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Young girl with bangs

Hairstyles for Back to School

Switching into Back to School mode after a long stretch of more relaxed summer schedules requires a lot more than simply setting your smartphone’s alarm to sound at a significantly earlier time in the morning. There are numerous occasions when everyone seems to take extra time and effort for looking their best, but none more significant than when it comes to preparation efforts for returning to school with a really killing look that will adequately remove any doubts about your advanced fashionista status on everyone’s mind, and sealing the deal for the whole year. And when it comes to the most important aspect of your entire look, it’s got to be your hair.

New Year, New “Do”
There’s never a better time to show up with a fresh new coif than at the start of a brand new school year. Here are some styles for thought in choosing the perfect do for the 2015-2016 school year.

Young woman with braided ponytail.

Cinching the Deal With Braids and Ponytails
For anyone choosing to stick with mid length and longer tresses, one way to jazz it up anytime is by hiding the rubber and elastic bands that are used to gather sleek ponytails securely or to finish off with braids at the ends. Proceed just as you normally would, in securing your braid or ponytail with a clear elastic stretchy band, but then take a small section from the hair to wrap around the band, securing it with a small bobby pin. Luxe, for sure.

Fishtail braid

Fish Tales
The popularity of the Fishtail braiding technique is still huge, and this gorgeous braid is so easy to do, in many ways much easier than conventional three-strand braiding. The Fishtail braid is especially flattering when done off to one side. And while you can easily gather all of your hair up into the braid, a much more softly romantic effect comes from leaving a few random wisps hanging out.

Young girl with ponytail.

Ponying Up
Ponytails are back, or may have never gone that far, but the many ways they’re being worn has expanded, for sure. The Classic, Side, Half Ponytail, Twirled Half and the Layered Ponytail are further open to unique and personal effects by whether you choose to make it look all neat and sleek, or and messy. Straight ponytails are best achieved by first straightening the hair. Messy ponytails are kind of self-explanatory, and actually, messier looks are best achieved (and hold best) the next day, not the same day you wash your hair.

Young girl with pixie cut.

Going Short
The trendy Pixie cut is every bit as popular as ever, with a whole lot of power to give you a variety of looks, from one simple, short cut. You can rock your return to school with a fresh and fringy appearance that is most pronounced in the front, although the cut looks great when you’ve used the right products and methods to get that “just out of bed” texture. You can change up this look with just the right accents, from sparkly barrettes and cute headbands.

Young woman with bangs

She Bangs!
Bangs are back! From wisps to thick, blunt edges, bangs are a fall favorite right now. Tip: Always start with a longer look than you’d like, especially if your hair is wet – you can always cut more but you can’t back track with bangs.

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Young girl with wavy hair.

How to Get Waves for Any Hair Type

Wavy hair is the perfect style for the summer. It creates a sexy, relaxed look like you just came back from the beach or you just woke up looking like that. You may have tried giving yourself the tousled look but watched your gorgeous waves go limp and flat. Here are some tips to get perfect waves no matter what hair type you have:

Straight Hair
Wash your hair and let it air dry. Apply a texturizing spray then wrap 2-inch sections of hair around the barrel of a curling iron. Don’t grab the hair with the iron and curl it tightly around the barrel. Let the curls hang loosely while you finish the hair all the way around.

Finger comb through the curls when you’re done, and apply more texturizing spray.

Woman with curly hair.

Curly Hair
If you have naturally curly hair, you will have to relax or straighten it a bit to get the waves you want. Blow out your hair with a round brush to loosen the curls. Just make sure you apply an anti-frizz spray or serum so that your hair doesn’t look fuzzy. You want a messy look, not a frizzy mess. When you’re done blowing out your hair, wrap sections around a curling iron as above to get the waves. Add a texturizing spray to finish the look.

Wavy Hair
Just because your hair is naturally wavy doesn’t mean it has the curl you want. Start styling your hair when it is dry and unwashed for best results. If you want to style after washing, using a curl cream and put your hair in a bun to dry. With naturally wavy hair, you only need to wrap the flat sections around a curling iron. Apply texturizing spray and scrunch the curls in your fingers.

Also, if you like a little MORE wave to your hair, instead of a bun, go for a fairly tight braid! This lasts a little longer than a bun as it takes a while to “relax”.

Woman with bedhead hair.

The “Bedhead” Look
It’s the carefree, naturally voluminous style that may look effortless but takes a little effort and a bit of product to achieve. Wash your hair and allow it to air dry after applying a dime-sized amount of gel to damp hair. Tousle every 15-20 minutes and sit in the sun as much as possible. Do NOT brush through!

