Posts Tagged Hair

How My Crochet Braids Shaped My Identity and Helped Me Find My Confidence

My hair and I have a complicated relationship.

Growing up, I never gave my hair the self-care it needed. I would tie it up into a ponytail, get relaxers on a daily basis, and refuse to use any product other than shampoo and conditioner (which also contained high levels of sulfate – a huge no-no for curls). Point blank, my hair was damaged and thick, and I didn’t take the time to learn how to maintain my natural type 3C hair .

The only time I experimented with my hair and gave it an ounce of care that it needed was when I had braids. Sometimes I would leave the house in my usual ponytail and return home with anything from cornrows to dutch braids. I never got a massive haircut or color, so this was how I felt bold.

Braids were a way for me to connect with others and feel confident. Then I started high school, and I started to push away from the familiar styles I grew up with to fit in. I stopped wearing the style for fear of being put into a box with only people that looked like me, while also believing I wasn’t “Latina enough” or “black enough” to embrace it in the first place.

I spent years during and after college trying to figure out my identity, which included embracing the features I once stripped away. I threw out all my hot tools, stopped getting relaxers, and finally put the ponytail to rest. I decided to give my curly, coil-y hair the love it deserved.

Still, braids were always in the back of my mind. This Summer, I looked around at the different styles, colors, and textures of braids and it gave me a wave of nostalgia. I started keeping a collection of inspiration from Instagram in hopes that I would find the courage to get my hair braided again.

However, I was anxious and nervous. Although I’m a woman of color, I feared I would misrepresent or squeeze my way into a community uninvited. The thought of wearing braids again, especially a newer style, made me feel like a fraud. Braids have been around as far back as 3500 B.C. from Africa as a sign of social status, unity, and simple pure art; yet time again, women of color, specifically black women, are scrutinized and judged for wearing braids or other natural looks.

So, I asked a trusted friend for her honest opinion. She put all my worries to rest, saying I shouldn’t feel judged, and even volunteered to give me crochet braids – a protective style that uses extensions (which can be hair, yarn, or thread) and loops it into your actual hair with a crochet needle. It’s also the perfect way to maintain my dense, curly hair in the hot Summer months.

While the braiding process itself was familiar to me, nothing prepared me for the finished look. I made my way into the bathroom and couldn’t believe what I saw in my reflection. It was me, yet I felt like a totally different person. Physically, my hair was longer, but mentally, it was a little deeper than that. I felt the same way my younger self girl felt when I got my hair braided by her friends. I felt beautiful, confident, and unapologetically me.

However, the big test was leaving the confines of my friend’s house and stepping into the real world. Once I headed to the train, I felt all eyes were on me. Maybe I was paranoid, but I felt like I was holding a big neon sign over my head that said, “Look at what I did!” Finally, I took a deep breath and lifted my head up high – because dammit, I felt good!

I spent the next three weeks with my braids and all the fears I had went away. I received countless positive remarks and compliments. My appreciation also grew for women of color who continue to be leaders of the natural hair movement and celebrate their braids in every shape and form. These women ignore society’s perception of what it means to have “good hair” and continue to highlight their culture – our culture. My crochet braids didn’t just provide me with a new look, but they also gave me the permission to be the person I’ve always been.

Bring Pink Lemonade to the Barbecue With This Cool New Hair Color

Quench your thirst for a new hair color with the latest rainbow hue, pink lemonade. The trend blends yellow and pink shades to resemble your favorite warm-weather drink – and the look is extremely versatile. Some people are opting for an overall warm-pink, while others are dyeing different parts of their hair in pink and yellow sections. You can go for a saturated punch of color or keep it light with a blond base for a more subtle effect.

Keep reading to see the best ways to wear pink lemonade hair – then get ready to head to the salon and drink it up.

26 Pinterest-Approved Hairstyles That'll Never Go Out of Style

When it comes to hairstyle ideas, Pinterest is a never-ending wealth of inspiration. Getting married ? There’s a viral Pinterest hairstyle for that. Need a protective style for Summer ? There are a ton of images for that, too. Not to mention the bank of viral braids , buns, and color ideas available for the bold to the minimalist.

If you’re thinking of switching up your hair, we sifted Pinterest for timeless hairstyles that’ll look good no matter the time or occasion. From waves to buns, there’s no shortage of styles to start saving to your hair-inspiration board.

The 9 Best Texturizing Sprays That Will Give You Model-Off-Duty Hair

If you’ve always been hesitant to try a texturizing spray on your hair, now is the time to branch out. Summer is great time to experiment with styles without the rain and wind that comes with Winter. Consider the product a marriage between dry shampoo and hairspray – it’s meant to revitalize and give your hair a little extra oompf if it’s lacking body.

