Monday, January 25, 2010

My hair has always been my best feature --second only to my ass.

Recently I workshopped a chapter about my first hair show (photo at left) which sparked a discussion on haircare among the girls. At Writers On Fire we work hard, and we look good doing it. Now it's true, certain qualities are genetic. Yet and still, there are tools. There are tips. There are techniques. I'm a woman's woman. (read: feminist). Point is; when I say equality, I mean it all the way down to my follicles. Can't we all have beautiful hair? Yes. We. Can!

  • The T3 Bespoke Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic professional blow dryer. Worth the investment. Every penny. Featherweight, dries hair faster, shine like you wouldn't believe. Discovered this in the Bliss catalog that came to my first Hollywood apartment. In someone else's name. Don't worry. I've got my own now.

  • BaByliss Ionic Ceramic hot rollers. For body. Just like Mama used.

  • Any Tourmaline curling iron. For control. We owe this one to Janet Jackson.

  • Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Non-Aerosol Mousse. Definition, support, volume. Lasts forever. Protects your hair from the above-mentioned heat-producing tools. Bonus: UVA/UVB protection, No Parabens, No Gluten, No DEA, No TEA, No Mineral Oil, No PABA, No Paraffin, No Petrolatum, Recyclable Packaging and no Animal Testing. A friend who worked on Nip/Tuck stashed this little beauty into the gift bags we took home when we donated to charity for his birthday. A gay man is a girl's best friend. Trust.

  • Lavender Re-Moist Hydrating Mask from wen by Chaz Dean. Because Shea Butter tames the savage beast's tangled mane. God bless Chaz Dean and his Christmas guest list.

  • Bath And Body Works Aromatherapy Shampoo. Not too expensive, no buildup, great for everyday use. (Bath and Body works former CMO Anne Martin Vachon is now CEO of Lise Watier Cosmetiques, the popular Canadian retailer). We love women executives.
  • Different hair requires a different brush. For finer hair a long-bristled natural fiber round brush will add body while blow-drying. For thicker hair a short-bristled ceramic/ionic round brush will smooth it out. For curly hair a short-bristled paddle brush will do the trick. (Years of actually listening to my hairstylists, one of whom also informed me that due to the Top Free movement a woman can go shirtless anywhere a man can in the state of New York).
  • Don't perm. That's so 1982.

  • Wear your hair up, especially in a ponytail, as often as possible if you want it to grow. This pulls on the follicle and promotes quicker growth. Now you know.

  • If you have long hair use a satin pillowcase to put an end to that rat's nest at the base of your neck once and for all. Sateen will not work in this case, although I have nothing against it personally. Just like I have nothing against chest hair. But I don't want any.

  • Vitamins E, A and D. Take them. Daily. Also good for your nails and skin. Seriously. A soap opera casting director suggested this to me. And I take direction very well.

  • Your big sister was right. It's best not to brush wet hair. If you have hair that tangles easily brush it out before you wash it and/or blow dry to damp before you begin styling.
  • Wash your hair as little as possible. Hair's natural oil is the most precious product you can't buy. Use Tea Tree Oil shampoo if your head gets itchy easily. (This will also work for your boyfriend/husband's dandruffy beard).

  • I also keep a can of dry shampoo around for touch-ups between washes. I like Klorane's Shampooing sec extra-doux. Recommended to me by Maggie at Luke O'Connor's salon (the man behind Farrah's 'Angel' hair). Although I always wanted to be Kelly.

  • For casual curls grasp hair 2/3 of the way from scalp with curling iron and twirl toward scalp. Since the ends remain straightish the curl is natural and you also preserve ends which can dry easily. That one comes grace a Dana Patrick's (photographer) stylist.

  • Hairspray is your friend. If you are the granola-eating-yoga-doing type you don't have to suffer. I see you. Aveda makes a Non-Aerosol spray that smells wonderful and will not kill your mother. El Net by LOREAL is also cheap and, depending on your choice, strong hold or flexible. I read that in Marie Claire, right next to an article about the women of a native tribe in Papa New Guinea that, once a year, will gang rape any man who has the (mis)fortune to find himself on a certain footpath. Seriously. Of course the men of that native tribe show up on said footpath at that time of year with the express hope of being ravished. Sigh.

  • Backcombing rocks. Your mother did it. Your mother's mother did it. Now you can too. Find a fine-toothed comb, preferably one with a long pick at the end to help you isolate thin sections of hair. Next, secure a small section. While holding the section taut, comb from top to bottom, toward the scalp in short even strokes. Spray with strong hold hairspray. Repeat. Finally, smooth a few sections of hair over the back-combed portion when you have reached the desired height and spray into place. And you thought big hair was just for Texans and Victoria's Secret models. Ha!


  1. I am soooooooooo grateful for your words of hair wisdom -- I'm always stumbling shamefully in the dark in that department. I will try some of your tips for sure. All hail the true and the ultimate HAIRMASTER!!! :) :) :)

  2. Now I know why your hair always looks so fabulous! Thanks for sharing these "insider" tips Duffy-Jo .... and here I thought it was just the Aromatherapy shampoo!
    I have a lot to learn ..... but now I have YOU:) Xoxox!