Heels & Picks: Punk hair goes glam

Nov. 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

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BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser

I woke up with a serious case of hair blahs the other morning.

Ladies, you know the feeling. After trying a few hairstyles you’re ready to cut yourself a mullet or a Sinead O’Connor and call it a day. We’ve all been there.

A bolder move is to go for a color change (trust me, I considered it, and in years past, I would have), but the reality is it only takes a simple addition of a new hairstyle to to really feel like you’ve got something new happening in your love affair with your hair.

The author rocking a popular new hairstyle that mixes short and long. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

The author rocking a popular new hairstyle that mixes short and long. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

I’ve been straightening my hair pretty often lately, fastening it back into a slick, sleek, mid-level ponytail. This is part of the look I’m wearing in support of my upcoming solo album. It’s very Robert Palmer, “Addicted to Love.” I am supposed to be arriving with this hairstyle at most events, but on a day off with my boyfriend, I wanted something a little less time-consuming and a little more breezy. A little Hawai’i mixed with glam.

Plus, T (short for “Trouble”) loves my curls and I generally leave it wavy when we spend time together.

While flipping through the pages of fashion magazines, I noticed a hairstyle that showed up frequently — a deep side part, hair swept largely and luxuriously to one side, and a few small braids pinned back on the opposite side from the sweep. It looked great and seemed really easy.

We are all busy. Straightening long hair takes forever with or without the right tools. I use a straightener that runs hotter than Hades, but it straightens my long, thick hair quickly and without round-brushing it with a hairdryer first. Score! More on that for another blog, but the company is called PYT and I bought my straightener from a kiosk at Ala Moana Center. I’m not even joking.

After you’ve taken the time to straighten your hair, you end up going in the ocean or getting caught in the rain, and all your work is for naught as your hair frizzes up and shrinks five inches. Am I right?

So I decided to take a style cue from the stars — Kristen Stewart, Scarlet Johansson and Chanel Iman have all made appearances with this hairstyle recently — and try this look.

After washing my hair, I spritzed it with “It’s a 10” leave-in conditioner. That stuff is GOLD and makes your hair soft and manageable. Then I used a dime-sized portion of Paul Brown’s “Diamond Heads” shine serum, my other go-to hair product. I partially dried my hair (using a diffuser works best for capturing and accentuating any natural wave) and was ready to style.

Using a comb, I parted my hair deeply on the left side, sweeping most of my hair to the right. I sectioned off two pieces on the left, made two small braids and pinned them back with bobby pins. Voila! Hairstyle done. You can use a curling iron to refine the look, or if your hair is not prone to wave naturally and you need some lift.

This style is unique in that it is a nod to 1990s volume, embraces your hair’s natural texture and is great for both running errands in Kailua and attending a glitzy event in town.

There is another element to this look that I love – the braided portion feels a little like the punk, half-shaved look that I so desperately always want to do again. Yes, I said again.

The punk element was confirmed for me by one of my favorite hair and makeup artists, the beautiful Chrissy Swink of Make up and Hair Maui. I checked in to get her take on this current trend.

“I love this style because it allows girls/women to give themselves and edgy take on the ever-so-brave act of shaving the side of one’s head,” she said. “It’s also a great way to showcase a bold eye but still allows us ladies who like to hide behind our hair to have the comfort of one side down.

“So ladies, be careful and make sure you pick your favorite side of your face before choosing the side you will braid!”

True story, I made a career on Maui of hiding half of my face behind my mane of hair. No wonder I love this style!

Hair and makeup artist Dhyana Leung of Face Art Beauty Oahu, another favorite of mine whom I think is beyond fantastic, had a few pointers as well.

“I love this style! It’s very fresh and hip for this season,” Leung said. “This particular style works great with medium to thick hair. If you have thin/fine hair, instead of doing a braid, you can twist the side of your hair and pin.”

Back in the day, I would have shaved the side of my head on a blah hair day and let my punk flag fly. These days, the glamor, do-for-a-day look is more my speed. Now I have a way to emulate the punk-meets-glam look I want, while still keeping my mop of beachy waves. Win-win.
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Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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