Friday, September 30, 2011

Fringe Advice: Paddle Up

Today's Fringe Advice is all about the brush. The paddle brush, that is. This is for anyone who has more than 2 inches of hair on their head.

Adding a cushioned paddle brush to your home tool kit is essential.

So what's a paddle brush, exactly? It refers to its shape, which seems pretty self-explanatory. Some have a wood base, others are plastic. There are rubber, metal, nylon or boar bristle for the pins [the part that actually goes through the hair.] I always recommend a cushioned brush, which looks like a pincushion. This flexibility allows for some give with the brush which is gentler on the hair and scalp. I also like nylon pins, they glide through the hair easily and don't tangle. Most will have a ball end on the tip of the nylon pins, again a bit nicer on the hair and scalp. My favorite paddle brush has to be the Denman D83.

I purchased this in the large size, although it seems nicely suited to my hands and doesn't feel awkwardly big. I've had one of them in my salon kit for going on seven or eight years now and even with daily use, it still stands strong. The greatest part is they are easy enough to find and don't cost an arm and a leg. [My link is for, but Amazon has them and many local beauty supply stores.] 

So why does everyone need a paddle brush? Even if you are a 'wash and wear' kind of person, you need to detangle. A good brushing is also great for stimulating circulation in the scalp, a key element in healthy hair growth. What about if you have curly hair and never, ever use a brush? Brush your hair before getting in the shower! This will help curb those dreadlocks that are trying to form in the back of your head. The other important use of this paddle brush will of course be for blowdrying your hair. Even if you only have a fringe to style, this is your brush. If you've got longer hair and need to smooth it out, this is also the tool for you, using a wrapping technique. [More Fringe Advice on that next time!] I also use my paddle brush to make my second day wavy hair turn into a more sleek, shiny smoothed out wave like this.

Questions? Hair dilemmas? Comment here and my next Fringe Advice can be the answer you're looking for!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jewel Toned

I pulled this sweet little sapphire dress out of the depths of my closet. Last go-around I wore it with a big pregnant belly! Eighteen plus months later, a belt seems to be in order to make this not feel sack-like. I'm really trying to make a week of summery weather still feel September-appropriate, so I worked jewel tones into the whole look. I did an amethyst smoky eye, and freshened up my pink hair into a deep pink ruby. Kept it even more autumnal with a black sock and boot combination.

 navy pleated bubble dress: Forever 21
black faux patent leather belt, chevron earrings: Forever 21
boots: Bass, bought used at Pretty Penny
eye colors: MAC Parfait Amour [dark amethyst eye shadow]
MAC purple eye pencil
N.Y.C. Sparkle Eye Dust in Opal

Aside from fashion, hair and make up stuff, I'm also a big fan of working out. My husband and I embarked on the journey that is P90X a few months back, and we're almost done with the 90 days. I may sound like one of the infomercials when I say I'm in the best shape of my life! I have muscle and strength like never before. Sure, breastfeeding and running after Zoe may have helped me shed all the baby weight [and more!] but here I am now 54 pounds lighter than the day I gave birth to her, and I feel amazing. I think I'd even have a nice six pack o' abs if I didn't love ice cream so much, but no one is perfect. I just try to save the vices for one day a week and be good the rest of the time. Now that I've got all this new found strength, especially in my upper body, I'm going to try indoor rock climbing. There's a gym a block and a half from my house, I can't wait to try it! I never would have said that a year ago. Thank you Tony Horton!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Peacock Feathers + Fringe Advice: Simplicity

My lovely sister bought me this dress. I'm surprised it has taken me so long to show up here on the blog since I've worn it a few times already. The Bay Area is having its summer time right now, so that means sleeveless items, dresses as much as possible, and hair up.

 strapless peacock feather dress: gift, Forever 21
black lace tank with ruffle: Target
polka dot fabric sandals: UO
black chevron earrings: F21

When you're dealing with a super warm day, simplicity is ideal. I love a good pair of earrings when I pull my hair back, but that was it for today's outfit. And the Fringe Advice of the day is:

Sometimes it's just better to put your hair up.

