Written on November 22, 2013 at 11:14 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
After months of working on a short hair makeover story (check it out in the February issue!) and toying with the idea of cutting my long locks shorter, I recently chopped off six inches of my hair. This apparently was hardly noticeable to some (ahem, boyfriend who thinks “it doesn’t really look that different”) but a really big deal to me. And though I’m loving my new cut, styling it has been quite an adjustment. No longer can I sleep in a bun and wake up with effortless waves (tragic, I know). Since I prefer my naturally straight hair to have some texture, this posed a problem. So, I’ve recently been spending some quality time with my curling iron. After years of working in the beauty industry, I consider myself pretty handy with one, but even the most-skilled pro can sometimes struggle with getting the dreaded dent. Unless—that is—you’re working with my new favorite tool, Babyliss Pro Nano Tools 1” Rotating Curling Iron ($60, naimies.com). This iron is so easy to use, it actually makes my styling session faster. It has a rotating base, so you don’t have to nearly break your wrist trying to create a curl, and a super thin clip plate so you can chose not to use it if you prefer the feel of a wand. Plus, it’s made of a hybrid mineral complex (a mix of nano ceramic and Japanese kiyoskei) so it smoothes your hair, leaving each strand shiny and frizz-free. With 40 different heat settings up to 430°F, it’s perfect for any hair texture. Seriously, this thing is so awesome; your hair practically curls itself! (Now wouldn’t that be nice…)
Written on October 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
You probably know Stacy London as the vivacious stylist on TLC’s hit show, What Not to Wear (the series finale aired this past Friday). But what you may not know is what drew London to the fashion industry in the first place. Turns out, she’s been battling a chronic autoimmune and skin disease—psoriasis—for the majority of her life and found comfort in sparkly, shiny pieces. Here, she opens up about her struggles with psoriasis and the ways in which she’s helping others also affected by it with the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign, which features educational resources, style advice and a dermatologist finder for the estimated 7.5 million American men and women living with psoriasis. Bonus: she spills on her best beauty tips and recent hair change, too.
Tell us about your experience with psoriasis and how it’s affected your life?
“I was diagnosed when I was four, so it’s been in my life my whole life. As much as people know me for something completely different, it is very much a part of my identity. You know, the heartbreak of psoriasis is a well-known thing. Being diagnosed at the age of four, I really didn’t understand what was happening. I just knew there was something wrong with me because I had these bumps on the back of my ears. So it started as something that made me feel weird and certainly made me feel different than other kids. That is definitely something I started to internalize very early. As I got older, my skin got worse and by the time I was 11, I was basically covered from the neck down in red scales and it was a much harder time because at that age, I was conscious of what I looked like. I had very severe scalp psoriasis so I had to cut off all my hair. So here I was, a little girl with a crew cut wearing turtlenecks and long corduroy pants even in the summer just to hide. That’s when that feeling of really being different and having children and adults react badly to me, that I really started to suffer from it. You know psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It takes consistent and constant management but also, it’s emotionally devastating. I think that definitely drew me to fashion. Because, feeling sort of like a monster, I wanted all things pretty and sparkly and shiny and perfect and what better place than fashion to find that? I can say now, I don’t think I thought that consciously at the time. It’s sort of a compensatory desire that I didn’t feel good about myself and my self esteem was very low that I gravitated to something that I thought would certainly make me feel better. But when I wrote about psoriasis in my book, the biggest thing for me and that I really empathize with is that you kind of give up when you have psoriasis and the idea that you are ruled by a disease rather than you having control over it. The idea specifically was to manifest this concept of empowerment by creating a style guide that is specific to people who may not care about showing off their psoriasis or may be looking to cover up their skin but to feel relevant and not necessarily trendy but modern and feel like they’re participating in the same fashion trends that other people are. So it’s a great topical guide to what’s going on with an eye on making sure you’re paying attention to materials that could irritate your skin or the length of a skirt that may be more appropriate if you want to cover your leg a little bit more; things through the lense of someone who has experienced psoriasis themselves and wanted style, not just to hide in but to feel beautiful in. Because I think I spent my childhood hiding in turtlenecks and long corduroys and really I wish I had known to use style to feel better not just as armor.”
