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How to Give Yourself the Perfect Blowout

The perfect blowout: sleek shiny hair, perfect pin curls, and major volume – what’s not to love?

But when you depend on the salon to help you with your ‘do, it takes money and time you might not be able to spare. (Buh-bye weekends.)

So cancel that appointment and get ready to give yourself the perfect blowout – it’s easier than you think!

Start in the Shower

One of the most basic requirements for a killer blowout? A clean slate for your hair.

That’s why getting that super sleek right-out-of-the-salon look starts before you even pick up your blow dryer, says stylist Gregory Patterson of Blow, the New York Blow Dry Bar.

“A great blowout actually starts in the shower,” Patterson told Harper’s Bazaar. “Many women don’t wash out their conditioner enough. But that residue will ruin your blow-dry.”

Patterson often shampoos his client’s hair a second time, making sure to rinse thoroughly for that squeaky-clean feeling.

Once you hop out of the shower, blot your hair dry with a microfiber towel or a t-shirt, so it’s not sopping wet. If you start to style while wet, says beauty editor Molly Ritterbeck, your efforts will just fall flat.

“One of the biggest mistakes women make is to use a round brush on sopping wet hair,” Ritterbeck explains at Fitness.

“It’s a time suck because your hair won’t hold a shape when saturated with water. Instead try this: After washing, wrap a towel around your hair and twist to wring out excess water.”

Start the styling process with damp hair to achieve greater heights.

Girls with Curls: Exchange your heavy towel for a soft t-shirt, says Michelle Phan, a beauty vlogger. “This trick works especially well for curly-haired girls, because a t-shirt won’t mess up your natural curl pattern like a towel does,” Phan told Bustle.

Choose Your Weapons

Before you reach for your blow dryer, make sure you’re armed and ready with the right products for your hair texture.

Curly girls will need a protein-infused primer to help protect their strands from heat, says InStyle’s beauty editor Marianne Mychaskiw, while most other textures should look for a primer with light moisturizing oils.

Next, “rough dry” your hair by using your fingers, rather than a brush, until your hair is almost dry. (The experts at Fitness suggest drying your hair about 80% of the way.)

Now you’re finally ready for styling product.

“My secret move is combining a volumizing spray and lightweight gel,” stylist Jonathan Mason revealed to Bustle.

“Work these from roots to ends on towel dried hair before blow drying. This trick will work wonders for adding height and hold to see the whole day through.”

Of course, one of the most important elements in your blowout is your hair dryer – so make sure you have an excellent one.

Fitness suggests a low-wattage 1,800 watt dryer to make sure you don’t fry your strands, while Bustle urges readers to spring for the ionic dryer.

Whatever you do, make sure you’ve also picked the right attachment for your hair type – and proceed with caution.

Girls with Curls: Unlike women with wavy or straight hair, curly-haired girls should start using a boar bristle brush – even when hair is still wet, says stylist Olivia Halpin. Same goes for any product you need to apply to your hair – otherwise, the product will sit on top of your hair without fully absorbing into the shaft.

Piece by Piece

Section off your hair from front to back, so you’re only tackling one piece at a time.

At Fitness, Ritterbeck recommends breaking your hair into four manageable sections: “One at the crown, one on each side and one in the back. Twist each and secure with a clip.”

Start styling the front and sides of your hair first, since they’re more noticeable than the back, and you want to use damp hair to your advantage.

While mastering the right movement with a round brush can take a little bit of dexterity, it’s not too hard to get used to.

“The trick to getting each section to lie straight for a long period of time is to make sure the roots are completely dry,” explained stylist Erin Taylor at StyleCaster.

“Hold the section taut [with your round brush] and hit it with the heat of the dryer on all four sides: top, left, right, and underneath,” she added.

Stylist Gregory Patterson agrees – hold your hair vertically first, to let the heat set the curl, then “[twirl] it away from your face for a soft effect.”

“Once that area is dry, wrap hair into loose curls with your fingers and secure with duckbill clips,” Patterson added at Harper’s Bazaar.

Girls with Curls: While just about every other texture can get away with the nozzle attachment, you’ll need a diffuser to ensure your hair doesn’t go completely haywire. “The tool is a necessity if you’re trying to preserve natural curl or wave,” writes Cheryl Wischhover at Self.

