Ladies, educate me on hair styling.

I am an utter noob when it comes to hair styling. I want to change that, so today I bought a curling iron.

Like any woman, I’ve got years of magazine reading under my belt about hair styling. But none of it seems to make any sense.

I’m not even sure how much of a time commitment is asked. Make-up, that I know. All it takes is five minutes in the morning, and it is still presentable after lunch. By four o’clock, all I need to do in the Ladies room is to wipe away any make-up that has travelled to the under-eye area. At night, I take it all off,which is another minute. Pretty straightforward. Make-up, I can do.

Now, hairstyling in contrast seems to be a twenty minute commitment every morning. It also seems to mean washing your hair every day, which is another 10 minute commitment, 20 minutes if you include drying. Who has time for that?

Also, there are just so many ways to do hairstyling wrong. Blow-drying your hair without knowing what you’re doing exactly can result in utterly ridiculous hair.
Also, what on earth is the difference between wax, gel, foam, fudge atc and how do I know what to use?

And do I really need to put in rollers? Because that is not going to happen.

Also, is there any point to styling your hair if you have to bike through the rain afterwards? Will a style not be in your eyes all day, so you push it back behind your ears, where it will look ridiculous?

I tried looking at Amazon. There does not seem to be a book that teaches the styling basics, ar teaches the background info needed to understand it.

Really, when I had long hair, I did braids. Braids I understood. Or I put it up, that was also practical.

But having medium length hair and then styling it…Please help me out. Any good book recommendations?

A good start would be to get your hair shampooed and styled, and if you like the results, ask the stylist what they are doing. They will be more than happy to shill their products to you- that’s how salons make most of their money. But you are free to take their advice and try drug store equivalents.

I find that if I blow-dry my hair every other day using a little bit of product, it looks much better than if I don’t. The blow-drying takes an extra 10 minutes, but it does make a huge difference.

You should try Pinterest. There are a lot of hair tutorials floating around.

Me, I could never get the hang of a curling iron. My arms just got too tired. I just get my hair permed twice a year. It’s super expensive but it beats wrestling with it every morning.

What kind of hair do you have?

Number one advice: Get a hairstyle that suits your lifestyle and for the amount of time you are prepared to spend on your hair. A good hairdresser will ask you these questions before cutting.

You can often get your hair cut in a way that you can just blow dry for day-to-day, but can do something more fancy when you have more time. For example, I have medium length hair, lightly layered, with a heavy fringe (bangs). Week day mornings, I just blow dry it, using my fingers instead of a comb, and it looks fine.

When I’m going out, I’ll use a hair brush to get more volume into the hair, helped by the layers. I blow dry it in sections, raising the section up from the roots with the hairbrush, letting the hot air go over it then holding it up whilst it cools down, before lowering the hairbrush. I could also curl it with my GHD straighteners (that’s a silly name when you can also use it to curl) but I haven’t tried that yet.

I just wet my hair, scrunch it, throw it over one shoulder and go.

Think this but with curls and no product.

You really have to experiment with your hair. It all depends on the type and texture of your hair.

Now mine is super curly and very thin. So I grow it long to weigh the curls out a bit, or the hair gets crazy, but I keep my bangs very short because I can’t stand hair in my eyes. I wash my hair every other day - I’ve tried all ways and that works the best - and then I brush all of the tangles out, put curl gel into it, and put hairclips in it if I want and then that’s pretty much how it is all day long. I never blowdry my hair (it just dries it out and makes it frizzy) and my hair maintenance doesn’t take more than ten minutes. I get it trimmed when I need it. The local supercuts does bang trimming for $6, so I do that fairly often, as soon as my hair reaches my eyes.

So you see if your hair is straight, this won’t work for you at all.

I don’t use a curling iron, but again, my hair is naturally curly, so I get away with a lot (at the price of enormous tangles!)

Basically you don’t NEED to have a lengthy hairstyling process. You find what you like and then modify it as needed. When I want to go fancy, I usually go with the braids - braids all around my head. And sometimes I can persuade someone to french braid it.

I have tried that, but a good hairdresser is not always a good teacher. “Just blow-dry it to the side with a bit of fudge” my hairdresser said. Then I am home and I can’t do what he did. For one thing, I was in the seat and he stood up. I have even tried taking the blow-dryer from him and styling my own hair while I was in the salon, but even then I just don’t have a clue. I guess he noticed, because in the end he said: I’ve cut it so that you only have to wash it, comb it while it is still wet, and then don’t touch it with any implement but your fingers. No comb, no bow-dryer, no hairbrush.

Which is practical advice, but my hair looks the part, too.

Maybe I should book an appointment just for styling lessons. My hair stylist does know my hair, he’s given me good cuts for the last five years.

Hazelnutcoffee, your remark on “tutorials” prompted me to look for tutorials o YouTube. Quite a lot of them out there, for blow-dryingas well as for the use of a curling iron. I’ll have a look there.

Just last week, I went for a haircut and made certain to explain to the stylist (who hadn’t understood when I went to her for my first cut) that I am practically disabled when it comes to hair styling. She took me through every step and gave me alternatives for what she was doing because my arms are not long enough to blow dry individual sections, and I get terribly bored with the idea after only doing half my hair.

Definitely, the best thing to do is find a style that fits your style, with a couple different ways you can do it. I find that the YouTube and Pinterest tutorials often skip over the one thing I can’t figure out how to do, and I end up screaming profanity at my computer, my hair, and the world in general.

If you’re going to be biking to work in the rain, that will pretty much negate any time you spent before you left the house, so those are the days to put it up and hope for the best. But even with my near-imbecilic level of experience, I have managed to find a style that doesn’t take more than ten minutes to make me look the way I want and doesn’t make me feel like my mother is staring back at me from the mirror.

It’s a lot of trial and error. If you have to go shorter to find what works, then do it. Hair grows back. Even when it’s disastrous. Good luck!