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‘Tis the season of hair tinsels, here’s how you can DIY the trend

By Malavika Pradeep

Dec 23, 2021

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Have you ever had the seasonal urge to rip a Christmas tree decoration and implant it into your hair instead? Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this. And given your commitment issues this cuffing season, I bet you’ll tag along—as we shift back into the magical era of hair tinsels, here to spice up those greasy locks you’ve been stuffing into beanies all December.

What are hair tinsels?

Remember Beyoncé running the world with glitter in her hair back in 2010? Yes, I’m talking about those “metallic wispy thingies”—as the media once called them—attached to her honey-hued locks as she strutted down the red carpet. Although Queen B was criticised and even mocked for “taking down her Christmas tree before the Grammys and forgetting to pull the extra tinsel out,” she fronted the rise of a dreamy new hair trend that is presently making an iridescent comeback—coupled with gen Z’s love-hate relationship with the early aughts.

Also known as fairy hair or glitter hair, hair tinsels are sparkly strands that can be weaved into your original hair at the root. With a variety of colours available for you to choose from, you can either opt to sprinkle them throughout your hair while embedding, or go all out and double your head up as full-blown cheerleading pom poms. In the chicest way possible, of course.

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Capable of withstanding the tests of time for a maximum period of eight weeks, hair tinsels can be subjected to washing, brushing, blow-drying, curling and of course, straightening. Heck, a couple of them are even chemical-free and have a heat resistance of up to 392°F (200°C). If someone asked me to name a versatile beauty invention, these tiny strings might be it. Packing for Coachella 2022 already? Stuff half of your suitcase with iridescent packets of hair tinsels—guaranteed to shine like the stars when the sun catches a glimpse of them. Want to channel your inner Queen B in front of your sunset lamp instead? You know where I’m going with this. They’ll also make a perfect addition to your addiction to meta selfies and digital flash photography.

Not only do the tie-in strands offer an inexpensive way to incorporate dimension and highlights into our locks, they do so without the commitment of permanent changes that are typically required to switch up our looks. In fact, you can have a major hair transformation if you choose to go all out on the trend. Sure, cheerleading pom poms might come into the equation if you have a sibling daring enough to tease you. But hey, you can always clip on and remove these baddies in the flick of an eye and flick their eyes in the process. Win-win, am I right?

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A shimmery resurgence rooted in nostalgia

Credited to the Y2K movement, the resurgence of hair tinsels can be traced back to 2019—when singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves looped them into her ponytail during her world tour. Since then, the trend has been replicated by brands like Insert Name Here Hair (INH Hair). A couple of months later, even actress Saoirse Ronan pulled off a variation of the emerging trend in the form of a braided crown.

On TikTok, hair tinsels seem to have a mind of their own. With 53 million views and counting on #hairtinsel, users gathered here are increasingly manifesting themselves into the signs others are looking for to jump on the trend. Decked with hair tutorials, styling advice and colour recommendations, the videos depict the versatility of the hair accessory. One example of the beauty affirmations you can fish out is that the length of your hair doesn’t really matter to participate in the trend. On Amazon, hair tinsels are available in a variety of options for the number of strands and the length you want to purchase per packet—the longest being 47 inches with 100 tinsels. And once you embed these, you can always choose to trim them with the level of your original hair. Pixie cut babes, it’s time to live out your wildest Lisa Frank dreams—well into 2022 and beyond.

If all of this talk has piqued your interest, I’ve got you covered. After spending an eternity down the shimmery rabbithole of hair tinsels, I’ve raked up all the DIY methods—along with all the dos and don’ts—to begin your journey into the sparkly style. For starters, decide the type of look you want to go for. You can either choose to keep the glitter subtle with peek-a-boo strands or blind your neighbours with heavy embeds. Once you make up your mind, Amazon is the magical platform you want to hit—in order to make your fairy hair dreams come true on a budget. A rough idea of the final output will then help guide your choices for the colour, number of strands and length. However, there’s a catch. There’ll be two options available for you to choose from: one with just the packet of strands, and the other with a complete DIY tool set.

These two alternatives loop into the method of installation that you prefer. The first technique is what I would term a ‘freestyle tinsel’. All you need are the sparkly strands and your ambidextrous hands. What you want to do is grab a piece of tinsel and fold it in half to make a loop. Now, you have to tie a slip knot here by pulling the ends of the strands through the loop you’ve made using your index and thumb finger. Don’t tighten the knot all the way just yet. Choose the preferred place to embed the baddies on your head and section off a few strands of your original hair. Now loop the tinsel with your anchor hair, tighten and pull down towards your scalp. For extra security, you can make another slip knot or choose to tie a double knot with each side of the tinsel strand.

