29 June, 2010

Wrap Around French Braid

This is one of my favorite styles! It works on both wet and dry hair, looks good with inside out (dutch) or regular french braid, and I have a bunch of ways to change up the look! Today I'll demo the regular french braid on dry hair ending in a simple braid.
Start with your natural side part, make sure hair is well smoothed out around your head or things will get a little funky on you as you braid. On the side with the least hair, part off a section to start your braid (part diagonally down past the ear)
Begin your braid as normal, and when it comes time to add hair, add a tiny amount from the bottom. When adding from the top, follow your original part line, try to grab a long thin strip every time. The goal is to keep the braid as close to the hairline as possible. (this picture shows the first bit of added in hair)
Continue french braiding around the head.  When you get about half way around your head, you will start struggling (unless you have strangely long arms!) So at this point, be patient, think about what you're doing, and reposition your hands. The trick is to remember what strand to cross next. (You will get the hang of this switch and I swear its the only challenge in this do)

When your braid reaches the second ear, stop adding hair to the bottom strand of your braid (other wise your braid wont sit nicely behind your ear, it will hang goofily over top your ear :S). There tends to be extra hair at the top that's hard to incorporate into the braid, just cheat and add large section and tuck things as need be. Finish off your braid regular style and tie it off with a hair band.Add some hairspray all over and VOILA!

Here's what you will have in the back (you can braid a lot tighter if you prefer that look, or start with wet hair):

This is the side you started on: 
Let's finish with a dorky picture of myself (and hope together that my mannequin gets here soon!)
Check back in a few days to see some variations. 

What do you think? Anyone gonna try it out?

25 June, 2010

Sending Out Positive Vibes

So, I have been dealing with some personal things lately, quite stressful, and as such, I have just been feeling really down! I didn't feel like creating a post for a bright cheerful hairstyle this week.
I read somewhere once that when you are feeling down, one of the best things you can do is compliment someone else. I know, sounds a little backwards right? Well the theory is: making someone else feel good results in you yourself feeling better. I figured instead of posting my own do this week I would spend a little time talking up some talented people that inspire me. (If the complimenting doesn't work, looking through their beautiful do's will definitely heighten my spirits!)

I would like to begin with this disclaimer: there are a TON of talented hair bloggers out there, but these are the four that caught my attention first. I am a busy person, so I can't stalk everyone!
What follows is a brief intro to my four favourite hair bloggers and a sampling of my favourite do's from each. I hope you all enjoy, and get inspired to create some jaw dropping styles in your own hair!

Adopt-a-Do: Cute Girls Hairstyles
: this was the first blog I ever read, therefore I feel a little attached... Plus, her beautiful girls are growing up, so she is all about the tween flair now. This is great for me, because these do's are much more suited to someone my age. Mindy is the master of quick, simple styles that are still uber cute! The Waterfall French Braid is one of my all time favourites! It is so quick to do, yet I never see anyone wearing it! Looks great on all ages I think. I have also always been a fan of the Hair Wrapped Ponytail, but could rarely get it to hold with bobby pins. Then Mindy the Magnificent came along and I learned how to do it with a topsy tail tool (thanks for mom for keeping that treasure around! Who knew it would come in handy again???). The style is so versatile, quick and beautiful! Try it, your will love it!

Babes in Hairland: this mom is SO lucky! she has three lovely daughters who have the most beautiful, long, thick, blonde hair! I would die for hair like theirs! Their mom is also wicked talented; she is the queen of beautiful up-do's, if you ever have a formal event check her ideas out. I have also learned a lot from her about using bobby pins effectively and thanks to her I am DYING to get my hands on a set of Curlformers (are those not the prettiest curls you've ever seen? And NO heat!!)! If you have long hair I would recommend you check out this do. I wish I didn't have so many layers because that is seriously beautiful. Also, for something fresh and funky (and relatively simple!) try out her cascading braid style, this would be great for a teen!

The Story of a Princess and Her Hair:
This lady has EXTREME braiding skills! I have never seen such precision (so jealous!). Also her pretty little princess selflessly donated her beautiful red locks to Locks of Love recently, does that not just warm your heart?? You go princess! If you have a little one at home this blog has a ton of adorable do's I would love to try, but if like me, you’re looking for more mature styles might I recommend this one? (Headband style :), like I said, OBSESSED!!) I think it's great for summer. I also really love this Woven Easter Basket look. I don't know about the rest of you, but I've never seen anything like it (it’s easy too!! who would have guessed?). Also, for a tween or teen I love this look, its so simple, yet cute (and doesn't she look great with short hair?!)

Girly-Do Hairstyles: Little Beans is such a cutie, look out mom, only a few more years till you will be chasing away a bunch of boys! I read once on this blog that I probably wouldn't find any styles for older girls, but I must correct Jenn, a lot of her styles work really nicely for older girls! Also, Jenn is very laid back about parts and fly aways (much like myself) and I think the easy going, sometimes messy styles work great for teens! Also, she has a TON of different ways to do buns! I love buns, and they are ageless! So rock on over to Girly Dos and you will definitely be inspired. My favourites (this week anyway!) include this adorable 50's do (I am not quite so cute in pigtails, but the big pouf-age looks nice with a side, or regular, ponytail too!) and the beautiful Ribbon Braid (so fancy! yet would also work for a regular day at the office, I love versatility!). This is also the blog that taught me to make a bow out of my own hair. Check this out! Adorable right??

Thank you ladies for all the beautiful inspiration and your hard work! Keep it up! (Hey, this really did make me feel better :)!)
Check back next week for a new style from yours truly.

And my question for y'all, who inspires you? what are your favourite hairstyles from blogs? and what do you do to feel better when your down?

17 June, 2010

Securing a Headband

Right now I am absolutely obsessed with headbands and side ponytails! I cant get enough of either hairstyle, and don't EVEN get me started on dos that combine the two!!

What I really like about headbands is that they look great on girls of all ages. You just need to adjust the thickness and colour to suit your own style.

This tutorial is really basic, but I have been asked by so many people how I manage to keep my headbands in place. And let me tell you, it took me a long time to be able to wear them (I must seriously have the most ill-shaped head imaginable). Also, my head is very small so not many story bought headbands actually fit me, this technique will help keep most in place. However I really like using ribbon or fabric to create my own, in these photos I have on a ribbon, which I got at Walmart. The brown is very neutral in my hair, so the headband is not terribly flashy (which is fun sometimes), but the pink polka dots make it cute and feminine, just the way I like it!

I like to clip my hair up or put it in a ponytail for ease while I do this. Always start with a long piece of ribbon, you can but it down later. Wrap it around the head and make a simple knot in the back, under the hair. If you are using a thick piece of fabric or have really thin hair, you can also use a small elastic (the clear ouchless kind) instead of the knot.

Now secure the headband in place behind each ear by making an "X" over the ribbon.

Take the hair out of your temporary ponytail or clip. Brush it into place and your set for the day.

Headbands are also cute with a number of different dos. Check back and your sure to see more from me this summer, like I said, I'm obsessed! But in the mean time

How often do you wear a headband? What type is your favorite? and what kinds of cute styles do you wear with them?

11 June, 2010

3 Braid into a Messy Bun

** I ordered a mannequin a while back, but it has yet to arrive (things are not looking good) so I have resorted to doing demos on myself. It is really hard to take pictures of your own styles! Bear with me kindly please!

So, here is my first tutorial! YIKES. This is my own spin on something I saw recently over on Cute Girls Hairstyles . Hope you like it.

Start by parting hair from ear to ear. Then section the top half into thirds.

In the two side pieces create simple braids, secure with small clear elastics.

Now, to soften the look and emphasize a the side part, you are going to create a side swipe inside-out french braid with the middle section from the front half of hair. Start by dividing out a thin strip right near your forehead and braid from right to left (reverse if you normally wear your part on the other side of your head...) adding in hair from the forehead strip . When you get near the left part start adding hair from the remain part of the section. To keep the braid on the far side, add long sections from the right side and very small sections from the left. This is what you should have now:

At this point, you will make a ponytail in the back with all the hair and braids. To add some flare, I crossed the simple braid over the french braid on the left side before securing.

Now take that ponytail and create a bun of your choice (I made a loopy messy bun today). You cant see them in the picture, but the two thinner side braids make a cute accent in the bun.

