Hair help wanted!

While I feel like I have a handle on clothing, I'm completely baffled by hair (and make up, but that's another topic for another day). Which I am a bit embarrassed to admit since I'm almost 30. I know we have some excellent hair on the forums and I'd love a little advice!

In the last year I've moved away from washing every day to every 3 days or so and have seen a dramatic improvement in the health of my hair. But I still don't really do anything with it, mainly because I don't really know how (really and truly). I do one of three things: leave it down with its natural curls, put it half up in a clip, or put it all up in a ponytail. That's about it. Generally I let it air dry, though I can kind of sort of use a blow dryer if I try really, really hard.

I'd love to hear suggestions/advice for how to style my fine, thin (sob), curly hair. Not really interested in anything sweet; I'm an 80s punk at heart, I love volume, teasing etc. but I just don't have enough hair for it (and my husband doesn't like that at all, boo). And I'm also a bit of a hippie when it comes to my hair and prefer light to no structure and making use of its natural attributes. So I guess I'm looking for more "rocker" type 'dos. Simpler preferred since my skill level is very low.

I also attempted to "style" it today (and wore light make up, rare!). First time ever trying this, semi-successful; the poof is bigger than it looks in the photo (or maybe that's just to me) and I feel very rockabilly in it! Not bad for first try? Seriously, all comments welcome.

EDIT: sorry for the rant, hair stresses me out -_-

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • April replied 9 years ago

    Aida, I never do anything with my hair but bow to its natural unruliness so I may not be the best one to comment, but I'm thinking that a softer, less angular line around your face would be more flattering. Could we see a comparison on a day when you wear it natural?

    Also, it's hard to tell in the photo, but what's the length?

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    The way it looks in this thread is how it normally looks, though I brushed the curls out for these photos. I attached a photo of when it's really curly, but if you click my "website" link you can see more of what it looks like day to day.

    EDIT: I'm mainly looking for options beyond nothing, half pony, and pony. I feel like my hair isn't keeping up with the rest of my look.

  • Kristine replied 9 years ago

    I think your hair is really pretty. You didn't say anything about cuts, is that a regular thing for you? A cut is probably the first thing I'd do if you haven't in a while. Styling is fun but starting with a good base makes a big difference.

    For styling:
    Mod or plaid headband?
    Braids around your face?
    Upswept french twist or low chignon?
    Curling with a large curling iron for 40s style waves? And red lipstick?

    It's funny you mention teasing because I did think of the Amy Winehouse look. With your pretty dark hair you could do that same dramatic look.

    I don't like a lot of styling or stucture either but I've gotten in the habit of just shaping the front pieces of my hair with a curling iron. It doesn't take long and it makes my hair more wavy than curly.

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    I get my cut updated twice a year, Spring and Fall. Except for this year with budget tightness (and laziness) I skipped my Fall cut.

    Kristine I like the ideas you've suggested, though I don't know how to do the french twist or chignon, nor use a curling iron successfully (though I do have one). I shall investigate how to do these; I've a feeling I just have to practice a bunch to learn. I am also interested in "Braids around your face" and am probably not picturing this the way you are thinking. Is there a photo you could point me to?

  • nicoleb replied 9 years ago

    I also have fine curly hair! But i'm also more of a sweet type style than rocker so i dunno if i'll be any help to you...

    To make my manageable I always have my stylist put in lots of layers to get rid of the bulk. I feel like curly hair can take on a triangle shape if not layered well. And i have a side swept bang that i straighten and just kind of blends into the rest of my hair.

    After years of fighting with my curly hair i have come to love and accept it now. If you want to know more about what i do to manage it (and it really isn't much) let me know!

  • Kristine replied 9 years ago

    There's probably an endless variety, but I was picturing big braids like these...

  • Auburn replied 9 years ago

    I like the idea of embracing your natural curls by introducing some more definition and "piecey-ness" (my word).
    Does this tutorial help at all?

    Based on what you said about your style, I think you could avoid looking too twee/precious but while adding some sophisticated edge. Plus, nothing is better than curls for adding volume and depth to thin hair!

  • Auburn replied 9 years ago

    Here's another helpful tutorial, video-style:

    Though she has straight hair, the same approach can absolutely be employed on naturally curly hair (with even better results, IMO).

  • Megan replied 9 years ago

    You should get this!

