Articles By Samantha Berley

Bun

Dying hair can be more of a chore than anything else, but there are ways to make the experience enjoyable, and even fun. For instance, you can always dip dye your hair. Dip dyeing doesn’t take as long or use as much coloring product, saving you money and letting you go as fun and funky as you want!

2013 Update: The dip dye, or ombre look, is back and more popular than ever! See how celebrities are rocking the dip dye look in 2013.

It is described as a gradient or gradual effect, giving the hair a faded look. In order to get this look, most professionals recommend using bleach or highlighting kits. However, based on the fact that bleach damages your locks, we suggest paying special attention to how you apply, and for how long you apply, the bleach to protect your curls! For the prep and products, it is important to keep in mind what ingredients are in those products and pay special attention to how you apply them.

Let the Dip Dyeing Begin!

The easiest way to begin is with highlighting kit instructions, followed by the coloring instructions. Although those steps are made as easy as possible, a few pointers might help. For one thing, this is a DIY project, but when you dip dye hair it's always nice to have a friend helping you. Even if you're just treating the tips of your hair, you're still using bleach and harsh chemicals.

Warning: bleach is very potent and dangerous. Keep out of eyes, do not ingest and make sure the room is well ventilated.

What You'll Need

  1. Prepare the area. Make sure you have everything laid out on a counter top. Cover yourself with a waterproof poncho (you can make one by cutting a whole out of a plastic bag), old cloths, and a an old towel wrapped around your neck. Before beginning to dip dye hair, place latex or plastic gloves on your hands.
  2. Follow the highlighting kit instructions explicitly. Mix the bleach solution as instructed, making sure it is mixed well.
  3. Place the tips of your hair on folded aluminum foil or a plastic bag. Brush the chunk of hair evenly with the bleach mixture before folding the aluminum foil over the hair, or spread the bleach on the tips of your hair evenly before covering your tips with the plastic bag and securing it with a rubber band. Keep in mind that if you use aluminum foil, the directions may call for using a hair dryer. However, regardless of the instructions, a highlighter kit should always give you directions on how long to leave the bleach mixture in your hair based on your hair color. Pay close attention!
  4. Double check your hair color every several minutes. It's important to not over-bleach your hair in order to get a gradient affect.
  5. Remove the bag or foil to check the dip dye hair and wash your hair. If you have dark hair and want the bleached hair to be lighter, consult the kit to check if it recommends bleaching a second time right away. If that's the case, repeat the first five steps again before proceeding to the next.
  6. If you want a color that differs from the usual brown to blonde gradient, like red or blue, switch to new gloves and apply color to your hair. Follow the instructions from the coloring kit.
  7. Style your hair as you like it and enjoy.

The Aftercare Manual

There are some aftercare tips for you to keep in mind if you're dip-dyeing your own hair.

More than anything else, your hair will be damaged; it is the nature of the bleach beast. Choose a specially formulated shampoo and conditioner for damaged, bleached, color treated, or dip dyed hair. Try a deep conditioning treatment every week, as well, to bring your hair back to life. As always, moisturizing and strengthening hair is the key to preventing and nursing damaged hair back to health.

Want More?

Get the color you want with natural hair dyes!

Final Thoughts

Dip dye hair highlights are more popular than ever. Everyone, from Lauren Conrad to Drew Barrymore, has been seen rocking the ombre hair. Now, Dianna Agron from the hit show "Glee" is sporting short, blonde to pink ombre hair. Some people even dye and wear extensions instead of their own hair just to achieve the look.

Try it out, and let us know how it looks!

 



looking at organic hair product ingredients

It’s difficult to find products that are both right for you and still eco-friendly, organic or that simply even contain natural ingredients. Luckily, some natural hair products, have become more easily accessible.

What to Avoid

Completely natural products are hard to come by. Though a product might say “natural” somewhere on the bottle, it can still contain some not-so-natural ingredients. There are several ingredients you should avoid when looking for your natural curly hair care products. Although many people still swear by these ingredients, some hair care professionals would agree that it’s important to avoid petroleum/petroletum, mineral oil/paraffin liquid and parabens. Natural products  should also be free of several other ingredients, including propylene glycol, diethanolamine and triethalnolamine (DEA and TEA, respectively), ethoxylated ingredients, imidazoldinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea.

