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Pretty in Kate’s Hair: Part One

July 14, 2011

Like Kate, I’ve been going to the same hairstylist for several years. (Kate and her family have seen her stylists James Pryce and Richard Ward for the past eight years). Griffin, over at Deklynd Channing Hair Design, calls this a long-term hair relationship. I’m sure my husband would love that one 😉

The last time I got my haircut was back in December, so if my hair was able to look fabulous for that long without needing a haircut, you know Griffin is the man and knows his hair.

Like Kate, my current look is something that is long, flowy, feminine and natural. So, I sat down for a chat (and get a haircut) with Griffin to get his take on Kate’s look and things you can do to replicate it. And based on our conversations over at Twitter and Facebook, it’s clear you guys want to know a few things. So let’s dive in!

Griffin is a walking encyclopedia of all things hair and in a little under two hours he filled my brain to the brim. He’s a bit camera-shy, so I was only able to sneak a few video clips of him 😉 Luckily, it was during the finishing or “setting” phase of my hair, which is really the most important. With that in mind, I’m breaking up the blog posts on how to achieve Kate’s hair into three sections:

  1. Prep and Wash
  2. Cut and Dry
  3. Style and Set

What I’m about to tell you are the tips and tricks you need to style your hair regardless if you are attempting to achieve Kate’s look or not. I thought I was a pretty smart person, but I did not even realize the science behind hair. Hair stylists of the world — you have my respect. And why hasn’t someone taken the time to explain to me all of this to me before now?!

I’m not going to hold off in showing you the finished product until the end. I’d rather just show it to you now because I’m an incredibly impatient person.

Wow! My hair looks Kate-ish 😉

Now that the reveal is out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Part One: Prep and Wash

Step 1: Stop washing your hair everyday. Because guess what, if you look back at all of Kate’s hairstyles throughout her North American Tour, it’s apparent that she was washing her hair every second or third day. I never noticed it until my hairstylist (in his research via US Weekly) pointed out a pattern in her hair styles that I’ve in turn dissected for you.

If you’re used to washing your hair everyday, it takes some getting used to. It’s something I’ve trained myself to do over the last few years; it used to be so oily that I thought I had to wash it everyday, but after moving to an “every third day” cycle, it wasn’t as oily. Weird, right?

Step 2: Eat healthy and take care of your body. To all those folks who think Kate isn’t eating enough or is too skinny, look at her hair. It wouldn’t be that amazing all the time (even when she is just out and about) if she wasn’t taking care of herself. We’d see it thinning, falling out, etc. Don’t believe Griffin? WebMD concurs with this. Simply put, you don’t have shiny, healthy looking hair if you’re eating like crap (or not eating at all).

Step 3: Make sure you have the right hair tools in your arsenal. Have I got a shopping list for you!

