Posts Tagged ‘layers’

LANGUAGE OF LAYERS (part 1)

Two things that have been consistently problematic for most people I meet (or hear from via email) is that they are confused about layers and equally confused about how to ask for what they want from their hairstylist. I wanted to start a new series to help us get through that together! My hope is that with a little extra information, nobody will have to suffer through a haircut they didn’t want ever again!

For this first post, we’re going to deal with straight and slightly wavy hair. And for the next post we’ll do stronger waves to curly. There’s so much information and I don’t want to confuse anyone further, so if you’re rocking strong waves or curls be patient and wait til my next post. I promise it will be worth it!

Below I’ve created some visuals for some of my favorite types of haircuts. I didn’t do the haircuts below, only the one up at the top, but these are great examples for what you need to know. Take these with you when you go to the hairstylist if you need to! I promise, we appreciate a good visual becuase it helps us to identify what you see.

ASK FOR:

  • a blunt cut that clears the shoulders.
  • no layers
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide on the most flattering length for your face, somewhere between your chin and your shoulders.
  • if your hair is superfine but you have a ton of hair, you may want to ask your hairstylist to do a subtle undercut in the back so it doesn’t appear too bulky and unflattering behind your head.

GOOD FOR:

  • making fine hair appear thicker.
  • anyone who likes to wear their hair straight.

ASK FOR:

  • the haircut you want, and then some subtle layers added to it. Short layers don’t mean that your top layer is short in length. Short (when describing layers) simply defines the distance between one layer and the next. Think of it like this– it’s just a “short distance” to the next layer.
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide where the layers should go. Around your face? All the way around? Should there be some in the back? Each person will need weight taken out in a different spot or maybe all over.
  • I like to point cut when I do subtle/short layers but each stylist will do it differently. If you like a more subtle looking layer, just ask for exactly that! Make it clear that you don’t want choppy and you don’t want tons of piece-y-ness. (Is that actually a word??)

GOOD FOR:

  • removing that “bell” shape or “triangle” shape that can be left behind by a blunt cut.
  • those who like to part their hair in different places on different days. Flipping or parting your hair on one side and then switching to the other can cause one side to look very heavy. Subtle soft layers will remove some of that.
  • anyone who gets bored with a blunt cut.
  • someone wanting a short cut but also wanting to add volume.

ASK FOR:

  • a blunt cut on the bottom with some piece-y layers for movement and texture.
  • something low maintenance that can be blow dried or air dried, curled with an iron or look good straight.

GOOD FOR:

  • bloggers. HA! I’m kidding. But isn’t this such a blogger haircut.
  • those who love the EVERY DAY WAVE.
  • anyone growing out their fine to normal hair.

ASK FOR:

  • a classic women’s layer cut.
  • nothing too “textured”.
  • subtle layers in back, medium face framing layers in front.

GOOD FOR:

  • normal to thick hair.
  • anyone who lives for their 1 1/4″ curling iron and/or a perfect ponytail.
  • all Lauren Conrad, Rosie HW and Kate Middleton lovers! These ladies all carry a very classic and timeless look that can also be amped up to the next level with some messy waves and good product from time to time.

ASK FOR:

  • texture, texture, texture!
  • weight to be removed or thinned out.
  • soft, subtle undercutting to enhance texture on the ends and keep dense ends from appearing too thick.

GOOD FOR:

  • volume seekers.
  • those with tons of hair.
  • anyone who loves a more lived-in look or “undone” hair style.
  • someone who has natural wave and loves to air dry.

ASK FOR:

  • long layers. Again, just as I mentioned above in the short layers section, it’s not about the length of the layer you ask for! It’s about the distance between the longest layer and the shortest layer. As you see in this photo, Lily has some really long pieces and some much shorter pieces. The distance between the bottom layer and the top layer is significant. This would be considered long layers.
  • tell your stylist you love a boho vibe. Most hairdressers know exactly what that means by now– long layers with natural-looking messy waves. When my clients like things like this I typically reference “Free People hair” and “Olson hair”. Both of those scream natural texture and we always end up on the same page.

GOOD FOR:

  • natural wavy hair.
  • long hair that is fine (but lots of it), normal, thick or wavy hair.
  • those who love using a wand to curl.
  • anyone who loves to air dry.