    I got them for Christmas last year and (before I had my haircut) LOVED using them. It takes a few tries to get it right but once you do, it takes 60 seconds to create a gorgeous style. My favourite is the Hair Yoga.

  • MsMary replied 9 years ago

    I love the "really curly" look above!

    Have you experimented with the dreaded flatiron?

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the replies, lots of fun things to try!

    nicoleb: My stylist always adds layers for me; I sported the "triangle head" far too long as a kid ;) What do you do to straighten your bangs? Last time I had them I was just blowing them out but they would frizz up a bit (as one would expect).

    Kristine: I like the first one on the page, with the french braid from the part over, I could sport something like that I think. Will try to learn how to french braid this weekend!

    Auburn: Thanks for the tutorial links, that loose wave look is very pretty and I'll definitely give it a shot. I'm not sure my curling iron gets hot enough, but I can at least practice it :)

    Megan: I've never seen those before, they look pretty neat. I'll look into it, do you know if they are in any stores that I can go play with?

    MaryK: I too like the "really curly" but I don't often get a say in when it happens ;) I've not really experimented with a flat iron before, always too afraid of hurting what little hair I have. I think I have one somewhere, though... My stylist did my hair straight this past cut back in May and I barely recognized myself (see below), though he did it all with a round brush and a blow dryer. I tried it myself but I couldn't get it nearly as sleek as he did (and it took me twice as long ><).

  • nicoleb replied 9 years ago

    I use a small flat iron. I put a leave in product in before hand called, "It's a 10" which has a thermal protecting thing in it, or so it says. My hair isn't damaged so i guess it's true. :)

    I mostly leave my hair down but a quick style i did today was i pulled in back in a low, off to the side ponytail, kinda smooshed the hair in the pony tail around covering the pony tail band and stuck a bunch of bobby pins in it for a messy bun look. The curls make it looks more complicated that it is. :)

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Is that the way your hair is up in your WIW you posted today (the cute pink/polka dot one)? I love how it looks, especially the curled bits around your face. Mine doesn't really piece separately like that, just a nice frizzy mess :) I'll give it a shot, it sounds like something I can manage.

  • Scarlet replied 9 years ago

    What about getting a few shorter layers to frame your face? Your hair looks very pretty and soft.

  • Katiepea replied 9 years ago

    I really like your hair as it is, but I can understand the need to have a change every now and then!

    Being terribly uncreative, the biggest thing I can think of as a dramatic change is to straighten it every now and then. You could then try similar looks, (like a high(ish) pony with a rockabilly fringe) but it would be "sharper" lines the with it left curly.

    Orrrrrr. you could also try it staight, leave it down, but pull the fringe part smoothly back and pinning it back so it is a half-up, half-down combo. It's hard to describe, so here is a photo to demonstrate:

    It can either look blurky or fab-u-lous(!), depending on your face shape etc, but is something else to consider.

    It would be great if you could post photos of your experiments!

  • Megan replied 9 years ago

    Hi Aida,

    I don't know about stockists of the hairagami- I ordered mine from Ebay. Maybe it'd be worth getting one piece to see how you like it? It really is super easy :)

  • replied 9 years ago

    Hi Aida, I think your hair is gorgeous. It looks so thick and shiney in the pictures. I envy those curls too.
    Have you looked on the hairstyle websites to get ideas of what you like? Also have you discussed with you hair pro different cuts and styles for your type of hair?
    If I had your hair, I would want to enhance the curls and add framing curls around your face. Go with your hairs natural beauty.

  • nicoleb replied 9 years ago

    Aida - yep! My hair, left alone, is a frizzy mess as well.:) I use 2 products while it's wet to avoid this. First is the "It's a 10" leave in conditioner stuff and the 2nd is John Frida's (sp?) Frizz-Ease styling gel which work through with my fingers and then scrunch my hair for more curl definition.


  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    I'm so excited to see more ideas on this today! I will definitely post photos of my experiments, and I'm feeling excited (nervous?) to try all these great ideas.

    Scarlet: I think I usually have some shorter layers around my face but since it hasn't been cut since May they've grown out (my hair is pretty quick). I'm definitely too afraid to try and add any myself though hehe

    Katiepea: I've only styled my hair straight a couple times this year, I keep forgetting that it's an option ;) And styling it after straightening? Never crossed my mind, I'll definitely try this.