Top Picks

With so many new natural products popping up, it’s difficult to choose just one top pick for each category. There are, however, three top notable brands for natural hair products: Aubrey Organics, Carol’s Daughter, and Burt’s Bees. They’re fantastic options as natural hair care products. The following are three categories for individual natural products:

Bigger Brands

If you thought that only small name brands are getting in on the “au natural” game, it’s time for another trip to your average grocery store. Recently, Garnier Fructis unveiled a 2 in one fortifying shampoo and conditioner, Pure Clear 2 in 1. If you look at the back of the bottle, the product boasts that it’s 92 percent biodegradable, has no silicones, paraben or dye and the container is 50 percent recyclable plastic. This is one of many natural products from Garnier Fructis that states it’s for normal hair. However, Garnier Fructis is known for its hydration and conditioning properties, making this product an honorable mention in the user pick for natural hair products.

Final Thoughts

Even though these are popular choices, there are so many more natural, organic and eco-friendly hair products out there. From the new products that have popped up recently, to the older more familiar ones, there are plenty of great natural products that might be in your top picks.

What is your favorite go to natural hair care product?


Bride with curly red hair smiling and looking up

Curly hair is actually a great base to start with when you want a look for a wedding or formal event. A lot of the time, those with straight hair are looking for curls and volume in a formal hairstyle. Naturally curly girls are at an advantage, because you can start by working with what you’ve already got. From there, the choices are limitless.

Down and Out

No matter what length of hair you have, you can always find a curly wedding hairstyle that's right for you. For shorter curly hair, it’s all about using the right products to get great down and out look. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Wash your hair and comb it in the shower, generously conditioning your locks. Try the condition, wash, condition method which will hydrate your hair and make your curls pop for a great down and out wedding hairstyle.
  2. Manipulate your hair as little as possible once you’re finished washing and conditioning.
  3. Use a wide tooth comb and then towel dry gently with a microfiber towel so that it’s not dripping wet, but still very damp.
  4. Follow the directions for applying your favorite styling product. You will want to choose a styling product with some hold so that your curly hairstyle will last throughout the day.
  5. Use a diffuser to stop frizzing that can occur during air drying. You can also let it air dry if you prefer.
  6. Fix any fly-away strands with either a curling rod or by taking that section of hair and adding a bit of water and more product and smoothing or twirling with your fingers.

Make this look special by pinning back the hair on one side with a flower or a clip. You can also gather a few locks from the front and pin them to the back with bobby pins or other embellished accessories. Any hair accessories such as birdcage veils, tiaras, flowers or decorated clips are great finishing touches for this down and out look.

The Side Bun and Side Ponytail

The words side bun or side ponytail might bring to mind thoughts of a half cinnamon bun (like Princess Leia's) or a scrunchie-adorned style from the 80’s. But, we’re talking a subtle, low, off to the side bun or ponytail that is easy to do and that compliments type 3 curly hair. Here's how to get the look:

  1. To avoid frizz, start the same way you would for the down and out look. Remember to avoid excessively touching your hair, and always using a wide tooth comb to detangle.
  2. Smooth your hair back and to one side of your head just behind the ear. Twist it into a low bun or gather it into a ponytail and secure it with bobby pins or a seamless hair tie.
  3. To dress up this look, twist or braid a section of hair on either side or both sides of your head before gathering it to one side. You could also add a pompadour by clipping the roots at the front of your hair (for volume) and pinning that front section back to create a bump in the front. Gently remove the clips when hair is dry.

Embellished accessories or veils will also work well with this look. You can place flowers clips or even an elegant headband with feathers in the front of your hair or towards the back by the bun or ponytail.

Final Thoughts

These DIY curly wedding hairstyles are easy to do with lots of simple options to add flair to your look. Now you can create the hairstyle you want, with your own hands that will make you feel even more elegant on your special day!

What is your favorite way to dress up a simple hairstyle for a formal event?


Bride smiling with coily hair

Whether you're a bride or a guest, aside from needing the perfect dress or formal outfit, you will also need a great coily hairstyle to match. There are many different mixes of hair texture among coily haired individuals, even on one coily head of hair! The trick to creating great coily wedding hairstyles is to find one that suits your individual hair texture and length.