Fight Frizz

Once your hair is almost completely dry, it’s time to hit it with a few blasts of cool air from your hair dryer.

“Lock in your style by switching the dryer to the cool setting and hitting your hair with cold air to close the cuticles; this will amp up shine,” suggests Ritterbeck at Fitness.

This technique also helps manage frizz – which can occur from too much moisture, or too much heat (unfair).

If you have especially thick hair, follow up with a smoothing cream or serum to help keep fly-aways at bay, as you comb fingers through your hair for separation and definition.


Advanced Maneuvers

Want to add volume or definition to make your blowout more interesting? These techniques will add a little bit of styling time, but they’re oh-so-worth it.

For more volume, focus some attention at the crown of your head. You can even grab a few rollers or make pin curls.

“Once you’ve gotten the top partly completely dry, pop in two Velcro rollers,” suggests Patterson. “It’ll add body while your hair cools and sets.”

You can also create additional definition by switching up the direction of your blow dryer, says Taylor.

“Alternate the direction of your wrist every section (flip up, then down, and so on) so your ends are going in different directions,” Taylor told StyleCaster. “It adds life and interest to your style.”

Sleep On It

Now that you’ve labored over your very own blowout – make it last overnight with a well-placed ponytail.

“If you’re trying to maintain a straight blowout, pull your ponytail to the nape of your neck so that hair stays flat,” suggests Wischhover.

“If you’re going for bouncy volume, do the opposite and pull it high up on your head into a topknot,” she adds.

Switch out your pillowcases for silk to minimize tangling, and don’t forget to hit your roots with dry shampoo in the morning to zap oil along your hairline.

Whether you want to save money or cut down on time in the salon chair, learning how to DIY your blowout will give you more control over your hair – and help protect it from excessive heat.

Follow our tips – from hitting the showers to hitting the hay – for the perfect blowout with monster volume.

Have you mastered a DIY blowout? Tell us your secrets in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Unsplash, Pinterest, Pinterest

7 Hacks for Taming Frizzy Hair Once and For All

While we look forward to all things summer, there’s one thing we never, ever miss: frizz-inducing humidity. There’s not much you can do to fight the elements, but there are plenty of tricks for taming frizzy hair once and for all.

We rounded up 7 of our fave hacks for getting your hair to behave – even when the temperatures outside start rising:

1. Space Out Your Shampoos

Frizz can happen to anyone – especially if you have dry or damaged hair.

“When hair is damaged or dry, the outer layer of hair (the cuticle) lifts, which allows moisture to pass through and swell your hair strands,” explains Lindsey Metrus, BuzzFeed’s style reporter.

If you’re dealing with hair that’s extra-sensitive to moisture, do your best to space out your shampoo sessions. About every two to three days works best, says Elisa Hills, co-creator of BLNDN, a hair care line for blondes.

“Any more, and you risk stripping your hair of its natural, protective oils that keep it shiny and healthy,” Hills told Greatist.

With more natural oils on your scalp, your hair should have an easier time retaining moisture and strength – especially when that dreaded humidity hits.

And, if you haven’t already, consider switching to a sulfate-free shampoo for added frizz-protection. Sulfates are the chemicals that help give your drugstore shampoo all those extra bubbles – but they also strip away moisture.

When it comes to fighting frizz, you want to leave your hair with its natural defense system. Kick sulfates to the curb and strategize your shampoo sesh for a healthier head of hair.

2. Co-Wash with Conditioner

Girls rocking natural or curly hair know how hard it can be to lock moisture into thirsty strands.

Since curly hair can prevent the scalp’s natural oils from penetrating the entirety of the hair shaft, women with these hair types often suffer from dry, brittle, or broken cuticles. That’s a ripe environment for frizz.

If this sounds familiar, try co-washing your hair with conditioner once or twice a week to give your hair the moisture it needs to be happy.

Thankfully, according to Vogue’s Mackenzie Wagoner, there are a whole lot more options for women who need extra moisture to fight that frizz halo.

“[The] latest generation of hybrid cleansing conditioners has bridged the gap between washing and moisturizing,” writes Wagoner, “offering the gentlest rinse your hair has ever received, while simultaneously smoothing the cuticle and eliminating frizz.”

It’s a great formula: co-washing + more moisture = frizz-free.

3. Multi-Task with a Mask

Even if your hair’s not excessively dry, you can still suffer from an occasional visit from the Frizz Fairy.

