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Woman curling hair

How to Curl Your Hair for a Special Event

Woman curling hair

Attending special events are always so much fun, but the prep is usually a tad stressful. What should I wear? How should I do my hair and makeup? Will my hair go flat, or frizz out? Ohh the panic that can consume us as we get ready for big events, we’ve all been there. If you’re looking to curl your hair for a special event, in comes the stress wondering if the curls will hold all night. There’s nothing more frustrating than taking the time to do your hair for an event and by the time you arrive down it goes, right? Let’s walk through a few tips to make sure the next special event you curl your hair for, the curls hold!

Prepping is Key
Just like with your makeup routine, it’s important to prep your hair prior to starting to curl. Depending on your hair type will depend on the prepping product you need. If you have naturally straight hair, you’ll want to spray in a volumizing and/or texturizing product near the roots and massage it into your hair. If you have naturally wavy or curly hair you’ll want to opt for a smoothing product to avoid any frizz from happening. When applying the smoothing product it’s ideal to start with the product around the mid point of your hair and work your way down (avoid the roots, as it can make your roots appear oily).

*You can opt to add in a heat protecting spray if you choose, you would do that here*

Dry it!
After you’ve prepped your hair, it’s time to dry your hair. While it may seem odd since you’re wanting to achieve curls, you want to dry your hair straight. When drying, it’s suggested to start at the roots for a little extra volume. Make sure your hair is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Let’s Start Curling
Now that your hair is dry, many experts suggest spritzing your hair lightly with hairspray to help with the hold. Don’t forget to flip your hair upside down to get the bottom layers! Once you’re ready taking a 1-inch section of hair with your curling iron, holding the curling iron vertically rotate the iron away from your face. Hold the hair for around 5 seconds and release. Once you’ve released take that piece of hair and roll it around your finger to secure it with a bobby pin at your scalp. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Continue this process throughout the rest of your head taking 1-inch sections. You can alter the direction you curl to add more dimension and make sure the curls don’t get stuck together. Once you’ve curled and pinned all your hair spritz another layer of hair spray. Let your hair set and cool for a few minutes.

Let it Go!
Once you’ve let the curls cool and set in the bobby pins, you can release the bobby pins from all over. You will want to use your fingers to comb through the curls to break them up a bit. Once you’ve done that, and styled any bangs the way you want, do one last spritz of hairspray and you’re done!

What are your favorite hair curling tips?

Loose topknot

Beachy Updos

Whether you’re on the beach or the summer heat is starting to approach, if you have long hair you’re constantly looking for ways to keep your locks from making you feel even hotter. You consistently go to the ever trustworthy ponytail look, but after so long it starts to get old. Instead of settling for the same ponytail hairstyle, why not mix it up with some new twists to boost your look but still keep it functional?

Crown braids

Braids are a great way to add a beachy feel to your hairstyle, and also keep your hair out of your face and off the back of your neck. This season there’s been a lot of braided headband looks. It’s easy to do and often the less perfect they look, the chicer they are! When you’re going for a beachy look it’s less about the hairspray helmet and more about the go-with-the-flow vibe.

Loose topknot

Undone Topknots
Topknots have made a huge impact in trends the past couple of years, and they’re still going strong. When you’re looking for a beachy vibe for your hair, try the messy or undone topknot. When the Kardashian sisters first started rockin’ the topknots they were more pinned back and perfect knots, now it’s more about the loosely finished knots. Have a few lumps on the top? Work with them! Pull out a few pieces of hair around your face. Don’t stress if it isn’t perfect, that’s the beauty of a beachy look.

Wavy bun hairstyle

Work with the Wave
If you have naturally wavy or curly hair, work with it! Embrace the waviness in your hair with buns and ponytails. The waves add to the beachy feel. If you have naturally straight hair, add in a few waves with a curling iron. Again, the waves don’t have to be perfect.

Side swept bun

Side Sweep
Side swept parts are a quick and easy way to add a little touch of elegance to your hairstyle. Think a side part with a low bun, or roll your waves up and pin them in for something a little different than your typical bun.

