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

KEEP RED HAIR FROM FADING

Post: Kristin Ess, top photo by Kristin Ess, bottom photos Kristin Ess, Angela Kohler + Tyler Jennings

MERMAID ALERT. Hands down the most frequent question I get asked when I meet people for the first time is how I keep my red hair so bright. Everyone looks at you when you’re a hair colorist as if you’re holding out on some mega-secret that’s finally going to crack the case on color fading. The truth is, there’s a whole list of secrets! There not just one magic potion to pour on your head. If there was, I would own it by now and I would share it with you right here. I’ve written about red hair color on TBD before as a blogger, but now I want to write from the perspective of a fellow redhead. I could just list off a bunch of color safe shampoos but there are plenty of color shampoo roundups online, right? Instead I’m going to give you a rundown of the things I do and things I don’t do to keep my hair the brightest! These are all tips that I know work because over the last decade I’ve been every single shade of roja and I’ve taken lots of notes. Here are my top 10 ways that I keep my un-natural (but totally natural) red hair on point…

  1. I have a custom conditioner made. You have to find a Davines salon and get a pro to make you one, but it’s worth it. HERE is a salon locator. So many conditioners out there for redheads are off on their tone. They’re either too pink or too yellow or too translucent. Trust me on this. Find a salon and let them mix your exact shade.
  2. Cool water washing isn’t a myth. In the winter time, I will even knock up the heater temp in the bathroom just so I can handle the cooler water setting. It doesn’t need to be cold, it just shouldn’t be hot. Changing my water temperature did slow the fading and made my hair more reflective in the long run.
  3. Swimming in a chlorinated pool? NO. Hair exposed for long periods of time in the sun? NEVER. Just don’t do it. Not unless you plan on getting your color done within the next couple days. No… just no. I only swim in salt water or fresh water. If I get in a chlorinated pool, I just won’t put my hair in, end of story.
  4. Spray leave-In conditioner is a must. I always use THIS ONE because I’ve tried about a hundred and there’s not another one like it. It seals, protects and shines like the top of the Chrysler Building. If I leave on a trip without it, it’s the first thing I have to locate when I land.
  5. Permanent color, then gloss. So for my own formula, I have someone apply my root color first which is a cream-based permanent color, then I put another cream-based permanent color through the ends. And THEN I go the extra mile and gloss over that while at the shampoo bowl (after my color has been rinsed). It takes about 20-25 minutes and it’s a similar process to a deep conditioning treatment. My hair used to fade like crazy when I didn’t put a gloss over the permanent color. I attribute most of my current vibrance to glossing over the regular cream-based color. You’re definitely going to get charged for that at the salon, but it’s not insanely expensive and it isn’t sold to people without a license. I prefer glossing my hair with Shades EQ which is from Redken. Ask your colorist or find a Redken salon HERE.
  6. Glosses in between colors. Again, it takes the same time as a deep conditioner so prioritize! I do my roots every 2 1/2-3 months, so I find a time right smack in the middle of my color appointments to get glossed. Again, I gloss with the same Shades EQ formula as before.
  7. I definitely keep blowdrying to a minimum. I’m not saying I skip blowdrying because my hair has strong wave/frizz and needs to be blown out, I just wash less (see next tip!). I’ve never done my own scientific study on this, but I know from experience that running hot air into my red locks on the daily is a no.
  8. Invest in a great dry shampoo. My favorites are THIS ($), THIS ($$) but mostly THIS ($$$). Once I became a dry shampoo addict, I started seeing my color fade much less. Obviously the less you’re washing, the less you’re fading.
  9. Every redhaired mermaid needs an ionic dryer. I use the Elchim 2001. I’ve used it forever and it’s my favorite all around. I won’t preach about the benefits of ionic dryers becuase I already did that recently RIGHT HERE.

In case we’ve never met or you’re just starting to follow TBD, I’m a redhead too, thanks to the powers of pigment. I’m also a hairstylist/colorist. As a professional, we have access to so many great things and I just wanted to share my personal favorites. If you have any tips or products that you’re obsessed with, I would LOVE for you to list them down below in the comments. We always love to hear what you’ve been using and how it’s working for you.

My last words of advice are… Always make sure you give red hair color a chance to stick. It took me about 4 rounds before my red stopped fading so much, mostly because I was blonde before. Don’t expect to go from lighter hair colors to red with no fading the first time, or even the second. Be realistic about it. Also, if you’re going red go through types of red (USE THIS POST IF YOU WANT!) with your colorist. It’s best to be on the same page about which red is which. Don’t be embarassed to take pictures with you! We love it.

BRAIDING WITH LAYERS

For those with layers, it can be a huge struggle just to braid, let alone make it stay for longer than 30 minutes! Clearly, we can lock it all down with a thousand bobbypins and a whole can of superhold, but there’s a much easier way to do it and we’re excited to share it. Warning: this could be a very obvious trick to some of you pros and closeted hairdressers, but remember that a lot of people are just learning these things, but hopefully you can take something from this, too! Okay, let’s do it…

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

  1. Here we’re going to show you what happens when you braid medium length hair with lots of layers. The hair in photo 1 is clean and blown out straight.
  2. Clearly as you move along with your braid, the pieces start to pop out and you start losing track of where you are in your braid.
  3. By the time you’re done, you have something like this. It’s nice and to be honest, some may prefer it like this. I still think it’s cute, I just don’t foresee that holding all day. Also, there’s a great aesthetic difference between hair with texture and hair that just has wild pieces sticking straight out. Messy texture will likely stay and even get a little messier throughout the day, where layers that are falling out might loosen the security of your braid and eventually cause it to fall apart.
  4. The  simple trick here is to curl your hair before you braid. Not an everyday wave where you tap the ends and leave them a little straighter, but curling all the way to the tip. Round those ends off! That will create a curve and then the ends of your layers will “hug” the braid making it SO much easier for you to spray, pin and keep the layers locked in place all day.
  5. Once you’ve curled also try adding a little bit of waterbased pomade to your layers for additional hold. You’ll want something soft that will disappear into the hair like POMADE or BRAID PASTE!
  6. Now try braiding your hair with the curls! This is what I do to any of my clients attending an event when I want to make sure their hair holds all night. This is also a great trick for anyone who plans on dancing (i.e.: wedding hair!)

Take a look at the first attempt vs the second attempt. Barely had to use any product after curling. You may still need a little strong holding hairspray for support here and there but nothing outrageous. Tell us if you try this or if you have any other great tricks for braiding with shorter layers!

OH! And in case you were wondering, we used this particular HOT TOOLS IRON for this tutorial.

PRETTY POLISH

photo/post by Kristin Ess

You will need:

  1. I didn’t do a base coat, I just very very very lightly buffed the surface of my nail.
  2. Use a stripe brush and dip it into the black gel polish.
  3. Create a “v shape” using the diagram below.
  4. Fill in the sides with the black gel polish.
  5. Add your gold triangle charm using either super glue or clear gel polish. If you use clear polish it will obviously be safer but also take a bit more time to dry so be patient! You can also use a gold polish to create a tiny triangle if you don’t have a charm on hand.
  6. I didn’t love the metal finish of the charm because it was a little too yellow for me, so I went over it with a little swipe of the gold polish.
  7. Clean up any polish mess ups with a brush and remover as seen here.
  8. Last, add your clear top coat.

Here’s a quick illustration of the pattern! I suggest making the black outer painted triangle more narrow and long vs. wide. It just looks a bit cooler, in my opinion. A wider triangle just makes it look more like a graphic french manicure.