Texturizing spray can be used throughout the day: in the morning to create volume, as a midday pick-me-up to give life to flat hair and even to smell nice (depending on the brand you get, they usually have a perfume-like scent). Just spray it all over (not just at the roots), scrunch or fluff your hair to define it, and you’re done. You won’t believe how much of a difference it makes – the thickness is visibly noticeable. Take a look at our favorite texturizing sprays and try one for yourself.

The '90s Called, and They're Bringing Back the Scrunchie

It’s a fact: scrunchies are back . If you thought that Sex and the City episode had ruined the accessory forever, let us convince you that they’re better than ever this time around. Forget the days when scrunchies were strictly meant for pulling your hair into a messy bun for a night of TV and pizza. Now, they’re cool, nostalgic, and surprisingly chic – and they’re about to become your new everyday staple. Whether you’re looking to spice up a simple ponytail , make it the centerpiece of your half-up look , or incorporate it into braids , Instagram is full of inspiration.

The 2018 versions are also more functional. If you disliked scrunchies because they’d slip throughout the day, fear not: Invisibobble (the brand that finally made your hair elastics stay put) just launched a spiral scrunchie – aka the Sprunchie ($8) – which won’t leave your hair once you put it on. Ahead, see how others have styled their scrunchies. You’ll wonder why you didn’t dig yours out years ago.

Jonathan Van Ness' Summer Cooling Hack Will Actually Change Your Life

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness is the hero we never knew we needed. Hilarious, kindhearted, and unapologetically himself, he lights up the screen and warms our hearts with every episode . But between the quotable words of affirmation and the Instagram feed that makes you want to cheer , he’s an all-around grooming expert. And when the Fab Five appeared on the Today Show , he shared a Summer tip that just about blew our minds.

Basically, if you’ve just blown out your hair, the back of your neck can get sweaty, especially in the Summer. The last thing you want to do is ruin your gorgeous look, so Van Ness recommends dabbing a touch of peppermint or spearmint oil on the back of your neck, which will keep it cool for up to an hour. His exact pick? This Aveda Cooling Balancing Oil Concentrate. ($22) She comes in both an oil and a rollerball, so you can take her wherever you want and stay flawless on the go. Armed with this priceless tip, we can conquer Summer with our blowouts intact! All hail Queen JVN!

11 Celebrity Lob Haircuts to Screenshot Before Your Next Hair Appointment

The shoulder-sweeping lob haircut is here to stay. The proof? Every time we open our Instagram feed, it seems like another one of our favorite stars has taken their hair shoulder length – not that we could blame them. There’s something effortlessly edgy about the choppy cut, which also flatters a variety of face shapes. If you’ve been debating the style, you’ll be running to your stylist with shears once you see the celebrity looks ahead.

Related: Celebrity Stylists Say These Are the Top 10 Haircuts For 2018

10 Powerful Leave-In Conditioners to Pamper the Heck Out of Your Hair

If your everyday facial moisturizer had a haircare equivalent, it would be a pampering leave-in conditioner. Just as your skin enjoys daily hydrating benefits, so does your hair, and these conditioning, silkifying, frizz-fighting leave-ins are the easiest, hassle-free ways to deliver exactly that. Sprayed, spritzed, or combed through damp (or dry) hair, these souped-up formulas give your hair the daily boost and refresh it deserves. Go ahead, spoil your overworked strands with one of these indulgent, hair-smoothing, leave-in conditioners.

Gina Rodriguez's Red Carpet Hair Looks Basic – Until She Turns Around

Gina Rodriguez always looks fantastic – but she took our collective breath away on the Oscars red carpet. The Jane the Virgin actress walked the red carpet looking like a princess with pastel-hued makeup and a sleek ponytail.

Gina’s eye makeup featured lavender eye shadow paired with a pale pink lip and flawless skin. Her makeup was done by makeup artist Carissa Ferreri using Burt’s Bees makeup.

The most intriguing part of Gina’s look, however, was revealed when she turned around to smooch her boyfriend, Joe LoCicero. Gina’s sleek, low ponytail was wrapped with hair at the base and wrapped with more hair a few inches down. The result was a gorgeous and interesting take on an otherwise simple red carpet look.

Keep reading to see her look at every angle.

