fashion week essentials: hair

For this second fashion week post, I wanted to discuss some products that I believe are essential for hair health and manageability. Two of the products are generic for the jobs they perform, and two of them I feel like I couldn't live without.
First up in the  "generic" category: L'Oreal Blow Dry It thermal smoother cream. A heat protectant is essential if you blow dry, curl, or straighten your hair. Forgetting this first step in styling your hair can lead to broken, burned hair. Not pretty. I've tried a lot of these sorts of products over the years. Sometimes they're sprays, sometimes they're creams. Just pay attention to the temperatures it protects against, and then use according to the directions. This particular product retails for less than $5 and works well, so if you haven't been using a heat protectant, this is a good place to start.

The second product I want to talk about is a styling cream called Crack. It's sort of a Jack of All Trades. It provides heat protection, smooths fly-aways, helps hold curls, creates waves. I use it differently based on what I'm doing with my hair on a given day. Lately I apply the L'Oreal cream before I begin blow drying, then this goes on when my hair is just about dry, and then I curl my hair. I've had this cream in my beauty arsenal for about 3 years now, and I don't plan on giving it up any time soon.

Next, the other generic product: dry shampoo. Everyone knows (or should know) that dry shampoo helps extend your 'do for another day. This gives your hair a break from shampoo and styling tools. Plus, you get a break from the time it takes to wash and dry your hair! But I actually use dry shampoo almost every day, whether I just washed my hair or it's been longer than I care to admit. I find it essential when I want my recently washed hair to have any amount of volume. Clean hair feels great, but it often looks dull. So after I've styled my hair, I use dry shampoo before teasing so that it lasts. When I've used dry shampoo, a quick flip of my hair over my head as I bend forward, coupled with a tousle at the roots, seems to reactivate that volume throughout the day. The one I have pictured is from Batiste and works well. They also have a "hint of color" line that I'm fond of.

And finally, the mother of all hair products: Chi's Silk Infusion. It's expensive but lasts for-e-ver and is well worth the investment. I've only bought two or three bottles over the course of about 5 years, and I always have some on hand. Technically it's another heat protectant, but that's not usually how I use it. Unless I'm straightening my hair, and then this gets combed through my wet hair before I do anything else. Most of the time, however, a tiny drop of this is rubbed between my hands and then my fingers are run through my hair as I separate my cooled curls. This prevents my fingers getting caught in the curls and hairspray, adds a finishing shine to the curls, and locks in fly-aways. I really love this stuff.

Speaking of loving things, my second night at Kansas City Fashion Week was incredible. Jen met Michael Drummond from Project Runway, whose collection had been presented the night before.

Then Atherton Photography captured our looks for the evening.

 We took our seats (which were awesome; thanks Katie!), and as soon as the show started we noticed a welcome change from the previous show: Men!

Paulie Gibson's collection was the first show of the weekend to feature male models. (A general disclaimer about this post: all of my pictures turned out very blurry. I struggled with the lighting from where we sat.)
 It was fun seeing the creative men's fashion, but then I about died when this handsome hunk strolled out.
 We can only hope he and his jaw will be starring in a production of Tarzan somewhere soon.

The quality of the collections that second night was incredible. My favorites included:


Lauren Bander
and Ola Style

Other featured collections included:

Fabrikait Designs

 Molly Elizabeth Designs
and Project Runway's Joshua Christensen
(for some reason I only ended up with pictures of the male fashion in Joshua's line. Strange how that happened...)
Joshua Christensen, left
It was, once again, an incredible night!