Tag Archives: hair

travel skin care and hair

What I Brought on a Business Trip: Hair and Skin Care

I’ve been traveling much more this year than normal because of all the events I’m managing for my “real” job. While it’s been great to explore some new cities, each trip messes up my weekly routine, and I LOVE routine. It keeps me focused and sane because who needs spontaneity and fun anyways? As my eating and working routine flies out the window during work trips, I hold onto my hair and skin care routine with a death grip.

When I travel for fun, I try to pack a carry-on because I think paying to check a bag is a crime and I’m terrified my bag will get lost in space. But when I travel for work, YOLO. Bag costs $50 to check? Not a problem. Bag over 50 pounds? Not a problem. You lost my bag? Problem, but I’ll just expense the stuff I purchase while I wait for my personals. And the best perk of checking a bag? Not having to deal with repacking liquids into stupid small containers. Full-size or bust for this bad bitch.

So on to the point of this rambling post … my go-to travel skin care and hair products, which just so happen to also be my every-day skin care and hair products.

travel skin care and hair

Makeup Remover Wipes | Face Wash | Resurfacing Accelerator | Tri-Power Peptide Hydrator | Wrinkle-Reversing Serum | Facial Cleansing Brush | Face Oil | Face Lotion | Body Lotion

travel skin care and hair

Dry Shampoo | Hair Serum | Comb | Paddle Brush | Round Brush | Flat Iron | Curling Wand | Hair Dryer

What skin care and hair products do you bring with you on trips?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Hair Tutorial

Hair Tutorial: Loose Curls for Medium-length Hair

You guys, I did something awkward (for the second time in two years). I posted a hair tutorial on YouTube. I felt so strongly about my loose curl hair style that I thought the world both deserved and needed to see it. Who do I think I am, a famous vlogger?

I didn’t include it in the video (I had to edit the video and get it up quick before I changed my mind), but here is a lovely selfie that was taken several hours after I filmed the video. Just wanted to prove that the look does last throughout the day … and a brisk walk to your local TJMaxx.

Hair Tutorial
If I don’t look at the camera, this selfie isn’t as lame as the rest, right?

One hair tutorial not enough for you? Check out my front french braid tutorial or comment below on what other hair looks you’d like to see.

What is your go-to hair style?

Photos: beautyXpose

DIY Ombre in 5 Steps

Learn how to get do it yourself ombre hair in five simple steps!

91kbqNs79cL._SL1500_You know that sinking feeling when you leave a hair salon and you don’t get what you asked for (and are also out $150)? Well, I was so sick of that feeling that I decided to take matters into my own hands. Though I leave the haircuts to professionals, I’ve done all of my own color for years — from darkest brown to golden blonde. I’m finally getting exactly what I want AND saving some money. And by saving money, I mean spending it on other frivolous things.

One of the looks I get the most inquiries about is my subtle ombre/balayage look, or as my friend calls it, “the zebra.” I’ve been self-ombre-ing on and off since 2007 using a plain, old
highlighting box that can be found at any drug store
(but disregard the finger tip thing, as the only tool needed are your hands and gloves). I pick the color based on the season. I usually go for a more bronze/caramel-y shade in the fall and a champagne-y hue in the summer.

I should note that I’m a daughter of a former hair stylist, so I’m not afraid to treat my hair like a test guinea pig. And surprisingly, my tests usually end with me not going far enough, which is definitely a good thing.
So, here’s my do-it-yourself ombre hair in five steps:
photo 2
1.  Start out with wet hair. Here I am right out of the shower. (A tip within a tip: Do you need to post a picture on the internet and don’t feel like putting on makeup? Use the Mayfair filter on Instagram. Flaws gone.)
photo 1
2.  Brush your wet hair and change into a shirt that you don’t care about getting bleach on.
3.  Follow the highlighting kit instructions and mix the kit’s various powders and serums together.
4.  Once the color is mixed, scoop up the mixture with your gloved hands and start scrunching upward into the ends of your hair — like you’re adding mousse or gel into your hair.
5.  Wait however long the kit’s instructions suggest. Wash out and style.
photo 4
photo 3
*I also pick a few random strands onto which I add the bleach for fun.
See? Easy!
Photos:  Lyssa White/beautyXposé

Horrible Hair: Survey Reveals Worst Hairstyles of All Time

Ever wonder which hairdos are the worst in the world? To introduce its new Great Stuff rewards program, hair salon brand Great Clips released results from an independent survey that reveal the “worst hairstyles of all time,” according to the company.

