Lionesse Flat Iron | Blog
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Woman with a beautifully braided hairstyle.

Fall Braid Ideas

Women’s braiding techniques just continue to burst forth, with a nice flow of so many absolutely gorgeous ways of performing the standard crossover, to create 3D effects, sculpting with strands of hair and breathtakingly beautiful sweeps of loosely gathered tresses that amaze, impress and definitely turn many a head. This fall, why not consider changing up your same old braiding go-to, and instead, exchanging it for something really different, really stunning and really high class? If you have not checked out the many new braiding techniques that are now available for women’s hair styling, it’s definitely time to do so now. Here are two lovely braid styles for brisk, fall days.

Half-waterfall braid.

The Waterfall Half-Up
This braid is easy to do with a little practice. You want to wind up with a bottom row of very loosely gathered loops in with the whole braid–that is what gives this braid its glory.

  • Gather three equally sized strands of hair at your hairline on the opposite side of your part and begin making a French braid toward the back.
  • After a couple of full passes, take the top piece, cross it over the middle of the braid, leaving it to hang in a loose loop. Next, pull in some hair from the bottom, to become the new middle piece. Continue this process for the next three passes, so you’ll wind up with five loose loops at the bottom. Once you’ve completed the third pass, gather up the waterfall pieces now hanging down to introduce back into the braid. These will form the top for the next five passes. The looser you can keep everything, the more dramatic your loops will be.
  • At the end, do a regular braid, then securing with bobby pins in an X, to secure the end to your head.

Woman with beautiful hairstyle

The Celtic Knot

  • This one is relatively small, but mighty impressive, for sure! Begin by gathering a ¼” strand of hair from each temple, so you’ll have one on each side.
  • Take the left strand and create a loop and hold securely. Take the right strand and go underneath the left loop. Next, slide the right strand up over and through the loop.
  • Then, you slip the right section back underneath where the strand is pulled back from your right temple.
  • With the end of the right side section, go back up through the loop. Now, you gently tug on the ends of both left and right strands, as you observe the Celtic knot come together.

Fishtail braid.

Fishtail Braids
Think whimsical and romantic – the fishtail braid appears as if it took DAYS to create, but in truth, these striking braids are simple, once you get the hang of it.

Of course, the trend is not the straight up fishtail braid of the past, the new fishtail starts at the front of the hairline, somewhat asymmetrical and “weaves” around the side and ends skewed on one side. It sounds like something out of Star Wars, but looks AMAZING. This braid works dressed up or down, and is even acceptable for weddings!

Woman getting her hair styled.

Could Your Hair Be Ruining Your Skin?

In the never-ceasing war on harmful agents and practices to your skin, you may think that you’ve got all the bases covered. You’re intelligent, well-read, and make a genuine effort to stay informed with all the latest scientific findings to promote the retention of that creamy, supple skin you were born with You are cautious about all the makeup and products you use on your face, and you wouldn’t dream of engaging in any form of outdoor activity without first protecting your skin with sufficient sunscreen, and you follow the guidelines on how and when to reapply. You probably feel confident that you’re doing everything humanly possible to tenderly care for your skin in the very best manner. Unfortunately, there might be a contact exchange that is currently looming within your astute beauty regimen that could render your most concerted skin care efforts into nothing more than a waste of time and money.

Woman with wet hair.

Invisible Damage Occurs During Hair to Face Contact
Most women understand how something as seemingly harmless as touching one’s face with the hands or fingers can prove detrimental, and can absolutely nullify all the best preemptive measures exacted to benefit the facial skin. Less obvious, but in many ways more damaging, your hair touching your face can ruin your skin over time, if not addressed. You might counter with something like “The way I wear my hair prevents it from touching my face at all,” however you would be semi-wrong. Even if your trademark hairstyle is a severely pulled-back coif, forming braids, a bun, ponytail or any other off-the-face style, there are always going to be times when you release your hair from being tightly pulled back. You probably don’t sleep with it styled that way, and hopefully you don’t wash your hair while it’s pulled back like that.

Woman getting a hair treatment at a salon.

Minimizing the Damage is the First Step
While certainly a greater degree of harm would come from extended periods of contact between your hair and skin, it’s best to acknowledge that your hair is going to, at some point in time, touch your skin. And then it’s advisable to know how to prevent or at least minimize the harm that could be produced from that contact. And this brings us to share the most frequent skin irritants that can be in our hair.

