Industry Secret: The 2 minute fluff ‘n go.

dan fluffHi babes! Here is a little industry trick demonstrated by Danielle, master stylist at Vain. She has some of the coolest and most coveted hair around, and her DIY tool kit is full of tricks, many of which I will be sharing on HTHG in the near future. Thanks, Dan!

Today, she demonstrates hand-back combing, a genius quick trick for a mid-date bar bathroom fluff-up when your hair starts feeling flat.

To master the quick fluff and go, first flip your head over and shake your hair out. It helps if you have a small bottle of sea-salt texture spray for this one, although it isn’t totally necessary. Spritz the spray into your ends.

Now, grab the very ends of of largish clump of hair with your non-dominant hand.

Take your dominant hand, flat with fingers spread. slide your fingers through the ends, just above your other hand.

Clamp your fingers together, and run your hand upwards toward your scalp. Think of your fingers as your comb, and back comb through your hair, lump by clump. Big hair, yeah!!!

Share this one with your pals, they will thank you, and then you can all have big wild hair together.

xoxo, HTHG

The Beard Challenge.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.42.37 AMHi Babes. Last week at Vain I took on the challenge of fully bleaching and dying a man’s facial hair in a quest for a steel-y platinum ala King Triton from The Little Mermaid.

When he first called asking if we would dye his facial hair, the message got sent straight to yours truly. I seemed to have earned myself a bit of a reputation for being shameless when it comes to body hair coloring. And, I just can’t turn down a challenging hair experiment. FYI, I especially love inspired experiments. Give me a flower, a disney character, a graphic novel. Let’s make this shit happen.

I immediately liked Dwayne when I met him. He was excited, open-minded, and fearless about this major hair change. He was wanting to try something new, and wanted to do something a bit unusual.

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I also liked him because he told me he was from Butte Montana which if you don’t know, is the strangest town in Montana and has a poisoned water supply due to a gigantic copper mine in the middle of the town, with a 20 year old dread-locked dog living in it. He said that he and his friends call Butte ‘butt’ because it is a town with a dirty hole in the middle of it. I unapologetically love this sort of humor. Also, the fact that this dog survived in a poisoned hole living off of dog-knows-what makes me think ‘what a strangely awesome world we live in.’ and I appreciate things that make me think that.

Anyhow, I told him that I would do my very best to get his hair and beard where he wants them to be, color-wise but that I couldn’t guarantee anything because this was new territory for me. Then I paced for 10 minutes, chewing on my nails and praying to the gods of hair to make me not poison his face and make him die. Here were my biggest fears: That I would burn his face off. And that his beard hair wouldn’t lighten past a muddy orange color. And that he would pass out from the fumes. Facial bleaching is not for the faint.

beardymanHere’s what I had to work with. Super dark coarse beard and mustache hair, with head hair the same color but much finer. I did some major consulting with my hair comrades in the back room at Vain. It is times like these that I really appreciate working in a non-judgemental saon environment with talented people who are very happy to share their experiences and advice.

I mixed up Blondor Bleach with Brocado 20v creme developer. I added 5 drops of Loma Organics Fortifying Repairative Tonic because it is amazing for protecting skin and hair while bleaching, and just as a repairative hair product in general. Then, I added 2 packs of sweet n low from the tea bar into the mixture, because it helps ease the discomfort of chemical sensitivity on the skin. Why? I don’t know but it works.IMG_2107

He plugged up his nose with cotton. Breathing out of his mouth seemed like the best option. I brushed the bleach first through the short hair on his head. Then, I dove into his beard with bleach and brush, appyling thick and swift to every single hair on his face, discounting brows and lashes. For the next 20 minutes, I used slight feather strokes on that beard and ‘stache, in every direction to make sure it processed consistently and evenly. I got quite intimate with his facial hair for a while there.

I asked him constantly if he was doing okay, and he flashed me enthusiastic thumbs up. Then, I pulled a trick I learned from my 7 year old daughter out of my back pocket. I like to call it the tear-n-tape method. Marley, my 7 year old, can repair anything with scotch tape, and create anything by tearing it out of paper. The world truly is her oyster. IMG_2110

IMG_2108I grabbed some foils and a roll of scotch tape, and I created a robot mask for his entire hair and beard and mustache, in an effort to cover it and trap in heat to help that bleach do it’s magic. I let this sit for 20 minutes, checking the color every 5. His beard hair appeared to be processing at the same rate as his head hair! It all looked yellow.This was great news. He flashed me more thumbs up.