  • A detoxifying shampoo. Over time, your hair accumulates a lot of crap from the environment, similar to dust on your mantle. Even if you wash your hair using just water (or use a damp cloth to wipe up the dust on the mantle), there is still crap there. Using a detoxifying shampoo every couple of weeks removes this build-up and let’s your hair start again fresh (making it look healthier and SHINIER!). Salon Option: Kevin Murphy’s Maxi.Wash (only available at select salons in the U.S., U.K. and Australia). Drug Store Option: Redken’s Nature Rescue Refreshing Detox Shampoo ($12).
  • The right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. Okay, so at this point in the haircut, I may have zoned out because Griffin started massaging my scalp and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep for two minutes. But here’s the deal, everyone’s hair type is different — fine to thick, wavy to straight, tons of volume to limp. Kate has a lot of thickness, body/volume and frizz (have you seen the picture of her grocery shopping or after dragonboating? She’s human and her hair frizzes like the rest of us. Thank goodness!). I’ll talk about tricks in using the conditioner to optimize shine in a moment. Salon Option: Again, Griffin uses/prefers Kevin Murphy (the stuff smells amazing too). Drug Store Option: Jenni uses the line from Garnier Sleek & Shine System because I’m poor. It’s available at major drug stores and Wal-Mart and Target for under $4 a bottle. Win.
  • A Wide Tooth Comb. This guy comes in handy after you wash your hair and after you finish the set phase of your hair. Ulta.com has one for $2.50, so I promise this guy won’t break the bank.
  • A hair net and a shower cap. I’m dead serious.
  • Alligator clips and a handful of bobby pins. You may not use all or any of the bobby pins, but a good alligator clip like this one will make your task a lot easier. Or just be ghetto like me, and use the alligator clips that were popular in the 90s to hold your hair up now 🙂
  • Volumizing Creme. Kate has lots of volume in her hair. So if you need some help in that area, having a volumizer that you put in while your hair is wet will be a huge help in achieving this look. Salon Option: Kevin Murphy’s Anti.Gravity. Drug Store Option: Redken Aerate 08 Bodifying Creme-Mousse ($16). P.S., finding this in creme form is tough!
  • An anti-frizz creme. Slightly different from the typical serum you see in the store (and that I regularly use), the creme has a bit of tact to it, which acts as a great styling product. Salon Option: Kevin Murphy’s Easy Rider. Drug Store Option: Garnier Sleek and Shine Anti-Humidity Milk ($4-5). This is like crack for my hair. For realz.
  • Hairspray. Drug Store and Salon Option: Loreal Paris Elnett Satin ($13). Griffin threw this stuff on me at the end, and after a brief high from the fumes (ugh, hairspray!!), my hair still felt pretty touchable and soft. And six hours later, the curl hasn’t fallen out of it yet. Can your hairspray do that?
  • A boar-hair brush. I asked Griffin to repeat this. Like, what the hell? I’m not brushing my hair with pig hair! “Kate most likely has a brush like this to brush her hair after styling.” Um, sold. Using a boar-hair brush (only to be used on dry hair, kids!) helps your hair stay shiny by moving the oil from the scalp all the way down the hair. Seems a bit hokey-pokey, but it’s been around since the 1800s, so it must be doing something right.  Salon Option: Mason Pearson ($90-170). Drug Store Option: Hana K. Diamond Boar-Bristle Brush ($13).
  • A round styling brush. Drying your hair in sections with one of these things is pretty important. I’ll talk more about blow drying techniques in the next post, but make sure you have one of these ready to go. I use the Brush Lab Ceramic Curls Thermal Brush ($14). Most of the ceramic stylish brushes are around the same price, so do your research and make sure you choose one that is highly reviewed.
  • A flat paddle brush. I think most people already have one of these, so I’ll move on.
  • A decent blow dryer. The blow dryer really needs to have the concentrator attachment and the ability to do “cold shots” of air. Again, I’ll explain why this is necessary in the next post, but just a heads up 🙂 Do some research online to find the best blow dryer that has these items within your price range. I use an older model Bed Head blow dryer I bought about two years ago at Target for $30. It came with both a diffuser and a concentrator, which made it a great bargain. Here’s the newest model.
  • A curling iron. Yep, you’ve heard it here first. Kate and I got our awesome locks via a curling iron. Choosing the right curling iron boils down to your hair type. If you have thick, coarse hair like Kate and me, you need a larger barrel curling iron (1″ or more). If you have thin, fine hair, you’ll need a smaller barrel. But how you use it is really the trick. I’ll be talking about that in the third post and I’ll have video to support it too. (Are you starting to see why I broke these up into sections? So much information!!)

So, you’ve purchased all the stuff (or maybe have these items already). Give yourself and hour-and-a-half (shorter if your hair is thinner and shorter; longer if your hair is thicker and longer) to pull this off. Remember, on the second and third day of the hairstyle, you’re just doing touch-ups instead of repeating the process over again, so you do save time in the long-run by being patient and taking your time that first go-around.

Step 4: Shampoo and Condition your hair. After using the detoxifying shampoo, use your regular shampoo, add conditioner, wrap up your shower and vacate it. Don’t wash out the conditioner (yet). Instead, wrap it in a bun, use one of the huge alligator clips to hold it into place and stick on a shower cap. Your hair will still be hot from the shower and by sticking the hair in a shower cap, your essentially giving yourself a deep conditioning treatment. Leave it in there for 10-20 minutes (depending on how much time you have). Use that time to do make-up, grab breakfast, something. Then go to your kitchen sink and rinse your hair out with COLD water. Unless you’re cool with taking a freeze cold shower. The idea here is that hot water opens the hair follicle, cold water closes it. And you want to keep that deep conditioning locked in place. Use your wide tooth comb to brush it out and your ready to prep for blowdrying.

In my next post, I’ll discuss what to chat with your hairstylist about when getting your hair cut similar to Kate, and the art of blowing drying your hair.

If you live in the Austin area, and Griffin sounds like the guy for you, give him a ring at (512) 323-6570. But be forewarned, like all good hairstylists, he books fast, so try and call him about three weeks before you need your appointment. P.S. Make sure you follow PiK on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!!

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