To cut down on general frizziness, try using a hair mask or hair oil treatment once a week, says beauty editor Carly Cardellino.

“Doing a special treatment at least once a week, especially in colder months when the air is dry, will help fill any holes in your hair shaft that soak up outside moisture and contribute to frizz,” Cardellino writes at Cosmopolitan.

Bonus? Your hair will be red carpet-level soft and shiny for days and days.

4. Better Blow Dry

Whether you head out the door with a wet head, or spend hours in front of the mirror with a blow dryer, it’s time to rethink your routine.

Everything you do once you step out of the shower can impact how much frizz you’ll have to contend with during the rest of the day, from towel-drying to heat tools.

“Using a bath towel is considered the standard way to dry off the hair after washing, but if done incorrectly, it’s basically the fastest route to breakage and frizz,” explains Rachel Krause at StyleCaster.

Instead, twist hair to squeeze out moisture while you’re still in the shower, then do the same – gently! – with your towel. Anything more intense might damage your hair.

While it feels like letting your hair air dry can save a few extra steps, without a little bit of heat you could be adding to your frizz problem.

According to a recent study reported in Prevention, “While the heat of a dryer can cause more damage than not using one, using a hair-dryer at the right distance and temperature can actually cause less damage than letting hair air-dry.”

Huh?

Apparently all that left-over moisture from your shower can, over time, force your hair’s cuticle to expand – and become more prone to breakage. So while air drying is good for your hair, letting your hair air dry completely is bad.

Once your hair is almost finished air drying, blast it with a little bit of heat. Remember to push the “cool air” button on your hair dryer to avoid frying your strands.

And ladies with curls? If you’re not already using a diffuser to help you tame your mane, it’s time to get on that:

“A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment that minimizes a lot of the frizz that comes when curly hair is naturally air dried,” hairstylist Britt White explained to Good Housekeeping.

“It also gives a boost to the curls that may lay flat because of your hair’s weight and length,” she added.

There you have it: the perfect way to blow dry curls into submission while eliminating frizz.

5. Dial Back Your Heated Tools

By now you know that excessive heat, especially from styling tools like straighteners, flat irons, and blow dryers, can cause major damage.

But did you know what actually happens to your hair?

“Hot tools such as hair dryers and curling irons fry off your hair’s cuticles, the first line of defense against dryness, leaving the cortex exposed,” explains Jill Percia at Women’s Health.

“The parched cortex is left no choice but to soak up moisture from the air to compensate, causing frizz.”

If you want to curl or straighten your hair, just be sure to turn down the heat, says stylist Roxy Brennan.

“The flat iron is most dangerous of all the hot tools in my opinion,” Brennan told Refinery29. “It should always be used on low heat and with little pressure.”

6. Style Smarter

Sometimes you can do everything right, and you’re still fighting frizz when you check your hair in the bathroom mirror.

A restorative hair serum can help fight frizz – and will also offer added protective benefits for your tresses.

“While a leave-in conditioner adds moisture, adding a serum on top can help your hair retain [the conditioner’s] hydrating ingredients,” explains Jessica Cruel at PopSugar.

“This product will also help keep out unwanted moisture that can cause hair strands to swell,” she adds.

On the go? Keep an old mascara wand and a travel-size hairspray in your bag to smooth down fly-aways, suggests Lindsey Metrus at BuzzFeed.

It’s the perfect solution to calm those “frizzy areas” around your ponytail “or those annoying baby hairs around your crown,” Metrus writes.

Travel-size frizz protection? Yes, please.

7. Wrap It Up

Chances are you’re sleeping on cotton-blend sheets. (Hey, we’re not judging.)

But you should know that cotton can wreak havoc on dry hair – making it even drier and more prone to frizz.

“To keep your cotton pillowcase from sucking up all the moisture in your hair, wrap it up at night in a bun, and then tie on a silk scarf, which will retain moisture,” stylist Ursula Stephen suggested at Cosmopolitan.

That’s right – you can beauty sleep your frizz away.

There’s no use fighting the weather, but you can act now to tame frizzy hair into submission. From co-washing to better styling products, embracing a no-frizz beauty routine will help you get sleeker, shinier hair – once and for all.

