Hair Flairs

You know what’s always awesome? Glitter. Glitter is damn fantastic.

A little while ago, I modeled in my first fashion show for The Foxy Shoppe. Remind me to do a review for them, ok? It was two shows, a ton of models, and I did the hair and makeup for about half of them. It was a good 12 hour day. It was exhausting and awesome. This fashion show happened to take place at the Taboo sex convention, and once all the work was over and I had lived out a few exhibitionist fantasies, I was eager to relax and take in what the convention had to offer. Mike made fun of me that I was more interested in looking at things like microfiber sheets than things that go in my butt. I’ll stick with the sheets, thanks.

Also on display, to my immediate delight, was Hair Flairs. I’d had their website bookmarked ever since I saw the owner on Oprah years ago, but I had never bought from them. I honestly can’t really say why. I already knew that 100 strands of these things only cost 10$. I told the girl I remembered these being mentioned on Oprah, and she said that it was actually her who was on the show. Unfortunately I couldn’t say too much about it because these things were about the only thing I remembered from the episode besides the fact that she wasn’t on the show to talk about the business at all, but some terrible events in her life. Oprah and the rest of us just couldn’t help but notice the pretty shiny things in her hair.

Hair flairs are exactly what they claim to be, tinsel for your hair. You knot them in according to the instructions and they look absolutely fabulous. They’re glittery and colorful and awesome. I had been wearing 5 inch heels for about 12 hours at this point so the fact that there was a chair at the booth made me sit down and pour over the about a million color choices for quite a while. (Note to small business owners. Make sure you have a chair at your convention booths. We will buy from you just so we can sit down!) She loved pale pink for my hair, to her surprise, and because I wanted something just a little more intense I went with hot pink. I decided to try them out for the first time a week before going to my first Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend, which incidentally takes place in Vegas, which is incidentally the birthplace of glitter. I mentioned how these things are 10$ for 100 strands. You know how many strands it takes to make your hair awesome? Exactly three. Though 10-15 is about ideal in my mind. This is a fantastic deal, and it’s been the same price since I discovered them years ago. What a nice lady. Well of course as soon as I put in just one strand I got all giddy about it and put in four more until I decided I better stop and set my hair if I was ever going to get to bed on time. Then I ended up blogging about it for half an hour, because I’m a genius like that.

They’re not difficult to put in per se, but they are quite tricky to start with. The hardest part is that you only attach these to three strands of hair at a time, so it’s hard to keep a good grip on them and even see them while you’re tying these knots. I highly recommend starting at the front of your hair where you can see what you’re doing a little better and don’t need as much dexterity until you get used to it, or get a friend and do them for each other. Totally worth the effort by the way. As I went along, I started to find it was getting pretty fun.

Yeah, rockin it like I'm 15 for some reason. I wish you could see it more.

Now even though my hair is straight in that picture, because it was raining and humidity is mean, I had my hair curled up in a wet set that morning. And you know what? Hair Flairs can be heat styled, but they can take wet sets too! Horray!! They totally took to the set. I have no idea how this works, but it’s great. be warned, these are addicting. Every day I’m like “just a couple more,” until pretty soon I’m going to wake up looking like this person.

Holly Hui Hair

I like my red hair. It’s the color that perfectly borders natural and wild, because it can go either way depending on the shade. It’s also just a sexy color. Photographers use me for my red hair too, so if I had a more standard or freakish color I have the feeling I wouldn’t get asked to do pictures half as much. The thing is, it’s been red since I was 19. And I have a tendency to get bored. Before it was red, it was blond, white, black, blue, and green. I changed it a lot. But one color I never actually got to do was purple. It was one of the first colors I intended on trying but I chickened out once my hair was bleached and never quite got around to it again.
Enter the “ombre” dye job. You’ll know this as the big Hollywood trend of girls with long brown roots gradually lightening into blond on the bottom half. Obviously those colors are not for me. But I like the idea of having two hair colors at once, especially ever since I saw Megan Massacre on NY Ink with her fire engine red and black ombre hair while I was just dying for a change of some sort. Suddenly after a bit of google image searching the solution became all too obvious. I wanted ombre hair, bright cherry red at the top, into deep purple at the bottom. Fuck yes.

