Behind The Hair - Sarah Potempa Blog
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Miranda Cosgove

Recently, celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa stopped by the Cosmopolitan office to style Miranda Cosgrove for these mesmerizing hair videos. Sarah styled Miranda with a Five Strand Dutch Braid, Halo Snake Braid, and a Half Up Boxed Fishtail Bun.

 

Five Strand Dutch Braid

 

Halo Snake Braid 

 

Half Up Boxed Fishtail Braid 

 

For a detailed, step-by-step tutorial, check out Cosmopolitan's article here.


 

10 Tips For Having the Best Hair Day Ever

Tips for the perfect hair day? Yes please!

 

1) There’s no such thing as too much texture.

If your hair can sometimes fall flat, use a dry shampoo or texture spray. Spritz at your roots, flip your head over, and work it into your hair with your fingers for a tousled, pumped-up look.

 

2) Think thermal.

Be sure to use a heat protectant before using curling irons, blow-dryers, or straighteners. Effective thermal protectants will hydrate your hair and shield it from the damaging effects of high heat.

 

3) Choose your part.

Go with how your hair falls naturally, because it makes for the easiest styling. “Just make sure that the part you create doesn’t fight with a cowlick,” adds Orlando Pita. For a more modern vibe: “I would say keep your part off-center and just slightly to one side.”

 

4) Hydrate for health.

Avoid sulfate-laden shampoos that strip hair, and reduce the frequency of your hair washes. When you shampoo your hair too often, it strips it of its natural oils. You can also use a leave-in conditioner to help hydrate your hair.

 

5) Sleep on silks (seriously!).

“Using a silk pillowcase or a satin hair bonnet is a great way to keep your hair moisturized at night,” explains Lacy Redway

 

6) Get hands-on.

Try detangling your hair with your fingers first. Then, if you  still need some more help, try using a wide-tooth comb.

 

7) Care for your color.

Step one: moisture. “Grab Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and deep-condition your hair once or twice a week,” says Sarah Potempa. “Doing so will lock in the moisture and leave your hair silky smooth.” Step two: maintenance. “Talk to your colorist about doing an at-home clear gloss between color appointments,” she advises.

 

8) Learn some shortcuts.

“With a good haircut, you can add mousse to enhance the natural wave pattern in seconds,” explains Sarah Potempa. “You do this simply by scrunching the hair up and twisting it away from the face.” For quick fixes throughout the day, try the Beachwaver Co. Mini Touch Up.

 

9) Try these smooth moves.

For smooth hair, conditioning your ends is a good start. Sarah recommends putting your hair in a braid or bun overnight to get a jump-start on smooth strands in the morning. 

 

10) Think long term.

“Spend the extra 15 minutes on the first day, and your hair will continue to look incredible with minor touch-ups,” says Sarah. With the Beachwaver, you can create your foundation of curls on day one, which will become looser, relaxed waves on day two. For days three and four, you can use that existing texture and create a braid or texturized ponytail.

 

Full article here


 
 

Braid Inspiration

Recently, Sarah Potempa, celebrity hairstylist and creator of 365 days of braids, was featured in Refinery 29's article on The Best Bold, Beautiful Braid Inspiration. Check out some of her favorite braids, many of which you can easily recreate yourself!

 

"This braid is perfect for an elegant updo, and is just made by tying knots!" — Sarah Potempa

 

"A great way to frame your face is to use a small braid to pull hair back and away from your face, like this braid I created on Emily Blunt." — Sarah Potempa

 

Add some flair to your workout with this 'do. "Braid your hair back into a ponytail, and then use the Beachwaver Co Wrap Up Bun to create the perfect topknot," Potempa suggests.

 

"This braid is perfect as festival season is coming up for a subtle, yet fun [look]." — Sarah Potempa

 

"An alternative to the mohawk is to create volume with a braid. Fishtail-braid your hair in the center of your head, and then pancake it for additional volume." — Sarah Potempa

 

"I love this hairstyle because it’s an edgy, but fun alternative to a mohawk — and very easy to do!" — Sarah Potempa

 

Do this half-up fishtail braid yourself in four simple steps. Start by sectioning the hair to begin the fishtail braid at the top. After securing the end with an elastic, lightly tug on and pull out pieces from the braid to create a cool shape.

 

This fishtail braid incorporates the same steps, except with the focus on the sides of your head. After you've completed the style, pull both your braids and beach waves into a ponytail for a cute peekaboo moment.

 

"I love finding different variations of the French braid. This style only uses two strands." — Sarah Potempa

 

For this crown braid look, Potempa started out by braiding two sections of hair, one behind the left ear and another on the right. After loosening and pancaking both braids a bit, she wrapped them over the top of the head, securing them with bobby pins.