All in all, the best beachy updos are those that combine function with style. The combination of these two factors allows you to have more flexibility and less stress about you hair being ‘perfect.’ Whatever occasion you need a beachy updo for, the ease and flexibility gives you the option to wear them for more formal occasions or just for everyday wear. Since the possibilities really span a wide range, it’s up to you to decide what feels right for you, your age and your hair. Since most of the styles require minimal effort anyone can accomplish these looks. Remember, beachy updos aren’t about being perfect in fact the less perfect the more beachy it feels.

So what beachy updo look are you going to try first?

Twists hairstyle

Dreads and Twists: The Basics

deadlocks hairstyle

Dreadlocks (Locs, Dreads, Locks)
Dreadlocking is one of the oldest types of hairstyles, simply because it’s…not technically a hairstyle! Dreadlocks form when you don’t wash, shampoo, touch, brush, or style your hair at all, and over time, the natural oils from your hair will start to form locks, matting, and new textures. Dreadlocks are just the state most people’s hair will naturally form into without any type of disturbance, especially if their hair is curly, thick, or kinky. For this reason, Dreadlocks can be a type of spiritual purity: among some Sadhus and Sadhvis, Hindu holy men and women, dreadlocks are seen as a sign of dedication to the idea that vanity is evil. By not touching their hair, they outwardly show their inward purity and lack of vanity.

However, making dreadlocks is, of course, a hairstyle in its own right. Because the slow process of just never touching your hair for years is an unideal way to form locs that aren’t uncomfortable and matted (this way is called “natural” or “freeform”), it’s usually done in a more methodological way.

The way a stylist will loc your hair completely depends on what texture hair you have, the length of your hair, and the type of dread you want. For thinner, straighter hair that doesn’t have kink in it (usually Caucasian hair), the process of dreadlocking involves separating your hair into where you want the locs, backcombing your hair into a semblance of a loc, then applying wax to help keep its shape. Dreadlocks, no matter what hair texture, take the time to develop and grow: when getting the initial locking done, you won’t walk out of the salon with an immediately full head of dreads. Instead, dreadlocking is a constant process of waxing, waiting for more hair to mat and grow in, and not washing it until after your desired lock has formed.

For other hair textures, like those with kinky, curly, or coarsely textured hair, the process of salon dreadlocking may include extensions to start the locking process. The hair is divided into parts, then “waxed” similar to the other procedure, then allowed to grow out and mat itself into a longer, thicker dreadlock throughout time.

Twists hairstyle

Similar to dreadlocks in appearance but definitely not in creation, twists are a popular style among African-American communities because of their ease and attractiveness. Twists are a type of braiding that is achieved by dividing hair into different sections, twisting various strands of hair, and then twisting two twisted strands around each another. They can also be created with one strand of hair at a time, with a comb.

The process of making twists can vary depending on hair length and texture, but it usually involves taking naturally curly, wet hair, relaxing it in hot water, and twisting while still wet. Because of the naturally curly texture, when the hair dries, it shrinks, locking the braid in place and creating a texture similar to dreadlocks. Twists are also sometimes done with dry hair, which creates a heavier, more dread-like texture. Twists are not always worn by themselves: they look great combined with other types of hairstyles as well.

In order to maintain twist hairstyles, it’s important to cover your head with silk night caps or turbans to keep the twists intact.

Have any tips on maintaining or creating one of these hairstyles? Let us know in the comments below!

Portrait of Madame C J Walker

The First Self-Made American Female Millionaire

Portrait of Madame C J Walker


Picture the town of Delta, Louisiana during the late nineteenth century.

Women did not have the right to vote. The Emancipation Proclamation was brand new, only having been passed three years earlier. The South was completely segregated, and most black men and women still lived as sharecroppers or worked in agricultural settings. Racial tension wasn’t just “racial tension”: in the United States, it was racial division, and lynchings and murders were frequent. The KKK was extremely active, driven by racism and the policies of Southern reconstruction, and were a constant threat to the not only the civil rights, but the actual lives of Southern black Americans. Madame C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was born into this place: she was born a second-class citizen, the wrong color, wrong class, wrong gender, and made her living with her hands, picking cotton for a white boss. And by the time she passed away at the age of 51, she was America’s first female self-made millionaire. How did this happen?

