Let’s Talk Hair

Let me start off with saying I’m not the type of girl who’s really into hair and make-up products. I never really learned how to do that stuff, and am pretty super low maintenance when it comes to that. I rarely wear ANY make-up at all, and usually only do my hair for special occasions. I have been “that girl” at work who’s hair is always in a ponytail. But as I hit 30, I realized that I want to start being more “grown-up” and have started incorporating some things into my non-existent beauty regime. I still do not wear make-up every day; mostly because I have oily skin and any cover-up clogs my pores and breaks me out, but since I cut my hair back down to a manageable length, I have been “doing it” every single day. Except on Sundays. Sundays are my lazy days.

So, for those girls out there that are low maintenance like myself, or are looking for some quick go-to styles that are easy peasy to do – I’m going to show you what products I use and how I do my chin-length hair. Get excited!

The only heat products I use are a blow-dryer (I have a basic one with a concentrator enhancement) that probably cost me no more than $25, and a flat iron. I just bought a new flat-iron that replaced my old Revlon one. I’m not sure what brand this one was but it too probably wasn’t more than $25. There are three hair products that I use almost daily (besides shampoo and conditioner):

  • It’s a 10 (regular)
  • Kenra Medium Hold (13) hair spray
  • Bumble and Bumble Straight
  • Suave dry shampoo

It’s a 10 is probably one of the best hair products I’ve come across in my 30 years. My stylist used it on me a few months back and I’ve been hooked ever since. This product can be used for TEN different options when styling your hair – but mostly it’s a great heat protectant, calms the frizz, improves shine and helps detangle. I will spray it into my hair while it’s damp right before I’m ready to start blow drying. It helps me comb it out, while prepping it for the heat that’s to come with the dryer. I have the larger bottle of the regular brand, but they have travel sized options as well as have a variety of options for your hair care needs (ie. For Blondes, Plus Keratin, Volumizing, and Light). I love it and a large bottle (approx. $34) has lasted me about six months and I still have some left.

Kenra is another great brand that my stylist clued me in on. It smells terrific and has a medium hold (which is the one I use) that keeps hair in place, but still allows you t o run your fingers through. It holds up hair in the humidity and heat, which is awesome since my hair is a natural frizz ball. I used the Perfect Medium Spray #13 (what an awesome number!). This has lasted me awhile, as well and I usually only use it when I’m curling my hair. I’ll spray it on after I pull the curls a part to help keep the curl.


Bumble and Bumble Straight  is a blow drying creme that you use to dry hair straight. However, I use it as a straightening creme when I’m flat ironing as the It’s a 10 is already a protectant on my hair. I feel that the B&B helps provide that extra protection, while really helping my hair stay straight after drilling it with high heat. It smells yummy and I use a teeny tiny bit as it can weigh hair down, especially since I’m not using it in the blow dry process. I’d recommend going with half of the size of a dime if you have chin length hair.

Suave dry shampoo is cheap and easy. There are TONS of dry shampoo brands out there, but why pay tons of money when a $1.99 bottle of Suave does the trick? It’s great to spray on for those days when you don’t have time to wash your hair and just want to style and go. I used this on my curly days mostly – when I’ll spray the roots, then spray all over with It’s a 10, curl, and then use Kenra to finish.

So, how do I do my hair? Either straight or curly. On Monday’s I’ll wash and blow dry and flat iron and wear it as straight as I can get it. Then the next day, I’ll skip the wash and use some dry shampoo to help curl it for a different look. I use the flat iron for both straightening and curling.

straight hair day

straight hair day

For straight hair:

  • Shampoo and condition hair
  • Apply It’s a 10 spray while hair is damp and comb out (make sure to ring out excess water from hair)
  • Use a comb (or round brush for more volume) with blow dryer to dry hair (a concentrator helps keep hair straight)
  • After hair is dry, run a tiny bit of Bumble and Bumble straight through hair (top and underneath)
  • Part hair (half up/half down) and start flat ironing hair in small sections starting underneath hair and working way to top
  • Keep parting until all hair is flat ironed
curly day! oh hey it's my office!

curly day! oh hey it’s my office!

For curly hair:

(keep in mind the pic above is on a 90 degree day, so it’s not as voluminous as I started. holy humidity!)

  • Skip washing hair
  • Spray Suave dry shampoo on roots and brush in
  • Spray It’s a 10 all over hair
  • Pull hair half up/half down and start curling underneath, working way to top of hair (crown)
  • Once all of the hair is curled, gently pull a part curls as desired
  • Finish with Kenra hair spray all over

It probably takes me about 20-30 minutes to do my hair, which is really manageable in the mornings. I hope this helps! Feel free to share your hair care secrets!


