Current Faves: Hair Edition

Once upon a time...

..there was a young woman named Elise. 
Elise loved playing with hair, so when she grew up, she went to Cosmetology School and became a hairstylist, like her mother and grandmother both were. She learned a lot and enjoyed getting better at playing with hair, but barely survived the 'Mean Girls meets Orange Is The New Black' culture in beauty school. Elise became a VERY GRUMPY PERSON during that time, but fortunately and miraculously survived the whole thing without ending up in prison or a psych ward. 
Shortly thereafter, Elise became a mom and now enjoys cleaning macaroni and cheese out of her kids' hair, doing occasional haircuts for friends in her kitchen, and not dealing with crazy people anymore.
And she lived happily ever after.

The End.

Isn't that a beautiful story I just shared with you? Guess what?
That story is about me! I'M THAT GIRL! 
Crazy, right?

So I thought I'd put my Stylist Hat on for a few minutes to share with you a few of my favorite hair products and tools. These aren't so much current faves as always faves considering I've been using all of them for years, so they are tried and true and beloved by me.
This is such a teeny tiny list, considering how many incredible tools and products are out there for all of the different types and styles and trends of hair. But I also have the practical tendencies of an old lady so once I find something I like for myself, I stick with it forever. (Like Sandra Bullock movies. And pizza!)
If it ain't broke, why fix it?
My other old lady tendency is how annoying I find expensive hair products and services to be. I know I'm not supposed to say that, considering as soon as you are inducted into the Beauty Universe, you're supposed to drink the snob kool-aid and sit around and trash people who use Suav shampoo and box color, but I just don't feel like that's real life.

(Side Note: Can you see why I got so grumpy during cosmo school? You'd think a bunch of high school dropouts with tramp stamps and nicotine addictions wouldn't feel so licensed to look down on everyone else, and yet... here we are!)

(Post Side Note Side Note: I don't mean to lump everyone into one big group, I have a lot stylist friends and family who are down-to-earth, kind, and classy gals with ridiculous amounts of talent (and wicked awesome tattoos). Just FYI.)

(Also, Fun Fact: I'm a high school dropout. Did you know that? And look how happy I am!)

Anyway, I just feel like we could tackle things like child poverty and human trafficking and finding a cure for cancer before we have the Hair Police arresting people for not dropping $200 every six weeks on a cut and color, but that's just me.

Okay, I'm done ranting. Here are my all-time favorite hair basics:

1.) Hot Rollers

Hot rollers are the loyal friend that we all need in our life. If you're one of the many under the impression that this beautiful tool set is outdated and something only your grandma would use, think again, sister friend! Hot rollers and velcro rollers are some of the main implements used by professionals who style the hair of celebrities and models. They can be used on thick or thin hair, long or short cuts, to create either full-bodied curls or loose, silky waves.
I. Love. Hot rollers.
Here's why:

1.)They're quick and easy. 
Well, ok, if you've never rolled your hair before it can take a bit to get used to, but once you've got the hang of it, you can throw all of your hair in rollers in less than a minute. Even though my hair is fine, I have A TON of it, so curling my hair with a curling iron literally takes hours and just isn't a practical option for me. 


For big, luscious curls (like Giselle's), you can leave them in to set for 5-15 minutes, or...


..if you just want some natural body and some definition to your layers (like this), just put them all in and take them right out again. 

2.) They give you shine and volume.
The heat smooths the hair shaft, leaving it shinier and silkier than before, without ever risking that frizzy, crispy look that curling irons can sometimes bring.

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE me some big hair. 
(I do. I wish we all still had beehives and bouffants. And let me tell you, whenever they decide to make a come-back, I will be READY!)
In the meantime, to achieve normal-sized volume, hot rollers are your girl.

A basic rule in hair (and Physics!) is that Heat forms and cool sets.

That's why when stylists are doing a formal up-do, they often pin up the curls they just made with a curling iron, so that they don't just fall and lose their shape as they cool.
Or how if you put your hair into a ponytail or braids right after blow drying it, that your hair has those crimps in it that stay there.

Same idea applies to using hot rollers. You blow dry your hair, put hot rollers in (or even velcro rollers after using a roll brush for a blow-out), lifting up that root, and then your hair sets that way as it cools down, keeping that gorgeous shape and volume throughout your day.

Run your fingers through the ends after you take the rollers out, and just play with it until you find where it lays right.

Hot Roller Buying Tips:
-In my opinion, DON'T get the sets that include the giant clips to secure them in. The clips often leave kinks in the hair, making it look like a toddler put the rollers in. I prefer the sets that have the old-fashioned pins, or you can use just plain bobby pins in a pinch, which won't leave any marks in your hair as they cool.
-In general I'd recommend the roller sets that are velvet, not the silicone ones, which to me are just going to damage your hair more.

