If you haven’t caught the Pinterest bug yet, get ready: it’s coming. Pinterest has taken the nation by storm, rapidly growing at a rate that rivals Facebook and Twitter and positioning itself to be a new social media platform of high influence.
Oh, and did we mention that it has the best hair tips?
For years now, my stylist has told me about a great way to get light, bouncy curls with a hair straightener. Initially, I was stunned: it’s called a straightener for a reason, after all! But she swore by it, and the magazines and blogs swore by it, and I was determined to master the technique. Alas, it was to no avail.
Flash forward two years later, and I stumble across this great picture on Pinterest that shows a curling her long locks with a flat iron. So I followed the link to the blog. And I read the step-by-step instructions. And I got out my hair straightener and went to town, following exactly what the blog’s author recommended. Guess what? It worked. My hair was bouncy, it was curly…and it stayed in place all day! Not only was it super easy, but it took about the same amount of time as it does to straighten my hair. The best part about eliminating a curling iron from the process was that my hair dealt with less direct heat from the straightener than it would have with a barreled iron (because I was running it through my hair at a consistent pace, rather than holding it in place to get a curl): a plus for anyone trying to salvage her hair from heat damage!
Give it a try for yourself: follow this tutorial and see how great the results are!
Hair maintenance can be pretty pricey (hey, it costs money to look good!). And while most hair salons offer complimentary bang trims or quick fixes at a minimal costs, let’s be honest: the moment you realize your bangs are in dire need of some TLC never occurs at a time that’s concurrent to fitting “visit to the hair salon” in your schedule. It’s always right as you’re getting ready for a night out, or swamped with work and errands and absolutely can’t fit a salon visit in. And the thing about minor hair aggravations is that they’re not fleeting: when you realize that your bangs are unruly and you need them cut, you need them cut right now.
Side-swept bangs are totally gorgeous, but they’re a lot of maintenance! Too long and they get too heavy to have that airy, flirty sweep. I’ve been there! And after years and years of getting my hair cut and trimmed in all sorts of styles, I’ve finally figured out how to get my bangs just right. I’m going to share some quick DIY secrets to bang trimming that will save you time, money and a hopefully a little bit of your sanity.
To start, make sure you get a pair of hair shears. These are an essential must-have for any hair aficionado. You can get them at any superstore that sells hair care products or hair supply store, and they’re inexpensive! These shears are sharpened and angled just right to create a soft cut (unlike those craft scissors that you may or may not have sliced your bangs with in the 1st grade).
Next, make sure your hair is DRY. While your stylist has a great grasp of how a wet hair cut will translate onto dry hair, the inexperienced DIYer does not possess such a skill. Giving yourself that great bang trim on wet hair will definitely result in a “whoopsie” moment when your hair is dried and styled–and shorter than you wanted. Cutting your bangs while your hair is dry is the best way for the DIY trimmer to ensure that the desired length is actually achieved.
For side-swept bangs like mine, I style my bangs downward in a side-swept fashion, collecting all the hair I want trimmed. I try to lay it flat against my palm and, using a small comb, brush through to make sure I’ve collected and pulled down all the pieces (make sure you have an even part on the top of your head where the bangs come down!).
Here’s the important part: while it would seem easy to just start snipping at an angle, there’s a trick to the perfect DIY side-sweep. Take the bangs you’ve collected and pull them to the opposite side of your head that your bangs lie (so if you wear your bangs sweeping to the right, pull the hair to the left). Now, trim away! I add some angles, usually cutting slightly upward from the right side of my bangs. Once you’ve trimmed it a bit, do a quick style with your fingers and check the length, make sure there are no stray or flyaway pieces and that your angle is defined. Touch up as needed.
Here’s something important to remember: do not overcut. I repeat: do not overcut. A quick trim will take so much weight off your bangs and give them that light, bouncy feeling back; but frustration over your too-long bangs will result in a rash decision to cut them shorter than necessary. Be patient relaxed when doing this, making sure that you don’t get too zealous with the shears.
Voila! You’ve just touched up your own side-swept bangs and taken care of those unruly strands! Kudos, and rock your fresh bangs and killer DIY skills!
First and foremost, wishing all of you a happy 2012! It’s going to be a big year, and we’re thrilled to be able to share in all the excitement that this year is going to present.
