Hair styles: The best ways to achieve a slightly spiked women’s look
Advice for women on creating a slightly spiky hair style, including tips on what products to use and techniques to get the best results.
Taking the plunge to cut one’s hair short, especially “boy short”, can be very scary for women. Long, flowing locks seem to represent an infinite number of styling possibilities, while short hair may appear to offer just the opposite. However, this is clearly not the case. Today droves of actresses and other celebrities are opting for shorter hair, jump-starting a revival of the short hair craze. These bold ladies are proving that even the shortest hair can be fun, edgy, and sexy, while still maintaining a certain controlled stylishness. And the most popular style seems to be the slightly spiked “pixie” cut. But how can the everyday girl, short on time and lacking a personal entourage of beauty consultants, achieve this look on a day-to-day basis? It is surprisingly simple, provided she has the right tools and a little know-how.
There are a few basic styling products that a girl with short hair should have on hand. The following can be used in a variety of ways to create different styles, ranging from sleek to extreme. It’s important to know, as you walk down the hair products aisle of your local drug store, that more expensive does not necessarily mean better. Don’t worry about brand names; instead, compare ingredients. In many cases, all that separates high-end products from the less expensive is fragrance and coloration. Of course, there are exceptions, and you should feel free to experiment with whatever catches your eye.
Now let’s cover some of the essentials you might like to keep in your bathroom. A basic styling gel, ranging from medium to strong hold, is great for a variety of styling techniques. Choose the level of hold based on your preferred look: if you want more intense spiking or a “wet” look, go for the strongest hold you can find. Most stores also carry specialized “super spiking gels” especially for these more extreme looks. However, if you’re going for a style you can wear to work without attracting too much attention, you might want to opt for a medium hold gel. Next, look for some type of pomade (also known as hair wax). This product comes in a variety of “mediums”, including a pliable form which is applied with the fingers and a spray-on, which is similar to an aerosol hair spray. The former tends to be preferable for short hair, since it is easier to work with and less likely to weigh hair down. Third, a root lifter spray can be handy in several ways, which will be explained later. Try to find one with a precision shooting nozzle, for easy application at the roots. Naturally, you will also want to pick up some hair spray, choosing its strength of hold as you would the styling gel. Also nice to have, although certainly not necessary, is a finishing “shine” spray.
Just as there are certain “must-have” products for your styling routine, there are a number of others which should be avoided, since they are usually ineffective at producing the right results and are, therefore, only a waste of money. First, steer clear of flexible or light hold hair sprays and styling gels, as well as mousse. You will find that you have to use a great deal more of these products to achieve the results you want, leading to a dulling build-up in your hair. Next, pass up hair glue, unless you are endeavoring for a very intense spiked look. This product becomes hard once it dries, leaving you with a head full of gravity-defying spikes, which is most likely a far more “rock star” look than you have in mind for your hair.
Once you have your supply of styling products at hand, along with a good blow dryer and curling iron, you’re ready to create your new look. Start out with hair that’s towel dried until slightly damp. If you have thin or typically flat hair, apply some root lifter where you’d like extra volume, such as around the face or at the crown of the head, massaging it into the scalp. Next, apply a small amount of styling or spiking gel, keeping in mind that using too much will only cause build-up. Work it in from the roots to the tips, adding some water if necessary to keep your hair slightly damp. Use your fingers to begin molding your hair, and use a blow dryer to help it along. Manipulating the hair in a zigzag fashion will help develop the look of spiking and give you a chunkier affect. Apply some pomade (wax) to your fingertips and twist the tips of your hair into spikes wherever you desire. The pomade can help define bangs, pixie sideburns, and hair at the neck and it will remain soft and pliable for later touch-ups throughout the day. Take care not to use too much, as it can make the hair look oily. Once you are happy with your style, use hair spray to hold everything in place, and finish off with a light spritzing of shine spray to create a glossy sheen.
If you are looking for a slightly softer, less-structured look, try skipping styling gel altogether or adding only a small amount. When blow drying your hair, use a small round brush instead of your fingers. Try using a 1/4 to ½ inch curling iron to soften and lift hair at the crown of the head and around the face. As before, use a small amount of pomade rubbed between the palms to add definition and soft spikes where desired. If you’re in a hurry or want a no-hassle ‘do, simply apply pomade to slightly damp hair, style as desired with your fingers, and go. The best part of a short hair style is the freedom and versatility it can provide.
Of course, the tips mentioned above are only general guidelines and suggestions. The styles you can create are only limited by your imagination. Let yourself experiment with different products and techniques. Before long, you will discover that you look forward to finding new ways of expressing yourself and your own individual style.