Extensions Make You Win The Hair Game

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So, if you’ve been reading my blog (you know the thing you are reading right now), you are probably aware, I’ve been having hair issues. I tried EVERYTHING from taking biotin pills like candy to walking around with a greasy head for days from castor oil. Seriously, if I didn’t work from home, I would have been escorted out of an office building because I looked like a hobo.

And while my hair improved—I still wasn’t happy. Let’s get real here for a second. I have a blog and cover freaking beauty. I should have remotely decent to extremely awesome hair and I didn’t. But now I do.

To be honest with you, ever since that woman told me how bad my hair was at BeautyCon back in August (I actually re-tell the story on the podcast Ali and I did with Abby Stern), I’ve been playing out the situation in my head over and over again. I’ve felt totally self-conscious for months. Feeling this way just isn’t productive for me. So, I wanted to find a solution to my problem and take the fastest route to Goodhairville. Enter Kristina Gibson who is an extension specialist and hair colorist in Beverly Hills. She is also a hair goddess!

When I sat down for my consultation, it wasn’t just her telling me what was wrong with my hair (I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG—EVERYTHING!), but she listened and was all about solutions. Honestly, I was worried extensions might be bad for my hair, but she explained how I was wrong. “A benefit of extensions is that, at least for me, when I have them, I don’t touch my hair that much with heat, only the extension hair. So, your hair can become healthier if you keep doing masks, etc.” YES!

Kristina also told me extensions allow you to apply less heat to your own hair, which means less damage and hopefully more growth, so perhaps one day extensions won’t be necessary.

Extensions are really for everyone who is dissatisfied with their hair in some way. Let’s say you have generally good hair, but you get a bad haircut and are trying to grow it out. If you are in that awkward, potentially mullet-ish stage, you can wear extensions for a few months until you don’t hate your hair again.

One of the first things we discussed was what kind of extensions I should have. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different kinds of hair extensions.

Tape-In

Tape-in extensions are taped into the hair without any heat applied. Because they are large pieces that lie flat, they don’t pull on the hair and irritate the scalp. For me, this kind made the most sense. Over the years, I’ve had every kind of extension and I found tape-ins look the best on me and last the longest. They are also more affordable than other kinds. Furthermore, if you take really good care of them (tips are below), you can re-use them, even up to a year.

i-Tip

Kristina is an i-Tip hair extension expert, although she can install any kind of hair extension (obviously). i-Tips are applied strand by strand and attached with a small bead, which is then clamped onto your natural hair. Because they are applied without heat, glue or chemicals, these extensions don’t damage your hair. Another benefit of i-Tips is that they have a lot more movement to them than other kinds of extensions do. You are set for 3-6 months and the hair can be re-used. i-Tip extensions are sometimes called microlink or cold fusion. 

Weave/Braid/Sew-In

The stylist braids your hair and sews in extensions with a needle and thread. This kind of extension lasts approximately 6-8 weeks. Weaves are very easy to style and put in a ponytail, which is especially helpful if you workout a lot.

Clip-ins

Clip-in extensions are exactly what they sound like. You clip them in like any other hair accessory. If you’ve never had extensions before and aren’t sure if you want them, consider experimenting with clip-ins first. They are great if you like to switch things up or you just don’t want to commit right now. Obviously, this just applies to hair and hopefully not other things in your life.

Sometimes clip-ins are made with synthetic hair, which is fine for clips-ins only, but do NOT install any kind of regular extension with synthetic hair because they will melt from any kind of hot tool.

Kristina also shared some of her best extension tips with me.

Use A WET Brush, Even On Dry Hair

Extensions are great, but they get tangled AF. Tangled extensions are a nightmare and don’t last as long as they potentially can. Kristina told me to use a WET Brush on both wet and dry hair because it has flexible bristles that won’t get caught on the tape.

When I’m combing conditioner or a mask into my hair, I use the WET Original Brush. I like the small, travel-sized one because it gives me more control. But when I’m blow-drying my hair or brushing it when it is dry, I use the WET EPIC Professional Quick Dry. This brush detangles really well without pulling on my extensions.

Avoid Using Products With Oil

This one is hard for me because I’m OBSESSED anything oil. But using oils make your extensions slip because it eats away at the glue. So go through your beauty stash and look for serums, oil, shampoo, conditioner or anything that is labeled “oil-based” and toss, give away or hide it from yourself. If you are going to use an oil-based product, be careful and do not get it anywhere near the installation of your extensions.