Nicole Kidman's Oscars Hair Came Courtesy of This New H&M-Owned Beauty Line

If you haven’t shopped at & Other Stories , click on the link to the site, call in sick today, and cozy on up to a bona-fide fashion girl’s fantasy . The affordable brand, which is owned by H&M, offers trendy pieces that retail for under $200. Every item comes from three different ateliers based in Paris, Stockholm, and Los Angeles and features striking silhouettes that are both chic and cutting edge.

Until now, the brand has stuck with making clothes, but Nicole Kidman debuted its hair products at the 2018 Oscars. We feel confident enough to call it now: by the way Nicole looks, the line is going to become a beauty mainstay.

While looking like a literal present in her sealed-with-a-bow Armani gown , Nicole kept her hair sleek and sexy. Her uberstraight strands were a delightful contrast to the sweet dress, and the style came courtesy of four new items from & Other Stories.

Hairstylist Kylee Heath codeveloped the new line (which launches this Summer) and worked her magic on Nicole. She began by applying her Universal Blowout Lotion and Fullness Thickening Cream to Nicole’s damp strands. Then she combed through everything and used a Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($399) on its highest heat and speed settings. After that, Kylee added & Other Stories Fullness Volume Powder, which gave just a touch of volume around her client’s roots. Then, she straightened Nicole’s hair and topped off everything with & Other Stories Universal Hairspray.

So yeah, safe to say we’ll be heading straight for an & Other Stories store come Summer, so we can find our inner Nicole Kidman.

Yup, Someone Created Geode Hair, and It's Just as Pretty as You'd Imagine

Geodes in beauty are like most Instagram trends: somewhat impractical but entirely mesmerizing. We’ve seen geode nails , lip art , and more recently body designs .

As with all great beauty trends, talented hairstylists always find a way to get in on the act . Yup, someone has created amethyst geode hair, and it’s incredible. Sure, plenty of hairstylists have been inspired by the colors of geodes, but none has actually tried to incorporate the sparkle and texture of the crystals in hair . . . until now!

Color specialist Caitlin Ford is the woman behind the crystallized masterpiece. She posted her creation on Instagram, sharing that she used Socolor by Matrix and the Rebond System to keep the hair safe from damage during dyeing. She used “big, chunky, iridescent glitter in the purple to mimic the amethyst points and used a clear glitter mixed with fine silver glitter to mimic the quartz edges.”

If you aren’t quite ready for a literal crystal on your head, check out Caitlin’s page for all kinds of other hair color inspiration .

Emma Watson's Baby Bangs and Shaggy Lob Are Polarizing the Internet

What an Oscars night Emma Watson had! First, the star rolled up to the Vanity Fair afterparty with an unfortunately grammatically incorrect, but still extremely relevant tattoo that celebrated the Time’s Up Movement . But it wasn’t just the missing apostrophe that got the internet buzzing. Emma also rocked one of this season’s most polarizing haircuts: a modern shag with baby bangs.

Emma isn’t the first celebrity, or even the first celebrity Emma, to rock this controversial style. You may recall that Emma Roberts showed up to the SAG Awards wearing blunt fringe (though those were faux) and a lob.

We also spotted the look backstage at recent New York Fashion Week shows from the likes of Alexander Wang, Bottega Venetta, and Adam Selman.

Let’s just say people have a lot of feelings about this grunge style.

9 Genius Ways to Extend the Life of a Blowout – Without Dry Shampoo

It’s hard to imagine life before dry shampoo – a dark, ominous time when we were forced to choose the lesser of two evils: greasy roots or another tedious DIY blowout. These game-changing oil-soppers have been giving our blowouts new life for over a century, and we are forever grateful for every shampoo skip that we are granted. But while they definitely serve their very useful purpose, there’s no denying the coarse, chalky texture that results from even the best of the dry shampoo bunch.

So when a new breed of blowout-extending products surfaced offering yet another supersimple way to enjoy that bouncy shine even longer, we were the first to put them to the test. From special pillowcases to redesigned shower caps and a lineup of blotting papers, here are nine innovative new ways to extend the life of your blowout without using dry shampoo.

Why I Gladly Spent $800 on the Most Perfect Hair Extensions

Something magical happened to me the month before my wedding , and it wasn’t just the idea that I was going to marry my soul mate. I discovered hair extensions , and for better or worse, they changed my life forever. (Apologies if that sounds melodramatic, but it’s true!)

To put it bluntly, hair extensions are the nose job my mane always needed. I was born with fine, flat locks that return to their natural state <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Drybar-Dirty-Martini-Blowout-35686071#photo-10

“>the second I leave Drybar. Until that glorious day at Bumble and Bumble, one month before my wedding , when a talented stylist painstakingly bonded Great Lengths extensions into my hair. Great Lengths extensions are made from gorgeous, human hair, and they are fused to small sections of one’s real hair with pure keratin.