The sexy wave look is hot right now, and you can achieve it no matter what type of hair you have. You just have to use the right techniques and the right products. Use these simple tips and you’ll have the tousled, beach look down pat.

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Woman with frizzy hair.

Quick Hair Taming Tips

One of the most disappointing appearance fails that can happen to any woman is to spend a hefty chunk of time (and often cash) on your hair–carefully styling it with precision and products and a lot of techniques for the perfect looking tresses possible, only for it to morph. So, there you are, confidently going about your day, moving in style from class to class or place to place, and then at some point later you happen to walk by a mirror or reflective object–only to catch a horrifying glimpse of what you really look like. While this is thankfully not always the case, there are certain elements that can tend to produce frizz flare up. With a little know how and preparation though, such an unfortunate mishap does not have to happen to your hair. Fix it and forget it, as they say.

Young woman with frizzy hair

Frizz-Causers
Frizz can suddenly arise from a variety of culprits. Badly damaged hair can look great for the first 30 minutes, but all that depletion of excessive heat styling and stripping of natural proteins from harsh products can soon produce a frizzy mess. Some hair types and textures respond more resiliently to humidity and other frizz producers than others, but any hair type is susceptible of style damage from the elements at one time or another. Be prepared, with a little valuable knowledge and readiness.

Alcohol
Happy hour cocktails are fine, but the kind of alcohol that is damaging to your hair is found in hair care products. Best bet? Just avoid using any hair products that contain alcohol. There are just too many better alternatives out there for your hair. Read the labels.

What to Look For
In label reading for the best looking hair, go for products that include polymers and silicone, which coat your hair and are effective at keeping it in place, the way you styled it. These also create a nice moisture barrier for your hair, for even really humid weather.

The Frizz Killer – Flat Iron
Everyone has heard of a flat iron but few know the power of this must-have tool! Even a few strokes with this magic wand can transform hair from frizz to fabulous in mere seconds. The trick is to make sure you prepare your hair for the heat by spraying your locks with a heat-safe hair spray, applied to damp hair. This will keep your hair in great condition and also keeps damage at bay, allowing you to use your flat iron over and over without worry!

Frizz From Static
Whether to tame your hair or your clothing on a chilly day when the heating system (or clothes dryer) delivers up a charge to everything, a couple of dryer sheets from your laundry products cabinet make great static tamers, and require very little room in your handbag or cosmetics bag.

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Woman using flat iron

Easy Back to School Hair Styles with Your Flat Iron

Especially difficult for all the late risers of summer distinction–the rapid transition to school mode mornings can be quite unsettling for even the most fearless returning students. Everyone knows how important it is to squeeze every last millisecond from that nasty, dream-killing noise of the alarm clock–or in some cases, the robotic daily repeat from a wakeup parent banging on the door and/or presenting vocal mandates. The harsh reality following whatever method of wake-up you rely on, at some point, you have to respond by getting yourself out of bed, to begin your own personalized style of achieving morning readiness. More than any other time, you need corner-cutting methods and devices that give you the look with lightening speed.

Young girl straightening her hair

No Time to Waste Means Time-Saving Hair Looks
Deciding what to wear to school can be radically different, on a student-to-student basis, with efforts that can start with the most ardent lovers of sleep simply dressing for the next day of school the night before, and slumbering away through the night in anticipation of a simple wake-up followed by a walk-out the front door – all ready and school-bound. Beyond the clothing–and probably even way more critical to your overall feeling of being school-ready than any other morning routine component, is your hair. It is the first thing people notice, and even with the tightest of morning time windows, the good news is that your hair can look fabulous, if you know what you’re doing with that flat iron in the bathroom.

So Much More!
That simple looking flat iron to you may only represent your go-to straight hair mode, but think again, because the way you regard it is about to change. You don’t even need to buy other hair styling tools, if you own a flat iron. Save money and time every morning, too! Learn how to expand your flat iron proficiency, and love your hair!

Young girl with wavy hair.

Get Those Beachy Waves
Begin with dry hair, and section it into 2” strands, braiding each section. Next, take your fully heated flat iron and squeeze it down onto each braid, moving from the root area on down to the ends. Do this with each braid. Leave braided until cooled completely. Now, undo the braids and then run your fingers through your locks to separate them into luscious waves. Finish with a light spritz of your favorite relaxed holding power.

Quickest Curls
Clamp your iron near the roots of a 2” section of hair, and begin moving the iron downwards, twisting it 90 degrees up or down as you pull it along. Think of your hair as curling ribbon, and how you can use scissors to make it curl more. Same thing. But don’t use scissors, please! Looser curls: begin a few inches from the ends, and apply less of an angle, from your iron.