Second, we’re back from our brief hiatus and are rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to ring in the new year with everything you need to be your very best this year! Get ready for new posts, new products, new pictures, new trends and most importantly, a new start: a fresh way to look at yourself and the world around you and feel good about it all.
The new year always brings about new resolutions: work out more, finally get those finances in order, cut down on the sugary obsessions, finally make your mark professionally, volunteer more. And resolutions are great. But so often, resolutions are instituted as a form of social “face-saving:” to show our contemporaries that we are, in fact, trying to somehow better ourselves and not accepting the complacency that comes with hanging on to the past. That we’re moving forward, moving away from the little dark clouds that might have burdened some months in the previous year.
I made some resolutions, some of those stereotypical ones that people are so keen to adopt until the second or third weekend in February (isn’t that when the gym starts to clear out again, after all??). I’ve vowed to eat healthier, to explore the outdoors more, to start appreciating all that my city has to offer, to find a permanent residence and most importantly, to be happy with myself. That’ll be tough on days when my hair refuses to cooperate, when my eyeliner just looks weird, when my skin feels tight and blotchy and can’t seem to stay hydrated. When I’m feeling like I weigh a million pounds, when my jeans aren’t fitting just how I think they should, when I find some part of me isn’t as firm as it used to be. And you know what? I think on the days when my hair refuses to cooperate, I’ll just say “screw it!” and rock out a french braid. When my skin feels blotchy, hey, that’s what oversized sunglasses and blush are for. When my jeans feel a little tight, well, that’s a day that is going to be lent to leggings and an oversized sweater. The point is, those off days are fleeting. When you’re having an off day, you’re not falling apart, you’re not unattractive and you’re most certainly not worth of little to no praise. It’s one day: it’ll pass. Your jeans will magically transform into the “traveling pants,” as they’ll miraculously be just divine tomorrow. Your hair will be stunningly gorgeous when you wake up tomorrow morning, no trace of its insolence from the day before visible.
Because through all those little trials that some mornings of 2012 might bring, through all the stress and painstaking attempts to compensate for our body’s inability to adhere to the social constructions of “perfection” and “beauty,” through all the muck that clouds our judgement of ourselves and our actual worth…
Justin Bieber is internationally known as one of the biggest pop stars of this decade. After hitting the scene as R&B legend Usher’s protege, the Youtube sensation made his mark on the music scene with singles like “One Time,” “One Less Lonely Girl,” “Baby,” and “Never Say Never.” He has collaborated with megafamous artists like Sean Kingston, Usher and Ludacris; and he even collaborated with Jaden Smith, the up-and-coming actor (and son of superstars Will and Jada Pinkett Smith). Bieber is also notorious for his hip-hop dance skills, vibrant performances…oh yeah, and gaggle of screaming teens and tweens who are much a part of his performances and appearance as he is.
And of course, there’s the hair. My gosh, Justin Bieber’s hair just won’t quit winning (top that, Charlie Sheen!). From being mentioned on practically every single interview he’s ever done, to being a popular Halloween wig (and replicated do for those with long enough hair to pull off for a look-a-like costume) to even making national news, his hair is about as unstoppable as he is.
Justin Bieber has created an image for himself. Any Belieber would be able to quickly draw up a phsyical description of the star; a description that includes purple drawstring zip-up hoodie, straight leg jeans, skateboarder shoes, and the the thick, swooped hair that functions as its own entity on Bieber’s thin frame. That quintessential Bieber image was recently disrupted, though, when the now 17-year-old singer chopped off his hair and debuted a shorter, lighter ‘do. The fans were extremely vocal. Entertainment shows interviewed fans crying over the loss, getting angry about Bieber’s decision, or (in rare cases) accepting his decision to sport a more mature look.
I’m personally in favor of the trim. As Bieber reaches adulthood-for a self-proclamined Bieber fan, that’s hard to imagine!-he is naturally going to mover farther away from his adolescent image. Justin Timberlake did the same thing in the late 90s, cutting off his curls and sporting a very trim style. Justin embraced the transition from childhood to adulthood (remember, he was about 16 years old when NSYNC hit the music scene?), and Bieber is on that path as well. Every child star has made that public transition, and in pretty much every case, the subjects have changed their hair to embody a new mature image.
