Posts Tagged ‘step by step’




Summer’s creepin’ hard and if you’re in Southern California like us, it has arrived early. Wherever you live, warm weather means messy waves, braids and ponytails so let’s start with this gem, shall we? This look was created on the fly with no plan so excuse the unconventional-ness of it, but sometimes those make the best looks. Alright, here we go…

You’ll need (click for product details)

Air dry your hair for this tutorial for better waves and more support —>> Remember the airdrying/waves tutorial?

messy knotted ponytail tutorial


  1. Add some quick wand waves all around the head.
  2. Go in different directions for a messier result. Don’t brush out your waves when you finish, just finger comb at the most.
  3. Next, add a little texture powder into the hair. I like to do a LITTLE bit all over because too much will make the hair feel sticky and gross. Just a little sprinkle all over will make it feel beach-y and look fuller. The main reason we use texture powder for this is so the little strands don’t slip. Texture powder creates an amazing grip, making it much less likely for the bobby pins to slide out.
  4. Once your texture powder is applied, take two small strands from the front (right around the temple area) and pull them back.
  5. Tie those in a half knot.
  6. Take two of your mini bobby pins and criss cross them through the half knot to secure.
  7. Now the tricky part! Take those two strands from the tail of your knot and criss cross them underneath the ponytail near the nape of your neck. Grab one of your MICRO CLIPS and secure the criss crossed pieces behind the ponytail. Wiggle the tiny clip into the ponytail to conceal it. Seems like you’d see them, but trust me, these are so small, they disappear into the ponytail (which looks and feels extra thick because of the texture powder).
  8. Gather a little more hair from the back to thicken up each strand before pulling it around and tying it again.
  9. Repeat as many times as desired.  You can do it once, twice or 5 times if it will work with your length!
  10. Last you’ll want to pull the hair gently to create a little more texture. Add another sprinkling of texture powder if desired.

Love this pony for a party, a long weekend (might look even cooler second day) and it could also be a good music festival hair idea! If you try the messy knotted ponytail, be sure to tag us so we can see your handiwork! @THEBEAUTYDEPT





Believe it or not there’s a lot more to air drying hair than just letting your hair dry……. in the air. There are steps you can take to make your air dried hair look pretty epic and it’s not as hard as you might think. Follow these tips and find the air drying product for your hair type down at the bottom!

air dry air drying hair the beauty department

  1. Use a WIDE TOOTH COMB to detangle while you’re in the shower or immediately after you get out. Don’t wait too long to comb through or your curl wave pattern will break up. Find your part (if you want one) and do a quick comb through.
  2. Pick your favorite product from the round up below for air drying! I have different favorites for different hair needs so be sure you’re using the one best suited for your own hair. (Here we’re using the new AIR DRY FOAM for which I added a shopping link down below and more info!)
  3. “Scrunch” the product of your choice into your hair. Be sure to deliver the right amount to the area where your hair needs it most– for example, if you want volume, scrunch a volume-focused product into the root and work your way to the ends. If you want to focus on moisture, start at the bottom where your hair may be the driest and work your way up using a moisture-focused product.
  4. A long time ago I told you guys about my favorite thing for curly hair– t-shirt drying. Use an old t-shirt to squeeze excess moisture out of the hair. Using a t-shirt instead of a towel is genius because the little loops from a towel can easily cause frizz whether you realize it or not! They’re like teeny tiny little combs and sometimes hairs stick to them as you scrunch, breaking up the curl.
  5. Always flip your head upside down and give it a little scrunch. By doing that you can avoid that “pasted down” look that is often a result of air drying. By flipping a scrunching you’re lifting the root off your head just a little. For more volume, do this a couple times as it dries.
  6. Continue scrunching from the bottom up as the hair dries. Not a ton, but just a couple times here and there to encourage the wave or curl.
  7. If you have “puffy hair”, and it tends to get wide or super frizzy, twist your hair into a loose bun for 10-20 minutes as you air dry. Then let it to continue drying. That should help contain some of that puffiness.
  8. At the end, add a good HAIR SERUM of your choice! Only if you feel like you need it! If you don’t, lucky you. Sometimes just for extra polishing, I’ll take a flat iron on low heat and just finish off my ends very lightly. Sounds silly because the point of this is air drying but if you’re going somewhere and you just want it a little more refined, seal down your ends with the lightest amount of heat. You’re still skipping heat styling on 90% of the hair.