In short, Madame C.J. Walker was one of the first black Americans to fill the void of black haircare. Until she came along, most black Americans had been treating their hair with only lye soap, and had very limited access to clean water, which meant they weren’t able to bathe as often as is healthy. According to data from that era, the majority of black Americans suffered from extreme cases of seborrheic dermatitis (an advanced form of dandruff), and most were only able to bathe once or twice a week. Sarah Breedlove was one of those black Americans, who came home every day with dirt under her fingernails, a hurting back, no clean water, an itchy scalp, and sun-damaged hair. The thought of “beauty” could not have been farther from her mind.

But Sarah’s two brothers worked in a men’s barber shop in the North, where black Americans had access to some more privileges (although extremely limited), such as more access to running water and jobs that afforded them extra income for hair care. From her brothers, Sarah learned that black hair had different needs than Caucasian hair, and lye soap strips and damages the scalp over an extended period of time, leading to the infections she saw back home.

Sarah decided that her world needed change. She saved up her measly income picking cotton, eventually working her way up to becoming a salesperson, and soon began her own company, marketing herself as a hairdresser and seller of hair products for black women. In July of 1906, Sarah Breedlove, a black southern American and a single mother, founded the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing company.

The Madame C.J. Walker company became the most successful black hair care company not only in the United States, but even found a market in Cuba, Jamaica, the Caribbean Islands, South America, and parts of Africa and Central America. Madame C.J. Walker married, and with the help of her marketing husband, attended numerous events in support of black rights in the US, and her circle of influence included great civil rights activists like Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Mary McLeod Bethune. She helped fund black community landscapes by pledging $1,000 to the building fund for the Senate Avenue YMCA as well as contributing scholarship funds to the Tuskegee Institute. Other beneficiaries included Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Indianapolis’s Flanner House; the Palmer Memorial Institute in North Carolina; Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Georgia; Industrial School for Negro Girls (which later became Bethune-Cookman University) and Mary McLeod Bethune’s Daytona Education in Daytona Beach, Florida. Walker was also a patron of the arts.

Madame C.J. Walker died at the young age of 51, with $8 million to her estate. She died an example of how dedication, perseverance, ingenuity, and challenging authority can let black women, in the words of Maya Angelou, continue to “rise”. So the next time you walk down the “Ethnic” hair care aisle at your local beauty salon, remember to thank Madame C.J. Walker for revolutionizing the black haircare industry and beginning a fight for equal representation in beauty products for black women.

Avant garde wedding inspiration

Wedding Themes for the Avant-Garde Bride

Ah, weddings. A time of happiness, love, food, and family. Until about twenty years ago, weddings in the United States were pretty standard: white dress, white cake, stuffy church, and a normal priest. But now, as millennials come into the bridal market, they’re demanding much more personalization, more fun, and more uniqueness in their weddings.

People now see weddings as ways not only to express their love, but to express their own personal brand of love: whether that means the couple loves Jane Austen and serves tea at the reception, or if they’re huge football fans and hold their vow ceremony in the sports bar where they met. Marriage is being redefined, both in awesomely significant ways and certainly in smaller ways as we make ceremonies about marriage.

So, let’s say you’re a bride who considers herself “avant-garde”. You love the unique simply for the sake of being unique: anything that defies the norm is what you find attractive. For someone like you, a boring white dress in a boring white chapel probably won’t cut it, but all of the Southern-Belle Pinterest trends of chalkboards and mason jars probably don’t attract you either. You’re looking for something fresh, unique, and exciting. Looking for a theme to work within? Here’s one of our favorites (and stay tuned for more!).

Avant garde wedding inspiration

The Minimalist Wedding
Right now, pretty much every wedding involves tons of flowers (and cacti, oddly), a full photographer, chalkboard setting cards, burlap everywhere…you get the idea. There’s just a lot. And it usually takes place in a barn or something. If you’ve lived in the United States for the past twenty years and don’t live under a rock, you’ll likely know exactly what we mean.