Most hair dressers wouldn't tell you to wear your hair in a ponytail every day. We cut, color and style your hair to look its best when worn down. But the ability to style your hair in multiple ways is a great bonus of longer hair, so why not put it up? Whether it's a day where your fringe is driving you crazy, or the wind/heat/humidity/rain is making your hair impossible, or you just need a change, a simple up do is pretty key. Hone your styling skills [or ask your stylist the next time you're in their chair] and this should only take you two minutes. Here's what I did:
  1. Start with dry hair, brush out any tangles
  2. Bend over at the waist to help encourage all the underneath hair to reach into a high ponytail, hold with hands, then stand up
  3. Use a fine-tooth comb [not a brush] to smooth every bit of hair moving from the hairline up to the ponytail, working in a circle around the head from one side to the other
  4. Once everything is super smooth, secure with an elastic
  5. Twist the pony on itself, then wrap around the base of the ponytail
  6. Secure the bun with a few bobby pins
  7. If needed run the comb over the pulled back parts of the hair to smooth out bubbles
Between steps 4 and 5 you can also tease your ponytail for extra fullness before pinning it down. This will give you a bigger topknot, but can look a little more fuzzy and less sleek. You can spray the whole look with a light bit of hair spray if needed, but don't OD on it! Crispy hair we are not looking for.

Don't forget, if you've got a Fringe Advice question, comment here and I'd love to feature it in an upcoming post!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fringe Advice: How to Style Short Hair

Fringe Advice is open to inquiries! Faithful reader Erika P. asked how to style her new short haircut. Here's some visuals to give you brave short haired ladies some ideas.

Short hair can be very versatile, get creative!

Push your fringe off your face
[photo courtesy of]

Play with headbands
[photo courtesy of Mariam Sitchinava]

Deep side part always looks fresh
[photo courtesy of Style Bistro]

[photo courtesy of]

Add dimensional color to play up texture
[this is me in 2005]

Adding a strong fringe brings impact
[also me in 2005]

Adding waves makes it soft and feminine
[photo courtesy of]

[photo courtesy of Film Bug]

Try using accessories to twist back your fringe or sides

[another Etsy shop, with a whole section of vintage combs]

Tuck one side behind the ear, asymmetry is great

Don't forget to play with new products and tools if this is a new cut for you. Sea salt spray before blowdrying to add beachy texture, pomade when wet or dry to add control, texture, and piecey-ness, light gel for a sleek look, hair spray or mousse can give root lift. A curling iron can add light waves, just make sure to barely flick the ends, you don't want sausage curls on that short hair. Try parting it on the other side on weird bedhead days, and even a mini pomp can be cute! When in doubt, take cues from Ginnifer Goodwin, she's had more versatility with her short hair than any other celebrity out there. 

If you have a Fringe Advice question, comment here or send me a line at graphpaperheart at gmail dot com. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Striped Grape

I can't help it. I love stripes. I loved this great find of a striped sweater so much that I bought it twice.  You'll pry the stripes out of my cold, dead hands.

grape + navy striped sweater: Forever 21
green tank: Topshop
skinny jeans: Gap
copper wedges: Aerosoles
silver nail decals: Sephora

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fringe Advice: Dry Shampoo is Your Friend

It's 2011. If you haven't heard of dry shampoo before, I'm gonna tell you now.

You need dry shampoo in your life.

