It's Friday evening ... party time! But can you possibly morph your workday hair into a shiny, sexy, ready-to-rumba 'do in less than 30 minutes? You bet. This holiday season, get your head together with natural moisturizing oils, lustrous smoothers, and sparkly accessories. You don't even have to shampoo first—you can start this easy, three-step transformation as soon as you walk in the door.
Moisturize and condition
Harsh wintertime conditions—cold weather, heated rooms, and steamy showers, to name a few—all contribute to dry, frizzy, and tangled hair. Fortunately, just a smidge of natural oil will condition and moisturize damaged, flyaway tresses. "Since the days of Cleopatra, women have known about using natural oils to smooth and detangle hair," says Dianne Thompson, a hair designer and stylist (with a chemistry background) based in Scotts Valley, California. "Natural oils, such as olive, peanut, and rosemary, are best because they won't lie heavily on your hair."
Start by rubbing a drop or two of oil—we like Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil—on your palms and fingers. Starting with the ends of your hair and working toward the roots, massage the oil into your hair (not scalp). "Because hair follicles' sebaceous glands produce natural oil, less is needed at the roots and more is needed at the ends, farthest away from the follicles," says Thompson. "The oil also will help to smooth the outer layer of the hair shaft, known as the cuticle, making hair appear shinier and easier to style." After rubbing in the oil, gently brush to detangle and to smooth down the cuticle.
Add shine with sand
Getting sand in your hair might be a problem at the beach, but savvy stylists know that it helps hair shine under the twinkling holiday lights. "Silicone, a moisturizer derived from sand, helps to create or enhance the smooth protective layer over the hair cuticle, creating an instantly luminescent shine that makes hair look very healthy," says Thompson. Just a few sprays of a natural silicone-based hair gloss (try Giovanni Organics' Shine of the Times) enhance the conditioning agent you've already worked in (oil), providing a lasting sheen. Spritz it on wet or dry hair for instant shine—no brushing needed.
Style and go!
Your hair is smooth, silky, shiny—all you need now is a killer style. Depart from your everyday look with something up and elegant, long and sexy, or short and sassy. "Styling your hair differently for a special occasion can make a huge difference in your appearance," says Thompson. "The right style can really make your best features pop and can bring out the special glow people have when they love their hair." (See "Hair Candy," below, for style ideas.) Add extra sparkle with easy accessories, such as a beaded barrette, bracelet, or hair comb—try one made by Smoothies or World of Good, often available at natural product stores. Voilà! Now you're ready to turn some heads.
Freelance writer Adina Licht loves her new easy, quick, and shiny party hair.