Young girl using flat iron

Hair Art
Apply hair chalk, after which a follow up using your flat iron will not only smooth your do, but it will make the color pop and appear to be an authentic dye job.

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90′s Inspiration: Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

When it comes to beauty icons who totally rocked the 90s, Drew Barrymore was absolutely at the top! And not only was she the iconic representation of everything good about 90s’ fashion, her keen sense of style has stuck with her ever since, too. And now, in 2015, she still does it, with enviable “everything.” The 90s have made a comeback, which you’ve probably noticed, and for doing the decade appropriately, look to Drew Barrymore, copy her, emulate her, and you’ll be spot-on!

Her Perfect Style Symmetry
DB’s 90s looks spanned the whole range of possibilities of the decade, and she killed every one of them. Sure, she has the looks, the hair and the attitude to pull them all off, but everyone can learn a lot from just following her lead–in one or several key areas. DB did grunge with splendid flair, while at the same time, she could pop up at a party sporting a 90’s satin, empire waist mini and matching heels–stealing the party. The 90s culture was permeated with its own brand of identity-consciousness that prompted the flow of simple “big.” From 90s chokers to baggy men’s clothing, DB has worn it all, without ever losing an ounce of that charm.

Elements to Remember
DB 90s’ style incorporates a wide range of looks, and within those looks you’ll find layers of materials that play important roles in her signature dress of the decade. Think satin and velvet…think head wear ranging from minimalist boho head jewelry, floral hair accents and romantic and breezy scarves loosely holding casually upswept locks.

Forever Synonymous With the 90s
Other Drew Barrymore trademark 90s elements include black patent platforms, lots of different vests, her favorite brick-red lipstick, Daisy Dukes and who can forget that black fanny pack around her waist? One small DB secret is that in her quest to authentically portray the awkwardness of youth in the 90s (much to the chagrin of makeup and wardrobe crew,) she even applied her character’s concealer so it showed up on film. She explains that this is exactly how young girls begin wearing makeup.

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Hair Crimping for 2015

Hold on, wait, wait, wait! Don’t throw away that crimping iron! You’re going to need it, after all these years, yes–you read that correctly. Did you part with it, envisioning a futuristic world devoid of crimps altogether? No Worries. If you are starting to feel like your decision to toss that very specific heated hair tool is going to wind up leaving you in the fashion dust, think again! New versions of the once “everything” hair style are breaking ground and being met with nothing but rave reviews from the top salons and hair designers of 2015. What this means is that you can buy a new one, and chances are it’ll be much safer and kinder to your hair.

Woman with crimped hair

Many Tried, and Many Failed
Numerous crimping comebacks have been attempted by others in the years following the crimping craze swan song, and until now, all have failed. Hairstylist Eugene Souleiman claims to be the one responsible for finally succeeding with a spin he placed on the decades-old wild style. Souleiman’s idea was to avoid any reference to the crimped hair of the 90s, making his version much tamer, controlled and intentional – the opposite of the yesterhair of the 90s. So, while busy at work backstage for Stella McCartney’s 2015 Spring show, he managed to introduce crimped hair back into these hair-happy times. Then, what he did was to perfectly part, then smooth the hair flat with a light oil. He next came back and using a mini-crimper, he crimped a few small, rather random sections of the hair. To finish it off, he pulled it all back – crimped and straight hair together – into a tight, low ponytail.

Crimped hair

The Key to Modern Crimping
Crimping offers a lot of distinction and fun for a myriad of modern hair looks, with the focus on leaving sufficient uncrimped sections to guarantee you won’t look like you emerged from a 90’s deep freeze cryo-chamber.  It’s the blending of straight with crimped strands that works on all styles, whether part up and part down, ponytails braids and more.

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Edgy 90s Hairstyles

The 90’s brought us hunky boy bands, Pogs, Pokemon, Tamogotchi, choker necklaces, and basically every other thing that has at some point brought joy to your life. Another thing we can credit the 90’s with? Some pretty badass hairstyles.

Sure, you might not feel particularly comfortable reliving those butterfly-clipped memories, but what about all of the other edgy 90’s hairstyles that were once considered to be trendy? Here are some of our favorites.

Half up half down.

The Half-Up, Half-Down
Anyone who loved Dawson’s Creek has at one point in time experimented with this ‘half-up, half-down’ hair style from the 90’s. While we may never be able to truly compete with Katie Holmes, we can certainly showcase our appreciation by copying her hair. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all, right?