When I first heard about it, dry shampoo sounded like the kind of thing astronauts used, like Tang or freeze-dried ice cream. But really it's just another tool in the arsenal that can save you tons of styling time. They come in a variety of forms: powders and sprays, but really just stick to a spray. The way most people use dry shampoo is on a day that they don't want to wet their hair and re-style it, but need some oil slick removal. Enter the spray dry shampoo. Hold the can at least 8 inches from your hair and spray as needed in the greasy areas of the hair. [If you get too close to the hair some dry shampoos will leave a powdery whiteness on the hair.] Some brands you'll need to then brush through your hair, others are good to go after just dispensing the product through your 'do. Most women who rock the straight down fringe can really benefit from dry shampoo as the natural oils on the forehead tend to make the fringe greasy long before the rest of the hair. But then there's the rest of the world: some of us get greasy underneath [long hair sitting on the neck], some of us just have fine, limp hair. Dry shampoo can solve that problem too! Spraying the dry shampoo on the day you first wash and style your hair can actually make your blowout last even longer! It can help give a little extra oomph and texture to fine hair in the crown [or wherever else is needed] as well. How about working out at the gym and then not wanting to re-do your hair before going to work? Dry shampoo to the rescue!

Some companies make colored dry shampoos to match the most common shades, but really a colorless type is the best. My current favorite is from the TIGI Catwalk Session Series.
I've also used the cheapies like Tresemme, the shake-out colored powders like Bumble + Bumble, and the like. Aroma is a big deal to me since I have long hair, so the nice scent in the Catwalk Transforming Dry Shampoo is a winner. [Oh and that's another thing: if you've got not-so-fresh hair from partying last night, dry shampoo saves you the time you'd have been blowing out your hair, and it smells yummy.] So go ahead, invite a dry shampoo into your circle of friends. You'll be BFFs in no time.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fringe Advice: End-All, Be-All

Today's Fringe Advice is something that comes up a lot when I have clients in my chair. "Is there just one product that I need to have?" they ask. Sure, it doesn't make sense to blow a ton of cash on five products every single time you are in the salon in these economic downturn times. And there are many new products out there today that do double- or even triple-duty at once. But will one product do it all? The truth:

There is no one product that can do everything for you.

Hair products are like lipsticks. I'd wager that most women will have at least 3 or more glosses, lipsticks, and balms in their bag at any given time. And colors/consistency preference change with the seasons, the latest trends, your mood for the day. The same is true for hair products! Your hair needs different things for  warm humid summers, vacation on the beach, drier winter air. Not to mention a hot date night might require different product cocktailing than a smooth blowout for that work presentation or meeting the significant other's grandparents for the first time. What if you want sexy beachy wavy hair? What about a sleek pulled back ponytail a la Jennifer Lopez? Men are no different. Most of my clients vary between shorter and longer styles depending on lifestyle changes and seasons. Different tools for different looks! Here's a peek into my shower and product cabinet [baby feet are just a bonus]:

That's not even all of the products I own! This here is 40+ items that are in regular rotation. And most are not super expensive, either. I have products for shine, smoothing, volume, texture, piece-yness, hold, super hold, heat protection, moisture, and on and on.  So the next time you see your hair stylist and they suggest a different product, consider taking a spin in something new. And if there's a specific look you are trying to duplicate or product you're not sure about it's usage, ask me and I'd love to use it for an upcoming Fringe Advice!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fringe Advice: No Matchy-Matchy

I suppose if I'm going to make Fringe Advice a regular thing I need to do this daily, yes? Here's today's Fringe Advice:

Don't match your hair color [or makeup] to your clothes.

I've got a pet peeve that involves ladies with ginger hair that wear rust-colored clothing exclusively. Even worse when it's worn with copper lipstick, because "that's what goes with my hair color." I'm here to tell you NO. It gets even more sticky when you see folks out there with blue or purple hues in their hair who insist on only wearing shades of blue/purple. I bet you'd hear excuses from those same people along the vein of "I love blue!" or "I don't know what else goes with it." It's called complimentary colors, people! So if you are a redhead, try out shades of blues, greens and violets with your clothing. If you've dared to go blue, wear orange, coral, peach, pink, magenta. Redheads also look gorgeous in true red, especially ruby red lips. The dip-dye trend is here to stay for fall, so we'll be seeing more of the 'artificial' colors like green, purple, blue and the like for hair color. Can't think of what to wear with your new hair color? Just ask! And when in doubt, consult a color wheel and look at what's opposite [e.g. gold and purple are opposites and look gorgeous together] and work with something in that range. [The secondary page about complimentary colors is fantastic.] Don't forget, too that some folks think blue hair means blue eyeliner. Or purple dress means purple eye shadow. Stop the madness!