The process takes about three hours and costs around $1,200. At the time, I thought it was worth every penny. I left the salon with the hair I always wanted and never thought I could have. It was long, lustrous, and it held blowouts for multiple days. It was perfect. And as a lifestyle blogger and stylist , I quickly realized flawless hair was the one accessory I never knew I needed. Something about my new, cascading waves made everything brighter: my outfits looked better, I was more photogenic, and my extra hair seemed to give me extra confidence, too.

But unfortunately, some love stories must come to an end. (And luckily, in this case I’m not referring to my marriage!) In my opinion, Great Lengths has one major flaw: it can fall out. And it can fall out at inopportune times. Like that time I was meeting a co-worker at the Plaza Food Hall for lunch, and I had to discretely tuck a long strand of hair into my purse. How does that happen? Well, since everyone’s hair naturally sheds, sometimes the extensions come along for the ride.

Taking out hair extensions is also time-consuming. A removal gel is applied to each of the bonds and rubbed into your hair until the bond breaks down and slides off. This process could take over an hour if you have a full head of extensions. But I was willing to look past these flaws until I decided to get pregnant and go au natural. (And by au natural, I mean I went to Ricky’s, bought some clip-ins, and had a stylist cut and color them to match my hair to get me through nine salon-free months.)

I used the clip-ins throughout my pregnancy and for three more months after my beautiful baby girl was born. But I missed the ease of waking up with a full head of perfect hair that I could refresh with a quick spritz of dry shampoo . So back to Bumble I went, and my stylist, Carrie Hill, introduced me to a new tape extension that the salon launched last Fall. To be honest, I had my doubts about sticking tape onto my hair. But after several applications and removals, I’m officially hooked. Keep reading to learn more about this salon process and discover if it’s right for you!

I Finally Found a Dry Shampoo That Won't Make My Brunette Hair Chalky – and It's Only $9

I am a devout user of dry shampoo , but many formulas leave my brunette hair looking like an 18th century powdered wig. The chalkiness makes my dark locks appear dull and faded. Luckily, I finally found a solution that doesn’t give me Marie Antoinette vibes. Batiste Dry Shampoo ($9) in Beautiful Brunette is one of the bestselling hair products on Amazon. It has almost 3,000 reviews and 67 percent of customers give it five stars.

The secret to the formula is that it’s made with a brown tint. The color works for any hue of brunette hair, cool or warm. On top of finally resolving the powdery problem I was facing, it also immediately banishes excess oil and gives my strands tons of volume. The clean, floral fragrance smells amazing; it’s the perfect pick-me-up in between washes.

All you have to do is hold the bottle about a foot away from your hair, spray it on your roots, and lightly massage it in. Once you’re finished, make sure to wash your hands so you don’t get any brown residue on your clothes. After that, you can style your locks however you please.

“I have tried other brands of dry shampoo and will never go back,” one customer said. “This is by far the best. It goes on so easily. I barely have to brush it out at all. The brown tint matches my hair color perfectly. It works like magic to eliminate oil in my super fine, thin hair and I do not have to wash everyday, which is my goal. Highly recommended.”

This stuff changed my life – I’m begging you to give it a shot. I suggest buying the three-pack because you’re going to be utterly addicted.

Mac and Cheese Hair Is Spring's Most Delicious Beauty Trend

A new, lighter hair color and Spring go together like macaroni and cheese, so why not let your strands take inspiration from your favorite childhood meal? (Because now that you’re a grown-up, we know you totally don’t eat mac and cheese for dinner anymore.)

Lately, we’ve noticed a bright new hue popping up on the heads of Instagram It girls, and although its culinary inspiration might be slightly unlikely, we’re still absolutely captivated. We love how this marigold hue looks on a wide range of skin tones. Who knew a niche rainbow look could be so flattering?

If you don’t want to book an appointment with your colorist, you could always take a page out of Jeremy Scott’s playbook. The designer sent models like Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn, and Stella Maxwell down the runway of his Fall 2018 New York Fashion Week Show sporting Zenon-inspired electric yellow wigs. If you just want to try mac and cheese hair out for a night before you commit to that double-process life , you can invest in a wig ($19) to show your dedication to the after-school snack that rules over all others.

Ahead, find our favorite mac and cheese hair looks – you’re getting hungry, aren’t you?