To the fans who are upset about the change: get over it. It’s hair. I mean, he’s a cute kid, and you can actually see his face now! So this should be a plus for the countless fans who are convinced they’re going to be the future Mrs. Bieber one day. To the (ex)fans who are angry about the change: I would love to have so little going on in my life that I was about to get angry about a stranger’s hair. Invest that time in some calming activities, like yoga or socializing with real people. And for all the fans who look at the haircut as a gradual progression of Bieber’s maturity and growth: kudos for your mature acceptance of Justin Bieber for who he is as an artist and cultural icon. A haircut doesn’t detract from his social role as staple in the music community, nor does it make his music any less fun or “poppy.”
Congrats on the cut, Justin…I look forward to seeing your evolution as you continue to make your mark on the world of music.
I came across this post, courtesy of a close friend (thanks, Clare!!). I have to admit, the results are pretty surprising to me. Pantene conducted a survey in which they polled men to find out what they first notice about a woman-get comfortable, ladies, because these results will take you for a ride!
What do YOU think about the results of Pantene’s survey? Find us on Twitter @carouselstrands and let us know, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I spread the word about Carousel Strands wherever I go, whether I’m conversing with friends, family or coworkers. On this note, my absolute favorite conversations with people occur when I tell them about Carousel Strands, inform them about this fabulous “Highlights” section of our website, and have them launch into a personal story about their own hair. I listen attentively as they spill their hair care secrets, laugh when they tell me of a particularly humorous (yet, at the time, traumatic) run-in with a DIY perm kit, and feel their pain as they try to recover from a horrendous chop at the salon. But recently, one story really perked my interest. It’s not completely out of the ordinary, but the fervor with which the subject told me the story made me realize that it was an issue that needed to be brought to our readers’ attention. We’re talking, of course, about the effects of a dramatic dye job.
This is Jessica. She’s a 21-year-old senior at Ohio University studying Organizational Communications; and I’ve worked with her for a few months now. Jessica is a natural brunette, and once upon a time, she had long dark hair.
Looking for a fresh change, she visited her hair stylist ande presented her request: short, blonde hair. Now, I’ve requested the same of my stylist before, and like Jessica’s stylist, mine also refused. My hair was just too dark to maintain as a blonde. After what seemed like a stalemate, Jessica’s persistance won her stylist over, though, with one condition: if it was going to be blonde, it was going to be really blonde. We’re talking, platinum blonde. Jessica agreed, and her stylist went to work.
It was love, according to Jessica. She adored her short, light locks. Though it required regular maintenace, it was totally worth it. It wasn’t long until the problems started, though. Regular coloring, especially when changing a dark color to a dramatic, extremely light color, poses quite the battle for your hair. The chemical damage is substantial, and Jessica soon realized that her hair was suffering. Coloring results in fried, split and weak hair that becomes thin and brittle. It can also be hard to style and maintain when it’s that faint. Although she loved her blonde bombshell color, the damage that was done to her hair-in addition to the financial burden associated with monthly coloring-were no longer feasible. Jessica returned to her natural, brunette shade and decided to regrow her hair.
The story doesn’t end there though. Jessica told me that she’s having a really hard time growing out her hair now-the process is moving quite slowly, and it’s definitely not at the length with which she’s happy. The difficulty to regrow hair as quickly as before is another side effect of consistent, dramatic coloring.
For now, Jessica is working with her hair as best as she can. She dons fabulous accessories like bright, bold headbands to spruce up her style; and of course, her natural color looks fantastic on her. Jessica’s story is quite common for anyone looking for a new look. Changing your hair color is a great way to reinvent yourself and give yourself a total makeover; however, most stylists recommend that you stay within two shades of your natural color. Going too much lighter can severely damage your hair, while going substantially darker can make it hard to revert back to your natural state in the future. While I’m envious of Jessica’s uncanny ability to pull off both the brunette and blonde look-something that I’ve always dreamed of mastering-her experiences make me extremely wary to actually try it out.
If you’re caught in that same kind of battle with yourself, I leave it up to you to decide the future of your own hair color; but keep in mind the consequences that can arise from such a dramatic change. Everything that is fabulous most certainly has a price, and it really comes down to how much you’re willing to pay to achieve a that picture-perfect look you’ve been dreaming about.