The Twist-and-Curl

When it comes to coily hair, there are so many options for formal hairstyles. When you are doing it yourself, you may want to keep it simple and add hair accessories. One of the most popular curly hairstyles is a twist-and-curl:

  1. Take a section of hair, approximately an inch and a half to two inches in diameter, dampen it with a spray bottle (or start with freshly washed hair) and apply your favorite leave-in conditioner or styling product. Work the product from root to tip.
  2. Twist or braid the section of hair.
  3. Repeat steps one and two with all of your hair.
  4. Use flexible rods (you can find in any beauty supply store) and wrap the braids or twists onto the rods. Be careful and make sure that you don’t wrap the braid or twist too tightly.
  5. Wrap your head in either a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillow cover overnight, or leave the rods in for several hours.
  6. Undo the rods the next morning or several hours later. You can smooth on a little oil at this point before carefully unwinding or unbraiding each twist or braid.
  7. Then, pull apart the curls more or less to achieve your desired look. This gives you the option of leaving your hair smoother in defined curls or separating the twists or braids and fluffing the hair for more volume.

After you have stlyed your twist-and-curl, you can add accessories like flowers, ribbons and beaded or rhinestone embellished barrettes, headbands or hair combs.

Chignon and Buns

One well-known formal hairstyle might be the easiest to achieve. The chignon and other buns are as simple as twisting hair in on itself and pinning in when it reaches its desired round shape. You can even start with a twist-and-curl or a simple twist out so that your coils will stretched enough to achieve this style or just to give your hair a defined curly texture for this style.

  • Begin by smoothing out the front of your hair. You can gather the hair more tautly or more loosely depending on the look you want.
  • If you have bangs, you can leave them out or pin them back with the rest of your hair. You can also create a small pompadour with your bangs by turning them backwards and pinning the ends of the bangs closer to their roots so they do not lie flat but pucker up at the height of your choice.
  • From there, it all depends on where and how you would like it to rest on your head. A chignon translates to the “nape of the neck,” but you may choose to do a high bun, a low bun or even a side bun. With this style you can easily add accessories like a small hat, a flower or a birdcage veil.

Final Thoughts

Often times, weddings are about embracing who you are and who you will become. So, as long as you do you, you can pull off any hair style!

What is your favorite formal coily hairstyle?

 


Bride with wavy hair

Wavy hair is different from head to head, but in general it can be very versatile. When it comes to formal or wedding hairstyles, wavies have the option of smoothing hair into a straighter style or working the waves!

The Half Updo

There are several wavy half updos out there, many of which are very simple to do. The first half updo is simply braiding or twisting two sections of hair from near your temples and holding them back with either clips or other accessories. If you are a bride, this is a great style to wear with a veil.

Other half updo, wavy wedding hairstyles can be done by twisting or lightly braiding back sevral sections of hair. To get the look, braid or twist three and four sections of hair on each side starting from the temple up and lightly pin them at the back of your head. Use bobby pins or other embellished hair accessories to secure the hair.

The Full Updo

A full updo is a great option for a formal or wedding style. If you're worried about frizz, an updo will allow you to use enough hairspray or other strong hold products to keep the style in tact since none of the hair needs to be out and flowing freely. Nobody wants to wear their hair down if it's stiffened with hairspray, but you can get away with that if you choose an updo. No matter what style you choose, it's important to start with a clean slate. Here are a few tips for the perfect French twist or bun.

