Behold the Ponybow

This is a brilliant guest post from a Amy from Art of the Heart that I am excited to share with you. The hairstyle is called the Ponybow, and it is a real hybrid beauty.

I LOVE to see your inspired DIY hairstyles, so please don’t hesitate to send em my way so they can be shared. Here is the……

Adorable Ponybow DIY

Here’s what you will need…

Bobby pins, tiny elastics (clear if you have blonde hair), and either a smoothing

product (for a clean look) or a texturizing product (for a messy look).

ponybow1.) Secure a side ponytail with an elastic.

  2.) Separate about a 1″ section from the ponytail. Smooth your hair product on it to create more manageability. (I used Kevin.Murphy Hair.Resort)

3.)Create a loop with the small section you just gathered.

4.) Grab another elastic and place it around the loop. Twist the elastic like you’re

securing a ponytail, but don’t wrap it around the loop again…Just hold it for a second.

5.) Take the tail of the loop you just made and create a second loop. Now wrap the

elastic you’ve been holding around that second loop.

6.) It should look something like this. You can pull on each loop to situate them

and make them bigger if you want. The very end of your 1″ section should still

be hanging out a little bit.

7.) Grab the tail end of your 1″ section.

8.) Wrap it around the center (hiding the elastic) and pin it either underneath

or behind the bow. If the bow is sticking out just pin the back of it closer to

your head.

9.) Gently pull on the bow some more to get your desired size and placement.

That’s it!! Have fun 🙂

For more hair and beauty love, follow Amy on







DIY hair Friday…….Best friend braids.

DSC04716Best friends. Girlfriends. I would be nowhere without these women. I hope you are all blessed with good friends.

Do you remember playing the best friend game in middle school? When everyone had to have a ‘best friend’ and you had to work to keep up the title? I get anxiety just thinking about it.

Since then, I have settled on having many best friends. They are all best for their own unique reasons. I have my best listener, my best inspirer, my best laugher, my best man, my best business minder, my best helper, my best auntie, my best bitch, my best muse, my best understander, best pioneerer, my best sounding boarder, my best New Yorker, my best of the west, my best hell-raiser, my best mom, my best kid advice giver. I could go on and on. I hope to golly that I am as good of a friend to these women as they are to me.

So here is another braided hairstyle to try, straight from the OCF. I keep thinking I am over braids, and then I stumble upon a new cool braid that I HAVE to share. Maybe I can be your best braid friend?

In honor of my bests, I give you my Best Friend Braids.

Best Friend Braids

bret and nix

Make a side part. Start a dutch braid on the heavy side of the part.

Angle the braid and guide it across the back of your head.

Braid the free end down the other side. Secure the end with a clear elastic.

Tip……If your hair is very long, pull the braid apart from either side to flatten, widen, and shorten it.

Take the end of the braid and pull it up and along the underside of the dutch braid.

Tuck the tail under the base of the dutch braid to hide it.

Pin it discreetly from a couple different angles to secure it to the head. I put a couple under the braids, one where it bends, and some on the top of the free end.

Decorate with a cool plant or flower.

And make a date with a lady friend to catch up and get some good belly laughs in.

Have a great weekend. XOXO, HTHG

5 pretty ways to wear a ribbon in your hair.

Here is a fun guest post from HTHG reader Angela Johnson! She put together 5 inventive ways to rock a ribbon in your hair.






“Out of the ash / I rise with my red hair / And I eat men like air.” I’ve always loved this quote from Sylvia Plath’s Lady Lazarus, not because of the men eating part, but because it inspires me to get creative, and embrace whatever attitude I want to have about my hair.

Using ribbon in your hairstyles will help you achieve the look you want, while giving a powerful statement. Whether you are going for the sweet girl next-door or the vintage pin-up look, using ribbon has never been so easy.

Before you begin, you will need to collect a variety of ribbon sizes and colors. I like to buy bulk ribbon from HairBow Center, because well, let’s just say I’m obsessed with ribbon! I use it in my hair almost every day!

loose bun 1. Tie the ribbon around a loose, messy bun. This works best with mid-length to longer hair that has been straightened. I like to clip the bangs up (while still leaving some volume), then hide the clip with the ribbon. Finish with a firm hold hairspray. This is look is easy to achieve and adds a touch of glam and professionalism to any style.

Ribbons22. Tie a perfect bow around a half-up pony tail. This one is even easier than the last, so if you don’t have a lot of time, this one is for you. Spray some dry shampoo into the roots for extra volume and to absorb any oils. For a more glamorous look, curl the hair with a large curling iron before placing your ribbon over the hair tie. Finish with a medium hold hairspray to complete this angelic look.

