Get Wet!

While lounging poolside over Memorial Day Weekend (important side note: thank you so much to our troops, I truly appreciate everything you’re doing for our country!) I read in In Style that the wet hair look is in right now. This is great news for us curl-meisters, we just have to be sure to do it the right way. When I worked for a large publishing house years ago, I’d attract looks of scorn when I’d run into the elevator amongst the most judgmental of beauty editors and fashionistas with my hair still wet from that morning’s shower.

As we all know, diffusers are often more trouble than they’re worth. Curly hair looks best when it’s left to air dry, and in the summer no one wants to go near a hair dryer if they don’t have central air. I’d eschew their silly rules and go wet anyway, and my hair would be dry and glorious by lunch time. It’s just the price you have to pay for bounteous curls. While I was working there, one of the big-name glossies actually had a blog post about how bad wet hair looks at work.

Well, preposterously fickle beauty world, now it’s ok to rock wet hair. This is thanks to new red-carpet looks that favor severely slicked-back ponys and buns. It’s especially beneficial since you can gloss your ends with your favorite oil treatment or conditioning glaze and no one will be the wiser!

How to do it:

1) Wash and condition as usual in the shower. Leave in a touch more conditioner than you normally would, because no one will know and it’s good for your hair. It will also increase drying time, leaving you wetter longer. Skip the gel at this point.

2) Before stepping out, quickly run your head under the water flow one last time, then squeeze mostly dry (don’t scrunch, you want to elongate strands).

3) With your head upside down over the tub, coat the hair nearest your hair line with gel, on top of and under your head. Just one dollop will do. Don’t worry about your ends since they will not be seen. Instead, coat ends with a few drops of an oil serum.

4) Still upside-down, twist all hair into a bun on top of your head (I prefer this step without elastic, keep reading). Straights can do a low ponytail, but we know we’ll end up with a frizzy mess. Buns are best, even if you choose to do a low bun at the nape of your neck to up the class factor.

5) Don’t fasten your bun with an elastic — instead, anchor the bun to your head in the desired position with as many bobby pins as it takes.

6) There should not be any stray hairs hanging out, if you have bangs or really short layers that are not contained in the bun, be sure to bobby-pin them so that they appear to be part of the bun.

I paired my wet bun with a small scarf (think handkerchief-sized, but more chic) from American Apparel for my commute to work in order to soak up the drippings. By the time I got to work, my hair was dry enough to whisk off my scarf, and voila!

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(Don’t) Whip it!

Well ladies, winter is here. Harsh winds, low temps, and rough fabrics aren’t the only things that affect our precious locks each season… in fact, one of the clearest culprits is the artificial heat streaming through our homes and offices. It’s drying (just notice how you can’t breathe when you wake up each morning due to stuffiness) and abrasive, and it is doing the same thing to your hair that it is doing to your sinuses and skin. I’ve been dealing with a flaky, itchy scalp for months now, and nothing seems to cure it. I have been massaging with conditioner, doing weekly intensive oil treatments, and haven’t straightened it more than once or twice. What’s a girl to do?

Well, Curly Girl suggested that we try massaging our scalps with homemade whipped cream, or for us lazies, Reddi Whip.

I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now, so over the weekend I went out and bought some. My boyfriend cracked it open and used about a quarter of it on his dessert, claiming he thought I bought it for him (sorry, honey), but there was still plenty in there. I carried it into the bathroom and went to work in the shower, massaging it into my scalp as I do with conditioner. Then I used No-Poo to massage it out, and washed and styled my hair as usual.

After getting out of the shower I was cleaning dishes, and thought I smelled something really nasty, like dirty feet or unwashed underwear. I figured it was the garbage, but it wasn’t. Then I went into my bedroom and started folding my clothes to put them away, and smelled it again. I took off everything I was wearing for the sniff test, and it was all clean. I thought it might be the cats, but it wasn’t. In the middle of the night I woke up to a sound, and smelled it again. I figured it must be the laundry, but it wasn’t!

This morning I caught another whiff and put on some perfume to try to drown it out, whatever it was. I was showered, my clothes were clean, I must just be imagining it. When I got to work I turned my head upside down for my usual curl ruffle, and as I put a hand near my face, I smelled it! I knew that I’d found the source! Then… I felt sick. It was coming from my scalp… all of the whipped cream must not have washed out! My scalp and hair smell like spoiled milk.

Unfortunately I don’t have any dry shampoo on me, and I’m headed to an intense cardio and then dance class after work tonight. I’ll scrub my scalp when I get home, but that’s about 11 hours from now. The good news is, my scalp isn’t flaky or itchy anymore! I guess I’d suggest trying this, but only on a weekend, and be sure to use Low-Poo or the Lemon-Aid (lemon juice-conditioner mix) immediately afterward.

The things we do!