If someone would have told you last Christmas that you'd be hunkered down in your home with your partner and kids for weeks on end, you would have said you had a better shot at winning the lottery than that ever happening.
Welp, we should have all have bought those lottery tickets.
In the last two weeks I've realized a couple of things: self-care is key, and keeping a routing is KEY.
The best way I can tick both of those things off my list is to make sure I'm putting myself together on some level every day. Like, beyond a hey-I-brushed-my-hair-today kind of way. Not to mention, so many of us are working remotely from home, so looking presentable from the waist-up is still necessary (no one said jammy-pants and a work top wasn't an acceptable combination!).
Now that we have the time -- but don't necessarily want to spend a ton of it -- to do our hair, here's a few 5-minute hair styles that are simple, polished, and take you beyond the "messy bun."
If you haven't broken those out since the '90s, it's time to bring them back! Part your hair in the center, create two ponytails high up in those sections, and tie in an elastic. Braid each ponytail loosely, and before tying off the ends in a second elastic, pull that braid apart so that it is loose and "undone." Pile or wrap these braids around the base and secure with bobby pins. Channel your inner grunge kid and leave those ends out -- the goal is to look like you didn't try too hard.
Braids Braids Braids
If you're a french braider, the world is your oyster! Go the traditional route, or maybe do a "braided headband" by parting off your hair horizontally from ear-to-ear, and incorporate those bangs.
Want something more simple? Two braids (french or otherwise) down the side is classic...and pulling them apart makes them look more boho (and yet sophisticated), as well as more age-appropriate.
If you're in the mood for something faaaaaaancy, try out a fishtail braid. Disclaimer: I absolutely cannot french braid, but this one I can do! Check out a quick youtube tutorial and have at it! My favorite way to wear one is to gather all of my hair on the side that my bangs are directed towards (I wear them pointing to the left, so the braid is also worn on the left) and do one large fishtail braid. Wearing it pulled apart (and teasing the ends) looks great, but why not go the extra route and gather that pulled apart braid into a low bun and secure with bobby pins! Your hair is up and out of the way, and it's polished, professional, cute, and bit more unexpected.
Thank goodness hair accessories are IN! And I don't mean petite ones....go BIG if you're going to do them. Barrettes are a thing, grab one or two large pearl-encrusted clips and secure the thinner side of your hair style (the side your part is on). Or grab a couple of pins that have rhineststone statement words to dress up a braid. My favorite? Oversized brightly colored bobby pins can dress up any style. Wear them crisscrossed, or group 3 or 5 together in a fan formation. Don't stick to just one color, or one palette -- wear all the colors!
Did you catch my tutorial on Facebook last month? If not, here's the link to check it out. Not only do you get a quick 5-minute sassy style (that looks great on a Zoom call), your brushed out day-two curls look spectacular and automatically extend that shampoo one more day!
Not all buns are created equal. Not that I don't love a messy bun, but if I'm wanting something that looks professional, I'm going to go with a streamlined, wrapped bun. Not sure what the difference is? If you've seen me in person, and my hair is up, what I'm wearing is a ballet bun. The easiest way to do this is to buy a foam doughnut (here's the Amazon link) and pull a secured pony through the center. Divide the pony into 4 sections, take one at a time, spread it apart, and wrap it in front of the foam piece to hide it while pinning it in place. It's a lot simpler than it sounds, I promise! Be sure to tuck and pin the ends in, this is a look that is both stacked on top of your head and sleek.
A great way to get some texture without having to heat style your hair is to make sure your hair is damp before braiding it (not wet. damp). Toss in a pea-sized amount of Olaplex No 6, loosely braid your hair, and let dry. Undo the braids, shake them out, spritz in a spray wax or tousle spray while scrunching, and voila, damage-free texture!
Hiding Those Roots
I know this is a HUGE concern for so many people (me included)! Here are some very real-world tricks to help camouflage the grow-out:
Wear a cute scarf tied as a headband. Worn in either with hair down or up in a braid/bun, keeping the scarf close to your front hairlines breaks up that demarcation line and adds a fun pattern or color to your overall look.
Tease it up! More volume hides root because it keeps the hair at the scalp from looking too slicked down. Trust me, this really works.
Speaking of the '90s, remember the zigzag part? Give it a try again and then fluff up the scalp to get a little extra lift.
NOW is the time to bust out that dry shampoo you're not sure if you love all that much. It'll give the lift and structure you're needing, especially if you've let your hair air-dry naturally (which means no root lifter to assist with the volume).
If you're rocking any of those buns/ponys/braids, be sure to loosen the scalp area to make it look softer. How? Run your fingers under your hair to your scalp, and move them all the way to the base ponytail elastic. Pull up and out a little bit with your fingers spread a part. Not only does this help with root coverage, but it also loosens the strain on your strand root and prevents traction alopecia (hair loss).
Remember, it looks "natural" and "balanced " if your roots are darker than your midlengths/ends. I know you might feel frumpy because of this, but I promise no one will notice this as much as you might.
However, if you're struggling with grey roots, those feel a lot more urgent. What are your options?
Try a very pigmented eye shadow on those roots. Use a stubby, densely-bristled brush to tap the shadow directly on the roots, and then spritz with a light hairspray to keep it in place. This is also a great hack for "bulking up" a weaker hairline when you wear your hair up -- this is an old school makeup artist/model/photographer trick, and if it works for gorgeous 20 year olds, it's good enough for me. ;)
Root cover sprays are a great option, especially if you are able to confidently select the correct shade from Amazon or Ulta. If you are in-between shades, always opt for the one that's a bit darker. Like I mentioned above, it looks "natural" if your roots are a bit darker than your length...and finding a perfect match will almost be impossible. This option tends to work best for a brunette or a blond -- redheads might be better served by the eye shadow option.
Don't forget about the Style Haus Salem Care Package! Check out everything that's included, most importantly your custom root retouch color that we use in the studio. That, and the fact that it's delivered directly to your doorstep. Toner refreshes and fashion color bombs are also available, as well as any combination of those products for the kits. These can be requested until my studio supplies run out (I can't restock as my suppliers are also closed), so don't hesitate to email me if you have questions or might be interested. I've now got recipients posting THE BEST application/processing pics and successful after pics on Facebook -- I can't tell you how relieved I feel knowing my clients have exactly what they need to take care of themselves, and to feel great about how their hair is looking.
With all of these suggestions, I would absolutely LOVE to have you post pics of one (or more) of these styles that you try. How much fun would it be to try out a new style every day and keep your remote coworkers on their toes by all of your new looks -- plus, you might just discover a new go-to hairdo that you never thought of before!
Stay safe and healthy out there, I can't wait to see you back in my chair when we're all on the other side.