  • Hair Spray: Unless you shield your face (with a suitable material like a clean towel) when you’re applying hairspray, it’s the same thing as applying hairspray directly to your face. Likewise, whenever you engage in an activity or sport where you’re likely to sweat, prevent hair care products like hairspray from running down onto your face by wearing a sweatband. Just about all hair products are skin irritants, but hairspray, in particular, is one of the worst. It’s a great way to clog up your pores, dry your skin out and irritate it.
  • When You Wash Your Hair: Try to limit the time you spend running (especially heated) water through your hair when rinsing, etc. Not only can the heat be drying, but water from public utilities is full of purifying agents that are bad for your skin. Some showerheads filter out these damaging chemicals.
  • Your Shampoo: If your shampoo contains DEA, MEA or TEA, get rid of it and opt for a product without these hormone-disrupting carcinogens.
  • Found in Hairsprays: phthalates and parabens are used as preservatives and antifungals, and help keep your hairspray sticky. Both are known carcinogens linked to breast cancer.
  • Beware of That Enticing Smell: Sadly, most fragrance-influencing ingredients commonly added to shampoos are either carcinogens or toxins.
  • Quaternium-15: A commonly used preservative in hair products can cause dermatitis.
  • Others to Watch out for: Isopropyl Alcohol (drying,) Polyethylene Glycol (dissolves natural skin oils on contact,) Mineral Oil (clogs pores and prevents skin from breathing.)
  • The Worst: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, frequently found in shampoos and conditioners, causes nothing but bad skin troubles and more.
Beautiful woman with braided hair.

Hollywood’s Latest Braid Obsession

From the looks of things, Hollywood has flipped over what everyone apparently thinks is the new “thing” of Dutch braids, however in actuality, Dutch braids, French braids, inverted French braids and Cornrows have been around for ages–and there’s no telling how long the newish trend of the fishtail braid has been practiced, seeing as how it, like the others, is just another variation on the braid. Braided hair has been traced back thousands of years, with its first evidence in Africa. It has been alternately referred to as plaiting, which involves the exact same procedure. While the French braid has been the term more widely used, with the term inverted French braid being the industry term for what is now being called the Dutch braid. And then, the cornrow in every way appears to be the same thing as the “new, trending” Dutch braid, with one exception: The Dutch braid does not take up all the hair into the braid, while the cornrow does. This gives the cornrow a thicker appearance.

All Braids in History
Looking back into a more ancient time, in some cultures, braids were worn in order to communicate particular status about the person wearing them. Just by looking at a woman’s braids, you could tell whether they were single or married, a widow or mourning, “on the market,” (as in an age ready to be courted,) and her particular lineage. Some braids revealed the great wealth of the wearer, while others conveyed a lowly status.

Fishtail braids

First, Look at the Fishtail Braid
A good look at the execution of the fish braid will reveal the basic technique that is the central component of the French braid, the Dutch braid and the inverted French braid. It has to do with the number of strands of hair that make up the braid. In the fishtail and the other three, essentially two strands are braided on top of a third strand. For the sake of simplicity, let’s eliminate the inverted French braid, as it is the same thing as the Dutch braid. So, we now have the Dutch braid, the French braid and the fishtail braid. Assuming that fishtail braids all begin at or around the base hairline, there is no other close to the scalp hair to pull into the braid as you progress. You begin with three strands, pulling the two outermost strands in a sort of “double Dutch” fashion, to form a braid. With each new wrap of the right or the left strand, you pull in a bit of hair from the third, inactive strand. This is the fishtail braid.

Dutch Vs French Vs Cornrow braids.

The Dutch Braid VS the French Braid VS the Cornrow
With an understanding of how the fishtail braid works, it’s safe to move on to decoding the only difference between the Dutch and French braiding techniques. There is, however, a distinction that the Dutch and French braids have from the fishtail braid, and that is that while you can begin and end either in any spot, both are typically begun with a triangle section at the facial hairline. Then, the distinction that remains is in the direction–as in “over” or “under” of the braided strands. In a Dutch braid, the strands are pulled in, one over the other, and on top of the middle section, pulling in extra hair from the right and left as you go. In a French braid, the same strands are introduced, one under the other, and on top of the third, or center strand. With a cornrow, use the same technique as a Dutch braid, but include the middle, third strand in with the braid.