So what are these disastrous ‘dos? For women, Great Clips says the top three worst hairstyles of all time are:

  1. Perm (60%)
  2. Feathered (56%)
  3. Assymetrical (54%)

worst hairstyles of all time women

Men’s most monstrous manes are:

  1. Bowl cut (63%)
  2. Caesar (57%)
  3. Faux Hawk (45%)

worst hairstyles of all time men

But where was the mullet? Or men’s “hair band” locks? Or stiff, crunchy, “tall” bangs? Apparently, Great Clips only polled 319 people (hardly a good representative sample), so I can only surmise they were all under the age of 30 and never experienced these beautiful ’80s hairdos.

The Great Clips survey also revealed the greatest hairstyles of all time (“medium layers” for women and “bed head” for men), along with other gems such as “cuts that get you dates” and “best cougar cuts.”  You know — all the important info you’ve gone far too long without knowing.

Check out the infographic below for all the hairy details.

Great Hair Infographic


Images: Great Clips

DIY: Sock Bun Chic

My roommate Sara recently conquered the sock bun, and every morning I’m jealous of how great her hair looks. I always ask her to teach me how to do it and she finally let me in on her process this week. The sock bun is a quick and easy way to acquire a chic hairstyle.

Check out how you can master the sock bun in just a few minutes with this easy-peasy sock bun tutorial.

It’s important to note that for this style, your hair needs to be at least medium length.

My lovely model Sara's ponytail

Step 1:

Get an athletic sock and cut the foot part of it off, keeping the long piece. Then roll the sock into a donut shape. Make sure to use a sock that matches your hair best. So, for example, if you have black hair, use a black sock.

Cut your sock so it's long enough to roll into a donut shape
The sock is all ready to be used

Step 2:

Figure out whether you want your bun to be a high bun or centered on the back of your head. For a higher bun, put your hair in a higher ponytail or put it in a low ponytail for a lower bun.

Step 3:

Take the sock and put your ponytail through it, but leave the sock towards the top of the ponytail.

Sara rolling her hair into a bun

Step 4:

Take the ends of your hair and pull them over the sock and roll all the way down until the bun is taut to your head. Then tuck in any extra pieces with a bobby pin.


Tuck in any loose ends and pin them
The finished product!

Congratulations – you just made a sock bun!

Sebastian Professional Shampoo and Conditioner

Product Review: Sebastian Professional

I feel like I have seriously temperamental hair.  It grows too fast, it’s too thick, it gets oily entirely too easily, and most products just make it worse – other than that, it’s perfect!  Lucky for me I had the chance to try out new shampoo and conditioner from the Sebastian Professional’s Salon to Home Shine Line.  Shine, you ask yourself?  I, too, thought that all shine products would make my hair much more oily (the last thing I want).  But, that doesn’t seem to be the case with the shine shampoo and conditioners.

Sebastian Professional Shampoo and Conditioner
The shine shampoo and conditioner retail at $12.95 and $13.95, respectively. It’s great quality without that high-end price tag.

To be honest, my hair feels soft and isn’t dry or oily – the perfect combo.  I would totally recommend giving these products a try if you have the same oily hair problem that I do.  Plus you only need a small amount for these to work, I find I’m using much less than when I purchase the “cheaper” or generic products.

What products do you use to moisturize your hair without unwanted oily effects?

Photos: Gabi Valladares/BeautyXpose; Disclosure

Miley Mania: Ideas For Your Hair Transformation

Always go to a pro for a hair cut.

In light of Miley Cyrus’ recent hair transformation, in which she ditched her long locks for a platinum blonde pixie cut, I’ve been thinking about changing my hair. Regardless of your thoughts on how Miley’s hair looks, you have to give her credit for being so bold. I’m not even a huge Miley fan, but I think she rocks her new cut.

For the rest of us, chopping off all of our hair might be a bit too drastic. Here are some less extreme examples of hair changes for anyone who needs something new.