Here are my favorites for each hair type, including the one we used up top!

the beauty department air drying

  1. R + CO CHIFFON This is more like a light leave in conditioning foam, in my opinion. I wasn’t expecting that the first time I used it. I thought it was going to be more like a regular mousse with a little hold. My hair didn’t have hold at all, it was just soft and bouncy. This is great for anyone needing additional softness when air drying. You can use this on straight, wavy or curly hair. Not going to do anything for puffy or frizzy hair, really.
  2. JOHN FRIEDA AIR DRY FOAM I loved this and it’s super affordable. It gives a very light hold and doesn’t feel heavy. Weightless foams are becoming very popular for air drying and this was the one we used up top. Kept the waves in and frizz out. May not be enough hold for curlier hair types though.
  3. LEONOR GREYL ECLAT NATUREL I’ve been using this stuff for years. I love this for over processed blondes and anyone with significant dryness. Natural oils are packed into this cream and it’s sooooooo great. It brings the most dead hair back to life. Major nourishment.
  4. SACHAJUAN OCEAN MIST Love this for exactly what you’d think. Beachy waves. Some ocean sprays have a lil too much grit for my liking, leaving the hair feeling like there’s a film on it. This doesn’t do that at all and it’s pretty light weight which works well on finer hair (as most ocean sprays do not).
  5. ORIBE CURL GLOSS Anybody air drying major curls should have this is their bathroom. It lasts a long time (which is important because it’s pretty pricey) but I love it SO much. Curly hair lacks moisture, and often lacks shine because of that. This brings back the shine in a way that just looks healthy, not wet and crunchy.
  6. SEBASTIAN WHIPPED CREAM This one is amazing for classic wavy hair and curly hair that needs more volume. It’s whipped and literally feels like whipped cream. It encourages waves and curls to get “bigger” but also feels moisturizing at the same time.
  7. LIVING PROOF CURL ENHANCING STYLING MOUSSE I like this for anyone who’s in between. So let’s say you have not-quite-wavy or not-quite curly hair. This curl enhancer will knock you into the next bracket because it actually help form stronger curl patterns.
  8. DR BRONNERS FAIR TRADE ORGANIC HAIR CREME Shout out to my organic, vegan- loving curly girls. This a cream formula made from organic natural ingredients. I love it for anyone who needs to “take it down a notch” with the width of their hair. If you hair gets big and wide, work some of this in from root to ends and see it settle. The weight doesn’t over-power. It just helps to calm excess volume. Also, feels like you’ve had conditioner in your hair the whole time when you go to rinse it out.
  9. ORIBE GEL SERUM For those of you who need MORE! If you already have wave or curl and you want it big big big, use some gel serum. I love this for wild, untamed crazy curls. It’s going to give you a MAD curly hair flip.
  10. SEBASTIAN POTION 9 I’ve been using this since I was a kid and I’ve used it on many hair types. It’s great for the slightest hold and for adding shine and moisture. I don’t use it every time I shampoo, just once a week or so when my fine but very thick hair feels like it needs a little extra moisture and I don’t have time to do a treatment!

Do you have any favorites for air drying?


PHOTOS/POST: Kristin Ess

PHOTOS/POST: Kristin Ess

Okay so this braid isn’t actually macramé but it reminds me of it, hence the name. This might be one of the easiest braids to do and I can’t believe we’ve never done it for you! This looks even better if you have highlights because it shows so much dimension but still looks great on solid colors as well! I honestly feel like we’re moving away from more complicated braids, but the ones that are quick and easy with lots of fun texture are forever cool. Here’s how you do this one!


  1. Prep the hair by waving it up just a little. We used a 1 1/4″ barrel iron to get subtle waves. Add 2 messy dutch braids, on on each side (see photo) and secure them with small clear elastics. It doesn’t matter where you start the dutch braids. Some like them a little higher and some like them a little lower depending on face/head shape. You can do whatever you want! For this, we started at temple height in front and met them together in back.
  2. Now cross those two dutch braids over each other and pin using a bobby pin.
  3. Next you’re going to make a regular braid down the back. Use the tails of your dutch braids as 2 of the pieces and then grab the 3rd piece from right underneath where your dutch braids meet. Braid all the way down.
  4. Now all you’re going to do is grab 2 of the pieces from your regular braid and hold them together kind of tight. Take the single piece and hold it tight in the other hand.
  5. Start sliding the two pieces UPWARD. It will start to bunch up and become a cool macramé inspired braid.
  6. Once you slide it all up you’re going to have a long tail. You can tie it off with a clear elastic there or do the same technique again and take it further.