After 20 minutes, I took off his mask, and re-applied the bleach mixture (This time with 30 v developer) just to his beard. I re-masked him and he sat for another 20. I  removed the mask to an astonishingly pale yellow almost-white beard and head. I shampoo-ed him out, first his head, then quite awkwardly his beard. He knelt at the shampoo bowl, with his head forward in the bowl, like a guillotine. Ya do what ya gotta do.

IMG_2112I blow-dried his hair and beard, and re-consulted one of our in-house color wizards. We agreed that instead of using a chemical toner to tone the yellow out, I would use a gentle veggie dye to color him without aggravating his skin. I went straight for Pravana Silver, diluted just a bit with conditioner. I brushed it on thick and thorough.IMG_2113

Let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinsed it, dried it, trimmed and pomade-ed it. IMG_2118

We were both quite giddy with the results. Beard color=Totally Do-able!

Pits on The Today Show, our response to Kathie Lee and Hoda.

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Hey Babes! To the surprise of Rain and I, the LA times featured our Dye Your Pit Hair post from Offbeat home/life in their style section two days ago. This felt like a big win for body hair.

Yesterday, Kathie Lee and Hoda of The Today Show provided some pretty rude commentary (starts at 4:05) about the concept of women with pit hair and why a person would waste time coloring, let alone growing it out in the first place. They used the word “freaky” to describe and mock this concept while drunkenly grasping for words to explain their feelings. Honestly, this also felt like a big win for body hair, and here’s why.

Rain and I wanted to share a public response to the press coming from the Today Show and offer Kathie Lee and Hoda an opportunity to have a constructive dialogue on this topic if they so choose:

“What I would like to say on behalf of myself is that as a woman, I have opted to exercise my freedom to choose the so called “freaky” things I do to my own body, and I feel like this is an important message to spread to other women. Trust your gut. Do what feels right to you. Experiment and don’t judge each other.

We are stoked on the free press, glad the concept of celebrating body hair is finally catching on, and want to stress the fact that the Pit Hair Movement is about much more than pit hair. It is about empowering women to celebrate their bodies, in whatever way they choose.

Kathie Lee and Hoda, we clink our glasses to you for recognizing our efforts, and offer you a challenge: why not grow out your pit hair, color it, and join the pit hair revolution before you judge others. Don’t knock it till you try it. Hell, I’ll even dye it for you!”

– Roxie Hunt

“Kathie Lee and Hoda, I am honestly pretty bummed out by the way you chose to react and comment on this particular trend. As the girl in the tutorial – you know, the one with the “freaky” blue armpits – I am upset that you decided to make fun of my body hair instead of using your public forum to create a constructive dialogue amongst women. This would have been a great opportunity to discuss our society’s deeply disgusting preoccupation with not only women’s body hair, but women’s bodies in general. I would hope that by now we are all aware that our society’s beauty standards are absolutely ridiculous and incredibly harmful. This kind of injustice is what we should all be talking about and fighting against!

I am being true to myself and I love my body. Shouldn’t that be enough? It’s not up to either of you to police what’s acceptable for other women to do to their own armpits. If you want to shave, shave! If you don’t want to shave and you want to dye your armpits blue, go for it! Also, what the hell. Why is this even newsworthy? Is the fact that a woman is in control of her own body really that shocking? Especially in 2014? Let’s talk about something important. I am definitely not the first person to have colored my armpit hair, and I wont be the last, that’s for sure.

Rain Sissel

On that note, let this help inspire us all be more thankful for our right to make choices. Happy Thanksgiving

xoxo, HTHG and Rain Sissel #pithair #pitcrew #dyedarmpits

 

New HTHG Feature: Urban Foraging for Winter Hairstyles.

DSC06874Hi babes. Are you ready to take your holiday hair to a new level? I am super excited to announce a HTHG Winter Feature on Hairstyling with Foraged Winter Greenery and Berries to get you through the holidays and into the dark days with some beauty and color.

  Walking around the city in the late fall has really inspired me to dive back into decorated hairstyling using the natural world as a muse….This is a SERIOUS passion of mine that I have really enjoyed exploring on HTHG.