  • To begin with any DIY formal wavy hairstyle, wash and condition your hair, detangling in the shower with a wide tooth comb. The cleaner and more conditioned the hair, the easier it will be to achieve this look.
  • Towel dry and add whatever products you desire. A light leave-in conditioner and anti-frizz serum are a definite plus for this look. Products with a least a light hold will help the style to stay put enough for an intentionally undone sort of updo look. If you are doing a more sleek updo with the hair gathered more tautly, use a product with a stronger hold to ensure that the hairstyle remains smooth.
  • For any kind of bun: After combing your hair and parting it to your liking, comb it back to an angle slightly higher than the desired height you want it to rest at. Gather your hair into a seamless hair tie for better hold. After that, you can twist your hair while holding it straight until it begins to twists into itself and then twist it around the base of the twist and secure with bobby pins to create a chignon. You can also create a looser, undone-looking bun by holding the hair less taut and twisting lightly. Then, place gems, flowers or clips on or surrounding the bun or in the front of your hair.
  • For a French twist: Comb your hair and part it to your liking. Remember to leave out your bangs or a couple of strands of hair before proceeding to the next step. You should have some hair combs or bobby pins handy to secure your hair as you twist it. Twist your hair from the nape of your neck up towards the crown of your head and secure it to the cente of your head as you go. Once your hair is fully twisted, push the loose ends underneath the twist and secure with a hair comb or more bobby pins.

When it comes to a full updo, the hairstyle can be as formal or as informal as you desire. The best way to dress up these wavy wedding hairstyles is by using a product with some hold to smooth the hair and by using fancier accessories.

Final Thoughts

You can always take any of your favorite wavy hairstyles and dress up the look with accessories that are embellished or hand painted. Most styles can also be changed up with a pompadour or side swept bangs in the front. If you're looking for a way to get more volume in your wavy wedding hairstyle, you can pump it up with some volumizing hair products. With a little bit of patience and a bit of hair spray, any wavy hairstyle can be make you formal-ready. It’s only a matter of finding the right look for you and knowing that you can own it!

What are your go-to formal wavy hairstyles?

 


Woman shampooing her hair

Cleansers are equal to conditioners in importance. The job of a cleanser or shampoo is to rid hair of excess muck that builds up over the course of a day (or days, depending on how often you cleanse). Without a shampoo, conditioner wouldn’t do as good of a job conditioning hair, especially if it can’t get to the hair follicle due to excess dirt. And without proper conditioning, styling products would be pointless because your hair would be dry and frizzy!

Cleansing is highly important to the curly hair care process. Everyone has their own opinion on what the best of the best is, but a select few products make it to the top of the list. From specialized shampoos to the overall top picks for shampoo, you are sure to find the right product for your type 3 hair.

Top Picks for Specialized Shampoos

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing one shampoo over another. Like any hair care product, different shampoos have different purposes. For type 3 hair, there are several different kinds of shampoos including specialized shampoos.

      • Thick and Curly: Most of the time, type 3 hair means thick hair. For shampoo, one notable type 3 hair user pick is Tigi Bed Head Superstar Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Thick Massive Hair. This shampoo gets thick hair clear of dirt and grime, which makes it a great choice for a shampoo because it lessens the work and the amount of shampoo needed for cleansing your curls.
      • Curly and Oily: Several shampoos are top picks for those with oily hair including Nexxus Sleektress Sumptuous Smoothing Shampoo as well as a variety of different Pantene Pro-V shampoo products.
      • Dandruff Shampoo: Another choice shampoo for type 3 hair is one that has dandruff control. There are few different top picks for dandruff shampoo, including Head & Shoulders, Pantene Pro-V and Pert Plus Anti-Dandruff shampoo. The one that may be the best bet to rid hair of dandruff is Head & Shoulders, but many would choose Pantene Pro-V instead because they preferred the smell.

Overall Top Picks

Two brands that stand out above the rest for shampoos are the Garnier and Tigi Bed Head brands. Both offer general care for all kinds of hair, as well as a variety of different subcategorized products for curly hair. However, the one that tops the list is Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo. This is mostly because it’s not just a clarifying shampoo for the average person, but also contains a lot of nutrients that condition the hair in the process. Of course, if you have curly hair, you want to choose a shampoo that has conditioning properties. After all conditioning is one of the most important aspects for healthy, shiny hair.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to shampoos, there are many choices, even on a top picks list. But it all comes down to what’s right for you and your hair. If your scalp is a bit dry, try moisturizing shampoos. If you feel like you need something to curb the excess oil, Nexxus and Pantene Pro-V are excellent choices as well. Remember, it’s up to you to make the right choice for your hair.

What are your personal top shampoo and cleanser picks? 


