Letters to My Kids

The One with the Hair Style Strategies

I am now going to attempt a little tutorial on hair styling.
None of my hair styles–up, down, straight, wavy–take longer than 5-10 minutes. 
I know I am blessed because I have hair that doesn’t take long to dry, 
and hair so fine it doesn’t take long to wrangle, 
but I believe some of these tips could work for you too!
None of this is to say my hair is amazing and I should be a hair model.
It’s not all that fabulous.
But I’ve learned to appreciate what I have and even manipulate it to get it looking pretty nice (some days.) 
1. Love your hair. 
If you can’t embrace your hair for what it is, 
and not stop wishing you had the other girl’s hair, 
then you’re never going to get anywhere.
2. Treat your hair well.
Use a shampoo and conditioner that leaves your hair feeling awesome.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to be the right choice.
4. Don’t overdo the use of the blowdryer.
Allow hair to air dry whenever possible.
5. Find the right products for you.
Ask around–friends, stylists, etc.
I use this product from Frizz-Ease to help on days with crazy fly aways and split ends and humidity.  
6. Go with the flow. 
If it’s humid out, I let my hair dry naturally.
(Or if I blow dry and don’t feel like going straight I’ll use this method too.)
Then I use Paul Mitchell’s Fast Form Cream Gel to style. 
THIS is what’s changed my styling life.
My hair stylist sister gave the product to me. 
I’ve learned to embrace my awkward curls thanks to this product.
It’s not too heavy. 
And it doesn’t leave my hair hard. 
I apply it when my hair is almost dry. 
Start with a small amount–you can always add more.
I flip my head over. 
Scrunch my hair up from the tips to the roots.
And voila! 
No, it’s not that perfectly scrunched look I was always wanting, but it’s my hair. 
It’s tamed waves. Natural looking. Embracing what I have been given.
Something like this: 

7. Pony tails don’t have to be perfect. 
Pull your hair back with your fingers.
Tipping your head back, give it a good shake. 
Twist in the hair tie. 
And unless it looks terrible, just go with it. :)
6. Up-dos are not difficult at all.
And they saved my life this summer when it was 95 degrees in my office
I never knew how to use bobby pins. They seemed lame to me. 
Now they’re my best friends. 
The easiest way I’ve found to do an up do is to pull your hair into a pony tail.
Divide the pony tail into three equal sections, as if you were going to braid it. 
Starting with the middle section, twist it into a bun.
Pin in three or four places–just to hold it in place. We’ll come back and edit later.
Do the same with pieces two and three. 
Now you have a larger mass of hair rather than one teeny bun. 
Using more bobby pins, tame the crazy pieces and make sure things feel secure. 
Don’t worry about getting every last piece in place. 
Go with the flow, remember?
7. Along these lines, I’ve come to love the twist. 
I start twisting my hair along the edge of my hairline where my part begins. 
I twist back, pulling in strands along the way. 
This is a great style for those of us with fly aways! 
Once I have one side done (I stop twisting when I reach the back middle of my head), 
I twist tightly and actually pull the twist around and hold tightly with my lips.
Gross, I know, but it works. 
I repeat on the other side of my head. 
Secure with a pony tail.
And use the instructions in step 6 to create a fun low, updo. 
Something like this: 
8. Combine steps 6 and 7 into a chic side chignon
It might look something like this.
I prefer the look of the hair in the second photo to the pictures shown in the wiki article. 
Those hairstyles are too crisp and bun-like for me.
Though buns can be rocked too.
This is a somewhat terrible photo of the front of my hair as I tried my favorite side chignon. 
You can also leave the hair down in a side pony. 
If I do this with my hair just barely damp, I can twist the pony tail with my fingers for a while (which is kind of bad habit of mine), and end up with this cute curly cue side pony.

9. Use those handy hair types found in magazines. 
I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this.
Those instructions and styles always seemed so unattainable. 
But with the current styles being casual and loose and classy, it’s ok to not be perfect. 
And I’ve learned quite a few great tips from those articles. 
They really work. :)
10. Keep experimenting. 
Have a goal or two in mind for the looks you hope to achieve and don’t give up. 
Your hair may not cooperate one day for one particular style.
But maybe the next day it’s perfect. 
Good luck!

[this post is a participating in Works For Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.]

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