 

To re-create this "mega French braid," as Potempa's dubbed it, start by teasing hair at the root for volume. Next, create a bump at the front of the hair, securing it with bobby pins. French-braid the hair as usual, and secure it on the end with a clear elastic. Lastly, pull on each loop of the braid to "pancake and add volume," Potempa says.

 

Link to full article here

 

 

 


 
 

11 Super Simple Hacks to Make Your Thick Hair More Manageable

 

Sometimes thick hair can be harder to manage, but with these tips, you'll be a pro in no time.

1. Ask your hairstylist to "take the weight out" of your hair.

Sarah Potempa says, "adding long layers gives thick hair movement, while blending these layers with texturizing shears helps to lighten the hair."

2. Use serum.

Serums can reduce frizziness and help your strands lay flatter. 

3. Ask your hairstylist for an undercut.

When you remove hair at the nape of your neck, your hair will lay more smooth and look more sleek.

4. Use your flat iron.

A flat iron will help hair to look sleeker.

5. Use a rubber hair tie.

A rubber hair tie will hold thick hair nicely.  They grip firmly and hold hair in place.

6. Try a half-up 'do.

Thick hair is perfect for a half-up hairstyle. It will take the thickness out of the bottom layer of your hair. The Half Up is the perfect solution to a half up bun.

7. Grow your hair out.

When your hair is longer, it gets heavier and will help to reduce the amount of volume.

8. Comb your hair with a paddle brush while you're in the shower.

Sarah Potempa says you should brush your hair after you've conditioned to get rid of knots, then again with a wide tooth comb once you get out of the shower to rid your hair of tangles for good.

9. Rock a center part.

A center part evenly distributes your hair. When you have a side part, one side of the hair appears much thicker.

 

10. Use a clarifying shampoo.

Sarah Potempa says this will keep your hair from being weighed down with grease and extra product.

11. Never leave the house with wet hair.

Sarah Potempa says you should "wait for your hair to dry all the way before leaving the house." Wind and humidity can all make your hair messy and dry hair holds its shape much better than damp hair.

 

Full article here.


 
 

Tips for Beautiful Hair

1. Find your frequency.

People with thinner hair should be washing their hair more often than those with thicker hair. Thin hair can be washed every other day, while thicker hair can go every four days, or maybe even once a week.

"Nobody should be washing their hair every single day. Most people think that by washing their hair daily, that they are getting rid of the oil in their hair, but they are actually drying out their scalp even more and therefore producing more oil," says Sarah Potempa.

2. Clarify your intentions.

A clarifying shampoo is great to remove excess oil in the hair that's left over from products.

3. Condition the right places.

Don't condition your roots, where oil is already produced. Condition only the ends of your hair, where it will help to smooth the ends.

4. Try dry conditioner.

Using dry conditioner on the ends of hair will help it look fresh!

5. Remember, less is more.

"I would focus on one or two great products to start and finish your hair, if any, and I guarantee you'll see more out of your blow dry than overloading on products," DJ Quintero says.

6. Add heat.

After blow drying hair, use a flat iron or curling iron on the ends to help the hair stay smooth.

7. Get a shower cap.

Using a shower cap will make it easier to shower and keep your hair out of the way. Jacquelyn De Jesu, the founder of SHHHOWER CAP, has introduced a new line of caps that are anti-bacterial, anti-humidity, machine-washable and come in chic patterns.

8. Style in your sleep.

Keeping your hair on the top of your head while you sleep will help give your hair a nice lift. Use something to hold the hair that will not leave a dent when you wake up. 

9. Spray the oil away.

Dry shampoo is wonderful to spritz and go. It will take away the oil and leave your roots with some nice volume.

Link to full article here.


 
 

Static Hair No More

In the winter, the dry air is unavoidable, but static hair doesn't have to come along with it. We have some tips and tricks from hair experts to help subdue the static.

1. Spritz On Moisturizing Spray

2. Use Dryer Sheets On Your Hair

 

We've heard it all before, and it works! "Another trick that always works is to rub a dryer sheet over your hair," Marino explains. "The way they work to prevent static cling on your clothes, it does the same for your hair!"

3. Add Hairspray


Aussie Sprunch Hairspray, $3.43, aussie.com

4. Leave Conditioner In

"In the shower, leave a little bit of your conditioner on the ends to add moisture to the hair while avoiding frizz," Potempa says. In the shower, with the water running, use a paddle brush to distribute the conditioner evenly throughout the hair. "This will allow you to de-tangle hair in the shower and not have to brush wet hair after," she explains.

5. Add Cool Temperatures

"Closing the cuticle will also help with avoiding static," Sarah Potempa reveals. "This includes a cool rinse in the shower and a cool shot from the blow dryer." 