Go Ombre:

I have black hair that has never been colored because I’m worried about what it will look like when I try to get it back to its natural color. However, the ombre trend, also known as dip-dye, might be enough to get me to take the plunge. Maybe it’s because I’m obsessed with how it looks on Rachel Bilson, but I cannot get enough of this style.

If you're a pro, save money with DIY dye. If not, head to the salon.

Ombre typically consists of darker roots and lighter ends, but some celebrities have even colored their ends blue or pink. It’s really up to you. I talk about going ombre weekly, so if I ever get the courage, I’ll be sure to post the before and after.


Go Lighter or Darker:

Whenever my friends ask me if they should go lighter or darker, I think about what season is approaching. Right now, August is winding down and fall is on its way, so I would generally advise my friends to go darker.  This is of course my personal preference. But for myself, if I were ever to dye all of my hair, I would go lighter in the winter to a brown color. This is mostly because I tan very well in the summer, but am very pale in the winter. Brown hair would make me look less like Snow White I imagine.



If you want to pull a Miley and go for a pixie cut, I admire you. Don’t want to be that bold? Just go for something different, but less intense. Cut a few inches off your long hair or bring medium hair to a bob length. Think about side bangs or front bangs, layers or angles. Just find something different that you want to do.

I advise you to always, always, always find a picture of what you like and bring it to your stylist. If you’re not sure about it, ask their opinion. And never, ever try to give yourself a drastic hair cut. My 12-year-old self who wanted to give herself side bangs warns against this, as well as my 15-year-old self who wanted to give herself choppy layers. The layers turned out choppier than you can imagine.


Style It:

Not ready for a cut or a new color? Try playing around with new styles. If you always straighten your hair, try curling it and vice versa. Try doing a top knot or a high, sleek ponytail if you always wear your hair down.

Try out a high ponytail for a new style.

Do some French braiding or invest in some cute headbands. These minor changes can still give you a refreshing new look.


This headband from Zara adds a pop of color and sparkle to any outfit.

Will you be changing up your hair soon?

Photos: Hair cut - Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Dye - Clairol; Woman holding scissors - Imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Ponytail - Kathryn Sena/BeautyXpose; Headband - Zara

FDA Warns Brazilian Blowout Hair Straightening Products are ‘Adulterated’ and ‘Misleading’

If you pine for pin-straight strands, chance are that you’ve heard of the keratin hair-straightening treatment made famous by Brazilian Blowout. But what you might not have heard is how controversial –and potentially harmful — the hair treatment can be.

The FDA warns against Brazilian Blowout

Blasted by consumer safety experts for containing formaldehyde, a chemical commonly associated with embalming fluid, Brazilian Blowout products have recently come under fire by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to a formal warning letter issued by the FDA, the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution (Brazilian Blowout), is an “adulterated” and “misbranded” product because it contains formaldehyde, while its labels say it is “formaldehyde-free.”

Michael W. Roosevelt, acting director in the FDA’s Office of Compliance states in the letter to the company, “Brazilian Blowout contains the liquid form of formaldehyde, methylene glycol; however, the product label declares that the product contains ‘No Formaldehyde’ or is ‘Formaldehyde Free.’ This declaration renders your product misbranded because it is a false and misleading statement.”

Roosevelt goes on to assert the product is considered an “adulterated cosmetic” because it may be “injurious to users under the conditions of use prescribed in your labeling.”

What can formaldehyde, which is inhaled during a Brazilian Blowout treatment, do to the average salon visitor? The list of side effects are stunning. The FDA reports that injuries associated with Brazilian Blowout include: eye disorders (irritation, increased lacrimation, blurred vision, hyperaemia); nervous system disorders (headache, burning sensation, dizziness, syncope), respiratory tract (dyspnea, cough, nasal discomfort, epistaxis, wheezing, rhinorrhea, throat irritation, nasopharyngitis), nausea hypotrichosis, chest pain, chest discomfort, vomiting, and rash. What’s more, the Environmental Protection Agency has classified formaldehyde as a possible cancer-causing carcinogen.

Not exactly what you’d expect as a result of going in for a hair treatment.

While the FDA’s letter requires Brazilian Blowout to take action to rectify the violations by Sept. 12, other industry watchdog groups believe stronger enforcements are in order. The National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance has called on the FDA to take swift action with a national recall for Brazilian Blowout and similar products.

Cancer in a bottle?