Get them for between $20-$30 at Walmart or Target, or on Amazon HERE.

And here's a couple of short YouTube videos on how to put them in:
-one by It's Judy Time (who uses the pins instead of clips)
- one by Beauty by Mooshi (who shows you how to use a set that has different sized rollers)

2.) Powder Play

If I had to pick only one hair product to use for styling, this would be it. 
And to be picked over hair spray or volumizing root foam is saying A LOT.

You know how when your hair is soft and fine and way too healthy (You know exactly what I mean by too healthy), and you just can't do anything with it?
Unless you have a cut and style that calls for straight, sleek hair, it's just such an annoyance for those of us who need body and shape and volume.

This stuff is like MAGIC.
It's a powder that you dust around the roots of your hair for an almost dirtying feel (in the best way possible) that helps hold in shape and volume.
I assume it's made from crushed unicorn horn and angel tears.

Whether you have straight, curly, or wavy hair, if you feel like it's way too healthy and slippery to let style it the way you want (whether you're putting it up or leaving it down), you need this in your life.

BedHead and Schwartzkopf both make versions of it, but I've always just used Big Sexy Hair's and I love it. Get it for around $10 on Amazon HERE.

3.) Redken EXTREME Shampoo and Conditioner

This has been my favorite shampoo and conditioner combo ever since I was in cosmo school, which happened to be a Redken institute, and immediately gave me a deep and holy reverence for their shampoo and conditioner lines in general (unlike their styling products, which are pure, steaming poo. Don't use them.)
Their Extreme line is my favorite because:
1.) It's protein-packed and particularly made for strengthening damaged hair, be it chemical or mechanical damage. 
I don't have extremely damaged hair, but I use it anyway to keep my hair strong.
2.) The conditioner is super moisturizing.
Which you would think would be a consistent quality in HAIR CONDITIONER, and yet, haven't we all used conditioners before that felt like they barely did anything? This one is exactly the way it should be, extremely moisturizing and hydrating for your hair, without being greasy either.
3.) The shampoo lathers well. 
I realize that's also kind of a DUH thing to say about shampoo, but again, I have used some that make me wonder if they can even be considered a cleaning agent. 
4.) It smells amazing.
Close your eyes, take a whiff, and you will suddenly feel like you're on a caribbean beach sipping a Pina Colada. Isn't that quality alone worth it?

Get the regular sized bottles at your local Ulta (which might be a little more pricey) or for around $25 bucks (for the combo) on Amazon HERE.

OR be like me and get the giant 1 liter bottles, along with the pumps, for between $40-$50, and it'll last you a year or more. Get those on Amazon HERE.

4.) Argan Oil

Argan Oil is amazing for hair, skin, and nails and is often referred to as 'liquid gold'.

And can I just use this time to confess something to you that is extremely unpopular and might make you sad?

I think Coconut Oil is overrated.

I said it.
Honestly, I just feel like coconut oil is just the temp guy who comes in to work when the main, better guy can't show up. He's a second-rate fill-in. He's plan B. But he's just more popular than Plan A.

"Don't put butter on your popcorn! Use Coconut oil!"
"Don't put cream in your coffee! Use Coconut Oil!"
"Don't use diaper cream or antibiotic ointment that would actually heal a rash or wound! Use Coconut Oil!"
"Why are you using normal sex lube when you could just go to your kitchen pantry and get Coconut Oil?!"

Enough already. It's just gone too far. 
And by george, an enemy of butter is an enemy of mine!

 And while I'm confessing offensive opinions, I think the movie Grease is stupid and has a horrible message!

Alright, to get back on track, here's my point: you all know that when you put any more than a molecule of coconut oil in your hair, it looks like you've been locked in your mom's basement for the past month, playing video games. 

(See what I did there?)

Argan Oil, on the other hand (which we can start calling 'Butter for Hair' if you want), isn't greasy. You can use up to a dime-sized amount on your hands (which is great for your nails too), and run it through your hair whether it's wet or dry, giving strength and hydration to the hair shaft and brittle ends, and shine throughout your hair.
(Good shine. Not it looks like you're sweating and about to have a heart attack shine.)
(You know I'm right.)

Just try making the switch for me and see what you think. You will not regret it.
And it's also a great beard oil for any of you with lumberjack-looking husbands.

There are a ton of brands and you can find them at salons, beauty supply houses, natural food or vitamin stores, etc. At Trader Joe's it's only $6.99 or you can order another brand on Amazon HERE.

Well, I'll wrap it up with that. 
I'm glad we had this chat and I'm sorry for saying some hurtful things about coconut oil, but I'm a woman of conviction and there's only so much of a lid I can keep on that.
But I hope one or more of these recommendations will make up for it by changing your hair life for the better.

Happy Hot Rolling!


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