The Rachel
Another example of a hairstyle inspired by a person from the 90’s we idolized with everything we had, the Rachel. The Rachel is famously known as the hairstyle showcased by Rachel from Friends. This iconic, layered, shoulder-length hair cut was coveted by women everywhere and featured choppy layers that framed the face of the wearer.

Center Part hairstyle

The Center Part
To this day, I still don’t feel completely confident rocking a center part as I get nightmarish flashbacks to my elementary school days in the 90’s. The center part, however, was incredibly trendy throughout the 90’s and has since made a comeback in the later 2000’s. Who knew something from the 90’s could look so high-fashioned!?

Space Buns
We can thank Baby Spice for introducing us to the ‘space bun’ look of the 90’s. With two pigtails placed high on the head and twisted and pinned into small buns, this look was one of Baby Spice’s most iconic.

The Strands
Every person who lived through the 1990s is guilty of at one point trying the look that involved two loose strands of hair on either side of their face. Why the loose strands of hair? We’ll never be able to say for sure.

Pigtails.

Pig Tails
Pigtails were all the rage in the 90s. Britney Spears had us hooked with her braided piggies from her Baby One More Time video, and variations of the look worn by Baby Spice had us dying to try them for ourselves.

Spikes
Layered, spiky hair was popular for both girls and boys of the 90s. Whether your hair was long or short, chances are you didn’t escape this trend. While boys spiked their frost-tipped hair, girls often exhibited the spikes in a different way, either through spiky ponytails or defined, gelled layers.

Crimped hairstyle

Crimping
Our personal favorite hair trend from the 90s would have to be crimping. Many are 100% guilty of reppin’ a full head of crimped hair, and we love that crimping has made a comeback in the 2000s in a more discreet, stylish way. Thank you fashion Gods!

These are our favorite edgy hairstyles from the 90s. Which ones are you guilty of rocking? Let us know with a comment below!

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Mermaid perched on a rock.

Real Life Mermaids

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid? If you have, you’ll probably understand why these women chose to grow up and become their own version of that – a real life mermaid. Well, just about as real life as you can get! Today, Lionesse is going to take a look into the lives of a couple real-life mermaids, who spend every day as their career and passion taking to the water for the love of it, and for the entertainment of others.

Linden Wolbert – California, USA
Linden knew she wanted to be a mermaid from the time she was a little girl. Upon growing up, learning to swim and snorkel, and then freediving, and learning to have a keen appreciation for sea life around the world due to her many travels, she began exploring the possibilities of becoming a real life mermaid. Linden’s grandmother became ill with cancer when Linden began expressing her desire to become a mermaid, and her grandmother told her to pursue her dreams of the ocean, passing away tragically soon thereafter. Linden’s grandmother left her an inheritance, which Linden utilized to have a realistic, one of a kind mermaid tail created by a Hollywood artist who works solely on creating realistic, lifelike props for movies, and took about 7 months to complete. When all was said and done, a 35 lb hand designed, hand-painted tail was born, which propels Linden through the water at the speed of dolphins, and allows her to swim with precision and velocity. Her passion is helping children in countries where they are less fortunate learn to swim. Currently, she is working on a project in the Bahamas, where they have the 3rd highest drowning death rate in the world, to help all children learn to swim properly.

Hannah Fraser

Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Hannah Fraser – Real Life Mermaid
Hannah had big dreams about becoming a mermaid since we was a little girl. At 3 years old, she began drawing stick figures which she decided should be mermaids, and it’s been this way ever since. She was a water baby, and nearly always had a fascination with the water. At 9 years old, she created her very own mermaid tail, which she claims is extremely unsafe, and was made from pillow stuffing, and had her mom help her tie her legs together to get into the pool. She also jokingly states it’s a wonder her mother let her get into the pool with her legs tied up and soggy pillow stuffing holding her down. Since that time, Hannah has become extremely involved in oceanography, starring in the movie, ‘The Cove’, and works with many charitable organizations to spread awareness about oceanic conservation. She also loves helping children become better swimmers.

Both of these lovely mermaids had always looked up to one another, yet never actually met each other until 20/20 made it possible for them to do so. They have been friends ever since, and are paving the way for other real life mermaids to make their way into the world.

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Woman dressed like a mermaid.

Caring For Your Mermaid Hair

Once you’ve gotten your gorgeous new mermaid hair color incorporated into your summer style, you probably love it so much you want to take care of it as best as you can. That’s why we at Lionesse put together this mermaid hair guide to give you some helpful advice and tips on how you can keep the look you want and love for as long as possible without your hair fading or changing too quickly.

