Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Are you ready for my latest beauty discovery?
Being a woman of "a certain age," as the French put it, I'm always on the look-out for things that might make me--well, look better.
As you get older, you can either pretty much give up ("OK, I'm getting older, there's no hope of me looking pretty, so from now on it's comfortable clothes, really short hair and no make-up for me"), OR you can refuse to "go gently into that good night," to quote the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
For me, this doesn't mean trying to look like a 25-year-old, but it DOES mean using every weapon in my arsenal to look as attractive as I possibly can.
So are you ready for my latest discovery? Here it is:
I have my sister Beverly to thank for this. Bev tries to wash her hair when she has some time to hang out at home. After washing, she sets her hair in velcro rollers, then lets it air dry. She then styles her hair as usual.
Bev has always said this gave her hair body and style that lasted much longer and better than using a curling or straightening iron alone.
Interestingly, I started seeing this same wisdom in beauty and fashion magazines. A while back, Vogue devoted a whole article to the advantages of "setting" your hair. In a recent InStyle magazine, model Cindy Crawford suggested using Velcro rollers.
Remember when our moms or grandmas use to go to the "beauty shop" once a week, and their hairstyle lasted an ENTIRE week?!
Now, I wash my hair more than once a week, but I don't have to wash it as often as I did when I was young. And I'm now a believer--setting your hair in rollers really DOES help your hair keep it's style and volume much longer than using a curling or straightening iron alone.
Plus, letting your hair air dry as much as possible is much healthier for your hair and if you're eco-minded, it saves energy too!
I'm a convert
I decided to try it. I invested in some velcro rollers (Wal-Mart and Sally Beauty Supply seem to be the least expensive places to buy them, but the Dollar Tree has some small ones if you want a curlier style.)
I was amazed at the lasting effect the curlers have. My hair retains its shape and volume all the way until the next washing--even though I do use a curling iron to touch it up and give it shine.
How I do it
You need time to do this, so it's definitely not for you if you wash your hair every morning before heading out to work.
I wash my hair when I know I have a few hours to be at home. I towel dry, and because my hair is pretty thick, I blow-dry it till it's about 50 per cent dry.
I then roll my hair all over in the velcro rollers. Mine are pretty big, so if you drop by my house when I'm wearing them, you'll get a good laugh. (I'm sure the FedEx man will too, after he gets over his initial shock.)
I give it a good spray with hairspray, and then go about my business...cleaning, reading, whatever. Lately the weather has been so nice that I've sat out on my deck reading or listening to music and let the breeze and sunshine do its job.
After taking them out
After taking the rollers out, I'm always amazed at the bounce and volume. However, I touch it up with a curling iron, simply because the iron gives it more shine than the rollers alone.
If I do this routine at night, I just take the rollers out before going to bed and style with my curling iron as usual in the morning.
It doesn't seem to matter what you do with it after taking the rollers out. The style lasts until the next washing.
I like it so much that I plan on getting some smaller velcro rollers for when I want a curlier do.
If you're not sure how to set your hair on rollers (but if you're my age, you probably are!), here are a couple of online tutorials you can check out:
--This lovely girl shows how to get volume by rolling dry hair with velcro rollers
--I love this lady's quirky personality and focus on femininity. Apparently she has several videos you can watch that show her curling techniques.
There are lots more tutorials on YouTube, some by professional stylists.
Good luck if you plan to try it!