Beauty Wednesday: How to Make a Blowout Last for Days

how to make a blowout last for daysBlowouts can make your hair look smooth, silky, and shiny — and they’re much healthier for your hair than flatironing it! — but how can you make a blowout last? I’m a huge fan of blowouts these days, and if there are a few events over a few days it’s a no-brainer for me because I can get so much more “bang” for my buck. (I normally pay about $40 for a blowout, not counting tax and tip, but you can also blowout your own hair. Even if you’re doing it yourself, with the time and energy required, you may want to make those last for days as well!) Right now a blowout can last about 3 days for me, easily, but there were points in my life when I could make it last for 5 days. (Pictured: me on Day 3 – I would have let this one go to Day 4 actually but I wanted to workout.)

I think it comes down to a few simple rules:

a) Train your hair. This is my own secret theory, but here goes: the more often you wash your hair, the more often it thinks it needs to be washed. (The NYT has covered this sort of thing extensively: e.g., here.  And if you’re washing your hair every day 99% of the time, there is no way you’re going to make a blowout last for even two days for the 1% of the time you want it to. I first started stretching it out by going two days between shampoo use, usually just by plopping a shower cap on my head when I took my shower. When I was pregnant (and something about the shower made me nauseous), I would only get my hair wet every 3 days (and it was during this time that I found a blowout lasted once for me for 5 days). Currently my routine for days when I wear my hair curly is: Day 1, shampoo. Day 2, don’t get hair wet. Day 3, use conditioner to wash my hair. (I like Suave Naturals — it’s silicone free and sulfate free, and dirt cheap. I find that I need about 3 big handfuls to get my hair saturated enough so I can scrub it.) Day 4, don’t get hair wet. Day 5, use DevaCurl Low Poo. Day 6, don’t get hair wet. Day 7, shampoo.  Oh! And here’s a tip: if you have bangs that get dirtier than the rest of your hair, consider putting the rest of your hair in a shower cap, and just shampooing your bangs (or other layers around your face) — I have one girlfriend who swears by this.

b) Don’t touch your hair once it’s blown out. I only comb my hair maybe once a day, and I try to avoid pulling it back unless it’s absolutely necessary.

c) Use dry shampoo to extend a blowout. I’ve tried a bunch of dry shampoos, but my favorite remains Psssssst Instant Spray Shampoo. Here’s my technique: Pick your hair up at the roots, spray the dry shampoo, and then do a task for a few minutes (wash the dishes, put away the laundry, whatever). Yes, your hair will be gray, but after the two minutes is up, I gently scrub my head (kind of like I’m shampooing it) and make sure that whatever hasn’t absorbed is blended.

d) On sleeping. I’ve tried silk pillowcases, and I’ve tried the high ponytail to sleep — I don’t recommend either, actually. The silk pillowcase just didn’t make a difference (but perhaps I need a higher quality one? I got mine at a beauty supply store…), and the high ponytail just “bent” my hair, leaving those annoying indentations. I’ve found it’s best to just sleep with it long and down on a clean, regular pillowcase (and keep my husband from breathing on it too much).

e) On working out. I don’t recommend getting sweaty on days that you want your blowout to last. Some workouts — weights, yoga, walking, even light aerobics — can be done without getting too sweaty… but I’d skip the 50 minute run in 80% humidity. Regarding my “normal” routine, above — I try to coordinate my running days with my “wet hair” days, and just do another workout on my “dry hair” days. Your mileage may vary here, but I would recommend trying dry shampoo after your sweaty hair has dried, though, because you may find that it’s acceptable to you. (Ask for a second opinion from your friend or partner about the acceptability, though.)

Readers, how long can you rock a blowout? What are your best tips?


  1. This may be an obvious question, but what’s a blowout? Is it just what straight-haired people call blowdrying their hair with one of those tapered attachment thingies for straight hair? Why do you pay someone to do this for you? I’ve always wondered this.

    • You know how your hair looks when the salon blowdries it after you’ve had it cut? That’s a blowout.

      • My hair looks the same… I think this is a straight-hair thing that I will never understand.

        • I think you are right, Bluejay. I have stick-straight hair and although it always looks better when the stylist blowdries it, it’s certainly not a drastic enough difference for me to pay for just that service.

          Also, I have apparently not “trained” my hair appropriately, and it demands to be washed at least every 24 hours, or else I’m left with a limp, greasy mess.

          • My hair is not “trained” either. And besides looking like a limp, greasy mess on the second day, I feel like it starts to smell kind of funky, too — my DH says he doesn’t notice anything, but I do and it drives me crazy. Ick.

          • I tried this once for about a month to train my hair not to need daily washings and nope… it still looked like a greasy mess. People kept asking me if I was dying my hair because it would look darker when I didn’t wash it.

        • Cornellian :

          I think you’re right. My hair does look nicer when it’s blown out, but with naturally straight, thick hair, not enough for me to give a crap.

          I would like to know how anyone gets curls to stay in their hair for more than about 90 minutes. Even when professionally done, curls never hold in my hair.

          • Merabella :

            Youtube. Lets make it up. Her curling tutorial changed my life. For real. I have naturally straight fine but thick hair. Her curling tutorial left my hair curly for a whole day, which NEVER EVER Happens.

          • As a fellow stick straight thick haired girl, I feel your pain. I could NEVER get curls to stay until I discovered these few tricks:

            1) Embrace hair spray
            2) “Dirty” hair (don’t wash your hair on the day you want to curl it; use dry shampoo if it looks oily)
            3) Forget just wrapping your hair around the barrel of the iron. The clamp is our friend. The technique I use is the one demonstrated in this video:
            4) Wait a few minutes for the curls to cool before brushing/running your fingers through your hair.

            Hope that helps!

