Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hair Pretties

I cherish my hair. It was crazy and unruly when I was a kid, and constantly in tangles. It was the cause of much teasing and name calling when I was little. And as I got older it became a source of some very nasty remarks. To this day there are rare moments when I get a rude comment because of my hair. But for the most part, other people love my hair almost as much as I do. It is all part of the package when you're born a natural redhead. Ignorant comments aside, I love being a redhead. It is a bit disconcerting when strangers ask me if they can touch my hair - yes, it seriously happens, and more often than you might think it would. What's worse is when they don't ask, they just do it. But again... it kind of comes with being a redhead, and it's something I have learned to deal with over the years. The ONLY time a stranger touched my hair without permission that I was not completely repulsed, offended, and immediately on the defensive, was when it turned out to be a sweet older lady in her 80's who then struck up a conversation with me and we ended up chatting for several minutes about "the good old days" and how she always wished she had red hair just like mine. That one instance was actually quite sweet, and it's become one of my favorite, happy memories.

I've got a new hair dryer on the way, and will be investing in a new straightener soon (hopefully!) as well. More details on both of those to follow. But for today, I'm going to share what some of my favorite "hair pretties" are - hair accessories I absolutely cannot live without!

Long-time readers know I keep my hair long - it's usually about hip length and rarely shorter than waist length. Every so often I get the urge and cut it to about bra-strap length, but that's about as short as I'll go with my hair. As such, this means I've got loads of various up-dos for my hair to keep it up, safe from tangles and out of my way while I cook and clean. This requires a certain amount of hair accessories, some of which are for function while others are merely for the pretty finishing touch they add.

Before I get into the pretties though, I will say that one absolute hair must-have is bobby pins. But you must invest in high quality bobby pins. The packs of cheap bobby pins sold at places like Target, K Mart, and Wal Mart are no good. Seriously. Invest in some truly good bobby pins and you will not regret it! For years I wondered why on earth bobby pins just did not hold my hair up like I knew they should - I would have to use literally two dozen pins to hold up a basic bun, and even then it wasn't truly secure. I knew to "criss-cross" the pins, I tried using them with the "teeth" both upward and downward. Apparently, some people think using them with the "teeth" against the scalp makes a difference in how well they hold. FYI - it doesn't. I finally invested in some good bobby pins from Sally Beauty a couple years ago, and I will never look back!

The bobby pins I now use and swear by are Meta Grip Premium Bob Pins. They come in a variety of colors so they are well camouflaged in many hair colors: black, bronze, silver, white, and my color of choice is the gold. They come in packs of 300 for $8, or $5 if you are a Beauty Club member. With these pins I can secure a bun with 6-8 pins and it will hold ALL DAY. I can even exercise and it stays in place surprisingly well! They are totally worth the small investment and I highly recommend them!

Now, on to a couple of my favorite pretties!

These are just a couple of the many Ketylo hair sticks I have

Ketylo Hair Sticks

I discovered Ketylo several years ago on forum I used to frequent that was all about growing and caring for very long hair. They are amazing! The cork-screw design ensures that your hair styles will be secure. Each one is individually hand made. I can often secure a style with just one Ketylo hair stick, though sometimes I do need to use two. They are fantastic quality and the prices are very reasonable. Plus, the customer service can't be beat. I have only had trouble with an order once, and Kevin got back to me right away and fixed the problem to my satisfaction immediately once he was made aware of it. If you are not sure what size hair stick you need, I'd suggest buying when they're on sale so you can try a couple different lengths. (At the time of writing this they are on sale, buy 4 get a 5th free.) I use the short ones for half-up styles and medium and long for holding up all my hair. (For some styles the medium is sufficient but others I need the long.) I have some from each line, acrylics, dymondwood and exotics, and I love all of them! I've had them all for several years, so they are very durable and are going to last you a very long time! The colors of the wood ones can fade with time, especially if you put them in your hair while it is wet. (*guilty as charged*) but even so, they are beautiful and durable. Kevin also makes hair forks which for some reason I've never tried. I should change that...

Up next are some new favorites I got from Amazon recently:

Vintage Flower Hair Clip

Vintage Butterfly Hair Clip

These are gorgeous clips and have a lot of intricate detail to them. The stones are not the colors pictured on the Amazon product pages, but that does not take away from how beautiful they are at all. I absolutely love them! I did note in some reviews people said they're too big. They are bigger than I was anticipating but that was a good thing - so many hair clips are just too small. Also, I find the size rather ideal. These kinds of clips are not meant to be what holds your style up - some of the reviews said they're too big/heavy to hold up the hair. With these kinds of clips, though, they're meant as decoration. You need to first secure your style with bobby pins (see why I talked about the bobby pins at the beginning of this post?) and then you add the clip as a finishing touch to the style.

Besides a couple of embellished bobby pins (they have little white and coral resin roses on them) and a bunch of your standard hair ties, elastics, and a couple basic nylon headbands, these are all my current "hair pretties" that I have with me. The rest of my Ketylos and other hair things are still back in Pittsburgh. But that's ok, because I love these ones, and use them every chance I get. Even if I am just staying home cooking and cleaning. It adds glamour to household chores. ;-)

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