Tell us more about the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign?
“It consists of the style guide, one, but it also consists of the dermatologist finder which is about taking control. You know I have been in the care of many dermatologists for over 40 years and it took me a long time to realize that not all dermatologists specialize in psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease and an autoimmune disease. So it’s a much more complex situation. Part of getting the right kind of treatment is to see the right kind of doctor and dermatologist specifically. So one of the things we wanted to do was to help people find the right kind of dermatologist. Part of that idea is that we are asking you instead of learning helplessness, to learn hope and to embrace the idea that just because you may think somebody couldn’t help you the first time you went to visit a dermatologist, that doesn’t mean you saw the right one. The same thing with thinking about your style, like you can’t wear black because God forbid you have scalp psoriasis and it’s going to look like a snow storm hit your shoulders. The campaign offers ways in which to deal with these kinds of things instead of feeling like you have to give up; accepting the situation and then building creatively both your style and, in the process, creating more self-confidence.
Switching gears to beauty. How has the disease affected your beauty routine?
“It’s funny, you know I talk about covering up, and beauty plays such a significant part. It’s kind of ironic because you feel anything but beautiful with psoriasis. For me, one of the things I learned very early on is that I needed to get some sun. As long as I got a little bit of sun, it really improved my skin and my mood. I found that moisturizing creams were not as good as oils. Oils absorb into the skin better, especially when you’ve got really, really dried plaques that can crack and bleed. The other thing is just moisture, period. In the winter, especially when you have dry heat, humidifiers have been essential to me. It’s super important. Since it’s an autoimmune disease, there are other things that you can do just besides the moisture. You need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, that you’re eating properly; you need to exercise; you need to think holistically about your whole body.”
Do you have beauty products that help you feel confident when you’re having a bad day?
“Two favorites: Antonia Burrell Natural Glow Cleansing Oil ($102, beautyhabit.com) and Radiant Light Serum ($98, beautyhabit.com). If I look super ruddy or flaky, it has worked miracles for me in terms of evening my skintone. The other thing I think is really important with psoriasis is it gets very red. So I recommend using a green tinted concealer to cut the red and then put your foundation over it. I find if I wear anything too orange-y, like an orange-y red lip, that makes my skin look even redder so I tend to go for blue-red tones if I’m going for a red lip. I will say at the moment I’ve been jonesing for By Terry lipsticks (prices vary, beautybar.com). The colors are so saturated and glorious. And I do love Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Liquid Blush ($39, giorgioarmanibeauty.com) in the peach shade, #3. It makes you look like your glowing from the outside in.”
You’ve recently made a major hair change, debuting lighter ends. Can we discuss?
“I cannot believe that this has taken hold like it has! I mean, do people know that Syria is happening? I’ve gotten really lovely notes like ‘Bravo!’ and then all these people are like, ‘What’s wrong with you? You’re going through a mid-life crisis.’ I’m telling you right here, right now, you have the exclusive: one, that picture is an Instagram picture. If you’ve heard, there are filters so it looks a little crazier in that picture than it actually is. Number two, I am having a mid-life renaissance and that is why I’m like, ‘It’s time for a change, why not?’”
Written on September 23, 2013 at 11:04 am , by Fitness Magazine
Hitting the gym is one of the best things for your body but it can sometimes be one of the worst things for your hair. Too-tight ponytails and excess washing can leave strands brittle and breakage-prone, but you don’t have to sacrifice a killer workout for soft, healthy hair. Instead of just tossing your hair into a topknot before your spin class, give it the T.L.C. it needs. Below, four tips to get your strands into shape while you shape up at the gym:
Whether you’re gearing up for a long run or prepping for a mid-day Pilates class, the ponytail is, no doubt, a workout-friendly hairstyle, but tying it too tight can break strands mid-shaft. To avoid this, I tie my hair back with stretchy ribbon elastics like Emi-Jay Hair Ties ($14 for set of 5, emi-jay.com). They eliminate the unwanted ponytail crease and are comfortably loose enough to prevent breakage but still strong enough to keep your style from falling out. Bonus: They come in so many cute colors and patterns — I like to match them to my workout gear!