“Stylists need to know about the dangers of using this toxic product on a day to day basis,” said Women’s Voices for the Earth’s executive director Erin Switalski, on behalf of the Alliance.

Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, concurs. “Brazilian Blowout can no longer lie to the public about their contents and continue to claim their product to be safe,” she said.

Unfortunately, the FDA’s warning to Brazilian Blowout may be more “bark” than “bite.” Currently, the FDA can only issue a “voluntary recall,” meaning that the government cannot mandate the removal of dangerous products from the market. However, that restriction is under scrutiny and is proposed to be rectified in the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 being debated in Congress. If passed, the new law would set safety standards for chemicals used in personal care and salon products before they reach the marketplace, while phasing out toxic ingredients in existing products,such as formaldehyde found in the Brazilian Blowout.

“If consumers have been wondering why they’ve still been able to get Brazilian Blowouts despite so much troubling news, the answer is because our regulatory system is broken,” says Anuja Mendiratta, a representative of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. “Even when a product has clearly been shown to poison people, the FDA has little authority to take immediate meaningful action in the case of cosmetics.”

To support the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, urge your local representative to take action by simply filling out this form via the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.


Hair Product Review: ProSilk Silk Serum

My hair has endured the damage of curling irons, flat irons, blow dryers, and elastics for years. Thus, it is no surprise that my locks are fried and full of split ends. For those of you who have abused your strands like I have, ProSilk Silk Serum can bring some life back to your damaged hair.

ProSilk Silk Serum 6 oz. $19.95

ProSilk Silk Serum fills in the voids on the cuticle layer of hair in order to strengthen it from the inside out, protecting it against heat, UV, coldness and pollution. It combines the natural protein of silk fiber with botanicals, vitamins and emollients to repair and restore damaged hair.

The serum is made up of a hypoallergenic formula, which makes it safe if you have sensitive hair or skin. According to the brand, silk, which has the flexible strength of steel, is helpful in restoring damaged hair and making it stronger and silkier. The serum gently cleans while ProSilk’s infused silk technology adds needed moisture. It’s beneficial for the scalp and hair follicles as well.

One of my favorite aspects of ProSilk Silk Serum is that it didn’t leave any buildup and made my hair feel light. It left my hair feeling smooth and silky while giving it a healthy shine. I used the serum on hot and humid days and it even kept all signs of frizz down, which is pretty remarkable for my hair. Another positive is that it had a great scent! If your hair is dry and damaged, ProSilk Silk Serum is a good product to revitalize your strands.


Photo: ProSilk Serum

Feather Frenzy: Flock to get the Latest Hair Accessories

BX reader Allison rocks a feather in her hair

Feather extensions are the newest hair accessory.  They’ve already been spotted on celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff, and Ke$ha. But don’t worry — they’re not just for the rich and famous. Priced around $15.00, you can have them too.

Unlike dying your hair, feather extensions don’t cause any damage. They come in different lengths and colors, leaving you to decide if you want to add a pop of color to your hair or if you want a more subtle look. Available in colors such as purple, red, orange, pink, turquoise, black and brown, your options are seemingly endless.

In addition to being wallet-friendly, feather extensions are also user-friendly.  You can get them put in at a salon for about $25.00 or you can easily put them in yourself as long as you have the right tools. You can even blow-dry, straighten, curl, and wash them as if they are actual strands of hair.


DIY Tool Kit by Royal Feathers

What You Need:

1.      Feather Extensions

2.      Needle Nose Pliers

3.      Hair Extension Micro Links

4.      Hair Hook


How To Apply Feather Hair Extensions:

Electric Blue Feather Hair Extensions from Hairfeather.com

1.   Take a micro link and put it through the hair hook. Choose where you want your feathers to be and grab a few pieces of hair. Loop the hair hook into the pieces you chose.

2.    Slide the micro link upward toward the hair hook near the roots of the hair. Slide the tip of the feathers through the micro link and strands of hair.

3.    Make sure to hold your feathers, micro link, and hair in place. Then take the pliers and clamp down on the micro link.

4.    Trim feathers to desired length.

5.    When you want to take out your feathers, find the micro link and clamp it in the opposite direction with the pliers. This will open the micro link so you can take it out of your hair, along with the feathers.


How do you feel about feather extensions? Are they an every day look?