6. Take A Dryer Sheet To Your Pillow

Just like Marissa Marino, Potempa says, "If all else fails, rub a dryer sheet on your pillow at night to help avoid waking up with static!"
Full article here

 
 

The Best Haircuts for Your Face Shape

Ever wonder what the most flattering haircut is for your face shape? Not to worry, we've got you covered. From a round face, to a diamond, square, long, oval, or heart face, there are hairstyles to flatter each.

 

Oval Face:

Women with oval face shapes can go with quite a few different haircuts. Sarah Potempa says that long layers allow for movement, especially when waving your hair. Also, by adding volume to the sides of the hair, it rounds out an oval face by adding width to the face.

 

Diamond Face:

"The best hairstyles will create the appearance of a fuller and wider forehead and chin, and soften the diamond shape," says Kristan Serafino. By tucking hair behind the ear, it's great to show off your wonderful cheekbones. "Go for angled bobs that are longer in the front and will cover the width of the cheeks," says Sarah Potempa

 

Square Face:

Enzo Angileri says a tousled bob is great with a square-shaped face "since it emphasizes layers and will de-emphasize any squareness."

Kristan Serafino also says, "The best hairstyles will soften the edges of the face line with wispy layers, sweeping side fringe, and volume at the crown of the head."

 

 

Round Face:

If you have a round face, you want to create height and length. "A hairstyle with longer layers will make your neck and face appear more slender," says Sarah Potempa.

Kristan Serafino recommends a center part, long bob, and short cut with a full top. "Avoid harsh angular styles, tight curls, and thick bangs that all shorten the appearance of the face," she says.

 

Long Face:

Width at the cheekbones distracts from the length of longer faces. Sarah Potempa suggests side-swept bangs to help shorten the face. 

"A shoulder-length haircut is the most flattering—somewhere between the chin and shoulders.  You want to create width, which you can easily do with waves." - Enzo Angileri

 

Heart Shape:

Long layers that frame the face can help compensate for a wider forehead.

Sarah Potempa says bangs are a great way to conceal a wider forehead. Styling your long layers "down and out," like curling them away from your face, will draw away from the width of your forehead.

 

Full article here.


 
 

Hacks That Will Leave Your Hair Tangle-Free Forever

Tangled hair? Not a problem anymore! Check out these hacks to live life tangle-free:

In the shower
“Avoid adding water to hair that’s knotty beyond belief,” recommends celeb stylist Juan Carlos. Be sure to brush your hair before you get in the shower.

Another thing to keep your hair without tangles is to not go overboard on the amount of shampoo used in the shower. "It isn’t necessary to wash from root to tip to get shampoo ad-worthy hair," says Sarah Potempa. “The spot you should concentrate on is the roots — otherwise you risk drying out your ends, making them more susceptible to tangling.” After using conditioner, turn the temperature in the shower down. “Piping hot water opens up the cuticle, essentially making it easier for hair to knot,” Sarah says. She suggests thinking of the cuticle like shingles on a roof. “By sealing it with cool water, it lays flat and won’t catch.”

Post-Shower
Hair can stretch up to 50% more when wet, so it's important to be very careful if brushing it when wet. “Brushing wet hair without the right tools can tear the cuticle,” says Shaun Pulfrey. “And if it’s damaged, the cuticle won’t lie flat.” 

Styling
Blowdrying in the wrong direction can also cause knots. Sarah Potempa recommends pointing the dryer downwards, parallel to your hair. “Most girls blowdry their hair perpendicular to their heads, and wind up fraying the ends.” Frayed ends mean knots, because dry or damaged hair is more likely to get caught on itself. 

If you’re aiming for looser curls, curl your hair with the ends out. Tight curls are more likely to get tangled.

If you do come across a large knot, try massaging a hydrating conditioner into it and gently trying to break it up with your fingers until it loosens. Then, use paddle brush to get rid of the rest of the knot. “The bristles move with the hair and have a bit of give, so there is no tearing of the hair,” Tippi Shorter says.

Sleep
Brush your hair before you go to bed. “Girls will attempt to save a style by not brushing it, but that’s just a recipe for bedhead, and not the desirable kind,” Juan Carlos says. Braiding or tying hair up before going to sleep can help to reduce tangles — just be sure to switch up the position or style every night. “If you wear the same style to bed every night, over and over, you can end up damaging your hair because the ties tug at the same place,” Sarah Potempa notes.  Finally, a silk pillowcase can help to reduce pesky knots because hair strands won't catch silk. “No matter your texture, the key is to keep hair from rubbing on the pillow while you sleep,” Tippi Shorter says. 

 

 


Full article can be found here.

 


 
 

Mamie Gummer

Sarah styled the beautiful Mamie Gummer for her press tour for her new movie, Ricki and the Flash! In the movie, Mamie stars along side her talented real life mom, Meryl Streep!