ASK FOR:

  • major texture! Maybe even to be cut with a razor if your hairdresser thinks you need it. Razors generally give lots of texture but can also be bad for certain hair types– let your pro decide. I typically only use razors on fine hair when it needs a little bulking up.
  • something that will bring out some waves in your hair.
  • to remove any unwanted weight or bulk by adding lots and lots of layers.

GOOD FOR:

  • anyone who wants to rough dry and rush out the door.
  • those who love to wear their hair down.
  • face framing and those with bangs.

Stay tuned for the next “Language or Layers” hair post this week where we’ll tap into which layered haircuts are best for WAVES & CURLS!

(and yes, I’ll be doing a tutorial on how to get the waves in the top photo soon as well!)

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.

HAIR TALK: HEART SHAPED FACE

post: Kristin Ess graphic design: Eunice Chun

Did you know a true heart-shaped face has a widow’s peak? True story. The cheek area is slightly wider than the hairline and then drops into a pointed chin. There are no wide-set/squared off corners along the jawline. I think Kourtney Kardashian is a pretty great example of a heart-shaped face (and some super-cute hair dos!) If you have a normal or wide forehead with no widow’s peak which narrows down and goes into a pointed chin, it’s likely that you’re actually an “Inverted Triangle”, which is coming up in the next Hair Talk. Okay, here are the best tips and tricks for you heart shaped beauties…

  • PARTING WITH A WIDOW’S PEAK: You never really want to force a middle part when working with a widow’s peak. If it goes there, naturally then great. Otherwise, try going slighly (even just the tiniest bit) to one side or the other. When you split the hair right down the center with a widow’s peak, it tends to look thinner on each side. Better to thicken it up by going slightly off center. Look at Kourtney in the bottom center photo– it’s allllllmost center but she just pushes the widow’s peak piece over to one side. When you try to go straight down the center, one side typically behaves and the other refuses. Make mornings easier on yourself!
  • DEEP SIDE PART WITH CURLS: I love this looks on a heart shaped face for two reasons. One, it does away with any parting issues caused by a widow’s peak. Two, it opens up the face and features the gorgeous jawline of a heart shaped face. Tuck the less heavy side and let the heavy side fall in front of your shoulders if your hair is long enough.
  • HAIRCUTS: I would say the sky’s the limit for haircuts on a heart-shaped face. Almost anything looks great except heavy bangs or an jaw-length short bob. Short bangs can be really hard to control if you have a widow’s peak and if you have cowlicks on top of that, you definitely want to skip shorter bangs.
  • BRAID AWAY: There’s not much more to this one than the fact that I think this is a super-cute look heart-shaped face girls. It’s a sweet, soft, feminine look that opens up your face.
  • LOTSA LOOSE LAYERS: A piece-y blowout on hair with lots of layers is flattering on a heart-shaped face because it frames the face and makes the face appear a little more oval. Look at Kourtney in the bottom right hand photo, the slight off center parting creates a more oval shape and diffuses the appearance of a widow’s peak almost entirely.
  • UPDOS: Try a voluminous bun or pony. That will balance out the over-all silhouette of a heart-shaped face. Also, don’t go “too full” with your updos. When they’re wider than the hairline, they can actually make the chin look longer/more pointed.

If you have a tip or trick you want to share with other girls who have a heart-shaped face, please feel free to share it below! xo

MANI MONDAY: MOVE OVER OMBRÉ NAILS!

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

Gradient layers are so beautiful and we’ve seen them everywhere– from clothing, to cakes, to flowers. We thought it would be really fun to incorporate this look into a Mani Monday post. Lately I’ve really wanted a new spin on the “Ombre Nail” and I think we might have found it. There are a couple of things you need to know before starting this manicure. One: get a color that’s incredibly rich and dark so that as you dilute it for each layer you can get plenty of variation. Two: I had to attempt this 3 times in order to get it right, so come equipped with a little patience. Three: You could do this with different colors but you won’t get the same look because there’s a “see through” quality that you get when you dilute a dark polish color with a clear polish that you wouldn’t get when layering regular nail polish. It’s almost like one stain layered over the next stain. The best part is that all of the colors stem from the original polish color so the tone will be exactly the same throughout. Here we go: (more…)