How do you fight frizz? Tell us your best tips and tricks in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Unsplash, Flickr, Unsplash

Hairfinity: The Ultimate Mother’s Day Story You Never Knew

If there’s one bond that can’t be broken, it’s the one between a mom and her daughter. And that’s the real story behind Hairfinity’s creation: An act of motherly love. (It’s true!)

Before the first product even hit shelves, Hairfinity was a brand long in the making. Founder Tymeka Lawrence had lived with the frustrations of chronic hair breakage since childhood, but it was when her daughter Jasmine started suffering from the same hair problems did the search for a healthy hair solution truly intensify. “It became more than story – it became my daughter’s, and so many others” reflects Tymeka. In 2006, Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins hit the market, giving millions of women -including Tymeka and Jasmine – a safe and effective way to achieve longer, stronger, more beautiful hair. “I admire Mom so much, because of the sacrifices she made to help my insecurity,” says Jasmine. “Now so many women
are benefitting from that as well.”

So on this Mother’s Day, nurture that special bond with your mom and all the mother figures in your life. And if you’re a mom yourself? Take a page out of Tymeka’s book – “Hug your kids back and thank them for reminding you of the smaller things that can make all the difference – we really learn from them, too.”

Now it’s your turn: Give us some motherly wisdom on life – and hair! – in the comments below.

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Homemade Hair Masks to Try Right Now

Nobody’s born with perfect hair. Okay, maybe Béyonce – but even Bey gives her hair a little TLC to keep it looking fine. You deserve the queen bee treatment, too – and quick DIY homemade hair masks are the best thing you can do to moisturize, protect, and lavish love on your hair.

Choosing ingredients from your own kitchen cuts down on expenses, and it’s also a great way to use all-natural solutions for common problems. (Because we all need fewer chemicals in our lives!)

Here are 5 hair masks you need to try right now – plus, a quick primer on how to decode common hair mask ingredients:

1. For Natural Hair

1/2 Sliced Avocado
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. Honey

Transitioning away from straightened hair or already rocking that ‘fro? Your hair is probably begging for extra moisture.

We love this great mask recipe from BuzzFeed – it’s chock-full of healthy fats that will deep-condition your locks and boost hair repair if you’re suffering from breakage. Honey, a natural humectant, will help seal in moisture.

Pulse all ingredients together in a blender and apply to damp hair. Cover hair with a shower cap or towel for 30 minutes, then wash with shampoo and conditioner. Use mask once per week for best results.

Via: Buzzfeed

2. To Beat Frizz

2 Tbsp. Yogurt
1 Tbsp. Honey
(Add 1 ripe banana or a ¼ tsp of coconut oil for a moisture boost)

Sure, these ingredients sound like the beginning of a breakfast smoothie recipe, but yogurt will help you gently remove product build-up and seal your hair cuticles, while banana and honey offer an extra shot of moisture and prevent breakage. Switch out the banana for coconut oil if you’re in need of more moisturizing power.

Blend in a small bowl, or use blender if adding banana. Cover hair with a shower cap or towel for 30 minutes, then wash with shampoo and conditioner. Rinse well. Use mask once per week for best results.

Via: Bustle

3. To Combat Oily Strands

1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

Yes, women suffering from greasy strands can benefit from a moisturizing mask, too. In fact, too much oil is a great reason to whip one up!

Apple cider vinegar is a perfect natural exfoliant, and can help remove excess dirt, oil, and product build-up. With all that gunk out of the way, moisturizing honey and coconut oil can go to work.

Coconut oil is generally light enough that it shouldn’t send your hair into a greasy nose-dive. If you’re worried, start with a little less than the recipe calls for, and see how your hair reacts. Focus attention away from the roots and toward the shaft and ends of the hair.

Whisk apple cider vinegar, honey, and coconut oil together in a large bowl. Apply to damp hair and cover with a towel or shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse well, then shampoo your hair as you normally would.

Via: Natural Living Ideas

4. To Zap Dandruff

2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
(or 15 drops tea tree oil)
2 Tbsp. Water

Combatting dandruff is difficult, to say the least. While your scalp often feels dry and itchy, those white flakes can appear because of oil and product build-up, too.

Olive oil is gentle and protective, so it won’t further irritate your scalp, while the acidity of lemon will serve as a gentle exfoliant. Buh-bye, flakes! If you try this mask once and feel you’re in need of something a little stronger, try switching out lemon for tea tree oil.

