hair thursday makeover 18

The ONE night I blow off my duties for Gossip Girl, and it’s a rerun. The audacity.

Let’s continue the theme of DIY, only this time, our next participant literally DIYed herself. (As in, snip snip.)

Meet Ashley.

Ashley au natural:


And Ashley – straight:


Ashley’s hair:

Thick, wavy and frizz-prone
Lots of volume
Usually takes around 10 minutes to style, unless she straightens which is 30-35 minutes (uses a wet-to-straight iron)
Once straightened, she can go a few days without washing
Finger combs while wavy, uses mousse
Recently cut her own hair (GASP!)

Ashley sent a great email about being a fairly recent college graduate and wanting a more mature look. (Which immediately conjured up visuals of Bea Arthur. How about “polished”?)

Some excerpts from Ashley’s questionnaire:

I have a preference for STYLE. That would be, make me look more mature/older!! (HUH?) Like you, I seem to look much younger than I am. (Already buttering me up – I like it.) I have had a similar hairstyle my whole life and since I recently graduated from college and am entering the working world, I’d love to look put together and polished. I don’t seem to have what it takes to make my hair look good (whatever THAT is?! products? tools? hair implants?!).

As for her current feelings about her hair:

I wear my hair up about 75% of the time. Maybe more. Either a messy bun or ponytail is my style of choice, I’m ashamed to admit. I think it’s mainly because I’m not happy with my hair. I like it when I straighten it, but is there any way around it taking nearly an HOUR!? If I run everyday, that means I have to shower and straighten it everyday. That’s like 2 hours total. I just can’t do that! It dries pretty well naturally, but if I go to sleep with wet hair…it’s curly city in the morning! When I put mousse in it, it’s SO easy (I let it air dry). But I don’t love having product laden hair everyday, you know what I mean? It’s not that my hair is too crunchy or anything, it just doesn’t feel as natural.

This situation sounds very similar to hair woes I’ve had in the past.

First off, the whole college into working world transition. I’ve been there. In fact, I was so determined to look “mature” after graduating college that I lopped off my completely healthy hair into a Posh bob (of course, it was 12 years ago. Posh was just a twinkle in the Spice Girls’ eyes at that time.)

Oh, but that wasn’t enough! I thought blond highlights would be sassy, yet stylish (?) and polished (?).

Something like this:


That’s my token happy drunk face, if you were wondering.

That hairstyle and the color involved HORRENDOUS UPKEEP. It wasn’t worth it. Why was I trying so hard when I had lovely hair to begin with? What can I say, it was my early twenties.

So, where am I going with all of this blabbering? Ashley doesn’t have to make huge changes to pull off a more polished look.

I don’t think Ashley should lop off her hair. 2-4 inches at most, grazing the shoulder would be ideal- giving her the most versatility possible. The focus needs to be on different styling methods. First off, Ashley has a great wave pattern. Some light layers starting in between her cheekbone and chin all around her head would give her waves and instant boost. (Please don’t do this yourself. PLEASE ASHLEY IBEGOFYOU.)

Long sideswept bangs could make a huge difference with little effort. Ashley already cut long bangs herself, but I think having a professional blend those front layers into her hair would be fantastic.

As for products, I would suggest using Aveda Be Curly or Pureology RealCurl. Both of these products are going to define the natural shape of Ashley’s waves while adding shine and smoothing frizz. I personally use both of these products on my waves, and I love them both.

If we focus on playing up Ashley’s waves on most days, the styling time will be kept to a minimum so she doesn’t need to spend hours after her runs (runs, heh). Of course, some days call for that polished look, and I would recommend using a flat iron for a sleek look, or a large-barreled curling iron for big bouncy waves.

Ashley, I am NOT a fan of the wet-to-dry flat iron. I think you need to splurge and get yourself a ceramic or tourmaline flat iron (eBay has great deals). I promise you, a ceramic flat iron will actually reduce the time you’ve been spending with the wet-to-dry iron. Why? Because you don’t need to dry your hair at all! If you are anticipating wearing your hair straight, wash your hair the night before, let it air dry or sleep on it, wake up looking like a hot mess, and get that flat iron out and get to work. It takes less time and is less damaging because you aren’t drying AND straightening.

Wow, I’m quite the chatterbox today. Let’s get to some photos.


(Yes, these are recycled photos. I have no choice, as I spent all of my allotted time talking about the glory days.)

Okay, both have layers. #1 has heavier sideswept bangs, #2 is more similar to what Ashley is sporting right now. Both cuts will look fantastic when straightened (WITH A CERAMIC FLAT IRON, ahem) and they still give Ashley the versatility she needs.

Oh my, I have carpal tunnel. Please put me out of my misery and vote.

  1. am'ti b

    January 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    sarah in la, i have curly hair as well and wash my hair everyday, if you are up for spending money on a shampoo, i recommend kerastase oleo-curl shampoo (and curl defining mist which is light, moisture rich and enhances curls.) the shampoo is moisturizing and you only need a little tiny bit, so it lasts. if you love aveda, next time get the “brilliant” it tends to add moisture, shine and bounce to the curl more so than the be curly. i know this sounds very 80’s, but if you air dry or diffuse i have found giovanni’s organic turbo air charged mouse (available at whole foods) tends to help define my curls w/o that crunchy feeling. all products listed smelly yummy!

  2. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    January 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

    God, I wish I could get my hair to do #1. HAWT.

  3. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    January 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

    OK, that came out all wrong.

  4. mrs mogul

    January 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Natural look is good. I try to find time to blow dry if I have time and if I am going out in public. Sigh, growing my hair long again!!

    Never seen GOSSIP GIRL!