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 email@example.com.
Okay, so I mentioned a while back about how I’ve recently developed an affinity for cutting my own bangs. After all, it’s fast, convenient and best of all, FREE. But I started to wonder about the rest of my hair after I posted that article. I mean, I certaintly didn’t want to show preference to one part of my hair. And with a college student’s budget, hey, it’s not just trimming the bangs that was getting costly. So, I did that one thing you’re never supposed to do: I trimmed my own hair. Yup, that’s right. I got a pair of shearing scissors (because those grade school ones were definitely not going to do the trick) and just went to town. And you know what? The results were surprisingly fabulous!
Would I recommend this little money and time saving trick to everyone? No. It wasn’t easy, I was nervous the entire time (what if I accidentally chopped off a big chunk?!?) and to be honest, not everyone has the steady hand and precision to cut their own hair. I’m somewhat of a hair rebel, though, and I was just itching to try my own hand at hair-cutting. I decided, too, that if I were to royally screw up my hair, I would just settle into complacency and sport a ponytail until a professional could fix it up.
However, I’m sure some of you are intrigued. I’m sure some of you are saying to yourselves, “Hey, I have the hands of a surgeon. I could SO do this!” Well, for all of you fabulous readers, I’ll spill my sercrets. To start, I made sure my hair was wet (it’s a lot easier to get a smooth, even cut on wet hair with no product in it). I used a comb to evenly part my hair in the center of my head. Then I simply grabbed a chunk of hair between my index and middle finger and, with the tips pointing upward toward my face so I could see what I was doing, just started trimming away at the end. When split or dead ends are the only concern, it’s really quite easy to avoid taking a lot of length off, thus eliminating your fear that your hair will end up uneven. I simply repeated that grab-and-trim process on both sides of my head (once it’s parted in the middle, grab the hair at the back of your head and pull it to the appropriate side, acting as if it’s part of that side of your head). Do a quick check in the mirror to make sure both sides are even and clean, then blow dry and style as you normally would!
The entire process was nerve-wracking the first time, I’ll be honest. However, the more I trimmed up my tips, the more I realized it was similar to cutting my own bangs…just on a bigger scale! With a steady hand, good scissors, and precision, I was able to eliminate my dead tips and help my hair on its way to growing longer and healthier!
As we eagerly follow our favorite magazines into the spring season (mantra: just have to get through Feb!), poring over the new looks and styles and products that help us achieve them, I’ve noticed a common trend in celebrities with long hair: volume on top.
Frankly, this look is hot. It’s sexy. It’s not easy to achieve without a stylist. Unless… I feel like I recently discovered the secret when I went in to (gulp) get a haircut. I’ve been growing my hair with great success since spring 2010 and the secret to my success with avoid the shears. It’s amazing- just don’t cut it! However. For the past couple months I’ve slowly been coming to terms that looking like a sheepdog did not sexy long hair make. I went in to see my stylist and having learned long ago that it is best to be as specific and neurotic as possible when describing what you want your hair to “become”, I asked her how to keep my length while freshening my look.
The celebrity secret to volume on top? It’s a cut! It’s called the round perimeter. Basically a round perimeter means layers around the face- lots of them- with a couple dragged through the back at varying lengths. The great part is she simply trimmed a half inch off the longest layer in the back.
I started to realize what I stumbled upon as she began to dry and style my look. A little root spritzer and shine serum and a blow dry, et voila. My length was in tact and my hair had volume at the top thanks to some clever layering. I can grow my hair to my butt and keep this style for unweighted down, modern hair.
And for that my friendly readers, you are welcome! I would love to use some before and after pics in a future post if any of you decide to try this. In the meantime, check out the models and celebs with long hair in the magazines, it’s not at all stick straight anymore.
PS. Apparently this spring’s makeup trick is to look slightly rosy, like right before you’re sun-awakened skin begins to base tan. Hmm…
I came across these easy-to-create hairstyles on realsimple.com and wanted to share. I can’t wait to try the classic twist style for my night out at the Nutcracker!
We want to know: what are your favorite holiday styles?
I hate umbrellas. I refuse to own one. Guess what? Rain comes down at an angle rendering these awkward apparatuses utterly useless. Since this is a blog about hair and not my beef with umbrellas, I’ll discuss a better defense against the elements. Curly hair.