Point is, that’s a lot of stuff. Lots of planning, lots of dresses, lots of bridesmaids…it can seem too overwhelming. So if you’re not only balking at a traditional wedding, but balking at the expense, time consumption, and sensory overload from a modern wedding, a minimalistic wedding might be your best choice.

  • Venue: Try finding a place that’s meaningful for you and your partner like the park you met in or the place they proposed. Or, if you wanted to go super-minimalist, have the ceremony and reception in your house–what better way to bless your marriage than inside your own home?
  • Colors: Although you may assume a minimalist wedding means a strictly black and white color scheme, that’s not necessarily so! Try having a “pop” color throughout, such as a bright coral lipstick and coral invitations.
  • Party: Keep your party as small as you’d like. No worrying about inviting great-aunt-so-and-so because she’d be offended: just do what makes you happy, and only bring the people who make you happy. This includes possibly striking the idea of bridesmaids as well, to save drama over the maid of honor and issues with finding dresses for them.
  • Wedding Dress: Modern wedding dresses are at, like, quinceanera levels of opulence right now. Which is awesome, but a sleek, minimalistic dress is absolutely beautiful on the right person. Look for simple white slips, heirloom jewelry, and minimalist makeup.

Do you have a favorite avant-garde wedding theme? Let us know in the comments!

Kerry Washington

Bangs Are Back: Celebrities Who Rock Forehead Fringe

From wispy to bold, bangs are definitely back for the season. They look wonderful with almost every hair length, texture, and face shape, and can add some ease to your morning hair routine.

Bangs can be a scary trim: for first-time choppers, they can seem too high-maintenance or intimidating. And while they may be too much to handle for some, most find them a fun way to spice up a drab haircut or add some fun texture to their hair. These celebrities have some of our absolute favorite bangs and showcase how great bangs can look on every type of face, hair length, color, and texture. If you’re considering taking the plunge into some forehead fringe, read on for some celebrity inspiration!

Penelope Cruz

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Penelope Cruz
Penelope’s easygoing bangs help frame her face and show off her beautiful angled jawline. As a bonus, they keep her voluminous mane from looking too heavy, and add some weight towards the front of her head as well. A+!

  • Face Shape: Square
  • Hair Length: Long
  • Hair Texture: Wavy/Curly with lots of body and volume
  • Bang Style: Thick and side swept
Kerry Washington

DFree /

Kerry Washington
Kerry’s super-feminine bangs make sure to not overwhelm her delicate features by leaving little bits of space: she definitely doesn’t just have a solid block of hair on her forehead. The wispiness keeps Kerry’s cut looking fresh, young, and vibrant.

  • Face Shape: Heart
  • Hair Length: Mid-length, collarbone
  • Hair Texture: Naturally kinky and curly, chemically straightened
  • Bang Style: Delicate, feminine, and wispy

Featureflash /

Always the one to set trends and go for the big looks, Beyonce’s new baby bangs look spectacular! Paired with the light caramel color, long length, and Veronica Lake-esque curls, she looks like the epitome of a modernized 50s pin up girl. Try this baby bang look if you’re feeling adventurous!

  • Face Shape: Heart
  • Hair Length: Long
  • Hair Texture: Voluminous and textured
  • Bang Style: Pin-up baby bangs
Alexa Chung

Featureflash /

Alexa Chung
We absolutely love the way Alexa Chung’s bangs frame her beautiful bone structure! These bangs work great for women who don’t have a lot of forehead space to work with, and for those who want to emphasize their eyes. The peek-a-boo effect that this bang cut has keeps all the focus on Alexa’s eyes, without detracting from her strong jaw.

  • Face Shape: Square
  • Hair Length: Short, mid-bob
  • Hair Texture: Straight, somewhat thin
  • Bang Style: 70s parted shag bangs
Reese Witherspoon

Tinseltown /

Reese Witherspoon
For those of us lacking in the volume department, Reese Witherspoon’s bangs are the best option for trying out fringe. Because her bangs start to far back, they give the illusion of a bigger forehead, which helps even out Reese’s heart-shaped face. The color placement is key as well: her darker roots give the illusion of fullness, adding more volume to her hair.