          • If you are doing big curls, start curling from the crown of your hair. The tighter the curl, the slower you move down the shaft of the hair, just keep rolling the hair around the iron as you move down. When you start to curl your hair from the bottom, the top never really receives much heat (plus it damages your ends more). When you start at the crown, and work your way down, every piece gets heat and curl. I hope this makes sense! So much easier to see than explain. But I have long, baby fine hair and live in a very humid climate…this is the only way curls will last longer than 30 minutes! Also, like one commenter stated, “embrace the hairspray”!

          • Straitening iron. It will need to be smaller, not a two inch. You take a segment of hair, clamp the iron near the root, trust the iron so your hair loops around & through (should look like a hot wheels car loop), pull the iron towards the roots. Speed will determine the tightness of the curls. YouTube may explain it better.

            The only other suggestion is to make sure you are using the right temperature. Those that max out @ 350 are worthless to me. If I want something that lasts, it usually 410 or above that I use.

    • e_pontellier :

      DH asked me this too, because I have fine, long straight hair, but the first time I came home with one, he was convinced it was worth whatever it cost (ha). For me, a blowout is getting those gorgeous beachy waves, or curls, or really anything with VOLUME. I can never get it to last more than a day, but that’s (apparently) because I shampoo my hair

    • I agree @Bluejay. I have stick straight hair and when I come home from the salon, it looks the same as when I just blowdried it myself. Us straight haired girls don’t know any different.

      • I’m jealous…but maybe I should appreciate that my hair as a crazy amount of “personality”?

      • You’re so lucky! There’s a marked difference for me if I get my hair done at the salon. And they have figured out some magical way to conquer frizz. I’ve started getting blowouts — or at least scheduling a regular trim — before friends’ weddings and other events. I don’t like feeling so high-maintenance, but stylists think my hair is easy and I don’t, so there it is.

    • I had this exact same question, & it still doesn’t mean anything – my hair is so thin & fine nothing gives it volume, & I don’t use heat on my hair anyway.

  2. Blonde Lawyer :

    I do something similar to this. My hair can go straight or curly. Either way, just when it is getting to the point where I think “ew, I have to wash this” my husband says it looks its best and everyone is complimenting me on my hair! My hair is just naturally big and poofy and by day three it looks great. If my hairs not dirty or looking bad I don’t wash it unless I want to change the style (from straight to curly or vice versa.) When it is straight, I just shower with it in a big pile on my head secured by an elastic. After showering, I blow dry it again for a minute or two to get any humidity out and sometimes run the flat iron over it one more time.

    • Business, Not Law :

      I get more compliments on dirty hair too! I’m thinking to myself, “really?!? this is day 3 or 4 and I’m kind of thinking it’s getting close to ‘oil slick’ level” Nothing better than a salon blow out and I wish I made more time for this to actually happen. (Part of me is secretly afraid of getting to ‘used to it’ though and relying on someone else to do my hair on a regular basis)

  3. This sounds like a whole lot of work to me. My hair routine is wash, condition, put in a tiny bit of hair oil, leave house. I am probably missing out on how polished my hair could look but it’s also nice not to think about it too much.

    My hair does looks fantastically awesome when someone blows it out straight and I do manage to make it last 3 days but I don’t go through anywhere near this much effort. My routine then is: 1st day – awesomeness; 2nd day – somewhat less awesomeness but still kinda awesome; and 3d day – baby powder and a cute ponytail. I think I’ve made it to day 4 once or twice but I didn’t feel good about it at that point.

  4. I love Psssst Dry Shampoo – I have fine, stick straight hair that used to require daily shampoos. This dry shampoo changed all that. I randomly found it in Miami, and it’s changed my life! There is hope for those of us with fine hair that tends to be greasy.

    • +1. It’s one of my all-time favorite drugstore beauty products, and I’ve tried a lot of different dry shampoos at various price points. This stuff is amazing.

  5. sugarmagnolia :

    I think that the assertion you can “train” your hair to not require washing depends almost exclusively on hair type. Those of us with stick straight baby fine hair cannot wait days to wash. The reason is that our hair cuticle allows oils to freely get distributed throughout our hair, not just the roots. So dry shampooing doesn’t work as well for us.

    In my opinion, I can go maybe one day without washing, but more than that is just gross. I also thought the woman who they pictured in the linked Times article LOOKED like her hair was dirty, not shiny.

    • Yep, she looks dirty.

    • I sometimes wonder if by “training” hair, people really mean “get used to it feeling dirty.”
      Kat’s hair looks great, and I know everyone has different needs in this area depending on hair type… But I really do sometimes think that it’s also a matter of comfort and habit. I lived abroad for a bit and a lot of women would wash their hair on the weekends only. It was noticeable on most of them even though no one there seemed to think it was weird or obvious. I actually used to wash my hair every other day and sometimes every 3d day, and I finally stopped because I got sick of running into people when my hair was on the “off day” — my hair was “trained” but it was still clearly not it’s best.

      • I think this is definitely true for the straighter/finer haired among us. I know several people for whom washing daily was just a necessity, even with attempts to “train” it.

        It’s worked well for me because my hair is naturally pretty wavy, and each individual strand is thick. When I wash it daily, I find that it gets dried out. Every 2 days in the summer is about perfect for me, and I can go longer in the winter. Though I don’t always use shampoo to wash – like Kat, I also use non-sulfate cleansers on my “non wash” days. For me, this keeps my hair from getting dry and makes it easier to manage/less frizzy.

        Of course, that’s just my experience with my hair.

      • It depends. A lot of shampoos on the market work by stripping oil from your scalp and hair, and your scalp reacts by producing more oil. If you switch to shampoos that don’t strip oil from your hair, after a couple of weeks your scalp produces less oil. So some people, especially those with dry hair, really can “train” their hair to be less oily. But in other cases, yes, people just get used to it being oily.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. I have tried to train my hair and it just looks dirty. Dry shampoo works some, but my hair never looks good (so it is up) the second day.

      • Anonymous :

        I wash every 3 days and love my Batiste dry shampoo, but saying I’ve “trained” my hair, which is comprised of dead cells, is a complete misnomer.

