Beauty Bite // Products & Tips for Big Hair



I've always believed that a person's hair can be their best accessory (a mantra that I picked up years ago from my girl, Beth), and after a significant chop this past September, I've been trying to be a bit more intentional in this department of my own personal style.Keep reading for a rundown of my current styling strategy, and feel free to check out my long hair help from earlier this year and a few other Beauty Bites while you're at it!With my much longer locks, I had my hair routine totally nailed down, but going shorter has admittedly forced me to rethink my methods quite a bit.  I've always had a lot of very thick hair, and after years of color-treating it, heat-styling it, and spending plenty of time in the sun, it was basically damaged to the point where it would allow me to style it into submission quite easily.I stopped coloring it over three years ago, and so the last few years of growth (which is now all I've got left) have hardly been touched by anything but sunshine and is quite a bit darker than what was chopped off.  While that certainly makes for a healthy head of hair, it has become much finer and seemingly resistant to styling [read: FLATTER] which has totally changed the methods I use to make it look presentable.Mama LOVES her big hair, and limp locks just will not do.In case anyone else out there is trying to get a little extra lift these days -- I'm sharing my current routine and favorite products with you here, and be sure to let me know what you think! big-hair-faves

  • Alterna Shampoo & Conditioner // You may remember me mentioning that I only wash my hair every 10 days to two weeks (depending on events/workouts/time of year), and that means that I go through shampoo much more slowly than most.  It wasn't up until this year that I realized how much spending a little extra on nice shampoo/conditioner can make a huge difference in how your hair feels.  These guys by Alterna are my current faves, but I do still use my tried and true Kiehl's favorites when I want to switch it up a bit.
  • 48-hour Volume Spray // I spritz this on towel dried hair before combing it out, and let it air dry just a smidge (usually while I get dressed or do make-up) before blow drying.  Don't forget: Always point the tip of the dryer and air-flow in the opposite direction of the way your hair grows!  Upside down or sideways -- Makes a huge difference.
  • Rowenta Hair Dryer // This is another recent upgrade for me, and as far as hair dryers go, the techie part of me loves it even more than my inner hair-styling junkie... It has sensors on the sides of the barrel so that when you set it down on the counter, it actually shuts off automatically until you pick it back up again!  Perfect for those of us who blow dry in sections, because it seems to make the whole process go a bit faster.
  • Bamboo round brush // I never bothered with one of these guys (thinking they were only for salon professionals) until this shorter hair cut of mine, but it definitely helps in the volume department!  Drying my whole head of hair piece by piece and using this as the main tool seems to give the style major staying power, and completely eliminates the need for hitting it with a curling iron at the end.
  • Anti-aging Dry Shampoo // Not exactly sure about how this is supposed to turn the clock back on our strands, but as a connoisseur of dry shampoo, I can honestly say this is the best I've ever tried (and there have honestly been dozens!).  In a pinch, I always recommend corn starch or baby powder, but this stuff has a fresh smelling fragrance (super-subtle!), major absorption qualities, and an applicator that makes it easy to apply without over-doing it.  (Because no one wants to be powdered-hair twinsies with George Washington...)
  • Seasilk Oil Gel // I've been using oil on my hair (and lots of other ways!) for years now, but this moisturizing frizz-fighter has been combined with a medium-hold styling gel to make it the perfect double duty product that gets the job done without making your hair greasy or crispy.
  • "Little Wonder" teasing comb // Small but mighty, this teasing comb is my secret weapon for getting the hairs as big as they will go.  I backcomb it at the roots all over my head after it is dry and has cooled, and then carefully smooth out the mess before adding the final touches.  This is the only kind of comb that seems to keep the texture staying all day long, and if you're a fellow tease-a-holic, then you'll want to check out the extra trick below.
  • Strong-hold finishing hairspray // Another item that I used to grab at the drugstore for cheap, this splurgier version of your typical hairspray makes a huge difference in hold and texture.  I've learned that 'spending up' here is totally worth it, and now am hooked on using this spray by Kerastase to hold my hair in place.

Feel free to dish in the comments if you've got any others I've been missing, and help a sister out by getting her hair a little higher and her halo a little closer to heaven. ;)

P.S. -  Did you know that there is a right and a wrong way to backcomb your hair?  (I KNOW - I was shocked, too.)  After YEARS of doing it wrong, my friend Jenny Strebe showed me a fantastic tip that seriously works.  Check it out in our recent video collaboration, and watch her whip my hair into shape in mere minutes!Note:  The Alterna products and hair dryer featured here were all gifted items, but all words and opinions are 100% my own, and I would purchase them for myself again and again!  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make S&P possible, my little Pepitas!