wake up to waves: modern-day pin curls

© fotoduki/ Crestock

Want gorgeous curls but don’t want to destroy your hair (not to mention your savings) with curling irons, rollers and perms in the process? Go back to basics and do what the screen sirens of the 1940s did: twirl sections of your hair into coils, get some zzzs and wake up to a headful of cascading tresses.

I came across the old school method when I was looking for a way to style my hair before bed so I’d wake up looking polished. I mentioned the discovery to my hairdresser and he was impressed that I’d caught on to what he says is a stylist’s best-kept secret; Pin curls were the first thing he learned in hairdressing school. With all of the pricey gadgets, tools and products out there, who knew they were  an essential part of a trendy hairdresser’s arsenal?

The original pin curl method involves wrapping hair into mulitple tight coils around the head resulting in a 1940’s screen siren ‘do a la Christina Aguilera (check out stylist-to-the-stars Kevin Pave’s video here to get that look). But for big, bouncy, volumptuous waves like Beyonce’s, today’s pin curl method twists hair into just a few large coils.

Here’s how to get modern waves :

1)      In the evening, shampoo and condition hair.

2)      Part hair in the center, or to the side; however you plan on wearing it the following day.

3)      Distribute a dime size amount of curl enhancer, such as Morrocan Oil Intense Curl Cream, from root to tip.

4)      Allow hair to air dry until almost completely dry, but still slightly damp.

5)        Take one four-inch section of hair and wrap it into a coil flat against the head. Secure with two criss-crossed bobby pins. Repeat until your entire head is pinned up. Do not twist the hair before coiling it.

6)      Allow to dry overnight.

7)      Wake up and remove pins to release curls. Finger style (do not brush) and spray with light hold hairspray such as Toustle me Softly from Herbal Essences.

If you want tighter curls, coil hair into two inch sections. You may have to experiment a few times to get the look you’re looking for, but try it!

What’s your overnight  hair styling secret?

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coconut hair oil

Padma Lakshmi reportedly uses oil to get her oh-so glossy tresses

According to Elle UK, Kate Middleton swears by pricy Kerastase hair treatments for keeping her hair supple and soft, but for mere mortals there’s another solution: coconut oil. My boyfriend, who is from South India, always keeps a bottle of Vatika hair oil in his cupboard, which he massages into his scalp every so often. He told me that on any given Sunday in India, women can be found relaxing at home with a headful of coconut oil. They believe it prevents hair loss, greying and keeps the hair strong, shiny and soft; and South Indian-born Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, as well as numerous studies, agree. At $2.99 for a 175 ml bottle of regular coconut oil, or $6 for 150 ml of Vatika at a little market on Jean Talon in the Indian neighbourhood in Montreal, I decided to give it a try. Here are the instructions my boyfriend gave me:

1) Place the bottle of coconut oil in a sinkful of warm water for a few minutes to melt the oil (it solidifies at room temperature).

2) Pour about one tablespoon of oil into your hands.

3) Massage oil into damp or dry hair, from root to tip.

4) Place a shower cap over your head and let the oil do its magic for a few hours, or overnight.

5) Shampoo hair once or twice, condition and style as usual.

6) Repeat weekly.

The verdict? After my hair dried, my normally damaged, straw-like tresses were noticeably shinier, softer to the touch and easier to style. Not only did the coconut oil conditioning treatment smell amazing, feel exotic and cost very little, it was also  comforting to know that I was putting something completely natural on my hair. I’m definitely adding coconut oil to my list of beauty staples.

Have you ever used oil to condition your hair?

fall nails

One great thing about fall is the fact that I can hide my unpolished toes under sleek knee high boots and let my fingertips have all of the fun. Not only does cutting down on pedi frequency save big bucks (pedicures usually cost more than manicures), but it also reduces salon time. Yesterday I popped into L&V nails for an Olivia Palermo-inspired Lollipop-red (Essie $8) manicure. Just off of Saint Catherine Street on Drummond, the location is super convenient for those working downtown. And with a rainbow of Essie and OPI colours to choose from, it’s no wonder the place was buzzing with stylish professional women, students and ladies who lunch, many who drop in weekly or biweekly. Hey, for $15, I just might start doing that myself.

L&V Nails
1406 Drummond, Montréal
(514) 844-7932
Metro Peel
Click  here for a Map

Where do you go for mani/pedis in Montreal?