As for the second method, your DIY kit will arrive with a packet of microbeads—known as guards, available in the colour of your original hair—along with a sectioning tool and a clamper. The first step here is to take your hair tinsel and bead a guard before tying it in a knot at the center of the strand. Next, pick up the bead with your long sectioning tool, part the perfect piece of hair on your head with the hook end of the tool and pull it through the bead. Then get your hand on the clamper and squish the bead until they flatten out and tighten into your hair. And voila, you’re done. Oh, and don’t forget to trim the excess. Or leave them in if you’d prefer otherwise. Your hair, your rules.

When it comes to removing hair tinsels, you can either choose to slide them off in the first method—provided you haven’t tightened the soul out of the strand—or take the clamping tool and press the bead open in the opposite direction of what you had secured it earlier. If properly installed, the beauty innovation will cause zero damage to your hair while sprucing up your aura.

With strategic minimalism in the forefront, hair tinsels are guaranteed to level up your muted cardigans all winter. Plus, they’re great conversation starters—for the better or the worse depending on the crowd—unlike that one time your crush pointed out a glittery strand of grey hair on your head years ago. Blonde locks might be cheugy but blonde with hair tinsels are definitely not. And given the motto of this festive season, the more the merrier.

How to identify your hair porosity type (and properly care for it)

By Lisa Hunchenko

Feb 21, 2021

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When it comes to establishing a healthy and beneficial hair care routine, it might not be enough to determine whether you have dry or oily hair and scalp to then simply pick your hair-care products accordingly. Proper care should be based on a deeper factor: your hair’s porosity level.

None of the barbers, even with the most professional hairdressing scissors sets, will be able to make your hair look good if you do not know how to maintain your hair condition once you’ve stepped outside the salon. If you are not familiar with the term, porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture in the outermost layer of your hair called the cuticle. To stay healthy, your hair needs to stay hydrated. To penetrate the hair, oils, moisturising products, and water need to get through the cuticles. Hair porosity determines how easy it is for these elements to do so.

Below, you will find essential information to figure out your hair porosity type as well as how to care for different hair types. Let’s get started!

Testing your hair porosity

Using a simple glass of water, you can quickly and easily determine your hair porosity. Here are three simple steps:

1. Pour a glass of water.
2. Take a strand of your hair and put it in the glass. But make sure to wash your hair thoroughly before doing this, so there are no remains of hair care or styling products on it.
3. Observe if the strand of hair sinks to the bottom of the glass or sits on top of the water.

And here is the key to interpreting what you see. If the strand floats on top, this means you have low porosity hair. On the other hand, if the hair quickly sinks to the bottom, you have high porosity hair. If the hair floats in the middle of the glass, you most likely have medium porosity hair (or normal porosity).

Low porosity

Low porosity hair is generally considered healthy. It is shiny, not easily electrified, and dense. However, the cuticles are closely spaced, which makes the hair resistant to styling and not great at absorbing moisture. Curls usually fall apart quickly for this type of hair.

Low porosity hair is difficult to wet—in high humidity, it remains normal. This type of hair also tends to accumulate protein-rich hair care products on its surface, which makes it straw-like and heavy. Therefore, it is essential to use very light products with moisturising components that contain almost no proteins, so that they do not make the hair look greasy.

To get more from your hair care routine, you can slightly warm up your hair right after applying a mask or conditioner or simply try a deep-conditioning method.

Normal (or medium) porosity

Medium porosity hair has a slightly loose cuticle layer, which allows it to retain only the necessary amount of moisture. Thus, it keeps hair clear of both excess evaporation and the strong accumulation of moisture. Normal porosity hair, as a rule, keeps styling well and can be chemically curled and coloured with predictable results. It does not require special hairdressing treatments and solutions, but over time, these procedures may damage the hair and increase its porosity.

It is recommended to give normal porosity hair the occasional treatment of restorative deep penetrating conditioners with proteins that bring tangible benefits. Bear in mind that proteins should not be applied in daily hair care as they can also have a negative cumulative effect.

High porosity

High porosity hair is generally dry, brittle, and fragile. It is usually the result of previous aggressive chemical treatments, excessive heat styling, lack of proper care, environmental damage, or its genetic property (for example, curly hair). When taking care of highly porous hair, it is necessary to use special products (mainly silicone-based), which prevent the absorption of too much moisture. It is even more important in a climate with high temperature and humidity. This will help seal the cuticle and prevent porous hair from absorbing moisture from the air.

Due to its high porosity, this hair type can also easily lose moisture, so it is essential to implement leave-in moisturising conditioners in your hair care routine. These products will help to maintain the necessary level of moisture in your hair. You can also use products rich in protein to help fill in the damage in the cuticle layer and protect the high porosity hair types from losing a large amount of moisture in the long run.

All in all, hair porosity is one of the decisive factors when choosing suitable products for your hair. It is determined genetically, but with the lack of proper care, your hair’s condition may also alter your hair porosity. Things that negatively affect porosity are overwashing, blow-drying and straightening, frequent colouring, and ultraviolet exposure. It is better to avoid such harsh treatments and damaging products to ensure your hair gets enough—but not too much—moisture to keep it healthy.

 

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