Refresh for May Day #30: My Favorite Styling Tool

Most days my hair goes straight up in a pony tail. (I know you wouldn’t know it based on how often I mention the blowout on this site but when you have is much hair as I do and have as little time as I do to get it cut trust me a good cut and a great blow out are a big deal.)

A lot has changed since my most recent cut and new found love of the blowout. First, myhair is about 4 inches longer. Second, I have replaced the OGX keratin line with the Aveda Smooth Infusion line. But by far the greatest addition to my hair routine, as infrequent as it may be, is the John Freida Salon Shape Hot Air Brush. This tool won’t dry the hair sufficiently on it’s own. For that you need a professional grade hair dryer. I use a T3 Featherweight that I love. And, if I do it well using a 1.5 to 2 in ionic barrel brush on day 1 I get a great blow out and the hot air brush is not even needed. But, for those who struggle with using the barrel brush in one hand and the hairca-salon-shape-hot-air-brush dryer in the other, this tool does potentially simplify the original blow out as many other bloggers have noted.

Where I find that this is a total must is on the post blowout days. When I have a little wet hair say from a shower cap that can’t handle the mass of hair I have or post-workout I can dry those areas and re-sleek the blow out in a jiffy. Just a few runs through the hair on the high heat setting then finish off quickly on the low heat and voila the extended blowout looks just as good, if not better than day 1. I apply dry shampoo after this process to soak up the scalp oils then I brush out one last time. I take the hot air brush with me when I travel now instead of a travel hair dryer. I can use it off as my barrel brush or on for touch ups as described.

Refresh for May Day #28: My Favorite Dry Shampoo

This post of all the others on the blog should clarify that there are two of us. I read another blog post once on dry shampoos that was about “best drug store” dry shampoos. The implication obviously was that drug store brands are in a different, that is inferior, league than department store or salon brands. Now, you can’t follow this blog and not know that I am totally fine with fancy schmancy. But, even though my blogging alter ego already posted about her favorite dry shampoo from an elite salon brand I feel compelled to share my favorite in the same product line which does, in fact, make it to the top of the “drug store” brand, “Under $10,” “Inexpensive” dry shampoo in a number of other forums (just google dry shampoo).

My requirements are:

1) A scent that won’t give me a migraine and make me vomit

2) No white residue after brushing (which is pretty obvious in my black hair)

3) Actually makes my blowouts last longer

The Batiste Dry Shampoo–which I have mentioned before–is really perfect in my book. I like the Cherry and I like that there is a travel size so I don’t have to change up my brand when I travel. This does leave a white residue when applied but easily brushes out. I might have to try the one for dark hair at some point if the scent is tolerable.

Embracing the Blowout

I have a hard time not shampooing every day even though I have been told for years (or read in my InStyle) “It’s bad for your hair to wash it every day” or “Don’t strip you mane of its natural conditioners by washing daily.”

But, I just have a sensory problem with the oils doing their thing on post-shampoo day #1, let alone #2. “Yuck!”

I am plagued (yes, yes, my friends with straight, thin hair would disagree) with thick, wavy hair. I lean toward frizzy no matter what I do. Quite honeslty, I must admit that I tend to be a minimalist (okay, okay I say ‘minimalist’ but what I really mean is terrible morning person never leaves enough time for serious grooming on typical days) which means I do nothing to actually tame that frizz. So most days, my otherwise frizz-prone hair gets whipped into a ponytail fresh out of the shower. It’s just so easy. No natural oils necessary. No sensory issues with a slick scalp as the day goes on.

So this is what my do nothing hairdo looked like a while back and just a couple of weeks ago when I finally committed to a haircut.