Woman with a curly cowlick

Sometimes it’s the little things that irritate us and cowlicks are no different. By definition, they’re that annoying tuft of hair that sticks up, like Alfalfa's in the "Little Rascals" movies. Some would describe it as the uncooperative way hair bends in the front where bangs are. Either way, it’s hair that won’t do what we want and male or female, that little piece of hair is going to bother you all day.

What Not to Do

Cowlicks aren’t always that noticeable but we know they’re there. People will do anything to get rid of that tuft but as always, there’s a right way and a wrong way. Here are some tips on what NOT to do:

  1. DO NOT cut that piece of hair. If you cut that hair short, it is more likely to stick up, not less. Furthermore, if your hair and tuft are at different lengths, that one short chunk may end up looking even more awkward.
  2. DO NOT over slick it with gel. This is a popular tip and it can work. However, many times, the gel will take some time to harden and set and during that time, that tuft can stick up without you realizing it.
  3. DO NOT give up! It may be a small thing but it’s your hair. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

What You Can Do

That being said, there is plenty you can do to flatten a cowlick. Again, gel can work but it’s important to always check to make sure it sets properly. Here are a few more tips to get rid of cowlicks:

  1. Wash your hair. Sometimes hair becomes oily and dirty and a cowlick is a sign that your hair needs a wash. This is probably the first and easiest step you can try.
  2. Use petroleum jelly. If washing does not work, a quick fix to try is a little bit of petroleum jelly. Take the tuft of hair and put some petroleum jelly, working it through that piece of hair with a fine tooth comb. This may work to weigh down the hair.
  3. Cover with longer hair. If your hair is long enough, this is a simple and easy fix worth trying. Weigh down the cowlick by covering it with longer strands of hair. This especially works if it’s near your bangs but it is possible to do this anywhere along the scalp.
  4. Blow dry your hair. After placing leave-in conditioner and other styling products in your hair, use a hair dryer and work against the angles of the cowlick. Take a chunk of your hair including the cowlick and with a round brush and hair dryer, work the hair towards the left, followed by the right. This will not only help the products dry faster, it will also help train the cowlick to go in the desired direction.
  5. Use a flat iron. If your cowlick happens to be a part of your bangs, there are cowlicks toward the front of your scalp or if the hair dryer did not have the desired effect, try using a flat iron. Repeat the same process as you would with the hair dryer, taking small chunks each time and working the hair first to the left, then the right. This should help flatten any unwanted tufts.

Final Thoughts

When all is said in done, that tuft is your hair, so embrace it. Use products and tools to make your cowlick work for you. If all else fails, don’t chop off your hair because of some cowlicks. Be adventurous and try a new updo or consult your stylist for more information. They may just have the down-low on a new product or method that you haven’t tried.

How do you handle your curly cowlicks?

 


Sometimes something as simple as skipping a wash can knot up your hair like ropes on a sail. It’s not the greatest situation, especially if you want that healthy sheen. Knots can drag you down, but there are plenty of ways to defeat these hairy foes. With a little patience and a bit of time, detagling those nasty hair knots is as easy as ABC.

Preventing Knots with ABC

  • APPLY conditioner and lots of it to de-knot. There are directions on the back of every conditioner bottle, but the longer your hair, the more you need. Work the conditioner from root to tip, making sure it’s evenly coated. If your hair is particularly curly or coily, try leaving it on for an extra couple of minutes.
  • Detangle BEFORE you get into the shower. This little trick of the trade makes it easier to work through both a shampoo and a conditioner. What’s more, you can find the small knots beforehand so you'll spend less time de-knotting your hair in the shower by working on any problem spots.
  • COMB thoroughly. Once you’re out of the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner or whatever product you prefer and use a medium or wide tooth comb. Spend time working your way through your hair while it’s still wet, again working on possible problem spots that may appear.

There are plenty of other options to prevent knots. Placing hair in braids or a silk scarf before bed will prevent friction and tangles. You can also use detangling in-shower products and conditioning treatments. If you’re taking all precautions, you should succeed in preventing bad tangles.

Detangling

That being said, sometimes all the preventative measures in the world won’t stop knots from forming. It’s a sad truth, but in this case there’s no time for tears. Literally, the longer you wait, the worse a knot gets. The sooner you untangle the beast, the better. Here are some steps to help you in the battle against knots.