Woman with Halloween hairstyle

Halloween Hairstyles

Halloween is upon us again, and there are so many fun ways to get geared up for the holiday that it can be difficult to determine just what you want to “go as.” Sometimes, the best decision process involves a narrowing down of the options, and the best narrowing down of options has to do with defining costume choices by categories. For instance, there are numerous costumes that require the wearing of a mask or head, or something that either covers the head or obscures a part of the face. These are the costumes that adults, particularly don’t like wearing, and they end up becoming halfway disassembled early into the evening, as a result, due to their awkwardness and the discomfort they produce.  If you would be likely to get fed up with such elements of a costume, then you could dismiss such types from the range of possibilities. Especially when you’re going to a party or function where you know food and drinks will be served, it can be really frustrating to try to eat and/or drink with many types of costumes, so that will rule out a certain type, as well. You just continue to rule out until you have that light bulb moment when you “feel” your costume, coming on.

Woman dressed for Halloween

Your Hair Provides Many Possibilities
Changing your hair and applying exaggerated makeup can be a highly effective Halloween get up, and is open to going in many directions, from being more zombified or Bride of Frankenstein, to some form of alluringly elegant Elizabethan ambiance. When eating and drinking, it’s good to be wearing makeup that is not water based, so your look will remain intact as you sip, and if you accidentally spring a leak. Your hair can do even more than your makeup, actually, with a myriad of forms it can take on. While some Halloweeners don wigs for the date, wigs can be uncomfortable, itchy and downright hot to wear for long. By styling your own hair to wear for the evening, you’ll be more comfortable, cooler and consequently, happier.

Coloring and More
There are advantages to both short and long hair, when it comes to Halloween hairstyles. A simple way to easily acquire Halloween hair is to buy a bunch of small plastic Halloween-themed trinkets and pre-glue or securely attach to covered rubber bands, bobby pins or clips to add all over your hair, at the ends–or maybe in a pattern of sorts. With shorter hair, you can always tease and spike it, and coloring effects can include stripes, all one color, tipped ends and more. If you use the spray-on color that’s sold for these purposes, make sure to spray it on outside, because it will otherwise leave the color all over the room, as you will find out later. Longer hair can be straightened and painted with more geometric designs, or curled and colored with one or several colors. The thing is to plan first–you’ll like the results much more this way. Long hair can be teased also, and taken really high, with the right products. You can braid long hair in a myriad of patterns, or create a retro look with the 50s flip, or go much further back to Victorian era hairstyles, or the romantic curls and braids of mythological goddesses. Hair, done right, can be a fabulous Halloween costume!

Woman getting her hair dyed in a salon.

Hair Report: Hand-Pressed Color

Woman getting her hair dyed in a salon.

Trying new hairstyles can be exciting, and trying new hair colors can be even more exciting. One of the coolest hair coloring techniques you’ll hear about today is called hair-pressed color. It’s a new way that hair colorists are experimenting with, to infuse several colors into hair, all at once. The technique is so new, in fact, that it hasn’t even hit major salons yet. It was only invented recently by one of New York’s premier colorists.

Tools Used

  • A few hair dyes
  • Putty knife, paintbrush, toothbrush, or another type of brush
  • Piece of plexiglas or glass.


All About Hand-Pressed Color
If you’ve ever done your own screen printing, you’ll be able to figure out hand-pressed color. And even if you haven’t it’s a piece of cake. Screen printing uses a screen and a press to push dye into clothing, and hand-pressed color works the same way. Chiala Marvici, a hair stylist, says she came up with the idea in her sleep, and the concept has been making the rounds online ever since.

Though you probably can’t order a hand-pressed coloring job from your local salon just yet, it’s not too hard. There’s no reason you can’t give it a shot on your own. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Hair dye is painted onto a glass. First, the colors are chosen, then painted onto the glass or Plexiglas. The best shapes are the most basic, such as stripes, swirls, and circles. Since the colors will wind up in the hair, the shapes should be big. Too small and they won’t stand out or they’ll blur together.
  • Layer the hair on top and press. Once the hair is layered on top of the glass, the putty knife is used to press the color into the hair. This is where having a friend to help out comes in handy – they will be able to cover more area, more evenly than you can. The whole process can be finished in 20 minutes or less. And once the pressing is done, the hair needs about a half hour to process and soak up the color, depending on whether your hair is a lighter shade or darker color.