Ribbons43. Weave a smaller ribbon through your braid. Once you have the braid done, just lift it up and use a bobby pin to secure the ribbon near the base of your neck. Pull the ribbon through each hole in the braid, sort of like lacing up a shoe.  This is so easy and you end up with a messy, bohemian look. Try it with a French braid if you are feeling skillful.

hairribbon4. Use a ribbon as a headband, but spice it up by also wrapping it around a braid. This will work for hair shoulder length and longer of nearly any texture. Start the french braid near your ear and keep braiding loosely until you nearly reach your other ear, then tie it into a pony tail. Next, take the ribbon at it’s center and place it behind your bangs and underneath your braid / ponytail. Wrap the ribbon around the hair tie and make a bow for a modern yet sophisticated look.

katesRedRibbon5. Transform into a pin-up girl with a vintage looking ponytail. If your hair is naturally wavy, scrunch it with some mousse and diffuse dry. For hair with tighter curls, you may want to blow dry and use your iron to get loose curls. Curl your bangs under or wrap longer bangs to create the fake fringe look. Put up hair into a pony at the crown of your head. Choose a thicker, red ribbon that matches your red lipstick. Tie a loose, big bow and get ready for to accept some compliments.


Angela Johnson loves crafting, scrapbooking and playing Barbies with her four year old daughter. When she is not exploring her creativity with ribbons and bottle cap crafts, she writes and reads poetry.

10 Herbs for Hair and Beauty

7U6A0396Hi babes. When I was 10, my step-mother bought me a guide book to Natural Beauty. It was full of great info on herbs and ingredients and recipes. I spent the next couple years making a mess in the kitchen to beautify and pamper myself. It was a fun and educational time, and it was the beginning of my interest in using whole natural ingredients on the hair and skin. I can’t remember the name of the book, but I’m gonna try and dig it out so I can share it with you. Since my honey experiment last month,I have been inspired. It led me to more research and experimentation with herbs that benefit the hair and skin and I am REALLY excited to share some up-coming DIY projects! Today, I want to introduce a handful of herbs that are considered hair and skin beautifying remedies. 7U6A0345All of these herbs can be applied directly to the hair and skin in the form of teas or infused oils or vinegars. Simply soaking a blend of herbs in water, ACV, or favorite oil ( Fractionated Coconut Oil, jojoba, olive, argan) and setting it in a clear glass jar covered with a cloth in the sun is enough to effectively infuse. Infused Beauty VInegar is now available in the ShamPHree shop!

The question of whether raw or dried herbs is a good one. Here is an article on the topic. It seems to me that both ways work well but things like medicinal roots and barks should be dried and powdered while flowers are very nice to use fresh. IMG_5538Here is a photo of some fresh Calendula that my dude and I grew and are infusing in olive oil. Calendula (marigold) is known to be one of the most powerful healing and anti-inflammatory herbs that one can use topically. After 4 days in sunlight, the oil itself is thick and orange and lovely. I applied it to an itchy bug bite yesterday and it soothed it very quickly. Today, the bite is gone. In my journey through learning about medicinal herbs for beauty, I have been amazed over and over again at how effective these remedies are, and how good I feel knowing how they are made and that I can make them myself. Before I continue, I want to shout out to Jen at Naked Eye Beauty, an LA based natural beauty company that I love.

10 Herbs for Hair and Beauty

7U6A03901. Hibiscus is a known hair growth stimulator that prevents hair loss. It boosts moisture and shine in the hair, and has powerful soothing effects. It is a good herb for dry, dull hair and hair that grows slowly and is fragile.

2. Rosemary is a very effective herb in fighting dandruff and ailments of the scalp. It  is used to prevent hair loss and premature graying. It has strong detoxifying qualities for both the hair and skin. It is great for removing buildup from hair.

3. Calendula is a fantastic natural anti-oxidant that protects the hair and skin against environmental stresses. It is a natural sunscreen and helps with cuticle sealing. It also has potent healing and soothing abilities, so it is perfect for skin and scalp conditions. It is best used on hair that is over-exposed to the elements and dried out ( Parched Summer ends!)

