Saturday, September 20, 2014

How to Curl Difficult Hair and Make it Last!

Many people have commented on my daughter's Halloween picture.  She wanted a curly style to embody the goddess Athena to bring softness and beauty to the powerful goddess of war strategy and intelligence.

My daughter has the trifecta of difficult hair:  stick straight, long, and heavy.  Simply curling her hair is not effective.  The curl just drops out as if I'd never even tried!  Even professional irons won't help much.

So how do you get hair like this to maintain curl?

First, we put her hair in hot rollers and let them sit in for a good 20-30 minutes.  I had already put a light styling product in to help it set.

Next, once the rollers were cooled, I took them out and set her hair in barrel curls.  I made sure to pile them on top of her head with bobby pins to make it as comfortable as possible to sleep.  Then I wrapped her head to keep the curls safe.

The next morning, we took out the curls.  And here's the important part:  do not brush the curls!  I simply ran my fingers through them to separate.

The last step was taking a 3/4 inch curling iron and curling any strands that needed it.  I also made sure to take tiny strands around her face and the top *layer* of hair (her hair is not actually layered) to add more curl and make it appear as though she had long layers.   I then poked the gilded leaves with hair pins and smoothed back the bang area with heavy duty pins.  Once it was secured, I stuck the leaves in.

To plaster those curls in place, I finished with a strong, fast-drying spray to hold those curls in place.

When dealing with difficult hair that is shorter and/or layered, I often skip one of the curling phases.  For example, today's homecoming client wanted curls, but knew big curls would drop out of her hair too quickly.  So in her case, I curled small sections and immediately pinned them to her head.  When done, I sprayed her head all over with a light, but potent working hairspray.  I let them sit to cool 10 minutes, then took them out.  I styled the hair, but as I went, I hit certain areas again with my 3/4 inch curling iron.  Here she gets the big curl look, but one that should be sustainable with the extra structural work.

Nothing's more fun than updos!  It's like jewelry for the hair!  Just make sure you charge well for your hard work!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scalp problems: Folliculitis

The longer you live, the more you see.  Recently I've noticed a problem that seemed at first to be a mild irritant, like flea bites or a basic skin rash caused by an allergen. But when even Benedryl provided no relief, I knew something was fishy.  Plus, all the itchy red bumps focused at the nape and occipital region.  Even changing shampoos and discontinuing all hair products provided no help!

It turns out some people are prone to an inflammation in the hair follicle known as folliculitis.  It's a bumpy red rash caused by exposure to fungus or bacteria, from exposure to these elements.  It's embarrassing as well as irritating, but it's important to treat it.

If a rash continues for too long, it's important to seek medical attention.  Usually a doctor will just provide an antibiotic or an anti-fungal treatment.  Otherwise, you may suffer permanent hair loss on top of discomfort!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Surprisingly Effective Styling Tool: the hot air brush

I've seen the older generation with their pink sleep-in curlers and blue-rod perms.  The hot air styling wand is one of those products I just assumed belonged to that category of woman.

And then, sharing a hotel room with my co-writer, I noticed something astounding!  This beautiful trend-setting blonde uses a hot air brush!  Was it her mother's?  Curious, I asked to try it out.  Even though I was on 2nd day hair (shampooed the day before with no intention of a shampoo that morning before an early conference), I tried it out to smooth out some indentations in my straightened hair.

The first thing that surprised me was that it gave me more volume at the roots!  It also gave a soft bevel to the ends.  For a person with fine hair, it is superior to a curling iron when smoothing and styling hair because it doesn't smash hair down but provides a refining lift.  I vowed to get one myself.

Even though I've been wearing my hair in its natural state of wavy chaos, I bought the Revlon Shine Enhancing Hot Air Kit, for special occasions.  However, after using it to sculpt my bangs, I started using it after every shampoo.  In fact, it works so well, I can go the second day without doing anything to my bangs. It's speedy and doesn't leave me with a wad of frizz like blow drying sometimes does. Score!

Example of a style attainable with this tool: