We play with our hair a lot at Birchbox HQ. We do a lot of serious work, yes, but almost every day includes a mini break to test a cool topsy tail updo or try a pretty topknot. Sadly, my hair doesn’t have the kind of texture you need to get these styles. As Katia puts it, my hair is “too healthy.” I don’t know about that, but I do have soft, slippery strands that needs a little extra help. Here, my favorite texture-adding products:
Hair stylist Kristan Serafino works with some of Hollywood’s most glam stars, so you’d assume she uses the spendiest tools on the market. Right? Wrong. The hair guru has tried all the flat irons out there, and swears that her favorite is Salon Tech’s Kiss Silicone Protexion Flat Iron, which costs less than $50. She discovered the straightener years ago and loved it so much that she started working with the brand on consumer education. Unlike regular irons, which simply compress hair strands between heated plates, the Kiss straightener has two silicone bars that minimize the direct heat. “It helps your hair maintain its moisture,” Serafino says. “Even if you use it every day, you won’t get brittle, dry strands.”
With a pitch like that, we had to try it ourselves. Last night, before heading out to dinner, we plugged in the iron, expecting to wait for it to heat up. The straightener was ready to go in 18 seconds — a pretty amazing feat in and of itself. I used it on my fuzzy, non-blow dried hair and was amazed at the shiny and sleek result. Our co-founder, Katia, took the advanced approach and used the iron to create loose waves all over — she had a new ‘do in less than ten minutes. Verdict? We’re fans.
With all heat styling, spritz your hair first with a protective spray like Blow’s Heat is On.
Yesterday, I took a break from my usual salad-in-front-of-laptop for a fun lunch with celebrity hair stylist Kristan Serafino. A real-life renaissance woman, Serafino styles celebs, designs runway looks, consults for brands, and hosts training sessions for young stylists. Oh, and that’s even before we start talking about her blog, Serafino Says. A mix of useful tips, behind the scenes pics, and inspirational ‘dos, Serafino’s blog is one of my latest obsessions. Whether she’s doling out tips on talking to your hairdresser or encouraging the revival of the 70s “Bang, Bump, and Flip,” Serafino is always helpful and entertaining.
In person, she was just as much fun. In between dishing out personalized hairstyle advice (apparently I’m headed for a long, seamless layers look with blunt bangs), she shared a few tips:
— Treat your haircare products like cocktails and mix them up! She suggests mixing a texturizing spray like Jonathan Dirt with a smoothing serum like Philip B Anti-Frizz Formula 57 Shine Drops to give hair both texture and sheen.
— The tips of your hair are like arrows — they draw the eye and direct your attention. Translation: If your hair just falls straight down, the eye goes down too. On the other hand, cheek-height layers that point inward will make you look like you have cheekbones.
—Don’t overlook the power of mousse. Instead of using it on damp hair, comb it directly into dry roots and blast hair with a dryer. You’ll get volume and lift.
—When pulling your hair into a ponytail, look upward. You’ll avoid getting that gap at the nape of your neck.
See, told you she was helpful! Scoot on over to Serafino Says for more helpful tips. And check out some of our hair must-haves in the Birchbox Shop.