After the braid is done, look in a hand mirror at the back. Loosen up and give texture to the braid running down.  Here’s a view from the front as well! Isn’t Alissa Griffith just the prettiest!? You can hear some of her music HERE!

Here’s a bigger view of the back!


If you do this, please show us a photo or tag us @thebeautydept on Instagram! #TBDmacramebraid




There’s no way I could go one more day without posting this tutorial! I’ve had requests on here, on the gram, on pinterest, on my cell phone and in person for this tutorial and TODAY is the the day, y’all! Many have mentioned that they’ve been very inspired by all the bobs and lobs out there– so much that you went in for the chop. Problem is, looks great leaving the salon but you can’t mimic it at home, right? Let’s fix that! This is one of my favorite ways to style a lob or bob (I typically do it the same way for both) and I fully believe that you can do this! Don’t psych yourself out, just act cool. We’ve enlisted the help of one of the most beautiful beings we know, ALLIE MARIE EVANS. She’s hilarious and gorgeous and very smart so we thought we’d beg her to take a break from her YouTube channel to come help us out with this look. Here we guh!

how to style a bob by the beauty dept


  1. You’re almost always going to want a styling aid for this. Nothing major, just a light weight mousse like THIS, THIS or THIS.
  2. You’ll want to make sure you distribute it evenly. Use a comb or a brush to move it through if you need to.
  3. Begin rough drying with the nozzle on your dryer. THIS is my classic favorite as far as dryers are concerned. For the most part I like to use my fingers to rough dry the hair, maybe brushing lightly if something tangles up.
  4. Give it a good flip to the opposite side to keep it from feeling flat. Once it’s all the way dry, detangle with a gentle detangling brush.

styling a bob lucy hale lauren conrad kristin ess the beauty department

CURLING: The objective with this technique is to break the hair up into 3 horizontal sections. Then you’re going to want to curl each section in a different direction.

  1. Ali is doing a heavy side part in this tutorial so the sections will be a little larger on the heavier side. Begin by clipping up your first section.
  2. Using THIS 1 1/4″ barrel curling iron, curl pieces back/away from the face.
  3. Clip up your next section above that one.
  4. You’re going to want to curl this section forward/toward the face.
  5. Now your 3rd section should come down.
  6. This section will be curled backwards/away from the face as well.
  7. Do the same thing on the other side. If you’re doing a heavy side part like Ali, you can split the less heavy side in 2 sections instead of 3, but you’ll still alternate directions for each section. In other words, if you split it in 2, curl the bottom section toward your face, then let down the top section and curl it away from your face.
  8. Add a veil of lightweight hairspray all over for a little extra support. You don’t need to spray your sections before you curl because the mousse that’s dried in will give you all the thermal styling hold you need.


kristin ess bob the beauty department



One of the most important things you’ll want to do on each section when you curl is “drag” the curling iron out. As you see we’re using a marcel iron (aka: the iron you see a lot of hairdressers using) but you can definitely still do this with a regular spring iron. You just inch the curling iron toward the ends and then lightly “drag” it out when you’re almost to the ends, which creates more of a straightened look at the tips. If that technique is hard for you, you can always quickly/lightly tap the ends with your flatiron.

kristin ess lob the beauty department


  1. Work your hands through the hair in a scrunching motion first.
  2. You’ll start to see a tousled but pretty texture emerge. This is the point where I like to add my favorite product cocktail of  a serum like THIS or THIS mixed with a lightweight water-based pomade like THIS or THIS. I rub them together in my palms and work it in at the root for a little extra texture. Then whatever is left on my hands gets dragged through the ends.
  3. Check the sides and back with a hand mirror. Add a little more spray if needed.

I hope this helps you gorgeous gals who have been trying to get your hair right since you cut it. If you do decide to try this and you love the way it looks, add it to the #cleartheshoulders hashtag on instagram! It’s so fun to see how you all style your bobs and lobs! Good luck!