Spritz On Some Dry Oil
My go-to gym hair is a messy topknot. It’s functional, keeps my hair off my neck and still manages to look a little bit cute while I’m drenched in sweat, but I started to notice my ends were getting seriously distressed from bending every which way. Before my workout, I spray Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray ($30, ulta.com) from mid-length down before tying my hair up, which makes a huge difference! This ultra-fine spray adds instant hydration and shine that makes my hair soft, manageable and easy to style.
Avoid Over Washing
It’s hard to not suds up following a sweaty workout, but too much shampoo can dry out your hair and strip it of essential oils. We’re firm believers in the power of dry shampoo and I always keep one, like Dove Style+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($4, drugstore.com) stocked in my gym bag. If you can’t jump on the dry shampoo bandwagon, we suggest trying a cleansing conditioner like WEN by Chaz Dean Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner ($32 for 16 oz. bottle, chazdean.com). A sulfate-free, low-lather formula will keep your hair’s natural oils in check while still washing away all the sweaty stuff.
Use Your Sweat as a Styler
As gross as it may seem, a little perspiration can give your hair some much-needed grip for certain hard-to-master styles. Avoid heat-induced damage by using your post-workout hair to your advantage and pulling it into a low side braid, then slide on a pretty headband like Goody FashioNow Patent Bow Headwrap ($5, Walmart stores). This look is an easy transition from workout to work-ready!
Written on September 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Just before the U.S. Open wraps today with the men’s final match between Djokovic and Nadal, we snuck in some time with the official hairstylist for the tournament, Julien Farel. For seven years, Farel and his team have been offering their services in the official player salon at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. Here, he shares with us his tricks for keeping the players looking like aces through grueling, multiple-hour matches.
So you set up a salon on site for the players. What kind of services do you offer?
“There are over 500 players and they all have access to any kind of services that they want. At Arthur Ashe Stadium, we cannot do any color or chemical treatments but if they need any kind of other services: hair cut, blow dry, manicure, pedicure, eyebrow waxing, tweezing or makeup, they can come in and get it done.”
And how does the styling work? Do the players tell you what they want or do they let you have some creativity with it?
“It depends. If they go on camera, they will come to get a quick braid or ponytail and sometimes a touchup for makeup. If they are playing, they usually skip the makeup. If not, sometimes we reopen the salon just for the biggest players. Sometimes you have to drop what you’re doing to just go and take care of them, especially the well-ranked players.”
We’ve noticed a lot of braided hairstylists on the women this year. Are braids a big trend right now and what’s the trick to getting the look right?
“It is a very good style for tennis because it locks all the hair into place. For the U.S. Open, we use our anti-aging hair care technology and our styling products, which have UV-protection [Farel launched a 21 SKU product line back in 2011 available at dermstore.com]. So for a braid, we often apply some products on the hair before they go into the game to protect their hair. After the game, they sometimes come in because they get sunburned and we apply Julien Farel Haircare Vitamin Calm ($43, dermstore.com), which is a great product to repair sunburn because it immediately nourishes the scalp. It has anti-inflammatory ingredients, like algae extract and vitamin E to help replenish vital nutrients and combat harmful UV-rays. But because of the humidity and the heat, a lot of them are coming into get some gel or gloss to lock the hair in place, so in that case we do a ponytail or a braid out of the ponytail.”
It has been awfully humid for most of the Open. What’s your best tip for blocking humidity out of your hair?
“Yea, we use an anti-frizz balm [Julien Farel Haircare Zero Frizz Relaxing Balm ($32, dermstore.com)]. We offer that to make sure we can help to protect the hair. For me, it’s really about protecting the hair in every way we can so by moisturizing, making sure the hair feels better, to be moisturized from the end to the root or by having something where the hair is going to be protected from the sun.”
