When it comes to my hair, I am a lazy, lazy bitch.
SO YOU GOT A LOB, Now How Do You Style it?
In most areas of my life, I am an ambitious, calculating control freak who gets off on making things happen. My neo-hippie parents have looked at me like I have three heads since I could talk. I was speaking full sentences at 18 months. But my hair… just happens. Always has.
So when I chopped all of my hair off recently in the name of style, I had a rude awakening when the time came to actually styling it.
Emerging from the womb with a cascade of dark curls (okay, probably more like “cascade of matted, white, goopy curls,” because newborns are disgusting), life was but a follicular dream for most of my life. My natural waves required no heat styling, the dark brown color took on some badass highlights in the sun, and the only tool I needed to fight frizz was a 6 dollar jar of coconut oil. I
typically rubbed some of the oil on wet ends in the car on the way to school and called it a day. But after 22 years with the same haircut, I grew tired of perfection. Like a total asshole.
I cut my boring, nipple-grazing hair (well, the only thing not boring about it was being able to call it "nipple-grazing") into the long bob that’s been snaking out of every chic head on the block lately. I strutted out of the salon (recommended to me by comment superstar and fellow Naptowner Your Mom’s Bra) post-chop feeling like hot stuff. I had unraveled the security blanket attached to my scalp, and I still felt like me. Except way foxier. I kept catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and seeing Mona Lisa Vito. It ruled.
But there was a catch. I had never learned how to maintain or style a haircut. Oh.
When I gave it the old wash-n-go, my hair looked much more Michael Kelso than Keira Knightley. It took a shower and a Fourth of July party to knock me off of my high horse. I was not some kind of beach nymph with magic hair. I was a girl from the corn fields with no clue how to style her shit.
I started to wear my hair in this kind of middle-aged middle-school art teacher-esque chubby ponytail. It was a dark time. But somehow, from somewhere within me, (probably the place that compels me to alphabetize my grocery list) I summoned the will to overcome my hair apathy and make something happen on my head.
A Google search turned up very few resources for styling a long bob, and most of the "beach wave" tutorials seemed unnecessarily involved. But I kept reading and kept experimenting, caring more than I ever thought I was capable of caring about my hair. I eventually found a four-day routine that is almost as lazy as my old style and way more collarbone-grazingly sexy. I like to start on Sunday night.
The most vital observation I’ve made is that a good lob is ALL ABOUT HUGE ROOTS AND STRAIGHT ENDS. What happens in between your hair poles is not really that important (I recommend you avoid fighting your natural texture -- that takes lots of work and is usually less cute). This is the lob mandate, and we will carry it out nobly and lazily.
Over the course of cracking the Lazy Bitch Lob code, I came across two earth-shattering lazy-hot tricks. The first one serves as a vital first step: Take a night shower. I was stubbornly, irrationally against taking showers at night for most of my life (probably because it interfered with my night time regimen of passing out with my makeup on face down on the Netflix machine). But a night shower is the key to being totally lazy about your lob for the next four days.
I’ve found that upside-down finger-drying my hair with a dime-sized dollop of oil (whatever’s in the kitchen) on the ends and a generous helping of hairspray at the roots acts like kind of a “reset” button for my hair. This method, in addition to being lazy and warm as hell, flattens my natural ringlets and gives my super-fine roots an unbelievable amount of lift. Basically I am working to invert my triangle head throughout the week, and I conjecture that blow drying upside-down will have that effect on many hair textures.
The whole process takes about five minutes.
I try to go to bed with it looking full-on Carrot Top cray. Usually, it stays big but curls up again overnight, particularly at the ends.
This morning, you will be sculpting your hair. A quick note about hot tools: I know that using both a blow dryer and a flat iron seems like a lot of work for a “lazy” tutorial. But trust me -- I tried it all, and using these tools is actually far simpler, quicker, and more effective than trying other “lazy” hair tricks meant for longer hair.
Anyway, If your hair is anything like mine, the ends are flipping out when you wake up the morning after a Five Minute Finger Blowout. To rectify this and achieve the straight-ended lob, separate your hair into two sections using your haircut’s layers as a guide. The top section should contain all of your layers except the very bottom layer.
