dirty, just add a burst of DRY SHAMPOO to the root.

  1. Start by taking a triangular section on the side. The size of the section will depend on the amount of hair. If you have super thick hair, take a slightly smaller section. If you have thinner hair, you’ll want to take a little more hair. I usually take a section from the hairline to right behind the ear.
  2. Next, create an inside-out or dutch braid with that section and tie it off loosely with a clear elastic.
  3. Add a little TEXTURE POWDER to the entire braid, all the way from the top to the tail.
  4. Gently “pancake” your braid, meaning pull it apart to fatten it up/widen it.
  5. Once you have your braid thickened up and textured, add veil of fine mist hairspray all over everything that’s not in the braid. Here we used THIS ONE because it’s great for thickening up fine hair, but if you have thick hair or any damage from color, you know I love THIS ONE.
  6. Now grab everything, the braid and the rest of the hair and gather into a high pony. Secure using a thicker stronger elastic or PONYTAIL HOLDER.
  7. Take a small strand of hair from the ponytail and wrap it around the ponytail holder to cover it up, then pin underneath using a bobbypin. If you want to you can take the clear elastic out now. The texture powder should hold it in place but you can also do a teeeeeny back combing at the bottom to get it to stay.
  8. Check the balance of it all in a hand mirror. Make it as full or as textured as you want. Add some wave with a wand if desired!

Are you guys feeling the rose hair trend? It’s such a subtle hint of color and we’re obsessed! xx


photos/post: Kristin Ess

photos/post: Kristin Ess

You know what’s great about having highlights? If you’re feeling adventurous you can have a little fun by changing up the tone temporarily! This isn’t new news but I often get asked what my favorite formulas are for a hint of tone, not a full-blown pink or lavender, but just a whisper of color. I thought I would share a couple with you guys so you can have a pretty rose pink braid over a weekend! When you add just a teeny tint of these colors, they fade out very quickly when you shampoo!

pink champagne fishtail bubble braid department

When my clients do this at home, I usually take a look at their hair and formulate based on the lightness of their hair/highlights. Since I can’t see the lightness of each of your highlights, I’m giving you ratios of color instead and it will be up to you (and perhaps your colorist) to decide on how much to dilute your formula.

  1. FOR ROSE TONE: 2 parts pink, 1 part puple/lavender
  2. FOR CHAMPAGNE TONE:  1 part pink, 1 part coral or orange, 1 part purple/lavender

Here are my favorite ways things to use at home…

If you want to do it by way of conditioner instead of color, try these. A lot of my clients use these and love them! They’re about $30 each and you will get many uses out of each jar. Use one or mix them together…

If you prefer an actual temporary color (aka: something with a little more longevity, but still very temporary) try these…


And if it’s this gorgeous braid you’re after… here’s the breakdown!

champagne and rose colored braid hair the beauty department

Are you into these super subtle tones? Have you ever colored over your highlights with a color conditioner or diluted pastel? If so tell us what you used and what you did or didn’t love about it! Share the knowlege! xx