I have long marveled at friends who I have discovered to have curly or wavy tresses as I have admired their gorgeous straight, silky tresses. “It must take forever to blow it out! You do that everyday?!?” I would exclaim. Of course they don’t. They blow it out when they have time and then don’t wash their hair for a couple of days. “Even after you work out?” I would eagerly inquire. Yes, of course, anything to retain a good blow out (especially one that you might have paid for at one of these fancy new blowout parlors). Maybe it’s a well-placed hairband, maybe it’s a a post-work out touch up with the blow dryer, or maybe it’s some dry shampoo but by no means would these ladies wash their blowout post-workout.

But, me, no. Not me. If I blow dry my hair, it lasts at most 24 hours. If I work out, I wash my hair again.

Or at least I did.

I recently opted to transform my used-to-have-layers-now-long-and-dragging-down-my-face-best-in-a-ponytail look into a sleeker, more mature long bob. This is a style that the fashion pages would have you believe works with both a straight and a wavy look. On me straight is MUCH better.

So here is the post haircut picture taken on the same day as the one above. Huge difference.

But of course, the way it looks the day the professionals do it is hard to recreate.

But I truly love this cut so miracle of miracles, since acquiring it, I have both blown out my hair and extended my blowout to as many as three days (twice so far!) This required overcoming both my sensory irritation at the effects of my own body’s conditioning agents and overcoming an aversion to self-maintenance.

It turns out that donning a shower cap, blow drying the slightly damp ends or scalp line, and dry shampooing the rest requires surprisingly more effect than a quick shampoo, condition, and wet ponytail.

Here are some shots of my blowouts. Including one that was after a nap on post-blowout day #3.


I am kind of getting used to the feeling of letting my hair out and rather enjoy being able to run my fingers through my hair or flipping the do mid-conversation for effect.

Here’s what I currently do for the blowing out:

1) I am a devotee of Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy line. So I start by using the shampoo and conditioner on day one

2) I spread a dime size amount of the Brazilian Keratin Therapy No Break Serum through towel dried hair.

3) I using a t3 featherweight hairdryer to dryer my hair but I do the drying and blowing out simultaneously as follows. First, I separate my hair using those clips they use at the hair salons. Starting with the inner most layer (this is where I am prone to really bad frizz) I use a tourmaline flat (for when I aim for straight) or 2in barrel (for when I am trying to recreate the flip from the index good hair day) brush. Once this first section is dry, I use the Brazilian Keratin Therapy flatiron spray and I straighten that layer with a t3 flatiron or a Revlon 2in barrel curling iron (again based on my target look just like with the brushes. I repeat this whole thing for a middle layer which is basically everything that starts on the crown of the head and then a third and final time for the hair framing my face. Finally, since my side burns tend to have a life of their own I use a tiny Sephora travel flatiron for managing them.

NB: When my husband is around, I forgo all the shenanigans in #3 and I just blow dry it all and then he uses our Rowenta clothes iron set at the “silk setting” to iron my hair straigtht while using the spray. First, I lay face up with my hair spread on the ironing board and then I flip over and expose the inner part of the hair on the ironing board. This is SO much easier but not something I can accomplish if my better half is not around.

4) I always finish off by spraying my brush with Static Guard and running it through the finished look to tame the fly-aways.


And when I am embracing the blowout:

1) I shower with a shower cap on. (I know some who just avoid the shower head but I find that the little dots of water or humidity build up still dampen the hair so I use a shower cap).

2) I quickly dry what has gotten wet along the hairline with the same dryer and brushes.

3) I tip my head down and use Batiste cherry dry shampoo applied to the roots which I then thoroughly brush out because it does impart a white color. (It works and the kitschy scent-their words, not mine-does not give me migraines)

4) I touch up with the flatiron where necessary which is typically only for the sideburns if at all depending on the fidelity of the shower cap.

5) I always finish off by spraying my brush with Static Guard and running it through the finished look to tame the fly-aways.

Next, I need to figure out how to make the style work in a slightly less maintenance wavy way that does not involve any blowing out.

I will leave you will a picture from a couple of years back of my husband ironing my hair for what would have only been a daylong look back then. Now I am able to enjoy the fruits of his labor for up to three more days.