Girls, there’s something about going to the salon that makes you feel like a rockstar. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to replicate everything about that perfect, bouncy blowout. But not all is lost! I’m here to give you the steps to getting a little closer to that freshly-styled salon feeling (hint: it’s in the shampooing and conditioning techniques).
Step into the shower and wet down your hair. I’m not talking about standing in the water for 10 seconds and then lathering up, gals. I’m saying stand under the water for a good minute to let the water penetrate all the layers of your hair and become saturated. If you have long and thick hair (like me), lift it up to make sure the hair in the middle gets wet, too.
Wash your body. This allows your hair to absorb the water even further. The point is that you want your hair to be as wet and saturated with water as possible.
Squeeze a handful of shampoo into your palm. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter how much you use (you’ll know when you’ve squirted too much, anyway). Then, emulsify the shampoo between your palms. Seriously, this is the most important part. Emulsifying it activates the detergents in the shampoo and helps you achieve a better clean.
Apply the emulsified shampoo to the crown and back of your sopping wet head first. By doing this, you are avoiding applying a large gob of shampoo directly to your forehead area and not evenly distributing it to the rest of your scalp. Yes, shampoo is for your scalp only. Do not actively shampoo the rest of your hair (rinsing the shampoo out cleanses the ends as much as they need, anyway).
Rinse thoroughly. If you feel that your scalp didn’t get fully clean, don’t be afraid to lather up again. Since I only wash my hair about twice a week, I usually end up lathering up twice. After rinsing, gently squeeze the excess water out of your ends. If your hair is too wet when you apply your conditioner, it will be dilute and not as effective.
Squirt a generous amount of conditioner into your palm. Distribute briefly between palms (do not emulsify). Apply to the ends of your hair only. Remember, shampoo is for your scalp ONLY and conditioner is for your ends ONLY. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for a good 2-5 minutes to really absorb and deep condition.
Rinse the conditioner out of your hair thoroughly. You’re good to go! Style your hair however you wish.
P.S. How to: Blowdry Your Hair (the right way!)
Mascara. For most of us gals, mascara is a staple in our everyday makeup routine. Personally, I feel that my face looks tired and incomplete without it. However, mascara is one of the trickiest cosmetics to test before purchasing. We’ve all done it: forked over hard earned cash for a tube of clumpy, runny, worthless gunk. Cosmetic companies are privy to this consumer information and try to sell their customers on pretty packaging and empty claims, knowing full well that once the customer purchases the product, they’re more or less stuck with it.
The bottom line is that mascara comes down to two things: the formula and the brush.
Twiggy photographed by Richard Avedon, 1967.
Mascara formulas tend to either lean towards a wet consistency or a dry consistency. For example, CoverGirl’s mascaras are some of the driest formulas, whereas Maybelline’s are some of the wettest. Dry formulas may go on less clumpy and are more build able, but tend to flake throughout the day because of how brittle they are. Wet formulas are goopy-ier, less build able, but also more elastic and less likely to flake off. There are pros and cons to every formula.
The brush is the most important factor in determining a great mascara from an okay one. Most of the time, you are paying for the brush when you buy a pricey mascara. Benefit’s They’re Real! is hands-down the best mascara I’ve ever used. This is due to the awesome brush with the medieval torture device spiky ball at the tip. Another fantastic mascara with a fabulous brush is Lancome’s Hypnose. I’ve had a long love affair with this mascara, but it carries a hefty price tag. Herein lies the problem.
All you thrifty gals out there, get ready for me to save you a lot of money. Buy one tube of They’re Real! (or Hypnose, or DiorShow) and when it’s all used up, continue using the brush in any cheaper mascara formula of your choosing. Dry, wet, waterproof, blue, whatever! Remember, when it comes to mascara, the brush matters most.