I’m betting that at some point in your life, you’ve sat through an episode of the TV show, “Friends.” If by some strange chance you haven’t, then I’ll switch my bet and claim that you’ve heard of Jennifer Aniston. Better? Alright. Jennifer Aniston, who currently holds the title of “America’s sweetheart,” didn’t just personify the ditzy, self-indulged blonde Rachel Green: she pioneered an entire hair revolution. Going back to the first bet I placed, if you’ve seen an episode of the show or have an awareness of its cultural impact, I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous hairstyle affectionately known today as the “Rachel.”
Aniston completely embodied this style. She had the small, petite frame that was offset by a perfect shoulder-length layered cut that also contained body…a lot of body. Looking back now, the layers that framed her face, the thin and bright highlights that were strategically streaked throughout her hair and the voluminous sass were quintessentially 90s. And she wore that style with pride throughout the mid-90s.
More than just a perfectly 90s look, Aniston’s hair became a much-talked about piece of celebrity news. Fans of the show swarmed to their stylists, requesting the “Rachel” (in interviews today, when asked about the hair, Aniston is quick to voice her amazement on how unbelievable it was that her hair was such a public focus). Women everywhere loved watching Aniston take her character from a sheltered, spoiled rich girl into a hardworking, determined, independent woman; and as much as they loved Rachel Green’s character, they loved her look. It’s just a hairstyle, in reality; but for so many women, this sassy, fun cut had a world of meaning behind it.
Just as Rachel proved to her disapproving parents and disbelieving friends that she was able to learn the value of a dollar and to appreciate hard work and dedication, she was able to prove to American women everywhere that such a development was, in fact, possible. Rachel served as a beacon of inspiration for women who were seeking that same kind of independence and self-sufficiency. By taking the first step-a simple hair cut that mimicked the TV character’s-I believe women were able to embody the characteristics that made audiences everywhere fall in love with the character and turn the actress into a beloved household name.
So hat’s off to you, Rachel Green: you’re definitely not a “shoe” (for reference to this pop-culture quote, check out the pilot episode of “Friends”!)
I’m not a hat person, not by any stretch of the imagination. I feel pretty stiffled in hats and caps…even hoods are a no-go. But I think I could become a hat person if it meant that my dabbles into the hat world were limited only to the wide-brimmed sun hat.
I know exactly where my obsession with the sun hat started. I was eleven years old and my mother purchased one for herself on a family trip to South Carolina. I loved the feel of her wide-brimmed straw sun hat; I loved the intricate weaving and the elegant touch it added to and dress or swimsuit. My little hands would snag that hat and stuff it on my head any chance I got.
My desire for the wide, sun hat was only further fueled when I started working at J.Crew and we received a shipment of them as part of our spring and summer collections. The way those hats paired with almost everything in the collection-from shorts and simply V-neck shirts to dresses to swimsuits-made their versatility and simplicity more desirable to me. “Where are you actually going to wear that hat?” my mom asked when I came home one day talking nonstop about the product. “Umm, where WON’T I wear it?” I retaliated.
The thing about hats is that there really isn’t a wrong place to wear them. Baseballs caps aren’t just for baseball games. They’re also for covered premature receding hairlines, for days when we didn’t have time to wash our hair and are trying to hid it and for any warm-weather event where sun is present. Cowboy hats aren’t for Western sheriffs or lone rangers; they’re essentially a required item at any Kenny Chesney concert. And wide-brimmed sun hats aren’t just for the beach. They are a staple item at the Kentucky Derby, perfect for a summer barbecue, picnic or poolside trip, or in my case, going to be quite useful when walking around town daily.
Hats, in my belief, are like any other hair accessory. They compliment and can complete revamp any outfit-I guarantee that for any occasion, there is a hat that can glam up your style. I have made the solemn decision to celebrate spring with a fun sun hat, and I’m going to stick to this. Come sundress weather, you can catch me around town decked out in an oversized tote, designer sunglasses and a fabulous wide-brimmed sun hat to complete any look.
P.S. Interested in rocking out a sun hat this season? Check out these adorable ones from J.Crew!