The trigger

It also occurred to me that instead of seeing Becky and having to bring her a print-out that would require me to go out and buy color printer ink, I should see Drawn and Plastered’s resident hairstylist Holly Hui. I really must say, Drawn and Plastered is really lucky. We have the absolute most talented and awesome people out there working for us because they’re so awesome and support what we do. I’m so proud to say that Holly Hui is one of them. Obviously I couldn’t possibly go wrong here.

The inspiration

The location was definitely different than the fancy salon on Corydon I’ve been going to for the last five years. I wasn’t at all familiar to the area. So that turned my nerves up a little. But as soon as I saw Holly there I relaxed. I gave her my usual middy instructions and told her I wanted the longest part to be at the bra line, however gave her permission to take off more if she had to to get rid of split ends. This scared me as it was quite a bit shorter than I’ve had it for a long time. I also got bangs because I figured it’s been about 13 years, so if I’m going for different, let’s toss that in there too. I’d been toying with the idea for way too long not to. That was even scarier. But having trust will get you far. I held my breath and kept quiet.

Your first time seeing this unstyled is also mine. And how brave am I for posting a picture in absolutely no makeup and stupid pink pajamas?

When it was over I looked…normal. It’s the first time I used Matrix hair color, so it’s going to take some time for it to build up to the brightness and contrast I’d like. The bangs and the smooth straight style also looked unusually modern for me. So I looked great, but didn’t feel like myself. Of course we both knew all it would take was for me to play around a bit at home. The whole point of a middy is versatility afterall, and my bangs were cut long in keeping with this, just barely short enough for me to see. Holly also razored one side so I could wear them to the side without having a corner, and when I curl them up they’ll look very Bettie Page. The length should make them relatively easy to blend in and hide too.

Yep, there are bangs in there!

And later that very night. Who invented this sorcery!

Side note/tip: I quickly found just how easy blending bangs really is. Take the bangs along with a portion of hair from behind them, and backcomb the roots from behind to mix them together with a teasing brush or fine toothed comb. You want the teasing to be really tight, so you wonder how you’ll ever manage to comb it out again. When you let go you’ll have some odd pieces randomly sticking out. Just tuck them underneath with a pin and have the longer part of your hair fall over the ends of the bangs. Hairspray liberally. Ta-da! And I mean it was *quick* – it look less than a minute and you would never know they were ever there.

As soon as I got home I got to curling it in my regular style. This was challenging because a lot of the layers were quite a bit shorter, so it was difficult to get everything into the rollers. Nevertheless it somehow seemed to take quite a bit less time, since there were no more ratty ends, and a shorter length means less hair to roll up, and less maneuvering to reach the ends of it. Once the rollers were taken out, my hair was fuller and bouncier than ever. There was so much less weight that with some backcombing and hair spray it would virtually stick straight out with very little effort. Then with a little combing of the bangs to the side and a bit more spray, I was easily able to get myself into a style that felt really great for me. Very Joan Holloway.

After the first time styling it myself. I’m me again!

Now I don’t know if it’s because it was shorter, the layers were shorter, the products that were used, or the fact that I saw Holly, but out of the now three times that I’ve had this particular hair cut done this is the first time that it physically feels like I expected the middy to feel. Before it just felt like my hair, only the look was different. This time it feels so light and soft, like it could just float away. It feels luxurious and easy and the complete opposite of being buried in hair. It feels fantastic. And it actually made a big difference in my day, like I was wearing silk pajamas instead of jeans. I just had to mention that.

By the end of the night I was in love. I was no longer ambivalent about bangs, and the huge messy curls I had made me feel awesome. Of course anything that makes you feel like Christina Hendricks, Dita, and a spy can’t be anything but all sorts of awesome. Mike is super happy too.

Having trust in your stylist will get you far. If I didn’t have that,  I wouldn’t have done it. And I’m so glad I did. You can trust Holly Hui.

For more about asking your stylist for a middy see and