7U6A92467U6A9216I was lucky enough to team up with my friend Corrina for this fun project. She is an urban farmer and an incredibly rad chick who happens to share my love of plants and flowers as medicine and decoration. You will see her modeling some lovely hairstyles in tutorials this winter, and rocking some seriously pretty foliage.

IMG_1831Before our first shoot, she posted this pretty foraging picture on her Instagram.

This photo makes me feel like Spring is overrated when it comes to beautiful plants and foliage. Who needs flowers when you can have insane purple beauty berries???? Here is my foraging shot……7U6A8847

 

You can see our minds think alike:) I asked Corrina to help me kick off this series by writing a little ode to foraging article to share. Below are her lovely words.

 

 Ode to Foraging

By Corrina Yu

Foraging can be a magical and empowering experience. For me, It helps me feel inspired by the power of plants and reminds me how rich we are to live in the wonderful Pacific Northwest. Let’s be honest, it can be a tough transition to get out of the house when it’s dark and stormy. This little post will hopefully help one explore some new spots in their city! First step, brew some tea, take a walk, bring clippers and a basket…

Everything in the hairstyles to come were foraged in the city, and there are so many possibilities for how you can design yours, based on what you find around you. In the cold winter days, anything with bright color really pops out! Beauty berries are my new magical plant and the strong purple color keeps well even after drying out. Adding flora and berries to a braid can be uplifting and make you feel like a goddess. An added bonus is you can use some of the plants for medicine! For example:

“perched high in an old cedar tree. I felt held in those dense swooping branches, as if in the arms of a mother.”-Elise Krohn (PNW herbalist and Native Foods Specialist)

Cedar Respiratory Steam


This is one of my favorite ways to fight the winter lung crud including sinus infections and coughs. Here is why I love it:
• Cedar improves blood flow so you can take in more oxygen, clear waste products, and get more nutrients to tissue.
• It activates immune cells, which directly fight microbes and also clean up the waste products of infection.
• Essential oils in cedar inhibit bacterial and fungal growth.


All you need is a few sprigs of cedar, a bowl, scissors, a towel and hot water for steaming. Cut the cedar leaf into small pieces until you have ½ to 1 of a cup in a medium sized bowl. Pour boiled water over the cedar until the bowl is half full. Place your face over the steam at a comfortable distance and cover your head with a towel. Breath deep! Try to steam for at least 5 minutes. Pour more hot water in if necessary. Steam 2-5 times a day. For chronic coughs or sinus congestion steaming more often may be necessary. Variations: Other herbs including fir needle, pine needle, eucalyptus leaf, rosemary, peppermint, yarrow or lavender can also be added. You can add one to two drops of essential oil if desired. Eucalyptus helps to thin mucus, peppermint is anti-inflammatory and rosemary stimulates circulation. Many essential oils including lavender and those mentioned have antimicrobial or immune stimulating properties.

Please stay tuned for the hair and foraged beauties to come in the coming months on HTHG. Hopefully the inspiration will help you brighten up the dark Winter days to come.

xoxo, HTHG and Corrina:)

Erika’s golden wave, tie and cardy style.

erika 1988Last night, I checked my email one last time before bed, to find this amazing picture of my dudes sort-of brother’s cool wife Erika, who decided to share a taste of her 7th grade stylishness with us.

Yes, our family is nebulous, and yes ties and cardys are bitchin, especially with a haircut like this, with slicked back sides and a wave in the front. Here is what Erika said about her look.

“Here’s my school pic from around, I think, 1988.  Maybe 7th grade?  I was going through a “tie phase.”  I wore a lot of ties that year.  😉  This pic features a tie my dad wore in the 60’s.  The vest & shirt I believe belonged to my ste​pmom in the 70’s that she gave to me, & the cardy was all new, all mine.  Hope this pic fits your bill!”

Then, she signed off. 5 Minutes later she followed up with this….

“Thought I should mention, I think I look awesome in this pic & am totally not embarrassed by it.  ;)”

Which made the whole thing even way cooler. Thanks Erika for being so cool and sharing this jewel with us!

If you are reading this, and have a hair story, hair transformation, or great hair pics from old family albums, please consider submitting them to HTHG. All submissions can go to howtohairgirl@gmail.com, and will be published for the sake of shear awesomeness and inspiration to others. Or maybe a hearty giggle, or the courage to make that big hair move.

xo, HTHG

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