Thursday, January 14, 2010

The perfect blow-out

Here are my top tips for extending your blow out during awards season.

1 - Use metal or ceramic round brushes. The barrel heats up - speeding up your blow-drying time, and creating a smoother/polished look. And because the barrels are vented, you're blowing the hair through on both sides which also helps speed up your drying time.

2 - Use style creams - NOT silicone serums. Creams are more occlusive - helping seal down the cuticle layer - for a smoother more glassy result. Tame and control are what you need in order to extend the life of your blow-out - thus styling creams are great for this, and great for ALL hair types. Simply adjust the amount of cream used - based on the hair type that you have. The BillyLowe Silky Style Cream is truly THE best for blow-outs - it's absolutely unheard of results are truly red carpet results.

3 - Use high heat, medium speed (not high speed) to maintain control of the hair th roughout the blow-dry process. High speed - will blow the hair too much, and you can lose control of your sectioning - causing inconsistent blow-dry results.

4 - At the end of the blow-dry procedure, use a styling cream again - to lightly coat the ends of the hair - and to tame any fly aways.

5. Spray a light hold hair spray over the spine of a comb and smooth down any fly-aways if you need additional hold.


Billy Lowe

Monday, January 11, 2010

In a recent letter from a client, Carla says:

Hello, I have mid-back length hair that is thick. Every time I curl my hair (usually with rollers since a iron doesn’t work well with my hair), the curls look good but sadly only last less than half a day. They sorta stretch themselves out and unwind. Is there any solution for this and for hard-to-style hair?

My response:
Dear Carla. It's true, longer hair types may not hold the curl as long. Are you using professional products (tools and styling products?) recommended by your salon professional?

I would recommend setting up a styling session with your hairstylist to have them walk you through some of these tips. I recommend curling the hair with your curling iron as you do (be sure to protect hair w/ a thermal styling spray), and when the hair is warm from the curling iron, wrap it around your fingers to create a barrel curl and clip the barrel curl to the scalp area. Do this for the entire head and allow curls to cool for 15-20 minutes. This helps them keep their shape longer. Sort of like pouring candle wax. When it's hot, you pour the wax into the mold and it cools down and holds its shape.

Once you remove the barrel curls after they have cooled, turn head upside down and spray from underneath while scrunching hairspray through the ends. This helps give support from underneath which is often where curl starts falling out first. Support the curl from underneath first and let us know how you do. You can also try lightly teasing hair from underneath which will help support the curl patterns on top.

Billy Lowe

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hair and Beauty Salon Questions and Styling Techniques

Occasionally I receive client Q and A's which I always love to read and respond to. Many clients have questions about their hair color, hair cut, or highlights, and I find that giving good feedback and tips is always helpful to readers. I've never really been one to "follow the rules" when it comes to face shape guideline because I believe we are all uniquely different and it's hard to sum up individual tastes with 6 or 7 different "rules." Let’s take a look at Mandy’s question.

Mandy says:
This is for my mom. She has naturally curly hair, I mean really naturally curly hair. It’s usually frizzy. Every time she goes to the salon she has a hard time getting a good haircut. She wants one to love her curls but also one that can be straight. She has had one style that she liked Faith Hill had it but has never been able to get again. Plus tips on how to get her hair straight and the curls do something like Taylor Swift’s hair does. She loves her hair.

My response: Dear Mandy, Thank you for writing in with your question. It sounds like your mom has amazing hair to work with and that it's versatile in nature. With that said - it depends on the texture of her hair, and how much time she is willing to spend. If she has naturally curly hair, I say "roll with it baby" and learn some fabulous "wash and wear" techniques. One of my favorites for curly hair is to use style creams (not gels) and scrunch through the hair for a natural and soft look and feel. Styling creams help smooth out the cuticle layer - giving more shine, shape and control, and also help eliminate frizz and unruly looks. It's very important, however, that your mom finds a hair stylist that knows curly hair - and knows how to cut, color & style this hair type in a variety of ways. Blunt cuts on straight hair, and blunt cuts on curly hair can give you two completely different results. Also, be sure she avoids razor cutting if she has a fine/curly hair type. Razor cutting is a delicate skill but one should really be careful with this cutting technique or hair can look frayed and damaged. Remember too, length creates weight, and if she wants that occasional straight look - a little weight will help with this. I hope these few thoughts help.

Billy Lowe

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Year, New You, New Hair & Beauty for 2010

Each new year brings new hope and new excitement of things to come, things hoped for, and things imagined. Whether it's career, family, health or even beauty, new year's resolutions spark an energy in most of us that can be quite contagious. This year, as we continue to focus on "change" I'd like to suggest we take a look at lightening up, tossing aside, and allowing our beauty (inside and out) to be more fun and carefree. I've never really been one to follow the rules in the world of beauty, because each of us is unique, special, and different. I never understood how 6 to 8 basic face shapes can be applied to millions and millions of people as individual as we are. I'd like to encourage each of us to celebrate our own beauty and individuality with these simple tips for the coming year.

How many times have we heard "I'm trying to let my hair grow out" or "I want my hair long"? While growing hair out can be a lot of fun (and challenging), how long is too long? Longer hair styles require more maintenance, time, and devotion and many of us simply don't have that much time in a day for a 1-hour blow-out every morning on our hair. We see magazines displaying long gorgeous manes and think "Yes! That's it! That's the hair I want!" But what we don't see is all the work that goes into making that hair picture perfect, and the hundreds of shots it took to capture that one perfect photo. Models have to be on set at 3, 4 and 5 in the morning to begin hair & make-up before even arriving on set. Once on set, hair & make-up are constantly called in for touch-ups and quick fixes to capture that perfect moment.

My suggestion:
It's fine to grow your hair out, but be realistic. The longer the hair, the more maintenance you'll need to give to keep hair looking smooth, soft and shiny from scalp to ends. With this new year, I say cut an inch or two. Even shoulder length hair is soft, feminine, and still very versatile. Ask for soft layering around the perimeter to give hair movement and texture. Side swept bangs are very flattering for most face types and give movement and play.

New year color can be bold, daring and adventuresome. Now is the time to experiment and play. If you are having highlights applied, avoid the thick chunky look which can appear sloppy and haphazardly placed. Highlights should be soft, delicate and even throughout. Striking chocolates kissed with a little warmth are wonderful color tones for this season if you are looking for single process color. Have fun but remember - color is not magic. It takes work, time and thought. IF you are making dramatic changes in your color, look 6-8 months into the future and ask yourself "Am I willing to stick with this for a while, and for the health of my hair." If not - ease up just a little in your color choices.

Most of all - have fun this year. Recognize your own beauty, and give yourself that extra 5-10 minutes each and every morning to look and feel your best. New Year's doesn't just have to happen on January 1st. It can happen each and every day with the idea that today is a brand new day. Enjoy.

In beauty,

Billy Lowe

Welcome to with Hollywood Hair Stylist Billy Lowe

Celebrity Hair Stylist Billy Lowe is a Los Anglees based hair stylist and the founder of Gloss & Toss hair products delivering the bes...