Now if you're like me, you'll just wear an orange top, Russian Red lipstick [MAC] and pink ends on your hair. Not following the complimentary colors rule here, but its discordance is just so enticing to me. My general rule is if I am wearing say, a pink top, I wear orange, red, or burgundy lipgloss, never pink. I just can't stand to look like I'm trying to coordinate every facet of my cosmetics like in generations past. Beats the matchy-matchy any day of the week.

Don't forget you can 'like' me on Facebook as well and get your visual fix of hair fun, trends and shows!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Red Jeans Return + Fringe Advice

Colored Pants | Everybody, Everywear
Oh glorious red jeans! How I've loved you so. This month's Every Body, Every Wear theme is colored pants. I could've worn my yellow jeans again [and again], but heck, it's supposed to be fall. So red it is again.

grey + red plaid blouse: life after denim, purchased at Buffalo Exchange
red skinny jeans: Forever 21
black + white Morocco print TOMS slipons
grey robot bag: LeSportsac
black sunglasses: street vendor, NYC
copper cuff: Jerome, AZ
stamped silver cuff: Buffalo Exchange 12 years ago
silver inlay bracelet: thrifted

My whole idea about this outfit: I love color blocking, but what else can I do with screaming red jeans? How 'bout a play on monochrome? This shirt is a newly purchased goody from Buffalo Exchange after spending part of my Labor Day cleaning out my closet and selling clothes. I walked away with two new shirts [see yesterday's post for a pic of them together, and you'll see I'm getting into plaid for fall, too.] And I made $50 in cash. Then I cleaned out some more, took it to Crossroads, and made another $40. Then I donated everything that neither store would take. Five bags worth of past fashions gone!! Thus I felt justified in bringing this super duper soft flannel-like shirt into my wardrobe. It just looks like fall, doesn't it?

I wanted to let you guys in on a new feature I'm working on. Yes, I'm loving Polyvore and you can see my first feature utilizing it here. Now I'm also going to add a hair tip of the day, called Fringe Advice to my blog. All those little tidbits and tricks your stylist should be sharing with you, I'll let you in on here. So my first Fringe Advice:

Invest in bobby pins.

Yep, simple as that. Every woman should own bobby pins, no matter the length of her hair, in a matching shade to her locks. My favorites that are available to pretty much anyone are sold at Sally Beauty Supply, MetaGrip Premium Bob Pins. Currently priced at $7 for 300. That can last you a lifetime! Don't try and skimp and buy the Goody ones, or whatever it is that's sold at the drugstore. Every time I've bought some in a pinch I've ditched them after one use. Better quality pins can be used over and over. And if you're like me, you'll be prepared and carry a few in the pocket of every purse you own, every pair of jeans, in the car, at work, you get my drift. They are just such a life saver. Having a bad fringe day? Pin them back! Long hair bothering you in your face? Do a small braid and pin it behind your ear. Need to get your hair up? Twist your hair into a knot and pin it! [This is today's look, using only one pin.] Trust me, if I can do 30 different hair styles in 30 days using only bobby pins [and the occasional elastic] you need bobby pins in your life. You can thank me later.

Monday, September 12, 2011


 This has been an interesting week. I've been trying to wrap my brain around all that is New York Fashion Week, especially my desire to work on runway hair in future. And with Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram all abuzz with what's going on, it's overwhelming! But thrilling. I need to be a part of it. Mark my words: I will be working NYFW soon. Since so many blogs out there are doing the NYFW recap, I'll spare you for now. Instead I'll share my week in fashion, a la Instagram. You can follow me there, I'm graphpaperheart there too! Enjoy.