The bottom layers have misbehaved, and THEY GET THE IRON. Run a flat iron (I have an ancient T3) over the ends until they lie flat, and unleash the rest of the lob. It should look like an inverted teardrop shape: Your roots will have tons of volume (add additional hairspray as needed), the hair will taper to frame your face with your natural texture, and it will land around your collarbone with straight ends. Straight ends are a foolproof way of avoiding “mom hair,” trust me. You may need to use the flat iron to sculpt other parts of your hair, like the pieces around your face.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHTS
If you remember nothing else from this tutorial, commit the second life-changing tiperooni to memory: SLEEP IN YOUR DRY SHAMPOO. You can go, like, an indefinitely long time without exposing your hair to style-ruining water. I picked up this beautiful nugget from xoVain commenter mermaidsdream, and I have a big ol’ Hoosier hug waiting for her if she ever passes through my neck of the woods. My hair is super dark, and I spray the white powder in haphazard sections around my part and hairline, go to sleep with goofy gray hair, and wake up looking like a goddess. It works with any brand. I love the smell of Dove, and it’s a really good kisser.
I can usually do this for two days straight, and the hair just keeps looking and smelling better. I always thought the people who said their second day hair looked better than the first were pants-on-fire bullshitters, but this dry shampoo trick has me convinced.
Do you hear that? It sounds like rickety wooden wheels and screeching trombones and blowing elephants… It’s a bandwagon! It’s the XO Edwardian Roll bandwagon, and I am riding shotgun. Join us.
One of the things I missed most about my long hair was wearing a braided crown when my roots started to get greasy (for me, usually day 3 or 4). After I cut it, I was desperate for another low-maintenance, weirdo updo with enough volume at the sides to distract from my unfortunately shaped ears.
In a low moment, I found myself on that website where dreams come to die: Pinterest. Wading through the soul-numbing tide of barrel curls and manic pixie pastel ombre took Herculean effort, but I went the distance.
An unassuming two-picture tutorial caught my eye, and I attempted the “boho headband tuck” with glee. I proceeded to wear it around the house all day and check myself out on every reflective surface. I’d like to think this is how Princess Leia would have worn her hair if she’d been a girl of the 20th century.
Guys, this is THE hairstyle of 2013, and I am not alone in thinking so.
The next day I opened xoVain’s homepage (Have I mentioned I’m kind of a fangirl? Let’s chat in the comments), and jumped out of my chair to properly fist pump when I read Jill’s amazing Edwardian Roll tutorial. Click through for a more detailed how-to on this hairstyle and a way more compelling history than my “I jacked this hairstyle from some pseudo-hippie chick on Pinterest” tale.
For the clickedly challenged, this style is basically a repetition of one motion around your whole head. This version takes a few shortcuts compared to Jill’s, for maximum laziness of course. Here’s the scoop:
• Place an elastic headband around your head like a crown. You can have the band cross your forehead or place it behind your hairline. (I like to put mine about an inch behind my hairline and use one of those elastic bands with plastic grips on the bottom so it doesn’t slide out of greasy hair.)
• Beginning with the hair that frames your face, gather a four-inch wide section at the the ENDS (don’t grab anything that is above the headband line), pull it up towards the ceiling, and tuck it between the headband and your hair. You’ll want the section to go behind the elastic, forming a loop and covering the band.
• Once you do your whole head, it should look rolled like in the photo above.
• It took me a few times to get a hang of the roll and tuck motion, but once you do, you’re set for life.
A few notes: This style shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you’re tucking hair away from your part, then you’re probably doing it right. It works great for shoulder-length hair, and I’ve done it successfully the lazy bitch way with an unpadded headband every time. (The padding makes it more of a period look, if that’s your bag.)It takes about 2 tries and 30 seconds to pull off, and it stays all day if you tuck a few bobby pins into the roll.
So, tell me, what are your favorite beauty and hair shortcuts? In what part of your routine are you totally spoiled? How do you style the elusive lob???