I’m still amazed by all the people I know who secretly have waves, curls and spirals. Even more amazing is sometimes they successfully hide this fact for years! Suspect someone of being naturally curly? Watch them next time it rains. They are the ones running around frantically with raincoats, bandannas and the biggest umbrella on the market. They are the ones desperately plugging in their flat irons at their desks, in restaurant bathrooms, and even car jacks. (Full disclosure: we at Carousel Strands LOVE this as we sell flat irons and frizzy hair keeps us in business). However, we also want to help you look your best at all times- rain or shine. And, sometimes this means you need to rock the curls.
It’s time to come out. And we promise you that with our tips, everyone will accept you as you really are. A closet curly.
First, skip the gel. Yup. We said it. Most of us are crunchy about curls because our curls are crunchy. Below are a list of products that are amazing for natural looking lift, bounce and shine.
Pantene Root Lifter Spray- this inexpensive product helps you avoid flat hair near the roots. Never a good thing, a flat top looks especially goofy when paired with fluffy curls.
Bumble South (by Bumble & Bumble) Surf Spray- natural curls respond to salt like plants to the sun- they bloom. It never fails.
Psssssssssssssst! Dry Shampoo. It’s not only for unwashed hair. Wait until your curls are half dry before you spray. Dry shampoo not only adds all over volume, it holds curls in place without the stiffness of a hair spray.
What are your favorite products for curly hair? Tweet us @carouselstrands or email to info@carouselstrands.
Ever needed a quick bang trim but don’t want to schedule a hair appointment for such a small procedure? Sure you have! If you have bangs, you know that those little puppies require regular maintenance that doesn’t necessarily coincide with the rest of your hair’s schedule. Don’t worry, though!
I’ve had bangs for over eight years now, and while they’ve varied in style and frame, they’ve definitely been a staple in my hairstyles. I just like the way bangs look with my face structure (I’m 100% Polish and thus have a heart-shaped face), and I think they add a little splash of style and flair to my hair. But obviously, to keep them at the right shape and length, I have to make sure they’re regularly trimmed. Instead of making a hair appointment (and paying money!!) for such a simple task, I’ve undertaken the process of trimming my own bangs. And you know what? It’s super easy, inexpensive and best of all, with these simple tricks, they look amazing!
For side-swept bangs, pull all of your bangs forward over your eyes. Then, angle them in the opposite direction as the one in which you part your hair (so if your bangs sit on the right side of your face, pull them to the left). You’ll need thin hair-trimming scissors to make the perfect cut, so once you have those, trim away. I usually cut straight across my bangs-since I pull them off to the side, they’re already angled; thus, making a cut straight across the pulled-to-the-side-bangs won’t change the shape.
To get straight-across bangs that lie flat on your forehead, make sure all the hair is even across the crown of your head, and pull it down over your eyes. Gently cut straight across, without pulling your hair to one side or angling it. So simple!
A few points to remember:
-make absolute sure your hair is dry! When bangs are wet, we tend to cut them to the length at which we want them; however, once hair dries and gets some body, the bangs always end up being shorter. So make sure they’re dry and you’ll get the perfect length!
-to get a perfectly even trim, I use a strip of tape and lay it across my bang “boundary”-that is, the length at which I want it. The tape sticks to hair and provides a rule of sorts that makes sure you get the cut right where you want it!
-never, ever try to engage in this process without a mirror. You will NOT get it right. Go slowly, and make sure that your steady hand is following the exact path you want to your bangs to follow.
Doing quick trims on your bangs can actually be easy and free; just make sure you’re careful, totally focused and in possession of the right tools (don’t worry, this broke college student easily afforded a pair of shearing scissors for hair!). I’ll admit, I’ve perfected the art of bang-trimming to the point where I recently started trimming the tips of my hair to take care of split ends and save some money! Tips on that will come later, but for now, just try your bangs. And as always, remember that if you have a slip-up, hair does grow back! Rock your style and you’re sure to shine.
What do you think? Should she have kept her enviable waves (we all know it’s not easy to obtain beautiful long hair) or do you like her edgy, fun bob? Let us know by tweeting @carouselstrands for a chance to win a free Straight-Away Pro. We will choose the most entertaining tweet as the winner.
Let the games begin!