Posts Tagged ‘blonde’

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!

HOW TO HIDE A BOBBY PIN

PHOTOS: KRISTIN ESS, POST: JESS SWANSON

POST BY KRISTIN ESS + JESS SWANSON

Almost every time I do an updo, I get asked about how I hide my bobby pins. I took you guys through how to PROPERLY INSERT A BOBBYPIN back in the day, but I’ve never shown you my trick for how I make those shiny little bobby pin ends disappear. We love glitz on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes you want your BOBBY PINS to show, but for the most part you want them them to be as invisible as possible; this means you’re about to fall (deeper) in love with your dry shampoo. See how the two rendezvous below:

the beauty department bobby pin

We begin with a handful of unassuming blonde bobby pins, which we found to match our hair the best. These are the GOLD/BLONDE and BLACK versions of the ones we used. Even when the pins match your color well, you still have the element of shine, which only serves to distract from your mane masterpiece as they catch the light.

To prep your pins, lay a towel down on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Shake your colored DRY SHAMPOO well (In the image we’re using a blonde tone – find your color in the list below) and simply spray each pin approximately 2″ away, moving slowly from one side to the other. Allow to dry, then flip and do the other side. We’re holding the pin above for demonstrative purposes only – don’t do this unless you’re craving a sloppy matte bronde mani. **This works equally well if you pin up your hair and then spray dry shampoo on any pins showing. It just might be a (literal) stretch to get any rogues in the back of your head.

the beauty department hidden bobby pin trick

Once they’ve dried, they’re ready for immediate use. Keep in mind that over time and with handling, the dry shampoo will slowly dissipate, so best not to do this too far in advance of future use. The photo above shows the newly-matte pins next to the previously shiny ones. Once they’re in your hair, they’ll be fine and you can even hit them with a shot of dry shampoo quickly once they’re in if you need to!

Now let’s customize further. Here are some dry shampoo options for you:

(*Note: you can totally play chemist here and mix colors to match your hair better – you do you, boo!). These are a bit spendy, but you’ll also use it to freshen second-day strands and potentially mask greys! Sadly unless you have platinum hair, your regular dry shampoo with no color in it probably won’t work for this trick.

hide a bobby pin trick hack the beauty department

See the difference in the above twists – we pinned the left side with a dry shampoo’ed bobby and the right with an untouched one. What say you to that everyday magic?

Like this hack or have one to share? We’re all ears in the comments below!

AT-HOME HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

Last week, something fascinating happened; I learned that it IS possible for one to give themselves a mini highlight at home, both safely and beautifully. When I was about 14 I started highlighting all of my friends’ hair at home (oh yah… from a cap.) and somehow it always turned out great, so I suppose my initial confidence in this project sprouted from my experimental younger self mixed with my faith in Dana because she’s a smart girl. Now let me give you a little back story. I get asked about DIY highlights all the time and my reaction has always been the same: “JUST DO NOT.”, accompanied by a look that puts the fear of gawd into the person asking. But when Dana asked me if it was possible to add a little brightness around the front of her hair at home, as much as I wanted to put her on my schedule and offer to do it for her, something told me we should roll with this and turn this into a guide for those of you who really need it.

As a professional colorist, it used to be my NIGHTMARE to see people take bleach into their own hands at home. But in this day and age, I know people are going to do it anyway, so I figure if you’re audacious enough to try, the least I can do (as everyones digital big sister) is guide you through! All I ask is that you not try to do more than what’s easy and safe for you. I don’t recommend doing more than a little face frame highlight around the front because by doing more than that you could easily lose control and things could go very, very wrong. Okay… here we go.

To start, I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dana: please check all allergies (instructions to conduct an allergy test will be on the box), wear gloves, protective clothing and keep bleach off of your skin and away from your eyes throughout this process. Be an adult about this and don’t do things that are unsafe or unclear.

manic panic bleach kit the beauty department

First things first, you will need a bleach kit. I wanted to be as realistic as possible about this so instead of going to the professional beauty supply stores I normally go to, I took Dana to Sally’s Beauty Supply in LA because I know the majority of you will have a Sally’s and you don’t need a license to shop there.

We got THIS EXACT BLEACH KIT for $10. If that sells out, it’s also available RIGHT HERE for a couple dollars more. I’m sure there are other great at-home bleach kits, but I wanted to make sure we got one that is widely available! (bonus: this kit also comes with a pair of latex gloves!)

highlight brushes at home highlights

I think it’s important to have 2 brushes: one to apply the bleach and one to blend. Dana is going to use the application brush from the kit as well as a “spoolie” brush which is a small brush made for brows and lashes. It’s basically a disposable mascara wand. You can grab those at any beauty supply or if you don’t have that you can use an old toothbrush that you will then need to throw away.