    Megan: I'll check eBay and see if I can pick up one or two pieces to try out.

    San: I'm glad you think it looks thick, its thinness is one of my biggest sensitive points >< When I see my stylist I usually give him free reign to pick a cut; he's been really great so far but he's always encouraging me to try new stuff and I wuss out and just leave it down. His main point was to make it healthy, which I worked hard on this last year, and it's in a good place now finally (Soft! Shiny! I never thought it could be those things! :D). Every time I look at hairstyles I can't help but think, "this isn't something I can do" so maybe I just need to buck up and try stuff.

    Nicoleb: Thanks for the products, I'll look into those. I'm definitely a fan of something I can toss in, scrunch, then leave to dry.

  • Misia replied 9 years ago

    OK, I'm guessing you will have a hard time styling your hair as is now.
    To me it looks like you have fine hair, but lots of it in volume! So, I would suggest to you go and get some of the bulk removed. You can put some much shorter layers for that free style look that you like, or keep the layers long and just have them thin your hair out with thinning shears close to your scalp and that would remove some of the bulk.
    I can see you even go this short with your layers, love this style and I think it would suit you very much, also easy to do! Miller

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Renata, I do have fine hair but I don't think it's very thick at all, it feels woefully small when I gather it all in my hands (I lost a lot of hair throughout my 20s unfortunately, runs in the family); it does puff out when it curls though, maybe that's what you're referring to? I'm not very well hair educated :)

    I've had my hair in all lengths from very very short (just a couple inches) to very very long (down to the tailbone). That said, I REALLY like the look you posted! I've no idea how I would get it to stand out like that though :o How does it look in the back? I'm going to clip that away for when I get a chance to see my stylist for sure!

  • jen321 replied 9 years ago

    I really like the picture of you with straighten hair. I also like your hair curly. Straighteners these days are very high tech. I know people that use them daily and don't have damaged hair. I think a new one would get you hair even straighter and in no time. I have heard amazing things about CHI straightener. I think this could be a good look for once in awhile when you want something new, or daily if you ended up liking it. I know you said makeup is for a different day, but I can't resist! I hope you won't mind, I don't want to miss when you post about it!
    I think just 3 products or so could make such an impact. Low budget items too, I'm thinking tinted moisterizer, mascara, lipgloss, and blush. It literally takes me 2-3 minutes in the morning as I don't have anytime with the 2 kids. It's super easy.....rub moisterizer whole over face to even out skin tone, curl eye lashes and apply black mascara, add a swipe of your favorite color lipgloss, and apply a little blush on the apples of your cheeks. I really think this would give you a "glow". Can't wait to see more pictures! Btw I think your bump in the picture looks good!

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Jen - I think I will look into getting a new straightener; I tried to blow dry my hair straight today and it's just not as sleek as I'd like it, but I do like how it looks (probably not for every day though).

    For makeup, thanks for the suggestions! I have just recently started wearing mascara (but no curler) and that's about it; sometimes a light champagne shadow just above the lashes. I dislike wearing full foundation, and I've had several people suggest tinted moisturizer (I do moisturize every day already) so I think I should look into it, if nothing else just to try it; my skin is pretty nice so I've never really thought of needing to cover it or even it out. Blush kind of scares me, I just see those crazy 80s cheek to hairline dos in my mind. Though I suppose I would need it with the tinted moisturizer if it'll cover my natural rosiness? I gave up lip gloss a long time ago because my hair always gets stuck in it, but I'll wear a light lipstick or a tinted chapstick now and then. I like lightly glossy lips, but haven't found something that gives quite the effect I'm after.

  • MsMary replied 9 years ago

    I have a Chi and although it doesn't get me salon-straight, it tames the worst of it. I've been having fun lately straightening just the top and leaving the curls on the bottom. Takes less time and is easier to maintain. And some days I just straighten my bangs and let the rest go wild.