    • Glad to know I’m not the only fine-haired gal who hasn’t had success with skipping washes or using dry shampoo! In my next life, I’m coming back with a gorgeous mane of wavy hair, I have already decided.

      • Not to be all “the grass is greener…” but I’ve also decided that for the next round I’d like to trade my straight blonde hair for auburn curls ;)

    • Cornellian :

      I do think a lot of people can get away with less washing if they work on it and use vinegar, conditioner, etc, but they also don’t seem to take color in to account. The difference in two days no washing on dark blonde/auburn me and my light/ash blonde sister is pretty striking, despite having identical texture.

      • I think have trained my hair a little to be washed every other day- but on the second day I wear it up. I could never wear it down two days in a row, it would be too greasy.

      • MissJackson :

        I agree with the idea that hair color makes a difference. I’m naturally have dark blonde hair, but I color it medium brown. I can skip a day of washing as a brunette, but I seriously never could when my hair was lighter.

        • This. I have light blonde hair and without washing the grease makes my roots noticeably darker. A friend of mine with dark brown (nearly black) hair can go days without washing and when it’s pulled back, you’d never know.

      • You can not train your hair, no matter how hard you try, or would want to and must wash every day if you are a running beast at the gym.


        New running beast, soon to be super in shape, sculpted arms, sexy beast.

    • I agree with all that’s been said. However, if there are any of you who have been able to train your straight and fine hair in this way, I would LOVE to hear about it. I hate washing (and having to re-blowdry) my hair every single day, and I desperately wish I could switch to at least an every-other-day routine.

      • Merabella :

        Counter intuitive, but I started using leave in conditioner and have found that I can go longer between washes. I think it is because I’m less likely to try to smooth my hair out all day by putting my hands through it. I don’t blow dry my hair anymore, I mostly just let it air dry in a bun/braid first day, wear it down second day, maybe down third day or in a pony tail then wash on 4th day. I’ve actually been able to go 4 whole days without washing recently.

        I use sulfate free moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and a little argan oil on the ends plus a small amount of leave in conditioner on the skirt (bottom of the hair). I have to my bra strap long hair.

        I think part of it is having the patience to go 2 or three weeks into the process before saying it is a bust. It will not change over night, you really do have to make a commitment to try it out for a few weeks.

      • My hair is so fine and delicate, that I found that washing it every day just makes it more brittle and prone to tangling. I don’t really remember the ‘training’ period, but it’s been my habit for many years to just wash my hair every other day. And it always looks fine on the second day. I just run damp fingers through it to smooth it out from being slept on, and sometimes blow dry it a tiny bit to make it look ‘finished.’

        Once i discovered Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo, I have now moved to washing every 3 days, 1st day: wash, 2nd day: just smooth and fluff, 3rd day: dry shampoo (sometimes put up in a poofy bun); 4th day wash.

        But i don’t do a ton of blowdrying and styling on a daily basis, i have a layered cut, so i just put in a little bit of sea spray and let it be a little textured and straight. That might have something to do with it.

    • Yep, I’ve tried to train mine, too, and I’ve concluded that it doesn’t work for me (straight, fine hair, but a lot of it)

    • I can go up to ten days without shampoo before I get noticeable sebum build-up – rinsing with water only some days does help. My individual hairs are so fine you can’t feel them if you roll them between your fingers, & they’re dead straight.

  6. Dessert Doctor :

    Apologies for the early TJ — I’m a regular reader, but a rare poster.

    I desperately need the hive’s advice regarding where to shop for an interview suit (I’m an academic/researcher, and will be interviewing at universities, medical centers, etc. where a traditional black/navy/grey pant suit would be appropriate). I’m dreading beginning the hunt because I’m plus-sized (measurements roughly 46-43-53). I live in Maryland, so am looking for places in Maryland, DC, or Virginia.

    I know everyone here loves Nordstrom, but their online selections have been extremely limited. Do you all think I would have more luck at an actual store, and are there any recommendations for which store to check out (or avoid) to find plus-sized suiting?

    Also, any recommendations for a good tailor in the Bethesda area? I suspect that at the very least I will need the pants hemmed. I currently just take things to the nearest dry cleaner, but their work is only so-so, so I’m a little nervous about taking something in for important alterations.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Macy’s plus size section always has good suiting options.

      • Seattleite :

        I am also plus-sized, and had a terrific experience with a Macy’s personal shopper a couple of weeks ago. Not all stores have them, but you can search for a PS with their store locator function.

    • Cornellian :

      This isn’t quite on point, but I helpd interview professors at a elite state school (think Michigan) when I was a grad student, and women tended to show up in suit separates, or dresses with blazers/cardigans, etc. Not sure what field you’re in, but just in case you were interested.

      • Anonymous :

        Man, I’ve been describing Michigan all wrong. “Elite state school” sounds a lot better than “those Wolverines who think they’re going to Harvard.”

    • I’m a plus-sized girl with measurements of approx 47-37-49. I also carry a significant amount of my weight in my thighs.

      The suits that I have found that have worked best for me have come from:

      1. Talbots plus size department
      2. Jones New York’s Plus Size line (I love love love the washable wool suiting, and buy all of mine at the JNY outlet)
      3. Macy’s plus size department

      • There is a good-sized Talbot’s Women’s store at Tyson’s. I think hitting Tyson’s for that, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s would serve you well.

    • Call Nordstrom’s personal shopper line, schedule an appt in store, and get them to help you out. Since you know what you want/are looking for, they’ll pull items directly for you and have them at the ready when you come in. I’ve had more luck in selection at the store in Tyson’s (although yes, it’s a PIA to get to) given it’s a larger store. not sure about the selection at the one’s in MD.

      Sorry, can’t help with a tailor; I do the dry cleaner’s as well for my pants. For the fancy stuff (read bridesmaid dresses), I do the fancy wedding store.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve found nice plus size suits at Lord & Taylor as well as the other places people have mentioned. Good luck with the interview!