  1. Find the tangle or tangles. Work your fingers through your hair, pinpointing the problem area.
  2. Hold the knot in question with one hand. You should get a feel for the knot to better de-knot, and if possible, what it looks like. The more you know about how it’s knotted and where, the better chance of success with your hair.
  3. Comb your fingers through the knot as much as possible while holding the knot. If you can loosen hair from it, try to pull it out of the knot without breaking the strands of hair.

Tip: If you cannot loosen the knot whatsoever or the knot is fairly large, wet your hair before proceeding to step 4.

  1. Apply hair conditioner, hand lotion, warm olive oil, or a special detangler product to de-knot. All have been proven to work towards detangling anything from a minor snarl to a massive rats nest.
  2. Finger comb the product through your hair and let the conditioning item sit for a few minutes.
  3. Gently comb your hair with a medium or wide tooth comb. Avoid pulling your hair and roughly working the comb through your hair. This can lead to breakage and more knots in the future.

 

The Worst Knots

If it seems not even the best TLC is cutting it, you may have to cut that knot out of your life. But don’t de-knot it yourself, especially if it’s is toward the back of your head. Sometimes the knot is so severe that it’s time to take a trip to the hair salon. A stylist should have the professional know-how to cure whatever hair disaster ails you. And if there is no cure, they have the talent to create the perfect, albeit somewhat shorter style just for you.

Do you have any secrets for staying virtually knot-free or getting the knots out of your curls?

 


It’s easy enough to throw a concoction together for a remedy at home but the real question is not just whether it works. The question is: what do people like to use and why? From solid fats to liquid oils, there are plenty of household items that work in hair. Here are some homemade hair treatments to use (and not use) from users around the globe.

The Ones That You Love

Although you can find many homemade hair treatments for all kinds of hair, very few top the list in the best of the best. The top three user picks are: eggs, oils and vegetable shortening.

Eggs

Many people use mayonnaise for their hair and seem to love the results. But broken down into its simplest form, mayo is mostly whipped egg and oil. If you hate the smell of mayo but can tolerate the smell of egg, break down the product wall and go with this simple homemade hair treatment.

Egg and oil is a great combo but even though egg is a user pick as one of many homemade hair treatments, you should be careful as to how you use it. Raw egg always has the chance of containing salmonella, so you should properly disinfect when cleaning up after using it. Remember to choose eggs from a source you trust. Also, never wash out the remedy in a shower with really hot water. Otherwise, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs stuck in your hair!

Oils

There are a variety of oils you can use in your hair. Olive oil, almond oil, castor oil and the solid or melted (liquid) form of coconut oil are all top user picks. And it doesn’t matter what type of hair you have either. The oil for homemade hair treatments is used as a treatment and washed out at the end just like a regular shampoo or conditioner.

To use any kind of oil, make sure your hair is wet and well-conditioned before applying. You can even heat the oil a little bit and work from the roots to the tips. Users also love to mix and match oils including jojoba and avocado oils as well as other products such as aloe vera for their unique hair types.

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, contains the vitamins and minerals (including antioxidants) of some of the more popular liquid oils for homemade hair treatments. If you have ever made a pie crust, you know it’s usually an opaque, white and solid substance akin to the feel of butter or lard. This means the product should be whipped into a softer substance for easier application.

Like olive oil and other liquid oils, vegetable shortening can be used as a sealant and emollient for hair. The fatty acids and vitamin E it contains are perfect for strengthening even the thinnest of hair. As long as you whip it into a softer substance and add honey or some sweeter smelling essential oils, your hair will sop up the vegetable shortening love without the bad odor.

User Myths Debunked

As many homemade hair treatments as there are, there are many more that users know are myths. For instance, lemon juice not only does little to lighten hair but it also dries and damages hair due to the high acid content. Smashing fruit into your hair does little to help your hair, especially since it’s in the least concentrated form. The best way to get those nutrients into your hair is to eat the banana, not to wear it.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, if you think an homemade hair treatment will solve the problem but it doesn’t, consult a hair care professional such as your stylist for more information on at-home remedies. A good stylist will know what to use and how to use it, even if it’s as simple as an homemade hair treatment.

Which homemade hair mixes do you love to treat your curls to?

 



Total 3 results.

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