Hair Problems

I had my hair did a few weeks ago and was ultra excited to get primped and all dolled up. Highlights were added and a nice trim cleaned up my nasty ends. my lovely hair stylist showed me how to put in some GORGEOUS wavy curls to freshen up my usually flat ironed tresses and when I left the salon, I felt absolutely wonderful. See how pretty my hair was? (disregard the bewildered face)


After the salon, I’ve been trying (very unsuccessfully) to get my hair curled like the stylist was able to do it. Unfortunately, everything I’ve tried has made my hair have super tight curls or crispy ends. I can’t get it as soft and fluffy like the girl did and it’s driving me bonkers. I’ve hit up Ulta I don’t know how many times to get better products and a new curling iron, I’ve purchased overnight curlers (see below) that you can sleep in and they are supposed to give you nice curls. I’ve washed my hair the day before I try to curl it and have also curled my hair right after blow drying. Nothing helps. I’ve scoured Pinterest for advice but all of those women out there are able to have gorgeous curls. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong – I just want to master the soft beachy curl look! Any advice is welcomed!


Drab to Fab

If you follow me on Twitter @shlee83, you know that I spent some time at the hair salon finally pampering my locks over last weekend. It was definitely needed, I have been surviving on snips from Hair Cuttery as I try to grow my hair out a bit before my wedding in July. I haven’t had it highlighted for a looooong time. Like I can’t remember the last time, long time. After a bunch of complaining, JP surprised me with a gift certificate to Mario Tricoci salon and spa.  I don’t think that you need to drop hundreds of bucks to have your hair done all the time. But you can COMPLETELY tell the difference when you get your hair done at a high-end salon versus the Hair Cuttery (not that there’s anything bad with the HC). And I was THRILLED to have my hair done without having to worry about the price.

I started with all over highlights in as blonde as they would let me go. I naturally have strawberry blonde hair which has grown more red over the years. I can’t stand it. I love it when my hair is bright and light! After the highlighting session, I was handed over to a hair stylist who went to town trimming my hair, giving me long bangs and even showing me how to put beachy curls in my hair. After wards I just felt so great and was in love with my new hair do! After time, I’m hoping to get the hang of how she styled my hair, but just enjoyed a day out looking fabulous!



Every year most of us set New Years resolutions to usher out the previous year and start fresh. With January 1st comes a blank slate and a whole 365 days ahead to make what you want of them – it’s kind of a an awesome thing if you think about it. A chance to just start new, and who doesn’t like new things?

I try to take a look at where I came from and what 2012 brought me. I had a ton of stuff going on and the year just seemed to fly right on by. I was able to scratch some of my big rocks in terms of professional development from my list – Completing an HR professional class online and passing the HRCI/PHR certification exam.  I also read over my goal of 12 books for the year and came across a few amazing reads.

2013 is going to be a HUGE year for me and I’m so excited to experience everything that life will throw my way.  Not only are “2” and “13” my favorite numbers  (a great omen if I do say so myself), but I also turn 30 this year and get hitched. But I have some other goals that I’d love to get accomplished in this big year and really work on bettering myself. Here’s what I got:

  • Lose 30 lbs. by wedding (July 6, 2013)
  • Go on a relaxing vacation
  • Read at least 10 books
  • Look better, feel better (ie. dress better, do hair!)
  • Make a home out of our apartment
  • Complete SHRM membership
  • Complete AIRS training

So really its just to be a healthier person and I would be hard-pressed to deny that it’s about the weight and it is – it’s a main driver of this year. I’ve put on 40 lbs since my big weight loss 4 years ago and I want to get back there. I want to feel better about myself and be happier and I’m not expecting a big dramatic shift to where I was but even if I dropped 20 lbs and felt great – that would be enough for me (for the time being).

I also think that part of feeling better about yourself is taking care of yourself.  I’ll be the first person to admit that I roll out of bed, take a shower, and get dressed and go to work with wet hair. I never wear make-up (unless I’m at a career fair that day), and wear basic work clothes (black pants, top and cardigan), and I never do my hair (wet ponytail it is – even in the winter!).  It’s not that I want to become a MAC professional or even splurge on expensive clothes but I do (and should) want to start feeling better about myself and maybe a start is with some quick mascara in the morning, adding a cute belt to my outfit, or even washing my hair the night before.  I resolve to get better at this in 2013!

JP and I are moving at the end of this week – to a first floor, 2 bedroom apartment in our same building where we plan to stay for the next few years before we buy a forever home.  So I really want to make sure that we start building a home wherever we live because it’s less about the physical address and more about the people you share your home with…and we deserve a grown-up place.

And lastly I want to continue with my professional development and complete the last two things on my career-related list. They’re easy peasy things (SHRM membership can be done online) but with the wedding coming up, they are a costly expense so I need to make sure that we can budget for them and actually make it happen.

What are your goals or resolutions for the new year? Do you want to improve on your health? Be a better person? Take an amazing trip? I’d love to hear about it!