These matches can last for hours so what’s your secret for getting the styles to last?
“Well, if it’s a case of someone like Nadal who is wearing a bandana, or others are wearing bobby pins and some hair bands, or some ponytails and some braids and the reason is because these things help to lock the hair into place. So if you’re winning, you go on camera right away and you still look good because after the players finish the match, they’re not going to come to the salon to get their hair done because the people, especially the press, want them to comment right as they are on the moment. They don’t want you to wait to think about it. They want to feel the emotion.”
Written on August 19, 2013 at 9:32 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
We get it—you don’t want to carry your entire beauty arsenal around in your gym bag. Luckily it doesn’t take tons of tools to look sleek postworkout. Meet The Jet-Setter by Sarah Potempa ($99, joyus.com), a small but mighty four-inch iron (featured in the September issue of FITNESS, on stands now!) that clams frizz, straightens strands and smooths that annoying ponytail crease in a snap. No outlet? No problem—it’s rechargeable and cordless, and now you can get it (and anything else you toss in your cart) for an even bigger steal! Head to joyus.com and enter the code JETSET9 for 15% off your entire order now through August 30, 2013. Then, check out styling tips from the creator, celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa here.
Written on August 2, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
My hair and I have been through a lot together. I’ve been a blonde, brunette and redhead, and I have a tendency to be little too friendly with my hot tools. These styling faux pas have left my strands feeling dry, weak and in need of some serious T.L.C. Thankfully in recent years I’ve learned my lesson, steered clear of anything that could further damage my locks and treated my tresses to a hair indulgence once a week. Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment ($6, drugstores) is my current go-to strand saver. Loaded with ultra-nourishing avocado, olive and almond oils, this quick fix instantly reverses signs of dryness and leaves my hair feeling super soft. It contains teeny-tiny crushed apricot kernels that smooth hair cuticles for amped-up shine and minimal frizz. After shampooing, I apply a layer of this starting mid-shaft all the way to my ends, comb through with a wide-tooth comb, clip my hair up off my neck (did you know the built-up oils from your hair products can cause back and chest breakouts?), wait three minutes, rinse and violà! – instantly refreshed, healthy hair.
—Karee Hackel, beauty intern
Written on July 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
To one of the guys, C.J. Wilson might be most well-known for his success on the pitcher’s mound, but to the ladies, his boyish good looks and a great head of hair are what stand out (sorry girls, he’s recently engaged to supermodel Lisalla Montenegro). Head & Shoulders also took note of his flowing locks and signed him up as their “Mane Man” for the 2012-2013 MLB Season to launch their “Season of the #Whiff” campaign. We stole a moment with him before last week’s All-Star game to chat about the details of the campaign and got him to spill some of his great hair secrets as well as his pro-workout routine.
Tell us about the Season of the #Whiff Campaign and why it’s important to you.
“The Season of the #Whiff (strikeout) campaign is with Head & Shoulders, the MLB and the RBI program. The RBI program is really cool because it brings kids that wouldn’t normally be able to play baseball onto the baseball field. It gets them equipment, places to play. Obviously being a baseball player, it’s been a life-changing opportunity for me, so I wanted other people to get that opportunity. For every strike out or “whiff” this season, Head & Shoulders donates one dollar to the RBI program, so as you can imagine, over the season that becomes a lot of money, and then they have special contests for every month for different teams. If their fans tweet #whiff, they total that up at the end of the month, and whoever wins gets $10,000 per month for their local RBI program, so it’s a really cool thing overall.”
Pitchers have a lot of pressure on them throughout the game. How do you keep your cool on the mound?
“You just have to trust your preparation. A lot of pressure is on you because you initiate the action. You have a ball in your hands, so you have to not screw up, basically. One of the adages of baseball is good pitching beats good hitting, so you have to trust that the odds are in your favor. If you make good pitches, the guys are going to strike out the majority of the time. You just have to hope the odds stack up, so that if they do get a hit, it’s not when a bunch of guys are on base. You have to try to throw strikes and strike out as many guys as possible. At least that’s the way I try to pitch. Go for the whiff!”