Whisk olive oil and lemon (or tea tree oil) together in a large bowl. Apply to damp hair and cover with a towel or shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse well, then shampoo your hair as you normally would.

Via: Bustle

5. For a Moisture Boost

1 Tbsp. Egg yolk
1 Tbsp. Avocado
¼ Cup Honey

All hair types can benefit from an occasional moisture boost. Plus, who doesn’t want super shiny, soft hair?

Don’t be nervous about this egg yolk – with protein and fatty acids, egg yolks help strengthen and protect hair. Avocado has plenty of rich, fatty acids and Omega-3s, which are great for deep conditioning, while honey locks all that moisture in.

Blend egg yolk, avocado, and honey. Apply to damp hair and cover with a towel or shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse well, then shampoo your hair as you normally would.

Via: Woman’s Day

Decoding Common Ingredients in DIY Hair Masks

So, you’re on board with natural hair masks you can whip up in the kitchen, but you want to know more about what these ingredients actually do?

We’ve got you covered. Here are 8 of the most common hair mask ingredients you can find in your kitchen – and how they will make your hair shine, shine, shine:

  • Coconut oil replenishes hair’s moisture, repairs breakage, and improves strength and flexibility. Unlike other oils, coconut oil is actually able to penetrate your hair shaft. That means once your hair absorbs the oil, it won’t wash away.
  • Eggs contain so much good stuff, they’re author Janice Cox’s favorite natural ingredient. “The [raw] egg is really the best of all worlds,” Cox – who wrote Natural Beauty At Hometold Woman’s Day. Use the yolk to benefit from hair-softening proteins and fatty acids, and whip up the whites to remove product build-up with powerful enzymes.
  • Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. Since it’s not a fat – like coconut oil – it’ll add shine to your hair without adding extra oil or weight.
  • Olive oil is chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids and oleic acids that protect hair from damage and prevent moisture from evaporating from starved strands.
  • Mayonnaise isn’t just for sandwiches. Your hair can benefit from the proteins in its egg yolks and the fatty acids in its oils. According to StyleCraze, mayo can also help smooth and seal cuticles shut, upping your natural defenses against pollution and styling.
  • Avocado, everyone’s fave trend fruit, is much richer than other oils and perfect for delivering Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins directly to moisture-starved strands. Like coconut oil, avocado oil can penetrate the hair shaft to give you moisture where you need it most.
  • Bananas offer multiple benefits, from preventing dandruff or breakage to adding moisture and shine. With plenty of potassium and natural oils, they’ll help bring elasticity back to tired, damaged hair.
  • Yogurt contains natural lactic acids that act as a great cleaning agent and exfoliant. Massage yogurt into your hair, and these acids will help slough away dead skin, dirt, and product build-up. Plus, yogurt contains tons of protein, which is great for encouraging hair growth.

The next time your hair needs a little bit of help to go from blah to Béy, look no further than your kitchen cabinets. Chances are you have everything you need to whip up a hair mask and settle in for a spa day.

Add a mask to your hair routine to maintain moisture in your locks, prevent breakage, and sport shiny, soft hair all month long.

Do you have a favorite DIY hair mask recipe? Tell us your secrets to shiny hair in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Unsplash, Pexels, Pexels

Up-dos For Everyone (Go Beyond the Bun)

Whether you need to look sleek and put together for a company dinner, or wispy and romantic for a springtime wedding, there are chic up-dos for everyone that go way beyond the basic bun.

And no matter what they tell you in the stylist’s chair, even a girl who lobbed off her hair can get in on this action!

Learn how to make this elegant style your own with 12 of our fave looks – no matter what your hair type happens to be:

Long Hair

1. Halo Braids

A little bit milkmaid and a little bit princess, these halo braids are the perfect solution if you want to look elegant but casual.

“Do not fear the crown braid,” suggest Chloe Metzger and Ashley Okwuosa at StyleCaster. “Just braid, braid, braid until you’re out of hair, and wrap it around your head like a crown,” the style reporters write.

Learn how to pull this look off here.

2. French Twist

This style is perfect for getting swept off your feet – it says elegance and romance and “I have crazy-beautiful hair” all at once.

“Using your nondominant hand, sweep your hair off to that side, just slightly off center,” explain the editors of InStyle. “With your other hand, slip in a bobby pin vertically, up from the bottom.”