    • Also plus size here…

      I agree with the other recommendations here (esp. Talbot’s) . I have actually had much better luck with Nordstrom online and very little success at the actual store, but this could totally vary by location.

      Finding stylish, work-appropriate, plus size clothing is such a challenge, so sending lots of good vibes your way!

      PS not to criticize any of the readers/posters here AT ALL – but can I just say how nice it is to hear that there is someone else out there with measurements similar to mine? Some days I get so depressed seeing you all chat about your sizes and the fun stores you get to shop at.

      • sugarmagnolia :

        I hear ya! I love looking at all the stuff people purchase, but it does make me sad sometimes that I cannot buy those same brands. Before my pregnancy, I was a size 16/18, but many “designer” brands stop at a 12 or 14. It is a bummer sometimes.

    • When I was plus-sized, most of my business suits were from Talbots. They worked really well for me because I was smaller on top than on bottom, so I could buy regular sizes for the jacket and plus size for the bottom. Prices are reasonable, and the quality is good.

    • A plus-sized friend of mine is totally rocking Talbots lately. I also advise heading down to Tyson’s – I find the stores there much larger and better stocked than the malls around Bethesda (Montgomery Mall, White Flint, Lake Forest, although Lake Forest has a pretty good Lord and Taylor). Don’t know anything about malls around Annapolis or Baltimore.

      For tailors, I go to a place in Montgomery Mall, on the first level to the right of Macy’s (as you face Macy’s). They’re probably not the cheapest, but they do such a good job. I pretty much take all my pants there to have the waist taken in/adjusted and everything looks so much better when they are done. I think it’s called Montgomery Custom Tailors, something like that.

    • Francie Nolan :

      I know the feeling , last year I bought a new interview suit and had to try a million. It makes me sad that it is so hard to find a decent plus suit that is not frumpy. I ended up with a Jones New York suit I love.

      Some one here recomended Eloquii, but I have never tried them, although I am very tempted.

      • SAlit-a-gator :

        Nordstrom is not my go-to for suits; too little variety. I second everyone’s recommendation for Talbots and Macys.

      • I always liked the look of Eloquii stuff. About 1/3 of my closet is from The Limited (same company), so if it’s similar quality/price point, it would be on my to look at list.

      • Eloquii is fabulous. It’s my new favorite-favorite. Free returns, great styles (often the same or only slightly modified from styles at the Limited), no frump– LOVE it. I recommend them without reservation.

        Also, another plug for Talbots, which is where I got my favorite suit of all time (now too big for me…yay?).

        Also…and this is definitely not high end fashion… Dress Barn Woman sometimes has decent suits (as much as I hate to recommend plus size girls buy clothes at a “Barn”).

    • Kenwood Custon Tailor @ 5110 Ridgefield Rd # 109 Bethesda, MD 20816
      (301) 657-2627. 2nd floor of little strip mall. He’s great but note only takes cash or checks, no credit cards.

    • Dessert Doctor :

      Thanks for all the recommendations! I’m definitely going to head to Tyson’s to look for options at all the places you have mentioned. I really appreciate having a community like this to ask for help from, too! I’ll update on how my searches go!

  7. I have OTHER issue’s. Kat looks very nice with EITHER long or short hair. But my hair is always straite, and some times scraggley.

    I used to get HENNA treatements, but then heard they were NOT good for me.

    Thank’s to Lourine for stickeing up for me and pointeing out the fake ELLEN yesterday. Yay! FOOEY on the fake Ellen. She is to dumb for the rest of us. FOOEY!

    I am very concerned about becomeing a partner, b/c of this articel in the Washington Post, and am considering askeing Jim if he want’s me to go in house. I am a little queezey about that to, b/c Jim also like’s to stare at me.

    “Firms have done some belt-tightening but haven’t made a lot of hard decisions at the partner level,” said Jeffrey Lowe, managing partner of the D.C. office of legal consulting firm Major Lindsey & Africa. “Non-equity partners or equity partners who don’t have robust practices will be vulnerable in the years ahead. No one wants to let partners go, but as firms become more focused on the bottom line … that’s probably the next course of action. It sounds bleak, but it’s a very different world out there these days.”

    If I become an equity partner but do NOT have robust practeces, I will be vulnerable, so I do NOT want that. Mabye I should ask the manageing partner about this, but first I want for him to tell me what he is going to do about my clotheing, which Jim want’s me to upgrade.

    I have alot to think about. FOOEY!

  8. Funny enough, this sounds like my curly hair maintenance ritual. I actually usually go 2 days without washing my hair at all. My thick! (Russian-Jewish) hair actually frizzes more if I wash it too often. So while I won’t suffer through 2 hours of flat-iron to have straight hair (sigh), I’ve tried to make my hair stay natural, healthy, but also professional.

    I only brush it before the shower and right after, then I put my hair goop in, and then don’t touch the hair till I wash it again. I’ve had to train people that if they want to play with my hair, they can’t unravel my curls and to be mindful of tangles.

    Now that it is just past my shoulders, I sleep with it down. I actually try to avoid hairbands or anything else. They leave indents in my hair and cause this…weird..triangle frizzy factor.

    When I have a chance to work out, I make sure to do it on the night before I wash my hair (I have to wash it in the mornings, because it will retain weird bed-head shape if I got to sleep with it wet). Actually, I do any dirty/sweaty chores, on the night before The Wash.

    Generally my week goes like this:
    Monday: wash. Wednesday/Thursday (depending on how good the curls do the current weather/normal wear and tear) wash. Then I wash it before going out on the weekend.

  9. Cornellian :

    straight hair TJ:

    For those of you with naturally very straight hair, how do you get your hair to hold curls? I have lots of fine-ish naturally straight European heritage hair (a ponytail is a bit more than an inch in diameter at the base of my skull), and my hair will.not.curl. I don’t even attempt it on my own anymore, but even professionals with various tools have had little success. I find my hair doesn’t take texture very well in general… even if I french braid it, swim in the ocean, and wait 36 hours to take the braids out, it’s back to straight in 2-3 hours.

    I know the grass is always greener, but curly hair is so pretty! How do I do it?!

    • Three bottles of hairspray? Seriously, I haven’t found anything else that works on my hair, which is similar to how you describe yours. For my wedding, I had a curly updo, which lasted amazingly well (from 9 or 10 am hair appointment through the rest of the day, the ceremony with veil, and several hours of crazy dancing). But I credit that almost entirely to the absurd amount of hairspray involved, plus the fact that it was pinned in place pretty solidly. When my regular hairdresser tries to give me curls, they start relaxing after a very short time and slide right out after 2-3 hours. My mom (same hair type) used to get perms in order to achieve her curl dreams.

      • Cornellian :

        haha, good to know. I think maybe I missed the pins thing, because lord knows they’ve used hairspray, but that really seems a bit beyond my level of skill.

        Sigh. Maybe i’ll teach myself how to fishtail braid as a consolation. I’m decent at braids but can’t get that one right!

      • Yup. I second tons and tons of hairspray. I would add extremely hot curling implements. Like, I let my curling irons warm up on the hottest setting for over an hour if I want anything to last.
        Also, my mom kept her 80s perm well in 2010 so that she would have curls. When I tried this, I looked like Shirley Temple. Bad news bears.

        • Ha. My hair laughed at perms and sent the curls/ripples on their way within a couple of weeks.

          I have fine, but a decent amount of. I pretty much wash it every day, or at least rinse and use conditioner on the ends. It just looks kind of icky, dull, and greasy if I don’t, and I may be paranoid, but I think it starts to smell. One skipped shampoo is okay, but two? Nope, not going to do that. I don’t think I could train myself to ignore the dirty hair smell.

          I’ve basically embraced the straight. I use mousse to get some volume, and oddly I’ve found that straightening my hair gives me a bit more volume. I basically do it in three “layers” – underlayer gets straightened, then a middle layer, then the top layer. It takes less than 5 minutes because my hair is pretty much straight, I guess the straightening iron is just getting everyone to lay the same way.

          I just want to say that the 1980s, when big Jersey hair was popular, was tough for us straight-haired girls. I guess it was revenge for the 1970s limp hippie hair.

          • Cornellian :

            I would have been a great 1970s hippie hair model, haha.

          • We have nearly identical routines. Friends are often puzzled when I refer to straightening my hair (“Why? It’s so flat already!”), but I find it helps everything lay nicely. In terms of adding volume, I straighten the “top” layer by pulling “up” just a bit before straightening the rest of the way down and find it works reasonably well.

            Is your hair slippery as well? I find my hair nearly impossible to wear up (besides in a ponytail).

          • Mine, too! I had full-on poodle perms in the early 90’s that lasted only a few weeks before it coasted into weirdly crimpy, then a little kinky, then slightly frizzy, then pancake flat again…all in about 6 weeks, tops. Sigh.

        • Yep, I second the extremely hot curling implements. Also, the only thing that’s worked for me is curling with a flat iron as opposed to a curling iron. Not sure if it gets hotter or what, but I set my Chi to max heat and use that, and my curls last for 2 days. Now granted, they’re not curling iron curls and look more like a blowout, but that’s pretty much what I’m going for anyway. There are lots of tutorials on youtube :)

          Oh, the other thing that I have to do is curl in sections. If I try to curl too big a section at once, no dice.

    • Merabella :

      Mentioned this above. Youtube, let’s make it up channel.

      I also think hot rollers help, I’ve used them with success before. Leave them in until they are completely cold, then wait a little longer.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Someone here recommended searching for YouTube videos on how to properly curl your hair with a curling iron. Mine takes a curl pretty well, but once I used the technique, ive found that it stays that way much longer. The technique involves starting at the root and using your curling iron vertically to curl the part closest to the root and then loosen the grip, slide it down a bit, then curl that next section all the way back up to the root and ocintue doing that all the way to the end of your hair. Hard to explain, but hopefully you can recognize it on a video with that description.

      • I have the exact same hair type and this is how I curl my hair to get it to stay. I posted a link to a YouTube video tutorial above.

    • My hair is stick straight, and there is no amount of product or heat out there that will hold a curl. Same goes for a blow out, which you mentioned above. It might look poofy in the salon, but by the time I make it to the street, it’s back to straight.

      • Same here. Every time I get my hair cut, the stylist goes on and on about what wonderful hair I have and how it does exactly what she wants. I have tried explaining that it doesn’t even last the whole drive home, but she thinks I’m just being self-deprecating. I wish!

    • yey for August! :

      I could have written your post. My stylist figured out a way to make the curls stay on my hair, but its a pain in the @ss and I can’t do it myself: after curling each curl, she pins the curl with a bobby pin to my head, then continues curling all the way around. By the time she is done, I look kind of like a sheep. By then the first curls have had a chance to cool down. She then takes out the pins, sprays it and that’s it. At first it is VERY curly but over the first few outs it starts to fall out and by hour 3 it stops at a nice loose wave. Usually lasts 12-24 hours.

  10. As I’ve gotten older, I find that my hair looks better with less washing – I do every 2-3 days. But I’m terrible at using a shower cap to keep it dry, so it ends up sopping wet around the edges. Is this normal?

    • Maybe you need a better, bigger shower cap? The best ones for me are large and have a cloth inside.

      • Where do you buy those? Sounds like I need one.

        • Search for Lined Shower Cap. Amazon has them:

          I’ve also gotten them at random Bed Bath & Beyond’s, Homegoods, Nordstrom Rack, etc.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I hate those cloth inside ones. They always seem to smell later for me.

    • Put your hair in a ponytail (with the last twist of the tie only half done so it’s a loop/bun), then put it inside the cap. your ends will be on top of your head and won’t be able to get wet.

      • I use one of those bath towel fabric headbands meant for washing your face, under the shower cap. It helps keep the edges dry under the shower cap. If the edges still get a little wet, I blast them with the blow dryer for a few seconds

    • I wash my hair every 2-3 days too but by “wash” I mean “use shampoo/conditioner”; my hair still gets wet because a hot shower is the only thing that really wakes me up in the morning. Does this mean I’m fooling myself?

      • This is what I do, I have short, straight fine hair but a lot of it so it appears thick. I rinse my head every morning or it would be sticking out in 30 directions but only use shampoo every other day.
        I also rinse really well after a hard workout, if done right away it gets the sweat out without using shampoo.

  11. When I did theater and needed super curly hair on my normally stick straight hair + 100% humidity weather, I used Conair hot sticks and hair gel.

    • Ugh, that was a reply to @Cornellian.

    • Conair hot sticks were THE SH!T. Nothing else worked like them. I was so upset when they discontinued them for a while. – plus, i could have typed this comment word for word, hi twin! ;o)

  12. :

    Have any of you ladies tried a Brazillian Blowout or Keratin Treatment? Thinking about trying it for my thick, wavy hair since I never have time to do anything to it other than put it in a ponytail in the mornings- I’m hoping the Brazillian Blowout will make my hair look good after simple air drying.

    • The Brazilian Blowout totally changed my life for a brief, shining period of time. Then, sadly, some states banned it and most salons stopped doing it (formaledhyde in the formula). Keratin treatment is helpful on my hair, but not nearly as good as the Brazilian Blowout was.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I second that. I would be wary of Brazilian blowouts. The FDA has issued a warning and the treatments have been banned in some countries. Some products and salons now say thet are formaldehyde free, but I would proceed with caution, since those claims aren’t regulated at all. FYI, I’m not someone who pays an inordinate amount of attention to the chemicals in beauty products, but this seems a little scary!

    • Got Keratin treatment done in April and I’m still loving it. My hair is straight-ish and fairly thick. Before the treatment, I would dry my hair with some straightening oil and then flat-iron the top few layers to keep it from frizzing. If it was humid outside, all bets were off.

      After Keratin, I dry my hair and that’s it! No frizzies in the humidity and my hair is straight without round brushing or straight-ironing. I love it and it’s saved me about 15 minutes every morning.

    • S in Chicago :

      I had a Keratin treatment done at Ulta about three weeks ago. I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. It smelled kind of weird whenever my hair was wet for about the first week and a half and my scalp got really dry and flaky–but my hair also was easier to blow straight and seemed less frizzy. And now, it’s basically back to what it was before the treatment. (I was told the treatment would last three to six months.)

      It was definitely too much money for little reward (on top of the $ for the treatment itself, also bought special Keratin shampoo and conditioner and styling products). Honestly, I think I’ve had better luck “defrizzing” using the 3-day straight spray from John Frieda.

      Not sure if it makes a difference, but my hair is naturally slightly wavy and I highlight every six weeks or so.

    • I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

      I started Brazilian Blowouts about 18 months ago and still loving it. It works really well for my frizzy, coarse curls. I also color my hair and have found they can co-exist nicely – she did full color and then the Brazilian the first time, and subsequent times I just get root touchups. Seems like the color is lasting a little longer with the Brazilian over it.

      Over time, the treatment builds up so you can go longer and longer between treatments.

      I think the quality varies by the hairdresser, exact formula, your own hair – what works well on for me didn’t for some of my co-workers.

  13. I always assumed a blow-out was for wavy or curly hair (I have curly), when they “blow” it straight with a hair dryer. I like when they flat iron too after a salon appointment, or else mine starts waving again immediately — and I understand these tips are helpful for keeping it looking nice when your hair is not natrually straight (and keeping it from a gross greasy look several days later).

    Quick TJ–getting married in two months (!!) and looking for bridesmaids gift ideas. What were the best bridesmaid gifts you ever gave or received?

    I was thinking probably around the $30-$100 range, I know thats a big range, I have 4 bridesmaids from different walks of my life. I know jewelry is typical, but I’m really not a jewerly person and wouldn’t know where to begin so I’m looking for other ideas if possible. Maybe a gift card to Lululemon? That seems a little too boring… Ideally I would get everyone something similar or the same

    • Honestly, the nicest thing I ever got was a letter saying how much the bride appreciated everything I did (and what my SO did) for her big day.

    • Skagen watches (currently at the Anniversary sale!) come in different colors so you can pick colors for each of your bridesmaids. Useful, thoughtful, and under $65 (see ex Nordstrom item 556411)

    • My favorite received gift was a piece of art glass: heart-shaped paper-weight kind of thing, about the size of my (large) hand with beautiful swirly colored things inside. The wedding was 15 years ago and it’s still on my entry hall table!

    • I have very little experience in this area, but once when I was a bridesmaid the bride gave us all gold chains, same length, but different style chains. The one she gave me was perfectly my style and even though the wedding was 15 years ago I still wear the chain every week or two. And we all wore the chains during the ceremony & celebration.

    • I gave mine small jewelry boxes from Pottery Barn with their initials engraved and LL Bean tote bags in the wedding colors with their monograms. One of my attendants was a guy and I gave him a leather PB valet and LL Bean duffle bag (both monogrammed).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        As a five-time bridesmaid, that gift sounds great to me. Travel jewelry box/roll and a tote bag – perfect. My DH got a shwag LL Bean tote bag from his work and I promptly appropriated it, so I would have loved that as a bridesmaid gift. As another idea, I got a monogrammed business card case once which was nice, too. Paying for the dress I’ll never wear again would be best of all.

        • sugarmagnolia :

          Paying for the dress would have been a great gift – especially for the last two weddings I was in. Ick!

    • The best gift is to be low-key in your expectations and save them money. I bought the dresses for the bridesmaids instead of doing gifts. (Of course, depending on what dresses you’ve picked, this may not be in your budget.) Also, let them pick their own jewelry and shoes with no (if possible) or few parameters so they can wear something they already have if possible. Don’t ask them to travel for events. Then just give them each a heart-felt note. You’ll be their favorite bride ever.