  • Face Shape: Heart
  • Hair Length: Collarbone-length
  • Hair Texture: Straight, somewhat thin
  • Bang Style: Romantic, wispy bangs with exposed roots
Anne Hathaway

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Anne Hathaway
If you’re trying to take on the daunting task of growing out a pixie, Anne Hathaway’s bangs might be your best bet. While the rest of her hair stays ultra-short, her bangs are a little longer, and help bring attention to her eyes and eyebrows. Their airiness keeps the look from being too matronly.

  • Face Shape: Oval
  • Hair Length: Pixie
  • Hair Texture: Straight
  • Bang Style: Airy, choppy side bangs

Have a celebrity bang crush? Let us know in the comments!

Woman with a retro updo

Cute and Easy Retro Hairstyles for Long Hair

Looking for easy hairstyles for long hair, and want to add some vintage flair to your look? These two styles are sure to fit the bill!

While long hair can sometimes be a pain–the constant straightening, curling, and styling can get annoying–its wonderful versatility is what makes it so fun! If you have long hair, you’re able to recreate lots of fun, girly, vintage looks from eras gone by. So whether you’re a flower child, pin-up queen, or a glamorous flapper girl, check out some of our favorite retro styles for a unique way to style your long hair.

Victory rolls hairstyle

Victory Rolls
The quintessential 50s pinup style, victory rolls are as sexy as they are perfect for long hair.

  1. Start with clean, dry hair, and spray lightly with a flexible-hold spray.
  2. Separate your hair into a deep side-part with two parts towards the front, about halfway towards the back of your head. Flip these two parts over, so the two parts are in front of your face.
  3. Lightly backcomb the bottoms of the two sections–a little goes a long way–and spray the teasing with some more hairspray.
  4. Using a boar-bristle brush, flip the two sections back up, and smooth down.
  5. Roll the two sections towards each other, then pin in place.
  6. Curl, straighten, or pin the rest of your hair–it’s up to you!
  7. Set with high-shine hairspray.
Woman with straight middle-parted hair /

Ultra-Sleek 70s Glam
Super-long hair was huge in the 70s, and for good reason! Take a cue from Cher: the dramatic middle part and super-straight strands let your natural features stand out and take center stage. This super-mod look is a great bohemian throwback and easily complements various outfits.

  1. Start with clean, dry hair, and work a heat-resistant oil (such as Argan, Jojoba, or Moroccan oil) through the bottom ends of your hair, and any places that are stiff or dry to the touch.
  2. Split your hair directly in the middle (trust us).
  3. Depending on the thickness of your hair, separate your hair into two or three sections, and quickly move Lionesse Flat Iron over each one-to-two-inch section of hair. Make sure to move quickly in order to keep the cuticle of your hair intact and prevent damage.
  4. Once you’ve finished straightening the sections, finish with a couple more drops of heat-resistant oil and a light spray of flexible-hold hairspray. Add a hippie headband for extra 70s glam!

Woman with a retro updo

The Gibson Girl
Wanting to go back a couple centuries? You’re in luck: the classic updo from the 19th century is back in style and looks amazing paired with feminine, flowy dresses and pastel makeup. If you’re a Marie Antoinette girl, this look is for you.

  1. Start with second-or-third day hair for ultra volume. If your hair is freshly cleansed, fluff up your roots with a little dry shampoo.
  2. Flip your head over, and blast from the root upwards with a blowdryer.
  3. Gently backcomb, starting at the center of your head, and working outwards to the front of your roots.
  4. Flip your hair back up, and gather your hair into a bun towards the upper back of your head. Bobby pin away!
  5. Set with a light-hold hairspray, and pull a few pieces out here and there to keep it looking fresh and modern.

Do you have a favorite look from the past that works great with short hair? Let us know in the comments!

