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.

New York Fitness Fave AKT Comes To Los Angeles & Target Stores

If you haven’t heard of AKT yet, I won’t judge you (that much), but let me take this opportunity to inform you, it’s one of the hottest workouts right now. AKT was created by Anna Kaiser, a professional dancer turned A-list celeb trainer. After shaping some of the hottest bodies including Kelly Ripa (I know I can stop right here, but let me drop a few more names), Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker, she opened up her first New York studio in 2013. Very quickly, AKT achieved “it” status. Four east coast locations later, they are getting ready add another one in Los Angeles in 2017. The brand is also launching a limited edition collaboration with C9 Champion, available exclusively at Target (so feel free to pronounce it Tar-jay).

Last week, I had the full-on AKT experience at their Beverly Hills pop-up. I previewed the line and was totally wowed. Everything about this collaboration impressed me, including the quality, construction and (let me be truly honest about my priorities) style. Priced between $12.99-$41.99, every piece looks way more expensive than it is. Another great thing about this collab is that it’s body positive and size inclusive ranging from XS-3X. While I wasn’t able to preview the entire line, overall, I felt what I saw was cut on the more generous side. I plan to order a size smaller than I normally wear. 

I also got my workout on, taking a Sweat Dreams class. While this sounds like something that involves napping and losing weight, don’t let the name fool you. It was a fast-paced program that consisted of circuits, which alternated between strength training with weights and cardio moves as well as mat exercises. Designed to consistently challenge the body, I found as soon as I got the hang of each circuit, it was time to move on to the next one. I really had to keep my focus, which made the hour fly by. Incredibly intense, it was a lot of fun with an encouraging atmosphere. I also give the playlist bonus points because playlists tend to make or break my motivation. 

Sweat Dreams compelled me to push myself in ways I normally don’t. Because the class was in a smaller space, we only used two props, 3 and 8 pound weights. I rarely use weights heavier than 3 pounds. It was as if I took a magic confidence pill and I was really surprised about what my body could do. The entire experience has actually made me feel more confident in my other workouts. 

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

The class was taught by one of AKT’s top instructors, Ariel Hoffman. I was floored by her ability to take command of such a large group, making sure no one was lost, especially because it was the first time quite a few of the participants were trying AKT. Anna herself didn’t teach the class, but she had a really good excuse because she is eight months pregnant. However, she was there to supervise and correct forms (mine included). Anna glowed hard and had such a kind, happy vibe about her. I can’t wait until she gets back from maternity leave, so I can take a class with her personally.

While AKT isn’t officially open in LA yet, they have semi-secret classes at the Pacific Arts Center. You can check the schedule and book through the Mindbody and AKT apps. 

If you don’t live in a location with an AKT studio, no FOMO is necessary because a streaming program is available, as well as DVDs. But you will have FOMO if you don’t kick off the New Year with new gear on January 1st at Target. So, don’t forget to log in at midnight. Try not to think of this as drunk shopping so much as starting your resolutions at the earliest possible moment. If you prefer to shop in store, the line is available at select locations only. 

F-IT Fridays: Your Weekly Dose Of Detail Therapy (Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Those 3 Days When Basically Everything Is On Sale Edition)

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and you're having an even happier Black Friday. I rarely shop at brick and mortar stores on Black Friday because I don't want to wake up early and save money on something I didn't want in the first place. I'm also short and fear I'll be killed in a trampling incident. I'd rather shop online and save my sanity. So, whether you are about to kick off your holiday gift shopping or just buy yourself a treat, here are some of my favorite items on sale this weekend, as well as deals I've found at some of my (and probably your) favorite stores.

Neiman Marcus Cashmere Collection Classic Long-Sleeve Cashmere Turtleneck

I love cashmere. It’s so luxurious and when it’s on sale, affordable. Turtlenecks are on every must-have list this season, so check out this fabulous sweater from Neiman Marcus. It is available in several colors as well as a plus size version. 

Bloomingdales C By Angelina Solid Cashmere Scarf

No, you cannot have too much cashmere. This C By Angelina Solid Cashmere Scarf is classic so it will compliment any style outwear. 

J. Crew Campbell Blazer in Crimson Plaid

J. Crew’s Campbell Blazer in Crimson Plaid is winter wonderfab. Wear it to dress up jeans on the weekend or to the office. Be prepared to have everyone annoy you with compliments. Oh, and everything is 40% off at J. Crew this weekend with the code HOLIDAY.

Alice and Olivia Mae Wide-Leg Pants

These Alice and Olivia wide-leg pants are a bold choice that is appropriate for many occasions from a holiday party to your office the next day (but hopefully not to both.) They're on major sale this weekend, as is nearly everything else, at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Splits59 Portia Leggings

If you didn't think activewear could be any sexier (and seriously, we all know it is), just add mesh panels. They're the cherry on top. This weekend, Splits59's Portia Leggings are 25% off (as is everything from Bandier) when you use code BF25.