There’s a lot more pinning – and a lot more twisting – involved. But you can totally learn how to finish this classic look here.

3. Twisted Ponytail

Not all ponytails are for the gym. The twisted pony can help you look oh-so-put-together with minimal effort.

The Beauty Department’s take on a fancy ponytail mixes the chicness of a French Twist with the ease of a one-and-done pony.

Follow their guide to an effortless look here.

Medium-Length Hair

4. Low Knot

You have *just* enough hair to pull off this loose but gorgeous style if it sits at or below shoulder-length.

Simply divide hair into two sections, as if you were going to make pigtails, cross the left section under the right, and loop the right tail up through the small gap near the nape of your neck.

Tie a loose knot with the two sections, and pull the ends together with a band. Tuck ends in at the nape of your neck and bobby pin, if necessary.

For a visual aid, head over to BuzzFeed.

5. Twist-Back

Sweep your hair back from your eyes, so you can bat those lashes with this quick and easy take on the twist.

This is the perfect style to try if you’re in the middle of a pesky growing-out phase, says Christina at HairRomance.com

“If your hair is also prone to frizz, this easy hairstyle is perfect for twisting your hair back out of your face,” the blogger writes.

Learn how to do the twist here.

6. Quick Twist

Have to go from an office to a drinks date across town? No problem. The quick twist is a simple way to change your style for a night out.

“Take the entire left side and start twisting near your ear,” explains Kristin Ess at The Beauty Department.

“Best to twist it kind of tight and then loosen it up after you pin everything. Stop just past the middle and add a large bobby pin for extra support.”

Twist from the other side, pin, and voilà! A pretty style for medium-length hair. Read Kristin’s full post for more details about how to rock this style.

Short Hair

7. Side Braids

When you have a sleek bob or pixie, you’re pretty much already guaranteed to have the coolest hair in the room – even if that means you can’t shake things up a whole lot.

Still, side braids are a simple way to embrace a new look and sweep hair up and away from your face.

“Braid both sides back, until they reach the nape of the neck where you can secure the remaining hair into a pinned up messy bun,” describes Julie Ricevuto at Glamour.

Read more about how to texture your hair for the optimum, romantic tousled look.

8. Headband

Okay, this is kind of cheating, but a great headband goes a long way when you have short hair.

“If your hair is short, the right headband is an easy way to make it glamorous,” confirm the editors of InStyle. “Choose one that’s slim and lies flat against the head, like Michelle Williams and Evan Rachel Wood.”

Plus, you can experiment with bumps, pompadours, or straight, sleek locks when you rock this accessory.

Check out the looks the editors mention here – and roll through the whole slide show for even more ideas.

9. Braided Mohawk

Ready to take a walk on the wildside?

We love this braided mohawk Kristen Stewart wore back in 2012 to promote Snow White and the Huntsman. It’s just messy enough to look cool, while still giving off an air of devil-may-care glamour.

“I wanted to add a punk edge to a traditional Victorian updo,” celebrity stylist Adir Abergel told PopSugar.

She explains how to recreate the look here.

Curly Hair

10. Pineapple Ponytail

Show your hair who’s boss with a pineapple ponytail. This style is fun, simple, and a great way to protect your hair if it’s feeling a little dry.

“I’ve done this look for Rihanna a few times, it’s our go-to,” hairstylist Yusef Williams told InStyle. “She loves it because it’s very free like her, and it should feel pretty natural and easy.”

Learn how to embrace your inner Ri-Ri here.

11. Pompadour

If Janelle Monaé can do it, why can’t you? Have a little fun with this style – and bring it for your best James Brown impression.

Check out the video tutorial and play-by-play for this mile-high hairstyle at Refinery29.

12. Romantic Updo

This look is perfect for weddings or any date that wasn’t scheduled via an app. (Hey, we love Tinder as much as anyone, but come on.)

Head on over to OnceWed.com, where the hair geniuses behind their site give you a peek into the prettiest updo for natural hair we’ve ever seen.

Getting Ready for Your Updo

Even if the style you choose is simple, prepping for an updo takes a little bit of foresight.

Since updos require the natural oils from your hair to help them stay in place, it’s best to use “day-old hair,” or hair that hasn’t been recently washed.

“When hair is too clean, it can be static-y, overly soft and hard to control,” artistic director Damien Carney explained to StyleCaster. “Fresh clean hair [also] loses all the cool delicate textures that natural oils, humidity and moisture create.”

