New Do.

By: Jen Shoop

I am getting my hair cut tomorrow and am torn between doing a true bob (a few inches above the shoulder) or a long bob.  I like how styled I feel with a true bob — I feel pulled-together, like I have a point-of-view — but have been enjoying the wavy look lately, which is easier to achieve with longer hair and is also a lot more forgiving in terms of maintenance.  With longer hair, I can air-dry and curl it the next morning (my preferred mode — aka, lazy), or just throw it up in a ponytail or bun, kinks be-damned.  I have to rave briefly about a few of my favorite products for long bob territory:

+Ouai Texturing Hair Spray.  This stuff is INCREDIBLE.  It adds texture and volume to hair while keeping it in place but never looks crispy or stiff.  It also smells insane.  I love the scent so much I bought some of the line’s other products just for it!  (See below.)  I spray this into air-dried hair and let sit for a minute before curling.

+Hot Tools 1/2 Inch Curling Iron.  I use this to get the beachy/brushed-out wave look I’ve been rocking a lot lately.  These are the absolute best curling irons: they heat quickly and evenly (and to a high temperature) and I find them easy to use.  Make sure you get the Hot Tools with the gold barrel — the ceramic ones aren’t as good.  At any rate, I section off hair and curl from the top down (i.e., get the barrel as close to the root as possible and then twist away from the face).  I leave the ends uncurled.  One trick my favorite hairstylist in Chicago taught me (her name is Abby and she works magic at Trianon Salon in Lincoln Park) is NOT TO TOUCH YOUR HAIR ONCE YOU’VE CURLED IT.  Let it completely cool without touching.  You’ll feel like a weird cowardly lion with your hair in little ringlets for a few minutes, but if you let it cool naturally and then run your fingers through it, you achieve the best outcome.  Anyway, I use this iron, let my hair cool, and then spritz the Ouai spray again on top and comb my fingers through it.  Voila.

+Ouai Leave-In Conditioner.  I spritz this and DryBar’s Prep Rally onto my hair just out of the shower.  I like Drybar’s stuff because it really detangles and protects hair from heat.  Meanwhile, Ouai’s conditioner leaves my hair soft and pliable for days and days.  I also find there’s some kind of magical synergy between these two products that means my hair is a lot less kinky/wavy when I let it airdry, so long as I brush intermittently as it does so.  I find that it dries straighter and more evenly.

+Mason Pearson Brush.  A few years ago, I invested in a Mason Pearson brush.  I had long cringed at the price tag but was in a treat-yo-self mode.  I absolutely love this brush.  It never breaks/snags hair (it’s so gentle!) but it really gets through your hair.  I brush from the tips to the roots when wet and then a couple of times as it air dries.  I personally like this pocket-sized version of the classic because I have small hands — ha! — and find it easier to wield.

+Drybar Hair Clips.  I love these things.  I feel like they are bizarrely indestructible.  I used to use standard claw clips to pull back my hair when washing my face / sectioning my hair, but I found they held a short shelf-life and I was constantly re-ordering.  I’ve had the same set of four Drybar clips for about a decade now and I use them every morning and night and any time I style my hair.  I find they hold and section hair well, whether you’re pinning back a big chunk or just a little strand or two.  

+Invisibobble Hair Ties.  I love these things.  They never stretch out (a constant issue with my standard Goody/Scunci brown elastics) and they truly keep hair in place.  They also never get stuck/snagged in hair.

+I have been very into headbands lately, if you can’t tell.  The more dramatic the better.  My favorite picks: this velvet knot style, this Sincerely Jules, and my pearl-encrusted Lele Sadoughi (only available for pre-order now, unless you want black, which is still purchasable now!).  This is also a solid alternative to the look I’m after.  (If you’re wondering what to wear a statement headband with: I love it with a white silk blouse and skinnies; let it do all the talking!  Alternately, make it the finishing touch on an over-the-top feminine look by pairing with an uber-pretty, uber-detailed blouse like this, this, or this.  

And I’m also debating whether bangs should weigh into the equation.  I think I’ll take in the above picture of Rose Byrne, whose hair (and face and everything actually) I LOVE, and just see what happens.  If I do end up with bangs, I’ll be getting some extra mileage out of my favorite round brush — I find that the only way to get that chic, bouncy side-swept bang is by blow-drying them in the opposite direction I want them to fall with a huge round brush.  And speaking of round brushes, I’ll probably be using a lot of the products in this round-up if I go for the bangs/longer bob look and want to blow my hair straight with volume.

Finally, I am trying to return to a darker hair color.  I’ve been highlighting my hair blonde for the past many years, and while I find it fun and flattering, especially in summer months, I have grown wistful looking at myself as a young brunette bride and am curious to know what I’d look like now with more dark in my hair.  I also wouldn’t mind a lower maintenance hair routine…coloring your hair is a serious commitment of capital and time!  In the meantime, I still use Oribe’s Bright Blond Shampoo every other washing.  I feel like it keeps my hair color bright and non-brassy.  At other washings, I use Bumble&Bumble’s Thickening Shampoo, which is a great product for those of us with fine, flat hair.