Finish with hairspray and WAHLAA!

08 June, 2010

Hair Washing

**While what I am going to share here with you works for me, it wont necessarily be best for you or your hair. It is best to know your hair and find what works best for your type, length and personal preferences.

I am a firm believer in washing hair only every other day. This way hair has time to produce and benefit from its natural oils, as well as avoiding the stress that can be caused from over blow drying hair and stretching it by pulling brushes through wet locks. Many people find the natural oils that the scalp produces to be disgusting and strip these from the hair daily. Now if you have really oily skin/hair I do see the benefit in this, but as a general rule, this oil is nourishing and protective to your hair.
Let me be very clear, I do NOT run around with gross, dirty, greasy hair! Once your hair gets used to not having to re-nourish itself daily, the oil production no longer goes into over drive, it only produces a small, often unnoticeable amount. So when you first reduce your number of weekly washes, you hair might seem really gross for a while, but I bet if you give it two weeks it will start working for you (in the mean time might I suggest a thick headband and messy bun to disguise the shine??) Of course, if you are very active, abuse hair products or are spending a long dirty day in the garden, its a good idea to wash your locks daily.

Ok, now a little about the actually act of washing and conditioning hair! Shampoo is intended to wash away all the dirt, oil and products from hair (how handy is that?!) so its a good idea to use it, and often! When you are shampooing your hair (however often that may be)make sure you scrub your scalp thoroughly, this loosens any dead skins cells and dirt so they can be easily rinsed away. When shampooing focus on the scalp, the shaft of your hair only needs a little attention here to remove the hair spray and gel you have used. DO NOT pile your hair on top of you hair and smash it all together with shampoo! Keep the hair long and work the product through the length, this will not only allow the hair to get cleaner, but it will make combing through it SO much easier after your shower. If you notice your shampoo is not foaming up very much, it means your hair is dirtier than usual. No big deal, this is just one of those times when lather, rinse and repeat is a good call. Rinse out very well. Your hair should literally squeak its so clean after shampooing.

Conditioner is a must! But if you have fine or thin hair, a very light moisturizer will suffice, you can even dilute your conditioner with distilled water so it thinner (this will keep it from weighing down your hair). Curly hair loves a thick, rich conditioner. Many people use too much conditioner, this too will weigh down hair and make it harder to rinse out, as a rule of thumb don't use any more conditioner than you do shampoo (honestly, it will still work!) Unlike shampoo, when you condition its okay to avoid your roots (especially if you are washing infrequently), focus this product on the ends and shaft of your hair, these are the places that need to most moisture. I like to finger comb through my hair while the conditioner is in, just to work any tangles out and make sure the product is well distributed. Make sure you rinse out the conditioner VERY well, not only does it weigh down hair and make it appear greasy, it can really clogs pores causing breakouts on your face and back, and NO ONE wants to increase the chances of that!

When towel drying, be gentle on your hair (this is something I struggle with!!). Try just lightly pressing hair between a towel and wrapping the towel loosely around the hair to absorb excess moisture. Follow with a thorough combing (use a wide tooth comb or pick, NEVER brush wet hair!), add any detangler, leave-in conditioner or product you want/need (I like Infusium 23 (moistur)ologie and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel). Dry and style as normal.

I am a big time sale shopper/coupon cutter, so my hair products are pretty basic. I think that's great, just as long as they are working for you. But do I have two, personal, rules about washing. First is that I switch brands after each bottle of shampoo & conditioner because my hair gets used to the product and it stops working as effectively. I usually alternate between Garnier Fructis Long &Strong and Herbal Essences Tousle me Softly (both are cheap and work well, in my opinion anyway). And secondly, I always use both products (shampoo and conditioner) from the same line (example: both Herbal or both Fructis) because shampoo and conditioner are designed to compliment each other and different brands will alternate ingredients making a mismatched pair less effective than a matched one.

Right now I am using Aussie Shampoo and Conditioner, cuz nothing was on sale and it was CHEAP. I'm not totally loving it, but its getting the job done...

So whats your hair washing routine? What products do you like? And do you have any brilliant advice to share with the rest of us? Leave a comment. :)