Curly hair will need extra protection against frizz, while most other hair types will need some kind of product to help smooth fly-aways and keep the style in place.

“Before styling, run a hair serum through your strands to combat frizz,” suggests Kate at TheHairStyler.com. “After styling, spritz a large, clean makeup brush with hairspray and ‘paint’ over your strands to keep little fly-away pieces of hair at bay.”

And always remember to take your updo out at the end of the night, since hair that’s pulled back too tightly from the face – over a long period of time – can cause damage.

“Wearing your hair up every day strains the hair at the root and can actually cause hair loss,” celebrity stylist Julien Farel warned Good Housekeeping.

Try not to pull too hard when braiding or twisting your strands while styling your updo, as this can also cause strain in all the wrong places.

No matter the occasion – or your hair type – we hope you’ve found a new style to rock at your next event.

With a little bit of extra prep and some help from these tutorials, you can DIY your own updo in no time flat.

Do you have a go-to style for nights out? Link to your favorite updo in the comments:

Images: Pexels, Unsplash, Pinterest, Pinterest

8 Reasons Why Your Scalp Health Matters

We spend so much time focusing on our hair. Do we have split ends? Is our curly hair too dry or unruly? Are we shedding too much? While these are important questions, focusing on scalp health might be the key.

“Hair follicles need natural oils from the glands that surround them to function,” hair restoration surgeon Robert Dorin explained to Prevention.

“If you have a dry, irritated, or unhealthy scalp, the hair your follicles produced will likely be drier and less manageable, too.”

Here are 8 more reasons your scalp health impacts hair growth – and how you can create a better environment for gorgeous hair.

1. Scalp pH Affects How Your Hair Grows

Every product you use on your hair has the ability to shift the pH balance in your scalp, and it’s your pH balance that provides a healthy environment for new hair growth.

“A substance that is too alkaline will cause the hair cuticle to open [drying out your hair], while a substance that is too acidic will cause the cuticle to contract,” explains beauty editor Taylor Bryant at Refinery29.

Not sure what’s going on up top? According to Bryant, ladies who suffer from dry hair or dandruff most likely have alkaline pH levels, while curly-haired girls tend toward higher levels of acidity.

In truth, most cosmetics companies are pretty good at testing for pH balance before they roll out a new product.

“We’ve known for ages that to prevent hair from feeling dry and looking dull, we have to balance the pH with certain ingredients,” cosmetics chemist Ni’Kita Wilson told Refinery29.

Still, it’s always important to check out the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner. Make sure you’re using the right product for your hair type.

2. Dry Scalp Can Lead to Breakage

Feeling itchy? Dandruff or winter-dry skin are common causes of flaking, but relieving that itch could create bigger problems for your hair.

“Itchy scalp…may result in hair loss due to scratching-induced hair damage,” dermatologist Dr. Alan Baumann told Prevention. “Once the cuticle is damaged, the hair fiber is prone to breakage.”

Yikes. Time to break out the zinc shampoo!

Major dryness can also be a side effect of poor diet. If you’ve been staying away from avocados and olive oil to try and slim down, you might be accelerating hair loss or damage, says dermatologist Karen Ansel.

“Fat is key for a healthy scalp,” Ansel told Self. “Without enough in your diet, your scalp can become dry and inflamed, leading to hair loss.”

The next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on salmon, walnuts, or flax oil, so you can recalibrate and nix the itch.

3. Healthy Scalp = Good Elasticity

Good hair elasticity is an indication of the overall health of your hair – if your hair is elastic, it means it has the right amount of both moisture and protein. Your hair is probably soft and strong – perfect for a great hair day.

Maintaining a healthy scalp can help you ensure your hair gets the proper amount of natural oils – and moisture – that it needs. A dry scalp will irritate your follicles, while an overly oily one leads to build-up.

Neither of these conditions will help your hair stay strong.

To check in on the elasticity of your hair, do a quick shower test, suggests Nick Stenson, the artistic director for Matrix.

Once your hair is wet, “begin to slowly stretch the hair,” Stenson advised Bustle. “If it breaks almost immediately, your elasticity is low, but if it stretches to 50 percent of its original length, your hair has high elasticity.”

Taking proper care of your scalp is only bound to improve the elasticity and overall strength of your hair, too.