Pretty simple, right? Right!

Any color can be used for the hand-pressed coloring process, from bright highlights and bold hues to natural shades. Since the color is applied underneath your regular hair, fading is less apparent, so you won’t feel compelled to get it redone as quickly. Also, with the right-sized glass, short-haired girls can also try out this technique.

Whether you want to try this at home or head to your nearest salon in the next few months, hand-pressed coloring is one technique every girl should try. Keep in mind that lighter hair shades take the color much better and quicker than darker hair hues. Talk to your stylist before trying for pro tips and tricks that may end up saving you money and time!

Woman with rainbow hair.

Rainbow Hair Dying Tips

Woman with rainbow hair.

Hair that is all colors of the rainbow is hot right now. Instead of the traditional blonds, brunettes, and reds, people are experimenting with blues, pinks, purples, greens, and more. You’ll see these colors everywhere from the red carpet to the local gym.

If you want to really be on trend, you can try several of the colors at once. Rainbow hair can have brightly colored primaries like red, yellow and blue, or it can have pastel hues like lilac, pink, and periwinkle. Here are a few tips for how you can get the look at home:

Bleach Your Hair
Unless you naturally have platinum hair, you are going to need to bleach your hair (even if you’re already blonde). The platinum base will help the colors stand out and last longer. You can buy a lightening kit at the beauty store, or you can buy the powder and developer separately to make your own mix.

Bleach a test strand of your hair, on the under side of your hair first to see how it reacts. You may need to adjust the processing time, or you may need to plan for several bleachings. If you have to bleach more than once, give your hair several days to a week between sessions to prevent damaging it. Also, make sure to use a deep conditioning treatment after bleaching to salvage hair and keep permanent damage at bay.

Choose Your Colors
Semi-permanent dyes are your only option for fantasy colors. Do your research to find out which brands deliver the most vibrant colors and the longest-lasting results. Manic Panic is a popular brand known for getting good results. If you find a brighter or darker color than you want, you can turn it into a pastel by mixing it with a white conditioner.

Woman dyeing her hair.

Use Professional Tools
Apply the colors to your clean, dry hair using professional tools. Wear gloves and use an applicator brush to put the color on each section of hair. Have your colors ready to go in small bowls, and apply each in small sections. Have a plan before you start so you know where to stop and start each color.

If you just cant bring yourself to doing the bleach and color yourself, call around to find a professional salon that WILL do it. It may be a little on the pricey side, but well worth it to save your hair and do it right!

Touch up just your roots every three to four weeks to maintain the look. You may have to add a new color to the top once your roots grow too long. Keep up the conditioning, this is key to keeping hair looking and feeling great!

Woman dressed in Victorian clothes looking into the mirror.

Unique Clothing Trends of Victorian Times

The Victorian era was famous for its strict social customs and its conservative fashion trends. As with every other culture, the clothing trends that defined this era were intended to accentuate the ideal of beauty. In Victorian times, these clothing trends spoke of modesty and meekness with women, and culture and sophistication among men. Even now, some of these trends are just as popular today as they were then.

Victorian Clothing Trends
Here are some of the most popular clothing trends throughout the Victorian times:

Woman wearing a corset.

Corsets, Big Skirts, and Big Sleeves
Small waists were attractive, so clothes were designed to make the waist look smaller. Big sleeves and big skirts tightened around the waist, creating the hourglass figure that was idealized at the time. Corsets also became popular, which squished stomachs and torsos even further, making waists look even more narrow.

This type of body sculpting may have created attractive figures, but it was also quite unhealthy. They made it difficult to breathe and could crack ribs.

Bosom Boosters
Big bosoms were also attractive during this time, so women wore undergarments designed to boost their breast sizes. Bodices contained padding that lifted breasts, for instance, and reinforced corsets helped to push out the bosom. Combined with the constriction of corsets and the design of Victorian era clothing, these garments accentuated the top-heavy figure that became popular toward the latter end of the 1800s. Even now, stylists, stars and stores all promote this full-bosomed look! Even Victoria’s Secret (hmmmm, wonder where that name came from!) has one of the most popular bras of all time – the push-up bra. Bosoms NEVER go out of style!

