Monday, May 23, 2011

Small Changes, Big Impact

Your hair may be looking a bit dull, lifeless, or dated these days. You'd like a change, but don't want to lose length or book an expensive salon visit. Here's how to liven up your locks without resorting to drastic measures.

Highlights

Just a few highlights around the hairline can really brighten up your face without severely damaging your hair. Buy a highlighting kit, like Clairol Herbal Essences, or even a home bleaching product like Jolene.

Decide whether you want thin, natural-looking streaks or chunky highlights. Then take the highlighting wand or an old toothbrush and streak the mixture through your hair, beginning at your part. Highlight only the areas on top of your hair when the sun would hit. This is a great trick for extra-long hair, since you only need to touch up the roots every month or so and never need to bleach over the highlighted parts.

Change Your Part

If you've always worn your hair parted down the center, why not try parting it on the right or left side instead? Only people with perfectly symmetrical faces can usually get away with a center part. Instead, experiment with several different parts - low and high on each side - to find the one looks best on you. For a funkier look, create a zig-zag part by running your comb in a back-and-forth pattern and carefully patting hair down on the sides.

Embrace Your Texture

The grass is usually greener on the other side of the hair fence for most people. If you were born with curly hair, you may spend hours straightening it with a blow dryer and flattening iron. Those with naturally straight hair may spend just as much time curling it with hot rollers or rag curls. Instead, make a vow to embrace your natural texture and use products to enhance it. Curly girls can use texturizing moose or gel to define ringlets and eliminate frizz, while straight-haired girls can opt for smoothing serums to boost hair's shine and create a silk-like texture. Working with your hair instead of against it can dramatically change your look for the better.

Deep Condition

You may have seen the Pantene commercial where Kelly Ripa says, "You can condition your hair and have a makeover." Ms. Ripa is right - an intense shot of moisture at least once a week is a simple way to boost your look. Many deep conditioners work right in the shower to revive dry, tired hair. Others require a head covering and 20-30 minutes to work their magic. Choose the formula that works with your schedule and pick one day each week as your Deep Conditioning Day.

Opt for a New Signature Style

Are you known for wearing your hair up all the time? Or do you always wear it loose and long, without any embellishments? Now's the time to create a new look just by doing the opposite of your usual routine. Instead of putting it back in your usual tight updo, let your hair flow freely. Your family and co-workers are sure to notice. Those of you who usually take a natural approach, try adorning your hair with fancy hairsticks or crystal hair pins. Just the slightest little touch can get people talking about your new look.