Shampoo Carefully

When you shampoo your hair, put some extra shampoo on your fingertips and carefully get in between each row of hair because those areas can get particularly dirty.

Don’t Go To Bed With Wet Hair

According to Kristina, this is the WORST thing you can do for your hair.

Prepare Your Hair For Zzz Time

Use a silk pillowcase and sleep with your hair in a braid, bun or ponytail. I sleep with my hair in a side braid and wake up with sexy mermaid beach waves that take just minutes to style.

Want more of my extension styling tips? Wait for Part Two of this post.

Obviously you want to make an appointment with Kristina Gibson right now. You can reach her through her website. Want to see more of Kristina’s amazing work? Check out her Instagram.

 

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So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time (Blogger Love Edition)

Happy Sunday! I hope all of you had a great weekend. This week, I crowd sourced most of the posts in this round up by asking other bloggers who I’m in private Facebook groups with to share. I was really excited to get to know some new people and learn about their about their perspectives on travel, wellness, beauty, and self-love. Think of it as a mini-collab. If you are a blogger and want your posts featured here, please get in touch. Also, if you love private Facebook groups, my podcast, Things We’re Too Lazy To Blog About has one. We would love to have all of you be a part of it.

Handbags & Hotels: Exploring The World- Paris

If you don’t love Paris, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s one of my favorite cities. Sabrina Forscutt took the most stunning pictures and shares some great travel tips. This is a must read if you are planning to travel to this beautiful city.

With Purpose And Kindness: Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Self-love is something I know many of us need to work on. I’ll readily admit, it’s not always easy for me. I’m super hard on myself. But experiencing another woman’s perspective and understanding her experience, made me realize I’m not alone.

The Blonde Aesthetic: 3 Ways To Hide Your Roots

Being blonde is great. Having roots is a nightmare. In this post, The Blonde Aesthetic suggests three really clever (like I could never have thought of these myself) ways to hide your roots. These tips apply to non-blondes as well.

Healthistic: The Master Cleanse

I love it when people do things like cleanses because I’m pretty sure I never will. This post is all about Jaclyn Doyle’s experience doing the Master Cleanse for ten whole days. That’s beyond impressive. She reflects on her journey and gives some great tips. As for the results, spoiler alert: she looks fantastic!

Entrepreneur: 4 Tips For Hosting An Unforgettable Marketing Event

The brilliant Jeana Anderson Cohen, who founded A Sweat Life, which is a fitness website I write for, is quoted in this article about connecting to your audience IRL. By the way, if you are in Chicago, A Sweat Life’s calendar lists a seemingly endless amount of fitness events, many of which are free.

Man Repeller: A Celebrity Eyebrow Guru Changed How I Think (and Look)

From microblading to brow gels and even prescriptions, brow guru Joey Healey breaks down everything for Harling Ross, who finally finds her best brows ever.  Warning-- reading this might change the way you feel about microblading.

 

 

 

Shining Bright At The L'Oreal Colorista Washout

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Last Sunday, I went to the L'Oreal Colorista Washout at Sunset Car Wash in West Hollywood. L'Oreal Colorista is a semi-permanent hair color that comes in the most Insta-friendly shades I’ve ever seen in my life. If you are one of those people who likes cupcakes, unicorns and avocado toast— run, don’t walk to the Internet (or drugstore) and get your hands on some. The colors available include Pink, Soft Pink (sooooo pretty), Teal, Purple, Peach, Aqua, Burgundy, Indigo, and Red. The color lasts between four and ten shampoos, so if you hate making commitments, decisions, etc, by the time you get used to it, the whole thing is over.

Furthermore, while we all know that coloring your hair isn’t the best thing for it (let’s be honest here), Colorista tries to keep damage to a minimum. The brunette shades don’t contain bleach and none of the products contain ammonia.

There are also Colorista products that let you DIY the crap out of your hair. If you are the kind of person who spends 40 minutes in the drugstore aisle trying to find the right color, the Mixer lets you go crazy and create your own pastel shades. There is also a Bleach so you can DIY ombre and highlight. And if something goes wrong, you’re covered with the Hair Color Remover and Fader Shampoo. Also, don't drink and dye.

The event itself was as fun as colorful as Colorista is. There was the perfect balance of booze, snacks and whimsey. 

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I like a good cocktail as much as I like a custom SnapChat filter.

 Churos and ice cream are an even better combination than puppies and kisses.