Woman with curly hair

On Trend: Tight Curls & Tapered Ends

Woman with curly hair

While long hair is beautiful and super fun to work with, it can sometimes be annoying to feel like you have to style your hair every day. If you don’t naturally have straight, wavy, curly, or otherwise beautiful texture (hello, 99% of us), you’ll likely have to do some blow drying, straightening, or put your hair in an updo for it to look presentable.

One of the favorite looks right now are tight curls with tapered ends. This look adds volume to the top of the head while following the hair’s natural tendency to thin towards the bottom. However, this look can sometimes be hair to achieve with a regular curling iron: you usually have to work with separated pieces of hair, which, depending on the length of your hair, can take up to a couple hours.

But don’t worry: curling wands are the best way to get those tight curls and tapered ends. Why are curling wands so great for achieving and maintaining this look? Read on to find out more.

Curling Wands Mimic Natural Hair Patterns
Don’t throw out your curling iron just yet: curling irons are perfect for creating a polished, bouncy curl. Curling irons curl the hair from the inside out, leaving a “barrel”-type shape that gives lots of volume to hair, and it works great for a fancy night out or for those who struggle with flat, lifeless hair and want volume.

The way that curling wands work is very different: instead of curling from the inside out, curling wands make a wave: picture the difference between a sphere and a flat, wavy line, and you’ll understand the difference between the curl from a curling iron and the curl from a curling wand.

Curling wand

Curling Wands Have Tapered Ends
In order to get that tight curl at the bottom and a loose, voluminous look at the top of the curl, curling wands have tapered bodies that begin wider and become smaller towards the bottom. This tapered look allows you to make a curl that has definition but also variation, which keeps the curl looking natural–that way, you can avoid the “Shirley Temple” look that can come from a bad run-in with a traditional curling iron.

Because these curling wands have tapered ends, it’s important to use them with the cord facing upwards, that way the width of your curl goes from thick-to-thin down your hair shaft. This makes the look more natural and mimics the natural curl pattern often seen in wavy or voluminous straight hair.

Is a Curling Wand Right for Me?
In order to determine whether or not a curling wand or curling iron will work best for you, consider the look you’re going after: If you’re more focused on getting a voluminous, big curl at the top that tapers into a tight curl at the bottom, a curling wand is your best bet. If you’re more so going for old-school glamorous, polished, or voluminous locks, then a large-barrel curling iron would work best for you.

Have any tips for creating tight curls with tapered ends? Let us know in the comments!

Woman with wavy hair

Creating Carefree Waves

Woman with wavy hair

Summer’s almost here! As the weather gets hotter and the sun shines brighter, beachy, easy waves are the best accessory for the season. Beachy waves are one of the best parts about the summertime: they’re relatively low-maintenance, easy to style, and look great with everything from a bikini to a party dress. But sometimes those elusive, perfect waves stay just out of reach. If you’re frustrated with your lack Cabo-worthy hair, don’t worry! We’ve got five easy steps to get the perfect tousled beachy head.

Step 1: Prep Your Hair
It’s best to start with two-or-three day hair, meaning you haven’t washed it in a couple days. If your hair gets way too greasy for you to wait that long, then make sure to wash with a conditioning cleanser that doesn’t strip the natural oils away from your hair: those natural oils are what help create curl, and even if it initially looks too slick, the next step will fix that extra shine. If you want to add a tighter curl to this beachy look, try wearing braids for the first two or three days to form a curl pattern on your head. The best types of braids to achieve this are French braids, since they allow hair from the roots to the tips to get nice and curly. If you’re looking for more of a gentle wave, just let your hair go natural during the waiting days.

Step 2: Choose Your Products
Luckily, this style is super low maintenance, so you’ll only need a couple products. If your hair is fine, thin, or naturally oily, look for a salt spray. These are super popular, and can be found everywhere from the drugstore to high-end salons. Look for formulas that don’t have parabens or sodium laurel sulfate, as these can dry out your hair. Instead, opt for formulas that have real salt in them, as well as dry oils like sweet almond or argan oil. If you’d prefer to go the DIY route, simply mixing equal parts distilled water with kosher salt and a few drops of your favorite dry oil is a perfect formula: just grab a clean, empty spray bottle and you’re good to go! If your hair is thicker, coarser, or drier, look for a texturizing paste. This is a great option for taming frizz, making your curls more defined, and bringing out your natural texture. No matter what your hair type, make sure to finish with a light-hold hairspray. This will keep any frizz from emerging and keep your waves nice and bouncy all day. If you have oilier hair towards your roots, opt for a clear or color-matched dry shampoo.