Woman using a shampoo

Use Color Safe Shampoo
Using a color safe shampoo will ensure your hair color doesn’t wash away before its time. This is usually done by removing sulfates from the shampoo products, which strip the hair of color, and replacing those ingredients with other ingredients that are color safe. This is the first step to hanging onto your gorgeous color. You should also only wash your hair as often as necessary, not every day, to avoid washing the color away too soon.

Woman wearing a swimming cap in a pool

Avoid Chlorine
Whenever possible, avoid chlorine. If you have city water at your home, chances are, you will have chlorinated water supplies running to your home. In this case, there’s not much you can do in terms of showering – but you can use a chlorine fighting shampoo instead of a color treating shampoo a couple of times per week rather than allow the chlorine to destroy your hair. If you are going to be going in chlorinated pools, use a product meant for swimmers on your hair to protect it from the chlorine. You could also wear a swimming cap, if you want to really protect your hair. If you do happen to get chlorine on your hair, use a clarifying shampoo in the shower later on that day when you get home and take your shower.

Woman using a moisturizer

Use UV Protection On Your Hair
Using UV sun protection every time you step out the front door (or back door) to spend time in the sun is super important – not just for your body, but for your hair as well. Opt for a good quality hair sunscreen product, and you can’t go wrong.

Woman wearing a hat sipping cocktails in a beach

Wear Hats
Whenever possible, wear a nice floppy hair to deflect the sun and protect your beautiful hair from the sun’s harmful rays.

Woman using a flat iron to style her hair

Use Caution When Styling
As you’ve probably noticed, once you had your mermaid hairstyle completed, your hair now feels much more fragile and delicate, which calls for the need to be extra cautious when styling or fixing your hair, to avoid breakage and split ends.

Woman applying hair conditioner

Use Leave In Conditioner and Moisturizer
Once you get out of the shower and have washed your hair and conditioned your hair, you will want to take things one step further and apply a leave in conditioner all over the hair, massaged in, followed by a hair moisturizer to really infuse the hair with moisture and protection against the day to day wear and tear on your hair, the environment’s role on your hair, and styling the hair every day.

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Woman looking at her damaged hair

Secret Hair Ruiners

There are many thing you may be doing on a daily basis that may be ruining your hair – and you might not even know it. Some of the thing you may be doing every day may be damaging your hair in a big way, and we feel you have a right to know what those things are. Today, Lionesse is going to give you some of the top ways you might be harming your hair and how you can stop, change that, or do something differently to protect your precious hair.

Woman tying her hair.

Hair Ties
Your hair tie could be playing a big role in the breakage you are dealing with on a daily basis, pretty. Therefore, be sure to steer clear from elastics covered in nylon in a woven pattern – which are the typical hair ties we see everywhere – and instead, opt for terrycloth and lycra materials when it comes to choosing your hair tie, which won’t break the hair strands. Also, be extra careful when removing your hair tie because you don’t want to cause unnecessary breakage and friction on the hair than is absolutely necessary.

Woman with a ponytail

High Ponytails
High ponytails, although they look cute, can cause a lot of worry to those with thin, damaged, or color treated hair. By constantly putting the hair up high on top of the head, you run the risk of the hair snapping off at the frontal hairline – which, obviously, doesn’t look very charming. Avoid this from happening by wearing a lower pony, or a bun instead.

Woman air drying her hair

Allowing Your Hair to Air Dry
Many women believe allowing their hair to air dry is a far better option than choosing to blow dry – but that is not the case, say some expert stylists. When you allow your hair to air dry, it leaves the cuticle ‘open’ and is more likely to sustain damage by snagging or pulling, rather than blow drying in a gentle manner and closing off the cuticle, and allowing it to lay flat, thus avoiding less damage. As a tip, when you use your blow dryer, use the lowest heat setting possible, and be sure to use the concentrator tip that comes with the blow dryer to avoid burning the hair.

Woman buying shampoo

Your Shampoo & Styling Products
Using your favorite shampoo and styling products isn’t a crime – but when it comes to product buildup and mineral buildup on your hair due to the elements, hard water minerals, chlorine, and products used on a daily basis, the only way to alleviate these from the hair is to use a weekly clarifying shampoo once per week.

Woman wearing a hat in a beach

Missing Out on UV Protection for Your Hair
If you ever step foot out your front door and leave your house without spraying on or smoothing in some UV protection made specifically for your hair, you’re making a big mistake. UV protection for your tresses is just as important as UV protection for your body. Be sure to protect your color treated and even natural toned hair with a good UV protection spray or serum every time you leave home.

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