at home highlights the beauty department

Next steps are going to be grabbing your SECTIONING CLIPS, putting on your PROTECTIVE CAPE, and clipping one side of your hair back. I encouraged Dana to part her hair where she normally would (she chose a subtle side part), and then push everything back on one side so she could focus on one side at a time. (By the way, it is SO fun and entertaining to watch and guide someone through this process!!)

thebeautydepartment.com at home highlights

Now you have to find the exact pieces you want to highlight! I asked Dana to look at her hair and find the key pieces that she thought would look best highlighted when her hair is styled. OHHHH! I should mention– I also asked her to do this on styled hair so she could see where the lighter pieces should fall with the way she normally wears it. I think that is very important! In the right photo above you can see the pieces she chose. I think each piece you choose should be no bigger than a regular shoe lace.

beauty dept at home highlights

Once you have your pieces out and the rest of your hair securely clipped out of the way, it’s time to mix your bleach! Follow every little tiny instruction on the box. I told Dana to mix half of the contents first and apply to one side, then go back and mix a fresh batch when she was ready to do the other side. Otherwise your bleach can oxidize and get weaker as it sits out.

diy highlight the beauty department

Time to applyyyyyy!! On the left you can see that she applied from the middle to ends. Do NOT even try to go higher than that, please. You’ll end up with problems. We want to keep this as easy and safe as possible, so pleeeeease don’t go up high with your bleach. Apply middle to ends on each thin section.

thebeautydepartment.com face frame highlights at home

Once you apply with your applicator brush from middle down, use your spoolie to soften the transition between the dark and light hair. You don’t want a harsh line where the bleach stops so lightly drag your spoolie up and down where your bleach stops and soften the look! Once you feel like you’re in a good place with your blending, put the colored strands in either saran wrap or HAIR COLOR FOILS to keep the color from drying out. (ps: I had Dana put one extra foil above that one just to be safe and keep it away from her eyes on the side that’s heavier. She’ll only need one foil on the less heavy side.)

Keep in mind, bleach works very differently than hair color. Hair color stops, bleach does not. You will need to check your hair from time to time inside the foil/saran wrap to see how light it’s getting. Since this is a 30 volume bleach, it moves quickly and you should keep an eye on it. Don’t try to make the pieces platinum, use your best judgement and follow the instructions. You just want a subtle highlight.

at home highlight tutorial the beauty department 1

Dana has very dark, very coarse, strong hair. I felt it was safe for her to section, mix more bleach and apply the second side while the first side was processing in the foil. But if you have dry, damaged hair, previously bleached hair or light hair naturally you should do one side at a time, start to finish because you may need to take side 1 off sooner than you think.

the beauty dept diy highlights

Keep an eye on both sides as they process. One will be lighter than the other as you go because you applied one side first. Do not apply heat when doing this at home. Things can get too out of control too quickly! Slow and steady definitely wins the race! In total Dana kept her foils on for 20 minutes per side but her hair is super dark and very strong. I would say the average is going to be 15 minutes give or take. Remember: Dana’s first side was put on 10 minutes before the other side so that time counts as processing time! In other words, her first side will be ready 1o minutes before the second side.

toning at home highlights the beauty department

When the hair is ready, you’ll rinse, shampoo and tone. For this Dana shampooed with THIS, then applied THIS TONER, then THIS CONDITIONER. What tone you like is really based on your own personal taste. When you go into your beauty supply, talk to someone who works there about what tones you like and tell them you’re looking for a toner rather than a permanent color. Toner is like a sheer-colored top coat for the hair. It can cut out yellow, add warmth, add pink tones, whatever you want. So since I don’t know what you’re going for, it’s best to get advised by someone who works there. If you’re not sure what tones you love, check my tone guides here: ASHY, NEUTRAL, GOLD WARM TONES, HINT OF REDRED. With Dana, she wanted to make it more neutral so she used an ash toner. She applied it and left it on for 6 minutes and rinsed when it looked ready. Remember to keep the rest of your hair clipped back and away from all this color. Only apply the toner to those few pieces you’ve lightened, otherwise it can mess with your hair color and it can create extra unnecessary work for your salon colorist if you apply all over.

at home hair color highlights kristin ess

This was the final result once the hair was dried and waved. I think she did an EPIC job, especially for never coloring her hair own or anyone else’s hair ever before. She slayed the game and I was like a proud mom when all was said and done. Too bad she doesn’t want to do hair! Ha.

You may ask why this is neccessary. I think we all have very different lives and different priorites and before anyone slams the idea of me sharing this info with the general public, we need to remember that we’re not all the same. This world is big and we don’t all have access to a great colorist, not all of us have money to spend in the salon and frankly some just don’t have the time. But we have access to information by the click of a button and that’s what this is. That being said, would you have the courage to brighten a couple little strands at home?

PLAIN + SIMPLE

post designed by kristin ess

Saw this gem floating around on Pinterest and I just love it. The super simple addition of a black ribbon can often do the trick. I love the way she used it as a headband and to tie off the braid. Crafty!