Step 3: Apply Your Products
For those using a sea salt spray: simply flip your hair over and give your whole mane a liberal dose of the spray, making sure to focus on the ends of your hair where your waves will be most obvious. Flip your hair back up (feel free to do this part with some pizzazz), give your hair another good misting, then scrunch your hair with a “clenching” movement, moving your hand up the hair shaft. Finish with dry shampoo on your roots for an ultra-volumized look. If you’re using texturizing paste, simply take two or three fingers depending on your desired wave size, and curl your hair away from your face. Once you have the curl in your fingers, rub a tiny amount of texturizing paste over the hair, almost like your fingers are a curling iron and the texturizing paste is hairspray. Continue doing this all throughout the rest of your hair, making sure you don’t do “even” rows of curls (it’ll look too polished). Once you’re done, gently shake the curls out, and finish with a light-hold hairspray.

Woman getting hair extensios

Clip-In vs. Microbead Extensions

Woman getting hair extensios

With wedding season right around the corner, brides and bridesmaids alike are scrambling to find options for longer, fuller hair. The perfect solution? Hair extensions!

Hair extensions are a wonderful solution to short hair or hair that’s lost its vitality, luster, or volume. They can add length, make your hair seem fuller, and help present the appearance of youth. But there are lots of options out there, from tape to weaves to actual wigs, and it can be hard to pick through all the options. We’ll compare two of the most popular options–clip-in and microbead extensions–and see how they perform in different categories of quality.

First, what are clip-in and microbead extensions? Clip-in extensions are one of the most common types of extensions, and feature wefts of hair that are secured to the head via horizontal pressurized clips that can be removed whenever the person chooses. Microbead extensions use small silicone-coated beads to attach to the head, and can only be taken out by a hair stylist.


  • Clip-In Extensions: These extensions can generally last up to a few days attached to the client’s head if taken care of, which includes sleeping with a nightcap and refraining from wetting or styling your hair. If the hair extensions are high-quality virgin human hair, they should be able to be used with heat styling tools like curling irons and straighteners, but in order to prolong their longevity, they shouldn’t be styled more than once every few days. To really prolong their life, take the clip-in extensions out every night in order to keep the hair as undamaged as possible and prevent tangles. If you take the extensions out every night and they are high-quality virgin human hair that isn’t styled more than once every week or so, they can last up to a year.
  • Microbead Extensions: Based on your hair’s density, curl pattern, and thickness, microbead extensions can last anywhere from six weeks to six months. Touch-ups every six weeks are recommended, since some beads typically fall out over time.


  • Clip-In Extensions: Depending on the quality of hair, clip-in extensions can range from $20-$200.
  • Microbead Extensions: Because microbead extensions can only be applied by a professional, expect to pay around twice the amount you would for clip-in extensions.



  • Clip-In Extensions: The quality and appearance of clip-in extensions can vary widely because of their popularity. Since they’re so common, it’s possible to buy very bad acrylic hair that feels like doll hair, and does not look real or beautiful. In order to purchase the best quality hair, look for hair that’s human, preferably virgin (undyed), and with the cuticle still intact. These will be much more expensive than acrylic hair, but are much easier to style, wash, and look much more realistic on the head.
  • Microbead Extensions: Although the chances of finding acrylic microbead hair are much lower than in the clip-in extension market, there are still bad sellers out there, so make sure to look for the same qualifiers as those we mentioned in the clip-in extension segment: look for human, virgin hair with the cuticle still intact.

Overall, some people find microbead extensions to look much more natural because of their “row” like pattern on the head instead of attaching in larger wefts like clip-in extensions. However, this often boils down to the application process and skill of the applicant.

Remember, your best bet is to ask your stylist what you think would work best with your hair!