4. Good Circulation Improves Hair Growth

Who doesn’t love a good scalp massage? Turns out, these heavenly treatments are good for more than just relaxation.

“Blood flow to the hair cells means healthier hair growing out of your scalp,” stylist Triana Francois told Huffington Post.

Scalp massage is especially important for women who suffer from conditions like dandruff or scalp build-up, says trichologist Philip Kingsley.

“Scalp massages aid in the removal of dead skin cells from the scalp – and a flaky scalp is known to worsen hair loss in certain individuals,” Kingsley explained to Huffington Post.

“It can be very beneficial to those who suffer from scalp conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.”

Not to mention, it’s an extra chance to relax, chill out, and enjoy a moment of self-care.

5. Scalp Build-Up Is Bad for Everybody

Yes, scalp build-up is as gross as it sounds.

A sign of an unhealthy head, this problem occurs when you’re not shampooing often enough, causing oil and product to accumulate and irritate your hair, or when your scalp is too dry and the extra skin cells aren’t being exfoliated away.

This is a terrible environment for hair growth, says dermatologist Doris Day.

“A buildup of product or excessive dandruff on the scalp has been shown to clog hair follicles, and if it’s bad enough, it can be difficult for hair to grow,” Day explained to Prevention.

The solution? Scale back on product use, find a shampooing routine that works for you, and address scalp conditions like dandruff head-on by consulting with your dermatologist.

6. It Deserves Your Protection

In addition to regular build-up, a mistreated scalp can also foster unseemly fungal growth. (Gross.)

“Although no definitive cause has been identified, a yeast (fungus) called malassezia that is in the oil secretion on the skin, seems to be the most likely culprit [of seborrheic dermatitis],” reports Dr. Mona Gohara at Good Housekeeping.

“Some predisposing factors include Parkinson’s, depression, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and obesity,” Gohara added.

Since this condition is exacerbated by extra oil, it’s important to protect your sensitive scalp. Hit the showers after you exercise to remove extra build-up, or take some time to relax if you’re having a rough week at work.

(Remember: scalp massages might be particularly helpful if you’re prone to infection, too.)

7. Flakes Signal Need for a Major Moisture Boost

It might be embarrassing, but if you’re noticing flakes, your scalp is trying to send you a message.

“Hormonal fluctuations, elevated stress, poor nutritional intake, and not cleansing enough all contribute to dandruff, a fungal infection on the skin,” trichologist Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips told Prevention.

If the cause is dandruff-related, an anti-fungal shampoo should calm the urge to scratch. And if you’re suffering from dry skin, a conditioning mask or hot oil treatment should help you feel relief.

“Many women don’t use conditioner on their scalp because they’re afraid to clog pores or weigh down fine hair,” dermatologist Francesca Fusco explained to Allure.

But don’t believe the naysayers, Fusco suggests. You can get away with applying conditioner on top of your head, especially in the winter months. Just like other sensitive skin areas, your scalp sometimes needs a little bit of extra TLC.

8. Inflammation Can Increase Shedding

There are a lot of conflicting messages online about shampooing, and the dry shampoo fad has made it worse – especially if it means you’re avoiding regular showers.

“[Dry shampoo] deposits substances to coat the follicle that can build up,” dermatologist Sonia Batra told The Atlantic.

And if the scalp is irritated and inflamed from build-up, it’ll completely shut down new growth.

“The resulting inflammation can weaken the follicles and increase shedding,” Batra continued. “These products can also cause hair follicles to stick together, so that a hair that would normally shed during brushing may take two or three strands along with it.”

Don’t just rely on dry shampoo to get you through a busy week. Remember to shower regularly, cleanse your scalp to prevent build-up, and keep healthy hair where it belongs: on your head.

Although scalp problems can cause plenty of embarrassment, they’re more common than you might think – so don’t feel bad if one of the issues we’ve covered happens to you.

Talk to your dermatologist so you can identify and treat the (often very treatable) concern before it causes bigger problems, like inflammation or even hair loss.

Most importantly of all, treat your scalp with the TLC it deserves. Everything from hot oil treatments in wintertime to scalp massages will help you feel like a queen – and boost new hair growth, too.

Have you had to switch up hair products to promote a healthier scalp? Tell us your favorite scalp care tips in the comments below:

Images: Unsplash, Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels

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