I am getting my hair cut tomorrow and am torn between doing a true bob (a few inches above the shoulder) or a long bob. I like how styled I feel with a true bob — I feel pulled-together, like I have a point-of-view — but have been enjoying the wavy look lately, which is easier to achieve with longer hair and is also a lot more forgiving in terms of maintenance. With longer hair, I can air-dry and curl it the next morning (my preferred mode — aka, lazy), or just throw it up in a ponytail or bun, kinks be-damned. I have to rave briefly about a few of my favorite products for long bob territory:
+Ouai Texturing Hair Spray. This stuff is INCREDIBLE. It adds texture and volume to hair while keeping it in place but never looks crispy or stiff. It also smells insane. I love the scent so much I bought some of the line’s other products just for it! (See below.) I spray this into air-dried hair and let sit for a minute before curling.
+Hot Tools 1/2 Inch Curling Iron. I use this to get the beachy/brushed-out wave look I’ve been rocking a lot lately. These are the absolute best curling irons: they heat quickly and evenly (and to a high temperature) and I find them easy to use. Make sure you get the Hot Tools with the gold barrel — the ceramic ones aren’t as good. At any rate, I section off hair and curl from the top down (i.e., get the barrel as close to the root as possible and then twist away from the face). I leave the ends uncurled. One trick my favorite hairstylist in Chicago taught me (her name is Abby and she works magic at Trianon Salon in Lincoln Park) is NOT TO TOUCH YOUR HAIR ONCE YOU’VE CURLED IT. Let it completely cool without touching. You’ll feel like a weird cowardly lion with your hair in little ringlets for a few minutes, but if you let it cool naturally and then run your fingers through it, you achieve the best outcome. Anyway, I use this iron, let my hair cool, and then spritz the Ouai spray again on top and comb my fingers through it. Voila.
+Ouai Leave-In Conditioner. I spritz this and DryBar’s Prep Rally onto my hair just out of the shower. I like Drybar’s stuff because it really detangles and protects hair from heat. Meanwhile, Ouai’s conditioner leaves my hair soft and pliable for days and days. I also find there’s some kind of magical synergy between these two products that means my hair is a lot less kinky/wavy when I let it airdry, so long as I brush intermittently as it does so. I find that it dries straighter and more evenly.
+Mason Pearson Brush. A few years ago, I invested in a Mason Pearson brush. I had long cringed at the price tag but was in a treat-yo-self mode. I absolutely love this brush. It never breaks/snags hair (it’s so gentle!) but it really gets through your hair. I brush from the tips to the roots when wet and then a couple of times as it air dries. I personally like this pocket-sized version of the classic because I have small hands — ha! — and find it easier to wield.
+Drybar Hair Clips. I love these things. I feel like they are bizarrely indestructible. I used to use standard claw clips to pull back my hair when washing my face / sectioning my hair, but I found they held a short shelf-life and I was constantly re-ordering. I’ve had the same set of four Drybar clips for about a decade now and I use them every morning and night and any time I style my hair. I find they hold and section hair well, whether you’re pinning back a big chunk or just a little strand or two.
+Invisibobble Hair Ties. I love these things. They never stretch out (a constant issue with my standard Goody/Scunci brown elastics) and they truly keep hair in place. They also never get stuck/snagged in hair.
+I have been very into headbands lately, if you can’t tell. The more dramatic the better. My favorite picks: this velvet knot style, this Sincerely Jules, and my pearl-encrusted Lele Sadoughi (only available for pre-order now, unless you want black, which is still purchasable now!). This is also a solid alternative to the look I’m after. (If you’re wondering what to wear a statement headband with: I love it with a white silk blouse and skinnies; let it do all the talking! Alternately, make it the finishing touch on an over-the-top feminine look by pairing with an uber-pretty, uber-detailed blouse like this, this, or this.
And I’m also debating whether bangs should weigh into the equation. I think I’ll take in the above picture of Rose Byrne, whose hair (and face and everything actually) I LOVE, and just see what happens. If I do end up with bangs, I’ll be getting some extra mileage out of my favorite round brush — I find that the only way to get that chic, bouncy side-swept bang is by blow-drying them in the opposite direction I want them to fall with a huge round brush. And speaking of round brushes, I’ll probably be using a lot of the products in this round-up if I go for the bangs/longer bob look and want to blow my hair straight with volume.
Finally, I am trying to return to a darker hair color. I’ve been highlighting my hair blonde for the past many years, and while I find it fun and flattering, especially in summer months, I have grown wistful looking at myself as a young brunette bride and am curious to know what I’d look like now with more dark in my hair. I also wouldn’t mind a lower maintenance hair routine…coloring your hair is a serious commitment of capital and time! In the meantime, I still use Oribe’s Bright Blond Shampoo every other washing. I feel like it keeps my hair color bright and non-brassy. At other washings, I use Bumble&Bumble’s Thickening Shampoo, which is a great product for those of us with fine, flat hair.
What are your secrets to great hair?! And what should I do with MY HAIR? Am I changing too much, going darker, adding bangs, and potentially changing the length all at once? Probably not. You know the old saying (attributed to Coco Chanel, among other luminaries): “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” In light of this week’s epiphanies, I’d say a dramatic hair change is due.
P.P.S. People say this lint-and-fuzz-removing tool kit is LA CREME DE LA CREME.