Say what you want about the behavior of the “Jersey Shore” cast-they don’t care. Those kids might be some of the smartest people in America right now, actually, because they’re capitalizing on the nation’s fascination with the party-kid lifestyle; and now, their bank accounts far surpass those of most celebrities and political figures. Those 20-something-year-olds are loving life, having a blast and baring it all for the cameras without shame or hesitation. They might be on the receiving end of nearly every late-night comedian’s jokes, but it’s undeniable that Jersey is slowing starting to seep its way into nearly every facet of the pop culture that we consume.
That being said, if the big collage of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi doesn’t give it away, I’ll verbalize it here: I’m slightly obsessed with the pint-sized guidette who roams the Jersey Shore. Her “I-don’t-give-a-(you know)” attitude, her honest and persistent hunt for a “gorilla juicehead guido,” her insane club outfits that border on lingerie and her mile-high hair have made her somewhat of an icon in the United States. She’s fun, she’s carefree and her one-liners are the stuff of Facebook wall posts and statuses. Most importantly, Snooki is an individual. She single-handedly pioneered one of the biggest hair phenomenon’s of this part of the decade: the poof. Snooki’s hair has reached massive proportions, and you know what? People are loving it! The “Bump-It,” the volume-boosting arch that creates the illusion of a poof, is selling like crazy; and teasing has become increasingly common as women attempt to boost their hair’s height.
Even when people were tearing down the poof, Snooki was still rocking it and building it up higher and higher. She doesn’t care what the critics or “haters” say; she is confident enough-and enough of a trendsetter-to spark her own hair revolution. Much like Jennifer Aniston was the poster child of the “Rachel” cut in the 90s, Snooki has been able to use her hair to create a brand, an entire image, for herself and even incite imitation (which, as we know, is the most sincere form of flattery).
Whatever America’s impression of my beloved Snooki and her Shore housemates may be, I find the girl to be a style and hair icon. She unapologetically dresses and styles herself in the manner that makes her happy, and for that, I find her to be an inspiration to a society that seems to value a socially constructed, “cookie-cutter” standard of beauty that, let’s be honest, is pretty unattainable. Snooki is her own woman, a free-spirit; and for that, I raise my glass of “Ron Ron juice” (the recipe can be found here, in case you’re interested…it’s fabulous, by the way) to the tiny little meatball that has captured viewers’ hearts and hairspray cans.
Maybe it’s all the “Sex and the City” I’ve been watching lately. Maybe it’s my current single-girl status. Or maybe I’m finally starting to realize that everything in life is a lot more interconnected that I previously thought. Either way, I’m starting to see the connection between holding on to certain things. I’m not talking about childhood memorabilia or family heirlooms…or even the occasional outdated magazine that just can’t be pried from our hands. What I’m talking about are two of the things that women tend to hang onto despite all odds: hair and relationships.
It might sound like kind of a stretch to compare interpersonal relationships to our hair…and to be honest, I’m probably making a pretty loose association between the two. But think about it realistically–how similar are the ways we interact in both our romantic relationships with others and the platonic connections to our hair? Both of those involved a lot of attention and effort to get them exactly where we want them. Sometimes, everything seems to just fall into place perfectly; other times, they’re more trouble and cause more of a headache than they’re worth. And sometimes, just sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just can’t let go of them.
Letting go of anything safe and comfortable is hard. My hardheadedness and defiance tells me that it’s a sign of weakness or a sign that I failed, that I somehow wasn’t able to outlast despite the odds. For other people, though, letting go is a matter of stepping outside one’s comfort zone and embarking on a journey sans safety net. No matter which way you slice it, though, the fact remains that letting go is never, ever easy. Letting go of a safe or familiar hairstyle can be just as hard as letting go of a relationship. We rarely stop to think that it might be time for a change, though. A change in hairstyle, a change in lifestyle…for some people, these are equally as dramatic and life-changing.
Maybe we should try something new. Try opening up and letting go, instead of hanging out to something out of complacency and familiarity. Of course, I’m not advocating that we all run out and chop off our long hair or break up with our significant other. What I am proposing, though, is simply giving more thought to the things in our life that we cling to. Are we happy with it? If so, then there’s not need for change. But personally, I’ve been hanging on to some things lately that aren’t making me happy. I don’t need them-they’re just adding more unnecessary work and weight to my life. So I’m going to try to trim up some of those ends and make a little change. And if any of you readers are in the same boat, I encourage you to try this out with me. Who knows, we could start a whole new hair (and life) revolution with a few simple snips!