Woman wearing a ball gown

The ball gown became popular during the mid-1800s and was the most revealing piece of clothing that women wore: arms and necklines were exposed. Though they often fell to the ankles, they also stayed tight around the waist and torso, then spilled out below the waistline. Wedding gowns followed the same trends as ball gowns, spreading out wide below the waist and wrapping the upper body tightly.

Rear Raisers
Big backsides were another trend that continued throughout the Victorian times. To accentuate this portion of the anatomy, women wore petticoats and bustles. These small cushions were placed in just the right spots to make the rear end stand out and the waist seem smaller. Backsides that were too large, though, used other constrictive clothing to keep the size under control. Once again, another Victorian trend that has surpassed the ages. These days, bottom boosters are more of a permanent thing thanks to plastic surgery and Jennifer Lopez. Of course, padding is a little pricey AND less painful. Larger bottoms are more than a style, they transcend time and are always in.

Victorian era woman wearing a hat.

Hats were useful protection from the sun, but they were also hugely popular fashion accessories. Women’s hats were large, frilly affairs that framed the face with flowers, feathers, ribbons, and so on. Bonnets were popular during the early part of the century, and over time these gave way to wide-brimmed hats that sprouted plume

Stylish woman wearing a hat.

How to Rock a Hat

No matter what kind of hair you have, chances are there are times you want to cover it up with a hat. Maybe you’re having a bad hair day, or maybe it’s winter and you need to keep warm, or maybe it’s summer and you don’t have any hair at all and you need to protect your head from sunburn. No matter what the reason for wearing a hat, there’s no need to worry. Look to none other than the stars that stay on the cutting edge of fashion – from Taylor to Miley and Brad to Liam, they all have unique styles but can really rock a hat. This list will help you rock that hat in style.

Woman wearing a baseball cap.

First of all, we need to think about what season you’re planning on rocking that hat. During the hot months of summer, baseball hats, Panama hats, and other straw or lightweight hats are best. They protect you from the sun while also allowing the heat to escape your head, and any breeze to get in and help cool you down. Conversely, for cooler months you, of course, need to keep the heat in. This is when wool, felt, and other knitted hats come into play. This is purely a functional standpoint, so once you get choose the hat material to match the season, you need to find a style that suits you.

The first step in finding a hat that look great on you is matching the hat shape to the shape of your head and face. For example, if you have a round face, you want to avoid round hats like bowlers, this will surely result in an unintended silly look. Those with round faces should look for hats that are taller, to give the appearance of extending your face, avoid short, round hats at all costs.

If you have a long skinny face, you won’t want to wear a tall hat that only makes your face seem longer. For those with long faces (or large ears), a wide brimmed hat or a larger floppy hat will help camouflage those ears and bring a balance to a long face or a long neck.

Woman wearing a bowlers hat.

For square faces, look for round hats like a bowler or a cloche. They help give the appearance of a rounder face. If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face you can pretty much pull off any shaped hat.

Now that you’ve got the hat material and shape down, you need to choose a color.

For your new hat, you need to think about what season or seasons you will be wearing the hat, and what color that season’s wardrobe is. If it’s a hat you’ll be wearing in the fall and winter, you’ll most likely want to keep your choices limited to duller fall-appropriate colors like gray, black, mauve, and other earth tones. For summer and spring hats, more bright and colorful hats are sure to match with your warm weather outfits.

Woman with Victorian era hairstyleq

Popular Victorian Era Hairstyles

During the time that Queen Victoria ruled England–from 1837 to 1901– the period was referred to as the Victorian Age, mainly due to several unique and prominent elements of both fashion and morals of those days. There was a surge of economic growth, much due to an industrial expansion during that period. In observing the hairstyle protocol of the times, there were progressive changes that occurred during this expanse of time, although, throughout the era, only the more solid, straight-laced values were practiced and tolerated by society.

Sylish man

Men’s Victorian Hairstyles
Generally at the start of the Victorian era and lasting until around 1865, men wore their hair relatively long, while sporting massive moustaches that were carefully formed with waxes, or, conversely, men would sometimes forego the moustache altogether, but wore thick sideburns attached to short beards (think Abraham Lincoln.) This was more of a “puritan” image, well suited for the era.