4. Dried Rosebuds Are a natural gentle balancer for the hair and skin. They add moisture and shine, smell fantastic, and are very beneficial to finer hair types. Women with hormonal issues can benefit from rosebud infusions internally and externally. Plus, they add a lovely scent and pink hue to all infusions.
5. Chamomile has been used for centuries to lighten the hair and add golden highlights. It  boosts body and leaves a lovely shine. It is best used to add body and tone to lighter, finer hair types. Chamomile has also been used for centuries to tighten the skin and diminish wrinkles. I have sifted through dozens of wrinkle cream reviews, and unfortunately most do not utilize the power of this all-natural remedy.

6. Lavender Is a healing and stimulating tonic for the hair and skin. It is used to invigorate the scalp and add fullness to fine hair. The scent of lavender is used to help with anxiety and insomnia.

7. Peppermint is a known skin and scalp balancer. It is a good one for all hair and skin types, and helps to regulate oil production.

8. (fresh rose)

9. (fresh calendula)

10. Horsetail is perhaps the most powerful of beauty herbs. It has the highest silica content of any plant in the plant kingdom. Silica is a building block of collagen, a protein found in hair and skin. It drastically strengthens the hair and plumps the skin. It can be used as a tea, oil, or vinegar infusion or made into a tea to drink. It’s effects are fast and visible. It coats the hair with a protective layer and adds thickness and integrity..


burdock kelp

11. Burdock root is  full of Vitamin A and fatty acids that are essential to healthy cell production. It has long been used to hold in moisture and help sluggish hair grow faster.

12. Kelp is used as a strengthener for weak hair and nails. It is full of Vitamins and Folate which support healthy circulation in the skin. It can be eaten or applied topically. So, there you have it!…….10 effective beauty herbs to start with. And there are hundreds more natural remedies that are known to be great for hair beauty and health. Some of my favorites that I have experimented with so far and blogged about (and personally use!) are coconut oil, shea butter, honey, pine tar, and lanolin. And here is my recipe for juice that makes your hair grow faster, naturally! If you are interested, is my recipe for juicing for faster growing hair. So, go to your local health food store or order these 12 herbs online and start your own small at-home apothecary. Better yet, grow them yourself at home from seeds. And stay tuned, because I have some DIY beauty herb fun in store for you! xoxo, HTHG

DIY Hair Friday…..Monkey braid buns.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 10.16.57 AMHmmmmmm. Monkey bread. Sweet sticky Mid-western indulgence. Show of hands if you feel me.

The beautiful union of dough and butter and sugar in a sticky pile of yum. Then, a dessert enduced coma while the food baby rests in your belly, requiring all your bodies energy and attention to identify and properly dispose of its aftermath.

My aunt Becky used to make Monkey bread like this…….Take a bread pan, fill it with torn apart Pillsbury cinnamon roll dough. Pour over it a PINT OF MELTED VANILLA ICE CREAM. Add butter chunks. Bake.

That recipe is up there with Grandma Ila’s legendary Mac and o’s with Zip sauce. (box of Mac n Cheese. Can of spaghetti O’s. Mayonnaise. Ketchup. That, my friends is a bowl of Midwest heaven.

For DIY hair Friday, I give you Monkey braid buns, Inspired by Midwest Monkey bread.

DSC05298It looks like monkey bread in all the right ways. And, to achieve the deconstructed and rough-edged effect of the braids, you must pull them apart like monkey bread dough.DSC05271




That’s right…..Each braid must be pulled and pulled and pulled from either side with the perfect amount of force and grace. Start at the bottom of each braid, and hold either side of the braid by the edge, between pointer and thumb. Pull the braid to widen. Work your way up the braid. Now start back at the bottom and repeat. Do this with each braid until they are nice and rough and flat and wide. This, my dears, is the key to a good lookin’ modern day braid.

Coming at you straight from the OCF this year, I created this intriguing look for Nikki J. I give you……

Monkey Braid Buns!

monkey braidsThis hairstyle can be done oh hair of any texture that is shoulder length or longer. No get the proper amount of roughness to the buns, you will want to either use honey spray or sea spray to add grit to the hair. If you are a ShamPHree woman, you are fine without:)

Here is how to get the look.

Start by making diagonal partings across the back of the head from the front of the right side to the nape of the left side. Make 4-6 sections, and do a free braid in each section. Secure the ends with clear elastics.

Pull those suckers apart.

Wind each braid into a loose nest-bun.

Pin each bun securely and discreetly.

I like this hairstyle to be offset to one side. What can I say. I am a misplaced flower child from the Art Nouveau era in Paris.

I really think that I was there in a past life. There, and also roaming the Midwest plains of America in a band of Comanche warriors.

That’s that!

P.s. Yes, Nikki’s earrings are her own design and you can buy them if you want.


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