I get SO many requests regarding my hair.. such as how I style it, cut it, color it, etc. I don't post much about hair because I'm not a professional, nor am I very experienced - therefore, I'm not very comfortable with the topic of hair. This post isn't meant to be a tutorial - just some answers to very frequently asked questions. :)
Hair Type - My hair type is dry, thick and curly. My hair texture is not coarse, nor is it very thin. My natural curls are a mixture of loose waves and loose locks that start at my roots. I have a lot of natural volume.
I barely ever wear my hair in its natural state.. This is what it looks like air dried with a little hairspray. (This picture is from 2006 - I had jet black hair)Hair Color - My natural hair color is medium to dark ash brown. In the summer, my natural hair color lightens to a chestnut and it can even lighten up to a very light brown with lots of golden auburn tones. I dye my hair monthly with a semi-permanent hair dye (Clairol Brass Free Brunettes - Med Brown). I don't really like my hair all one color.. so each time I dye my hair, I section off the area of hair that falls above my ears, twist it and clip it back. I then dye all of my hair.. leaving the clipped section alone. What this creates is medium/dark brown hair with a lighter brown (from my hair naturally lightening and from past highlights) peeking through the bottom.
My hair color looks reddish in these photos.. but it's just the lighting. Both photos of my hair were taken the same day. The first photo captures my overall hair color well and the 2nd collage of photos captures the lighter shades underneath my hair well. They are more visible when my hair is straight.
Hair Cut and Length - The total length of my hair is 16 inches and it falls right below my chest when straight, and mid-chest when curly. My hair has lots of layers that start right below my chin. The layers are mostly on the sides of my face. I barely have any layers in the back. My shortest layers (by my face) are 9-10 inches and I have 1" inch layers until it reaches 13 inches. Then, from 13 inches, it jumps to the total length of my hair, which is again 16 inches.
Cutting my hair - I honestly don't feel comfortable explaining how I cut my hair. Because I'm not a professional, I would rather you get advice from an actual professional that will give you the best advice. I rarely ever go to salons because I've never been satisfied with any.. so for that reason I manage on my own. Starting the New Year, I would like to go to a salon more routinely to maintain healthier hair. All I really do is trim my ends when they are looking dead and uneven. Because I heat style often and don't get frequent hair cuts, after time my hair can be uneven. When my ends start looking uneven or damaged, I basically just trim how ever much necessary to even it out. Then I'll pull my hair forward to match up both sides.
My bangs - I have had bangs all my life and never had to attempt to "create" them myself. In high school, I decided to grow them out and sweep them to the side. My bangs start and extend 2 inches from the center of my forehead. I prefer to part my bangs to the right side of my face. After having bangs so long, they naturally fall to the right. They are parted exactly above the arch is of my left eyebrow. From my bangs, they are cut on a downward angle. I have the measurements figured below. The shortest part of my bangs are around 5 to 6 inches. From there, my bangs are around 6 to 6.5 inches, then 7 to 7.5 inches and the longer strands that are there to frame my face are 9 inches (by my chin) to 11 inches (below my chin).
How I cut my bangs - Using a comb, I pull all of my hair forward from 1.5 to 2 inches back. I part my bangs where the arch of my brow is. Using a comb, I comb my bangs slowly down until I reach the area where the shortest part of my bangs will be. Using a scissor, I cut them on a slight vertical angle. To make them more choppy, I make several small snips straight on into the ends of my bangs. Sometimes I take my bangs in one strand and twist them and cut across.. this will make them a little choppy.
Styling my bangs - I like using a 1 inch ceramic flat iron on low-medium heat (my iron goes up to 430, for my bangs I usually put it on 300). I like to use a lower heat setting because it makes my bangs more silky and lightweight. When using a high setting, my bangs may come out too frizzy, fried or too straight. The iron I use has rounded edges.. so it gives more of a blow dried with a round brush look rather than stick straight like a flat iron. I usually separate my bangs in two sections to flat iron. Like I've mentioned previously, from my hairline, my bangs extend about two inches back. So, I create two horizontal sections that are about an inch wide. I clip back the "back" section and start with the "underneath" section. Holding my bangs at 90 degree angle (straight forward) I bring the iron to my roots and slowly drag the iron upward and outward using a rounded motion. I don't clamp my hair too hard or it will curl. I'm using a light hand for this. Then, I do the same with the section I have clipped back. I make sure to start at my roots and bring the iron up over my head in a half circle motion. This creates fluffy bangs with lift at the roots. I don't use any products in my bangs because I want them to look thick and fluffy. Any product in my bangs makes them look oily and weighed down. If my bangs get in the way, my favorite hairspray that doesn't make my bangs look like plastic and that actually holds them in place is Beyond the Zone Flipped out Spray. I highly recommend this hairspray if you're looking for a good one. Check it out next time you go to Sally's! I always keep a small bottle in my purse. In the summer time when I'm driving with the window open, my bangs fly all over the place.. I would pull this spray out of my bag and with a quick spray they would stay in place without flattening them or altering the way I combed them.