    • I asked my bridesmaids what they would prefer: a gift that I would do my best to think of something cool and not matching friendship necklaces, or I would pay for their dresses. They all chose the dress.

      Mine weren’t super-expensive, so I think I spent like $120 a girl. They all really appreciate not having to buy the dress!

      For the rehearsal dinner when my DH was handing out gifts to the guys, I gave them all gag-gift tote bags (personalized) full of the usual bridesmaid-survival-kit crapola. They all used their tote bags the day of the wedding! (I think I ended up spending more on these than I wanted to, maybe like $25 a person)

    • I gave my bridesmaids handmade clutches from Etsy. They each were in a nice heavy silk fabric with peacock feathers on it, but each girl got one in a slightly different shade (green, taupe, and ecru). Each one had a label sewn on the inside saying something like Thank you Amanda for always being there for me – on this day and forever. Then it had our wedding date on one line below it. I think they were about $60 or $80 each.

      Congrats and good luck!

      • I was in a wedding last year and was given jewelry (which was my style), a hair accessory to wear in the wedding, and a clutch. Loved all three, esp. the bag. I still use it often.

        I gave pearl necklaces and jewelry boxes to my ‘maids. Agree that pearls aren’t everyone’s style, but I figured they were timeless and could be handed down/on to others if that were the case.

    • I agree with the comments about a nice note thanking the bridesmaids for their time, money and effort put into your wedding. Depending on where the bridemaids are in their lives, they likely do not need monogrammed bags (soooo many totes), random matching jewelry, or a bunch of “survival kit” junk. I really don’t want more things in my life, but I really value quality time with friends.

      The best bridesmaids gifts reflect the individual gals and your friendship, like sincere “thanks” and dinner plans for after the honeymoon. Although, you can never go wrong with purchasing the dresses!

    • I’ve received jewelry, but it’s not my style, so I never wear it. FWIW, I actually would love a gift card to Lululemon. For my attendants (two girls, one guy), I chose individual gifts of around $100/pp. I gave one of my friends a purse that I found on Gilt (because she always loves my bags and only buys herself purses from Target), and I gave the two others Kindles (because I knew they would love them and had been wanting them for over a year). And I agree with AIMS – a heartfelt card is always really appreciated.

    • Anon for this :

      This could definitely out me so…

      I gave each of my bridesmaids a different glass piece (mine were from Simon Pearce but there are sooo many options), and then a three-month “X of the month” to go with it. So small vase + flowers, pretty bowl + chocolates, cheese platter + cheese, and actually would have done wine glasses + wine if we all didn’t live in PA.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I gave cream pashminas which were really well received (got married in winter). As for how I know that they liked them, I’ve seen my bridesmaids wear them to other occasions since then. Plus, I bought one for myself and it is awesomely warm and cream goes with everything. Might work if it cool where you are being married.

      I’d agree with the other posters that totes or jewelry can be hit or miss.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Yes, I was planning on giving pashminas.

      • TurtleWexler :

        I also gave pashminas (the gorgeous ones they used to have at Nordies which were 100% cashmere, and have sadly been replaced by a much-inferior blend fabric, FOOEY!) and a gift card to Sephora. My bridesmaids seemed to appreciate both very much.

      • Late to the game here, but thought I’d chime in anyway. I gave cashmere/silk pashminas and paid for manis/pedis for everyone the day before. All my bridesmaids got to choose their own LBDs, shoes, and jewelry, but if I’d picked one dress, I’d probably have skipped the pashminas and just paid for the dresses.

    • sugarmagnolia :

      I gave my bridesmaids LUSH gift boxes. They come in all different price points. My sister-in-law said she loved it.

      For my own two cents: I hated being given jewelry that I was supposed to wear with my bridesmaid dress as my “gift” for standing up in someone’s wedding. I found the Lush gift boxes to be much more welcome.

    • We were all in grad school when my friend got married, but as a gift she paid for our manis and pedis and we made a girls day out of it. It was fun and I appreciated not having to shell out more money!

    • I let my bridesmaid pick their dresses (within parameters–they all wore little black dresses) and jewelry (I picked the brand and the color family), and I paid for the jewelry. That way they didn’t get stuck with dresses they hated (and most of them wore dresses they already had) and got some fun jewelry out of the gig. They seemed happy with that.

    • I gave mine Herve Chapelier tote bags. I got them on flash sale. My BM’s were not all jewelry wearers.

      • Thank you all SO much. I have great ideas to work with now — I love the pashmina/scarf and clutch and glass piece ideas. I also like the ideas of checking your links, Etsy, and the Anniversary Sale for these things or other accessorie.

        Plus I’ll add individual notes of gratitude! Buying dresses would have been a great idea but its too late for that now.

    • Waterford Crystal “Hand Cooler” in a scallop-shell shape, cool blue color. These were used by Victorian ladies to cool themselves in hot weather. It has sat on my desk for 18 years now and I enjoy it every day. I guess I should thank my sister-in-law – although she may be reading this …hi Sis!

      Thinking further, my sister gave me pearl and crystal drop earrings 25 years ago that I loved and that my daughter stole from me. She loves them too, so they were so classic that they were still in style.

  14. Lunch with the partner :

    Hive, this may be a very silly question but I was united to grab lunch with the partner this week and wanted to know I us acceptable for me to get pizza (we are just going to our cafeteria). If it is acceptable, can I eat it with my hands or would I have to use utensils? I’m a vey small eater so I wanted to get something I can eat while talking. I’m an entry level associate so this is a first lunch with someone so high up. Thanks for yor help!

    • #autocorrectfail

      I think you’re asking if it’s ok to eat pizza with your hands, and my answer is yes if it’s a crispy pizza that you can definitely eat neatly, and use utensils if there’s any possibility that the pizza could sag or the cheese could stretch and not break off where you bite it.