The tunes were surprisingly not a washout.

Is there anything more whimsical than a pink swing?

Yes, there is! Throwing glitter on a trampoline in slow motion! 

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There was a demonstration for spray-on color that will be available in the fall. I'm digging the temporary purple highlights. 

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Fun Fact: My Barbie drove the same car.

#CarGoals

Pinkie looks difficult to parallel park, but I'll take it! 

Please visit the L'Oreal Paris website for more info about Colorista.

Just a note: the preceding was NOT a sponsored post. Obvs, they gave me free product and valet parking, but I really think if you are going to DIY pastel hair, seriosuly go with a brand you know and trust. 

How To Be A Blonde Bombshell & Fight Brass With Sass

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by  Kinx Active .

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by Kinx Active.

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When I was a little girl, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have probably said blonde. Luckily, I was able to achieve that goal by high school with a whole lot of bleach on my naturally blah brown hair. I haven’t really gone back since. (Okay, three times, but I think I’m blonde for life now.) 

But, being blonde is a commitment. It’s time consuming and expensive. In addition to not being naturally blonde, I have another huge hair problem. Left to its own devices, my hair is dry AF. It also doesn’t grow as long and gorgeous like it appears to for every other woman I know. So, my life, at least in terms of what I focus on from a vanity standpoint, has been a constant battle to achieve a presentable looking head of hair. Yes, it’s annoying, but for the first time in a long time, I think I’m having more good hair days than bad ones.

In my quest for blonde, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. If your hair is blonde, dry and annoying, you don’t have to suffer through what I did. Here are the essentials to being the best blonde you can be.

A Product Squad To Combat Brass

In college, I thought it would be fun to go strawberry blonde. It was cute, but it ruined my hair forever. Ever since, my hair wants to be red and brassy all of the time. It’s a constant battle for a brass-free head.

Beating the brass starts with purple shampoo. But be forewarned, purple shampoo is kind of a lifestyle choice. It’s powerful stuff. My shower sometimes looks like I murdered Barney the Dinosaur.  But if you’re blonde, it’s a necessity.

As you can imagine, I’ve tried ALL THE PURPLE SHAMPOOS. My personal favorite is Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash. It’s doesn’t dry my hair out and the packaging prevents bathtub staining, which is a huge issue with most purple shampoos. If you need an extra purple boost, add the Blonde Angel Conditioner to your routine once a week or more.

Another option is using a toner like Dessange CC Cream. This treatment cuts brass so well, I wouldn’t trust it around a trumpet. Pro tip: actually read the directions before you use this product.

A Conditioner That Works Like A Therapist For Your Hair’s Dryness Issue

Going blonde will make anyone’s hair prone to dryness. I really like Terax Original Crema. It was all the rage in middle school, went away for a few and was recently(ish) re-launched in 2016. Crema is creamy, but doesn’t weigh my hair down. I like to leave it in for a few hours once a week for an extra moisture boost instead of using a mask.

A Special Hair Towel

Although I love my Ralph Lauren towels to dry off my body, regular towels split your ends like a bad divorce. That’s why I use the Laguna Blue towel on my hair. Made of microfiber, it’s anti-bacterial (great if you wash your hair at the gym), eco-friendly, and most importantly (let’s be honest here) it absorbs water twice as fast as a regular towel. Seriously, it’s like the diamond lane for your hair.

Oil For Your Ends At Night

I love Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil. It’s a great multitasker you can use you on your hair, body, face, etc (just don’t eat it). I put a few drops on my palms at night and apply it to my ends before I go to bed. No need to wash off.

Sun Protection

We all use sun protection for our skin (hopefully), but we rarely think of using it for our hair. Despite what you remember from using Sun-In when you were 12, sun is actually the enemy of blonde hair. It will brass it up like a bad jazz band. But you can’t just use your face sunscreen on your hair. (If you were wondering, I tried and it didn’t end well). There are two products I really like for this purpose. One is Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist. It’s very hydrating and has a UV filter.  It also smells like heaven. If my hair is extra dry or I’m planning on getting it wet, I use Nios Shield SPF 15 Leave-In Conditioner. It’s super creamy and a little work to apply, but it will immediately take away your fear of the ocean or pool destroying your locks.

A Hat (This Is Not A Fashion Tip)

Even with product, I still think the best way to protect your hair is with a hat. I like a straw fedora because they look cute with most swimwear and clothing. These hats from Forever21 and Kate Spade are all you need.