  • jen321 replied 9 years ago

    Aida- yah it is hard to find a lipgloss that hair doesn't stick too, but I have to say I don't think mine do. The avon ones are super cheap, and I don't think they are too sticky. I have a nuetragena one right now. I have like MAC ones, but haven't had those in awhile. You do have nice skin! That is why I don't think foundation would be needed. I do sometimes put a little concelor (spelling) under my eyes in winter. I do the tinted moisterizer about every other day. I do find my cheeks a little colorless after. Their are a lot of blushes, most hardly stand out on my face. Not the same colors of the 80's! lol! I think an eye lash curler would draw a lot of attention to your eyes!! Try that one for sure!! =) I don't even look like I'm wearing makeup, just more of a glow to my face. In fact on my wedding day after I did my makeup my sister asked if I put my makeup on yet! I was like seriously? Haha! I even had more on that day too. Maybe I'll post a face shot one of these days, when I have some time. How is the hair going?

  • elpgal replied 9 years ago

    Blow-drying is supposed to be better than the flat-iron for fine hair but I find the Chi easier to use.

    I also like tube mascara as it is less messy than the regular one. You can experiment with tinted moisturizer by mixing a little foundation with your regular lotion. Sephora gives you little containers of foundation if you ask.

  • rae replied 9 years ago

    Whew, I am late to this one!

    I didn't read *all* of the suggestions, but here's what came to mind for easy "rocker" hairstyles (I know they're easy because, ahem, they're the only ones I can personally replicate):

    - Side braid I usually braid wet for manageability, then let nature take its course. I might use a texturizing spray on occasion.

    - Messy bun - SPIN PINS make it happen! You can also get 'em on Ebay for really cheap and they hold all day, whereas I could never even wear a bun before these things hit the market. Easy-to-use miracle product.

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Ooh! Thanks Rae, those are both cute. I need to get new layers put in, they're practically nonexistent right now, but I'm going to give that messy side-braid a try; hopefully I can make it messy enough! I've never seen those spin pins before, but is that bun in #2 done using them? It looks fab! Would these work for, ahem, thin hair? :)

  • rae replied 9 years ago

    Aida, I think they would be great for thin hair. The pins actually screw into the side of the bun, almost like sewing the coils of hair to one another. Since theydon't hold by sandwiching hair, like bobby pins do, the thickness or texture shouldn't matter.

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Neato! I'll definitely pick some of those up; looks like I can find them at Target, easy peasy!

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    Do those spin pins work for straight hair too? My hair is so slippery - nothing seems to hold it.

    Aida, I'd love to offer advice, but I honestly love your hair when it's down and wild and curly. ;)

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Hehe I know you do :) I was going to chop it all off at the beginning of summer, but so many of you liked it long and wild so I left it! I'm going to just get it trimmed a couple inches and re-layered for fall, and then perhaps next spring see if I'm in the mood for short hair again. I'm going to try to find some curl cream that I can use to coax the curls to come back on the non-wash days so I can leave it down more!

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    I do think you would look great with a modified flapper bob angled toward your face... and that would be fab with curls. Think Julia from Brideshead Revisited (the original version)...

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    I generally can't do bangs shorter than nose length (tiny forehead+curls+I'm lazy), but for fun here's a photo of one of my favorite longer bobs from like.. 6 years ago? :)

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    Oh, sorry, what I meant by modified was without the bangs - what a great look that is on you in that photo! And easier to straighten at this length.

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    That top one in the first length is close to how this cut started I think. I love that second one! Will clip to keep in my "short hair" file for later :D

  • Janet replied 9 years ago

    Aida, your hair looks quite a bit like mine when I let mine dry naturally. Mine was terribly thick when I was younger, but it's thinning as I age. I welcomed that for a while, but I hope I hang onto what I have now. ;-)

    I've been straigtening mine (mostly just by blowdrying) most days for a few years now, but during the summer months, I let it go more wavy. I'll dry the bangs and a bit of the top, just so I don't get weird lumpy bits, and let the rest go it's way. This works better on me the longer my hair is. I actually find longer hair to be lower maintenance for me than shorter hair.

    My hair is getting long now, but I must admit I feel more stylish with a layered shorter cut, straightened and sleek. Maybe it's time to try a new cut? Do you have a stylist you'd trust to make a dramatic change?

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Janet, apparently my hair maintenance is just the opposite of yours; the longer it is, the more effort I have to put into it! I have a very good stylist who usually does dramatic things because when go in (usually only twice a year) I just have him do whatever's current that he thinks will look good, but I haven't had my hair this long in YEARS (skipped my spring cut, oops!). I definitely want to keep the curls though, having them gives a nice organic element that my style generally lacks :)

  • taylor replied 9 years ago are a beautiful woman with fabulous know what works for you:)

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