18 Celebrity Updos That Are Impressive From Every Angle

It’s definitely a cinematic moment when someone enters the room looking fierce and then turns their head ever so slightly to reveal what’s going on with their hair from behind. There’s just something about a statement updo that commands attention.

Celebrities are especially good at pulling this off, and we urge you to take your cue from them as we enter the holiday party season.

Like celebs on the red carpet, your updos will forever be memorialized across social media this season. These looks will make you feel like the magnificent star you are while sipping Champagne and mingling with your friends!

What to Do If Your Hair Color Comes Out Too Dark

It can happen to even the most skilled at-home colorist: you use a box color to dye your hair, and the hue comes out much darker than you’d hoped. But believe it or not, you don’t have to suffer with a hue that’s not for you. Keep reading for our tips on how to lighten a botched dye job.

  • Try a clarifying shampoo: These types of cleansers are full of color-stripping surfactants (the stuff that makes your shampoo and soaps lather). The faster you can get to your freshly dyed hair, the better; just make sure you deep condition afterwards.
  • Call the hotline: If you experience unwanted results from an at-home hair color, immediately call the hotline number on the side or back of the box. The company representative can offer you professional advice on what to do next.
  • Face the facts: The only true way to lighten color is to remove it. But once that unwanted color has been removed from your hair, sometimes toners have to be added to color-correct. Sure, there are color-removing products like L’Oreal ColorZap ($12) readily available at the nearest beauty supply store, but if your too-dark color is still not looking right, heading to a professional is probably the best option.

How to prevent it in the first place: Since semipermanent or demipermanent colors typically fade a lot faster than permanent colors, they are often more gentle for the home colorist. And when coloring your hair at home, go only one to two levels lighter or darker than your natural hair color to avoid “oh no” moments. While most box color includes a description of what the shade will be (such as medium-light brown), keep in mind that level one equals black and level 10 is light blond.

Opal Rainbow Hair Is the Dreamy Dye Trend You Need to Try

What happens when you mix the gray hair trend with rainbow color ? Opal. Yes, the new trend in hair color pulls inspiration from the sea (which makes sense because #mermaidhair is a thing). An opal stone is a mix of pearl and iridescent pinks, blues, and purples. So of course, this paint job created by Aura Friedman at Sally Hershberger features metallics and pastels.

First, Aura lightens the hair to a pearl hue (the shade just before you reach gray). “It could either be prelightened to a platinum or pale yellow or it can be painted with heavy highlights and prelightened that way,” she explained. Then after toner is applied, layers of color are added. The result is a washed-out version of the sand art look. “For me an opal or any iridescent color has these nuances of color with very subtle hints of the greens and the pinks,” she said. “It’s not a ‘come and slap you in the face’ kind of color.”

Aura came up with the idea for opal years ago when she was experimenting with pastel colors. “Opal is my birth stone, and it’s one of my favorite stones, so I started doing it on wigs a long time ago,” she said. “I actually did one for Lady Gaga , but we ended up not using it.” The key to getting this look is layering. The colors should look different from all angles – like an iridescent gemstone.

“[It] is not just one color. It’s different colors from root to end and those different colors sit on top of other colors,” she explained. “It reflects a different color every which way you look at it. If you tilt it one way you see more of the pink, and if you tilt it another way you see more of the green.”

There are many different variations on the iridescent hair trend, from mother of pearl to oil slick. For the daring ladies who already went gray, it’s an easy way to refresh your silver strands once they’ve gone yellow. Want the look? Keep scrolling for photo inspiration to give your colorist.

How to Get Victoria's Secret Bombshell Waves IRL

There’s nothing more intimidating than being on a flight with 40 of the most gorgeous women on the planet – the Victoria’s Secret Angels. Such was the case when I flew overseas with the stunning crew for the brand’s annual fashion show. Obviously we can’t genetically morph into these glamorous models (some of us were born shrimpy!), but what we can do is take note from their beauty books, specifically when it comes to hair .

While I was abroad, I met with GHD hair pro Lorna Moore, who was part of the official runway glam squad. She showed me how real girls can get model-inspired bombshell waves. “It’s sexy, soft, touchable hair,” she explained of the classic Victoria’s Secret look. “It seems like you can run your hands through it, and you’re not going to get stuck, ’cause there’s nothing sexy about a head of hair full of hair spray. It’s effortless hair. And that’s what encompasses sexy hair.”

To get you prepped for your hot Valentine’s Day date, keep reading to discover our bombshell waves hair DIY . Then, learn two genius tricks to preserve your style .