Cosmetic Instruction of the Day
The then Countess of Landsfeld, Eliza Rosanna Gilbert was a famous dancer who went by the stage name of “Lola Montez.” In 1858, she published a book, “The arts of beauty; or secrets of a lady’s toilet, with hints to gentlemen, on the art of fascinating.” This publication shared various recipes and instruction for beautification, for both women and men–or, “ladies and gentlemen,” as it were. In reading this book, one discovers that the practice of dying hair by women was established at the time, and especially for dyeing gray hair. She includes a detailed recipe for the procedure, which called for components like tincture of sesquichloride of iron, acetic acid and gallic acid, for dying the hair either black or brown. The color variations were achieved by minute changes in the process. It wraps up with advising the woman to finish with oil and brushing.

The Period Coifs of Victorian Women
A most romantic hair effect became the trend during the period from 1840 to at least 1860, where women’s hair would often be gathered at the top of their heads in a chignon, but with hair remaining out of the chignon that would be formed into separate curled locks that fell at either side of the face. Hair would be adorned with all sorts of poetic embellishments, from ribbons, flowers, beautiful ornate hair combs of the day and jewels. The hair was mostly parted in the middle. Toward the latter part of this time, the once top chignons had migrated down to the nape of the neck. Loose curls framing the face continued throughout this time as a very popular effect.

Kate Bosworth with Marcel waves

Everett Collection /

The Marcel Wave
No, this was not a form of greeting that was practiced by Victorians. After 1860, “handmade” curls were quite popular, and were produced by using rags to wrap, wind and tie the hair, and some used metallic hair curlers to “keep” the curls intact during the night while they would sleep, so their hairdo would be good for several days. A French hairdresser named Marcel Grateau invented what was a crude form of the curling iron we now have today. It consisted of heavy tongs that had rounded inside surfaces, and involved one convex side that would be met by a concave side, and when heated by the fire or on the stove and then closed upon a strand of hair, the strand would be waved or would receive the Marcel wave, which was the predecessor of today’s curling iron.

Man with stylish haircut.

Fall Hair Trends for Guys

Generally speaking, when it comes to haircuts and hairstyles, women seem to have an incredibly huge advantage over men, at least in terms of the variety of currently popular trending options from which to choose. This does not mean that guys want, just as much as women, to sport a hairstyle that is unique, in style and gives them a flattering look. There are some good options for guys who are looking to change it up with a different hair look, and what follows are elements to consider. Some are more conservative, or conventional, while others reveal a more artistic, free form expression.

2015 Undercut

The 2015 Undercut
This hairstyle is unique and leaves the long hair at the top of the head. The sides are cut shorter, but the underneath, or undercut is visibly more closely cropped. The longer hair left on top can be styled in different ways, with a popular method being voluminously edgy and spikey–kind of playful and daring. The front effect of this hairstyle involves angled fringing, and the back is cut to purposely add texture. Anyone who is familiar with the matte pomp might recognize the similarity this style shares with it. And by blending in a bit of texturizing product, you can use your blow dryer to create as much height as you like. By using the dryer in styling this hairstyle, you won’t be weighing your hair down with too much product, either. For a good grip on how you can manage this cut at home, get your hair stylist or barber to walk you through it, letting you perform your own drying with their supervision.

The Now Styles Need to Start With a Good Cut
2015 is ushering in Fall hairstyles that reveal more hair, or at least longer lengths than before. And the length is all on top now, styled with a variety of finished looks, featuring waves, twists and accents. Fades are just as big as they ever were, and when created by a good professional, it makes all the difference. The best cuts leave you with having little to do to your hair before heading out, because the pros have techniques that do all the work for you.

Young guy with sexy haircut.

Common Elements of Current Men’s Hair Design
For one thing, men’s hair cutting methods has produced styles that are a lot easier to manage, and have looking top shape. With the basic formula being the starting point of long on top, short sides and back cut, extra effects can be introduced like fades, that can be with or without a razor part. Side parts and vintage pomps are still hot. A good matte product will enable the best “fresh out of bed” look. The best part is that the current men’s hair trends do well on all hair types.