    • I think it’s fine too, but if it’s something to worry about or that’ll be stressing you out while you’re having lunch… just eat something else (unless the pizza is the only food edible in your cafeteria I guess…)

    • if you do get pizza, I’d use utensils. However… unless your cafeteria has gourmet pizzas, I would sort of think twice before choosing that as my “power lunch” entree to begin with.

  15. Sydney Bristow :

    My blowouts also last for days. I typically wash my hair every 4 days, although it used to happen every other day. When I do it myself, I wash, condition, blow dry, then curl or straighten. It takes awhile which is why I started doing it less frequently. I’ve found that when I let it air dry, it gets greasy much faster. I tend to wear it down for days 1 and 2, then put it in a low ponytail at work for days 3 and 4.

    Whether I get a blowout or do it myself, I always sleep with it up on top of my head in a bun. I don’t use any regular hair ties, just pull it up and wrap it into a bun and then slip a small 1980s-era scrunchie around it once. This way the curl stays and I don’t get a dent and can wear it down the next day without needing to pull the curling iron out again.

  16. HA. There it is. The blowout post. OMG I wish that worked for me. I unfortunately have to wash my hair everyday, so I get them only on special occasions and even then most often give them to myself.

    And yes, I’ve tried everything from silicone free shampoos, natural shampoos, sulfate free shampos, silicone and sulfate free shampoos, stretching the days in between, dry shampoo. I even attempted the no-poo movement for a couple of weeks, but I am back to washing every day unless I know I can stay home.

  17. Can anyone recommend good shower caps?

    • Been there :

      the free ones from the hotels? :) that’s what I use!

    • I got one at CVS that is terry-lined on the inside. The important thing is to get one that accommodates your head size and the amount of hair you have. I got an XL and can comfortably put my hair up in a clip and cover it completely with the shower cap.

  18. It’s not the hair that gets “trained”–hair is dead cells! But the glands or whatever that produce the oil that your hair needs to not snap off do produce more oil the more frequently the old stuff is washed away.

    Is a Brazillian blowout the same as the blowout discussed here? My son and I had fantasies of his afro going stick-straight for the next “crazy hair day” at school.

    • A brazilian blowout is different. They infuse chemicals in your hair during the process to make it stay straight. Beware though – often salons advertise a Brazilian blowout when in actuality they mean a Keratine treatment. This link is helpful in recognizing the difference.

  19. Actually, my blowouts / flat-ironing looks way better on 2nd day. The first day I always end up looking very stuffy and outdated, but by day two it’s shiny, soft and sleek.

    Does anyone has tricks to get the short hair right on top to behave? They’re short and young and full of life, so they stick out like crazy. They also tend to be frizzy although my regular hair is naturally straight and slippery, even without blowout. I’ve tried serums, creams, dry hair products, oily hair products, hairspray, flat-irons, without result. So I have nice, shiny, straight hair … and a bunch of crazy 3″ flyaways on the crown. *sigh*

  20. I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

    I wash my hair and blow dry it straight 2 times a week (so, lasting three days M-W, and 4 days Th-Su. It works out for me that the 4th day on Sunday I can wear it in a ponytail or something). If I go overboard on product on the first day, the hair seems dirtier as time goes on.

    Agree with the tips in the article, except the one I am struggling with is exercising and dealing with sweat. It definitely helps to wet down the bangs/sides and re-blow dry them, plus blowdry the roots all over to get it all dry again. I have also experimented with different ways to pull back my hair when working out – i.e., pulling it back tightly with a band makes a ridge. So doing some interesting things with low chignons, twists etc is making for some interesting soft waves. So if anyone has any tips for being able to sweat while extending a blowout, would love ideas.

    • I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

      Also, forgot to add – one the blowout day, it’s just a blowout, no flat iron. On Days 2, 3 and 4, then I add a flat iron.

  21. I have dead-straight, superfine hair that I shampoo every 7-10 days. I used to shampoo daily when I was a greasy teenager.

    Today is six days since I last shampooed it, & when I rub my hair between my thumb & forefinger it makes that squeaking sound that very clean, oil-free hair makes. Rinsing with water or conditioner-only some days makes a big difference. Conditioner often contains enough sulfates to cleanse by stripping excess oils, but isn’t as harsh as shampoo, which strips all oils, even the good ones.

  22. i have thick (easy to frizz) hair that isn’t straight or wavy (so you have to do it one way or another, or put product in it which i hate). to avoid frying my hair with my dryer every day (but getting to feel clean and spend less time), i let my hair dry overnight and then plug in my big set of conair volume curlers when i get up (same time i start up the keurig). i put on my makeup while my curlers heat up, and then pop them in (once you get used to doing it, it only takes about 5 minutes) and go iron my stuff/pick out clothes, etc. it helps ease frizz and gives you a loose blowout look (not really curly because the curlers are so wide, and it falls out enough that it just looks blow under). i can normally get by with washing my hair only every other day. on the off-days, i use my fingers to part the first inch of my hairline (even on the sides of my face) and put the rest in a pony tail. then i wash the bang/hairline area in the sink and twist it up while i put my makeup on. and then at the end just shoot it with the blowdryer upside down. i do this even if i don’t feel/look particularly dirty because even if i look fine at 7, i am sure i’d turn into a greaseball by 10, ha.

  23. Easy! Do what thousands of black and hispanic women do and wrap it!
    I’m a black woman and my hair is relaxed, below my shoulder blades. I take a bit of Kerastase serum, a paddle brush, pins and wrap my hair around my head, securing it with a silk scarf. Done!
    You can google, wrap, doobie, dominican doobie.

  24. Anonymous :

    Check out the “Zits” cartoon for 8/8/12 (at least, that’s when it was published in the Washington Post):

    Apparently some guys (and maybe some straight-haired over-achieving chicks) think it’s funny that hair can have a schedule. :)

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