What are your secrets to great hair?!  And what should I do with MY HAIR?  Am I changing too much, going darker, adding bangs, and potentially changing the length all at once?  Probably not.  You know the old saying (attributed to Coco Chanel, among other luminaries): “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”  In light of this week’s epiphanies, I’d say a dramatic hair change is due.

P.S.  One of my favorite fridge organizing hacks is on sale right now.  More great organization stuff here and here.

P.P.S.  People say this lint-and-fuzz-removing tool kit is LA CREME DE LA CREME.

P.P.P.S.  Things that make me feel good about myself (note I’m wearing a headband here!), some good reminders as we head towards 2019, and — are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

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13 thoughts on “New Do.

  1. I’m so curious about Ouai products — have been wanting to try them out and these are great recs!

    My hair is thick (though not as thick as it used to be) and a medium texture … not fine, but not too coarse, either. Currently it is super long (for me) — it comes to just below my breasts. It’s naturally straight with a slight wave, and I typically use Oribe Gel Sérum + Davines Oi All-in-One Milk to wrangle it. 🙂

    1. Literally obsessed with the smell of Davines Oi. I could almost drink it. Try Ouai though!!! It smells equally insane and I think most of their products come in trial sizes at Sephora 🙂 xo

  2. I’m late to the party here, but I’m so excited for a hair post! Did you get it cut yet? If not, my vote is for keeping it a little longer – I saw Amy Robach on GMA the other morning and I absolutely loved her hair. It was very similar to Rose Byrne’s above.

    You may also like Verb Ghost products – I use the conditioner and oil, and find they don’t weigh down my hair yet it feels healthy and smooth.

    1. Hi hi! I did keep it on the longer side — my stylist advised a long bob but still a bit above the shoulder so that my hair wouldn’t do that awkward flip thing at the shoulder. She ended up doing this cool edgy chop that looks SO cute when styled wavy, but can also be styled into a sleek, blunt-edged situation. Hard to describe but I’m CRAZY about it.

      Have heard such good thing about Verb!!! Thanks for the tip! xo

  3. I stopped highlighting my hair just after I was married 7 years ago and have only good things to say! I have naturally dirty blonde hair – and it’s a perfectly lovely color! Like you said, I was investing a lot of capital to maintain it and I was just tired and wanted a change. Another big motivator for me – I don’t yet have gray hair. Why was I spending so much time to block my natural, beautiful hair? Surely wouldn’t I NEED to do that once some grays appear? My Saturdays are now free, I can even buy inexpensive shampoo at target, and have given my hair its lustre back after so much time to breathe. A win in my book.

  4. Seriously obsessed these days with the new Olaplex No. 3 treatment followed by their shampoo (I think you have to use them together to make the hair “bond”?). As a blonde-at-heart but born-brunette my hair is beyond damaged from 20+ years of coloring and this is truly the first product I’ve come across that makes my hair look and feel so healthy xo

    1. Ooh another promising vote in favor of Olaplex! Thank you! We’re currently midway through our Bumble & Bumble shampoo but I’m definitely going to try it next. Yay! Very excited. xo

  5. Thanks for the curling iron tip! And the Rose Byrne photo… she is so glam. Oribe Royal Blowout is great for maximizing your blowout effort – it reduces drying time and smells amazing. Also – has Drybar really been around for a decade? Those clips are STRONG.

    1. SUPER strong. Weird for anything to last so long. Maybe I overstated it with a decade? But it’s certainly been over five years since I owned those badboys.

      Thanks for the tip on Oribe Blowout!! Will definitely check that out. xoxo

  6. on the topic of hair, a couple of things that are time savers (and good for the uncoordinated, un-ambidextrous): the Revlon blowout volumizing brush, and also (a classic inherited from my mother), hot rollers! perfect for faking a blowout but still air drying…I cannot seem to master the whole holding a blow dryer AND holding a hair brush thing. they definitely have been lifesavers for getting your Rose-inspired look at the top of the post!

    1. Ooo — someone JUST told me about that volumizing brush over the weekend. Very intrigued. Going to have to investigate both of these options, pending my hair stylist’s input tomorrow! Thanks, Lucy 🙂 xo

  7. I’ve been looking for a solution for my couch (for piling) and my comforter (for dog hair) so I definitely have my eye on that. It appears to only have 3 stars and 10 reviews with over half being 3 stars or below. Have you gotten the recommendation from in-real-life friends? If so, i’m inclined to purchase and just give it a try!

    1. Hi Jessica! I got the recommendation from the experts at Imagine It Done, a home organization service based here in NYC. I trust all of their recommendations — they’ve never steered me wrong!! xo

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