The Style Guy was a monthly column that appeared in Birmingham Magazine for nearly ten years. It was written each month by Sanctuary owner and stylist Todd Cargo.
If you wear your hair the same way almost every day, it's time to switch up your look. The vast majority of hair falls into three distinct hair texture categories, and I've got ideas for all of them. So find your hair type and get ready to get inspired:
On a humid day when your ringlets are totally unruly, but you have just minutes to tame them, try a messy top-knot or high bun. Let some curls pop out and pull down the pieces around your face for a deliberately disheveled effect. Use a drop of shine serum to define the loose spirals and you're out the door with a terrific style that looks deliberate not haphazard. When the humidity isn't as much a factor consider the bouncy blowout. Even girls with super-curly hair can master the perfect wavy blowout. The key is to work with small sections, using a large round brush. Be sure to keep the blow dryer aimed downward towards the tips to prevent frizz. When you're finished, wrap large sections around a wide barrel curling iron from mid-way down the shaft to the ends to create loose bouncy waves. Smooth down any fuzzy pieces with a styling crème and its a look that can't be beat for medium to long hair. Sometimes however, it's great to embrace your curls and let them do their thing, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with frizz. Use a super moisturizing shampoo and conditioner followed by a smoothing crème or serum. Diffuse dry or allow to air dry and for a different twist you can gather up the front two inches of your hair, from temple to temple, and secure the sections with bobby-pins near the crown or further back on the head for a half-up half-down look.
If you've got fine and silky hair, there's nothing more beautiful or coveted than the classic straight and shiny blow-out. For sleek, glossy locks start in the shower with a volumizing shampoo and a light-weight conditioner (apply it from your ears down). After towel drying, mist hair with a root-lifting spray and blow-dry using a paddle brush. Remember to always keep the air flow blowing down the hair towards the tips to give you the smoothest shiniest blowout ever. To shake up your daily look how about surprising everyone at the office with a chic updo, they're not just for weddings and red-carpet affairs anymore. It's easy to do. Simply back-comb the crown for volume, then make a deep side part and pull your hair into a low ponytail. Twist the pony into a smooth bun and secure with hair pins. Mist with hairspray for all day hold. Now you not only look chic, but it's also a practical out-of-your-way style to spend the workday. Depending on how fine or straight your hair is, it can be tricky to get it to hold a curl, but it is possible. The key is to apply a volumizing mousse to damp hair, then blow-dry it, scrunching with your fingers. Don't use a brush, that'll just smooth and flatten it more. Next, mist two inch sections of hair with a flexible hairspray before wrapping them around a wide-barrel curling iron. Tousle with your fingers then you're good to go.
Medium texture hair is just that, medium. It's got a little curl, but not too much. It's not thin, but it's not thick either. So this can mean you either have great hair that gives you no problems, or that you have boring hair that doesn't do anything in particular at all. The good news is your hair may do any of the looks mentioned above but the bad news is you're gonna have to play around to see which of them it will. The pretty ponytail is always a good option for you. The difference between a regular ponytail and a night-out one: volume. First back comb your roots at the top and crown for lift before pulling your hair into an eye-level ponytail. Leave out your shorter pieces in the front. Finally, run a light weight styling crème over the top and the length of the pony to smooth down any flyaway's. This is a look that can go from the office to a party afterward. If your medium hair is more on the wavy side, try using a curl enhancing spray then let it air dry or use a diffuser to bring out the natural texture. This style looks great down or for more pizzazz you can gather everything into a high loose bun and secure it with hair pins. This one is a great quick-fix if your waves have gone frizzy from high humidity. Every girl should always keep some rubber bands and bobby-pins in her purse for just such occasions. Last, but not least, let's not forget the smooth-bodied blowout. The trick to full but smooth hair is to apply mousse to damp hair, then blow-dry while using a round brush to lift your roots upward. For extra oomph with this one, when you've finished your blowout, wrap big sections on large Velcro rollers, misting with hairspray at the roots first. Heat the rollers with your blow dryer for a second and allow them to cool down while you apply your makeup or attend to other business. Remove the rollers and smooth through with a brush for a look that's classic and glamorous.
What texture are you? You may find that your own hair crosses the line between two categories, that just means its more versatile. So get out your pins, bands, clips, irons, and hot rollers and play makeover one afternoon. You just may discover a new persona hiding under your old style.