Styling my hair - The styling tools I use are basically a 1 inch rounded flat iron, a 1 inch barrel curling iron and a 1.5 inch barrel curling iron.
Using a 1" Curling Iron - I do this to my hair when I want very polished curls that are look more spiral rather than locks. I start out with clean, dry hair. Then, I apply a heat protector throughout my hair focusing on my ends. Starting underneath my hair, I clip back the rest of my hair. I'm using a high heat setting (400 degrees). Use a setting that's appropriate for your hair. My hair is thick and I need high heat for this. I take 1-1.5 inch strands and without using the curling iron clamp, I take the strand and wrap it around the barrel. I hold it for 10 seconds or so and let the hair go. If I want the curls to be extra defined, with each section I'll spray the strand with hair spray. For a very polished spiral, I will twist the strand and wrap it around the iron, then spray it when released. I continue going up through my hair until I have curled every strand. Then I take both hands and with my fingers apart, I drag my fingers through my hair to loosen up the curls. Then I use a finishing cream (Bedhead After Party) throughout my hair. Again, I fluff my hair with my fingers.. then flip my hair upside down and spray Beyond the Zone flipped out throughout my hair and bring my hair back up and run my fingers through my hair once again. The ending result is very polished curls with loads of volume.
The pink is supposed to illustrate how to wrap the strand of hair around the iron for different types of curls.
Curling with a 1 1/2" Curling Iron - I basically do the same thing as I do with the 1" inch iron.. and it makes very loose waves. For a tighter, larger curl.. I will use this iron like a regular curling iron. I again start underneath (using the clamp) I start at my roots and bringing the iron slightly up and away, I drag the iron down my hair to straighten out my roots. I stop halfway down the strand and I wrap the remaining hair around the barrel and hold for 15 seconds (you may need to hold it longer or it may fall flat). I continue doing this to all of my hair. Then, when I get to the top of my head, starting at the roots I clamp my hair and bring it straight up and outward in the opposite direction (for example, if I'm going a strand on the right side of my head.. I bring the iron outward toward the left side). This creates lift at the roots. Then halfway down the strand I let go and let it cool down. I do this with each strand on the top of my head. Then I go back and take 1 inch strands and wrap it around the barrel and hold it for a bit.. and release. I do this because I like the curls around my face to be slightly more defined than the rest of my hair and I want to make sure to cool down my roots to set the volume I created. Then, I finish my hair off with a finishing cream and hairspray. I am left with loose waves with lots of volume.
Curling with a 1" Flat Iron - Underneath my hair, I start at the roots and clamp the iron down and using both hands I hold on the iron on each side (for more control) and rotate the iron slowly and slightly upward. As I bring the iron down the strand, I am slowly rotating the iron in a circular motion. Don't clamp your hair too hard or you may end up with lots of bumps/impressions from the iron. Holding it too lightly may not curl the strand correctly. Also, the slower down the strand you do, the curlier the strand will come out. The faster you go, the less curly the strand will be. For underneath my hair, till about halfway up.. I like the strand to be more wavy than curly. So I go somewhat quick through this section of my hair. Then the top half of my head, I like the curls to be more defined and I go a little slower with each strand. The strands that fall on the sides of my face, I curl the strand opposite of my face. I came across a video that illustrates the technique I use perfectly. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-DwlfjbltE - She doesn't start till about 3:00 minutes.. you can fast forward to that part. Prior she is teasing her hair). If you already know how to curl your hair with a flat iron.. this would just be review for you. Like usual, I run my fingers through my hair to loosen up the curls and then I finish off with a finishing cream and hairspray. If I want a softer look, I'll comb through my hair with a paddle brush and then use the finishing cream and spray.
ashleyvictoria (not affiliated) on youtube has great hair tutorials.. if you go to her channel.. type "hair" in her uploads to see all of her hair videos. I also like foxylocksextensions (not affiliated) channel.
Hair Products - The only products I use are Bedhead After Party, Beyond the Zone Flipped out Spray and Fantasia Heat Protector. The current shampoo I use is Kiss my Face Big Body Shampoo, which I love.. It cleans my hair great.. leaving my hair feeling very lightweight and voluminous. I do not use conditioner. For extra shine, I like to use organic, unrefined coconut oil.
I hope this post answered some of your questions and if you have any others, post them in my comments and I'll my best in answering them!