Do you have any pre-game rituals that you do before every game?
“Yeah, definitely. I try to visualize the opposing team and how I’m going to pitch to them, so that I have a game plan. For the most part, you get acclimated to it. You start as a little kid, and even when I was a little kid, I threw the same exact way that I throw now. It’s just something that I’ve always done. You trust the training and make sure you’re wearing your shoes and socks. I’ve actually left the locker room with my jacket and glove, but didn’t have my hat. Even as a grown man, you still make those little mistakes, but you just have to try to make it as much about routine as possible.”
What are your workouts like?
“My workouts are kind of all over the board because I try to train all of my different systems. You have to have endurance in terms of recovery. As a pitcher, you pitch for basically two straight hours, so your body is up for all that time. You have to do enough volume between running and lifting weights to be able to handle that. At the same time, if you don’t train the right way, your body can break down pretty easily. A lot of guys have arm injuries because the little, tiny muscles in your arm that you can easily injure if you do something like lift up a jug of milk the wrong way, those are the ones that hold our arm together. We have to do all these weird exercises with rubber bands and three pound weights. If you go to the gym and see someone doing these exercises, you’re going to be like, ‘What is wrong with that guy?’ because they are clearly not very difficult, but if you do them for 10 minutes straight, then it is difficult. It’s very specialized in that regard. Other than that, I do Crossfit, cardio and sprints.”
You’re a Head & Shoulders “Mane Man,” and you have a good head of hair, so what is your typical hair care routine like?
“Other than using Head & Shoulders as often as possible, I don’t really have much that I do. I try not to put a lot of product in it because we have to wear hats, so if you wear a lot of pomade or something and it gets in your face, it kind of becomes a mess. I try to keep it long so that it lies down. If it’s short, I have to put stuff in it to tame it. My hair sort of just does what I need it do to. I guess I’m naturally gifted in that way. No performance enhancers here!”
So what do you love about the new addition of the Old Spice scent to the Head & Shoulders line?
“It smells manly. There’s definitely a confidence thing to it. When you’re shopping, you’re attracted to certain colors. For me, the blue and red put together is a cool combination. I’ll look at it, then open the bottle and smell it, and I’m like ‘Oh, that smells good!’ I think all of the Old Spice products smell good, whether it’s the body wash or the deodorant. It smells homogenous. You maintain some of your unpolished manliness, which is kind of the charm.”
Do you have any other grooming products that you like?
“The biggest thing to me is the stuff that I shave with because I have very sensitive skin. I have to shave in regular intervals otherwise I get skin issues. If I’m the spokesman for any type of grooming product, I can’t have some sort of caveman beard. Brett Keisel (Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end a fellow Head & Shoulders Mane Man) has a crazy beard, but his beard is the most beautiful, manly beard I have ever seen. I’m the clean-shaven guy, so I kind of have to stay that way.”
Written on July 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Courtney Conlogue and her surfboard carry quite the record. As a leading competitor with multiple wins and titles, she is one of the best women surfers to emerge out of Orange County, California. With summer in full swing and (hopefully) a trip to the beach penciled in on your calendar, we tapped her for the best ways to workout fast, and how to keep your strands looking fresh after some serious sun damage. Plus, if you’ve always dreamed of jumping onto a surfboard and hanging ten, Conlogue shared her tips on how to get started.
How do you train to stay fit during surf season?
“I’ve gone through a couple of phases. During my track and field days, I was really bulking up and that wasn’t really working out for me. So right now, I’m currently using either low weight or just my weight in my workouts. And incorporating endurance, power, speed, agility, all of those things and balance especially. Working out on the Bosu ball has been my favorite right now.”
And that helps with balance in the water, right?
“Yeah, I do a lot of rowing stuff, reverse push-ups, inverted push-ups, hamstring curls, single-leg snaps on the Bosu and single-leg toe touches. Actually, right now, I’m trying to make a video with all my surf workouts. I’m not sure when it’s going to come out, but I’m pretty excited to do a little workout and have it where other people can try it out.”
How do you manage to fit in your workouts when you have a tight schedule?
“I just kind of make it happen whenever I see a little bit of a gap—whether it’s twenty minutes or an hour. You can do a solid workout that lasts twenty minutes; all you do is have less of a break. The maximum break I really do in a workout in between sets of sets is probably 20-30 seconds. And when doing that, your body learns to recover a lot quicker and you build a lot of endurance. I’ve always found that to be really good, especially with surfing.”
Being in the sun and salt water all the time can be pretty rough on your skin and hair. What are your best beauty tips for keeping your skin and hair healthy?
“I always have leave-in conditioner in my hair no matter what. That’s one of the things I do. I just leave the conditioner in because my hair is always getting moisture and nutrients sucked out of it, especially with the sun and the salt. So I use that as a protectant, and then I have a UV spray and it’s like a hairspray that you spray on your hair before you go into the water. And then for my face, I always like to put night cream on and I’m always wearing sunscreen—the higher the SPF, the better. I like foundation sunscreen because it gives you a little tint and it stays on better. What else? I’ve been doing this little thing when I go into the sauna, I put a hair mask in my hair, and put a towel on my head and just let it kind of bake and it re-moisturizes and gives it back its nutrients.”
Do you use any waterproof products?
“When I’m doing photo shoots and stuff like that I do wear waterproof mascaras. But I go natural when I’m in the water. I don’t bother looking good when surfing most of the time, I think natural is best. I’ve always found being natural at the beach is what the beach is about.”
What’s your advice for someone who wants to get into surfing but is intimidated by it?
“I think the key is just knowing how to swim—know the basics. And then I think having a surf instructor, having an individual lesson with a group of friends or just yourself with someone is always really helpful because it gives you that confidence and comfort knowing they always have your back. I do a couple lessons here and there with people in programs and stuff and I always have my eye on everyone, making sure they have the best time of their life when they’re out so they want to go out again. We love getting more people in our community as a part of the surfing family. So I think just getting out there and having fun because no matter what, you’re going to have a blast once you get on the board. And then you get into a couple waves and you stand up, that thrill you get when you’re dropping down the wave is just awesome.”
Written on May 17, 2013 at 10:18 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
As the weather’s warming up, my go-to hairstyle these past few weeks has been the top knot (just like every other girl in New York City). It’s easy, and can transform dirty strands into a cute style. I’ve played around with nearly every “bun-stuffing” contraption that has come into our office and my favorite is the Sarah Potempa The Wrap Up ($12, sarahpotempa.com). You simply pull your hair into a ponytail and slide the pony through the opening in the middle. Then, roll it up to the base, fold the flexible ends into a round bun and voilá—an instantly chic updo. If you have layers and a few pieces poke out, just smooth them down with hairspray and pin into place. You can go for a formal look (I used it to style my hair smooth and polished for a recent wedding I attended), or try something a little more piecey and casual (my messy bun held up through a training session with The Biggest Loser trainer, Dolvett Quince!). The possibilities are endless. And it comes in a smaller size, The Half Up ($9, sarahpotempa.com) so girls with fine or shorter hair can get in on the fun too.
Written on May 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm , by Fitness Magazine
We go to the gym to put in work. But that’s not to say we don’t get giddy when we find an accessory that is both functional and cute to wear during our sweat sessions. Enter Emi-Jay Hair Ties and Headbands (prices vary, emi-jay.com). Not only do they keep hair and sweat out of our face, but they add a pop of color to basic workout clothes. What makes these ribbon-like accessories cool is that they can be used in multiple ways. Want to glam up a boring pony, bun or braid? Tie your hair with one of the lightweight, stretchy bands, or simply slide on a bright, patterned headband to keep flyaways tame. No matter how you wear them, they’re guaranteed to brighten your look and mood.
—Katelyn Blough, beauty intern