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PayScale Gets Swink’d: Best Office Hair


We've all been there. It's after lunch on a crazy Wednesday at the office and you just happen to glance a peek at yourself in the reflection of your computer screen. Your hair looks as frazzled as you feel. Many of us resort to the emergency ponytail, grabbing the rubber band from our desk drawer and hurriedly putting our hair up. Still, we don't feel as confident as we did when we left the house. Luckily, there are simple tools and tricks for preventing the Wednesday Hair Frazzles.

To figure out how to deal with crazy office hair, we went to the experts at Swink Style Bar in Seattle. Swink Style Bar, one of Elle magazine's Top 100 Salons, is a beacon of style for Seattle women. Walk in, sit down, and in thirty minutes you will leave with a swingy blow-out, a chic dry-style, or a sleek updo. 

Of course, the ladies at Swink know that not every city is lucky enough to have a hair fashion HQ. For those of you in cities without Swink, listen to their advice and wave goodbye to bad hair days for good. 

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Step one is always, always start with a good blow-out. When I went into Swink for my appointment, the Seattle drizzle had turned my hair into a mixture of poofiness, frizziness, and drowned-poodle-ness. I was a mess. My stylist, Chantelle, was not discouraged. She washed my dry hair with Aveda Damage Remedy shampoo and conditioner. Then, she used Aveda Smooth Infusion to prep my hair for the blow-out. Starting underneath my towel-dried hair, she worked in the Smooth Infusion serum from the back of my hair, going forward toward the front. 

Next, Chantelle blow-dried my hair until it was about 75 percent dry. She worked in a straightening balm and some Aveda Brilliance cream at the ends, which would weigh down my cuticle (eliminating the poof) and add hold to the style. So far, she hadn't even taken a brush to my hair and just let it float free around my face while she worked the blow-dryer. 

The last step of the blow-out was to section off my hair with clips and, using a large barrel brush, dry each section completely. 

The Touch Test: The biggest mistake when it comes to a blow-out is not drying the hair 100 percent, which causes hair to frizz when you step outside. The cuticle is still open, so no matter how much product you use, the hair will frizz. Want to prevent frizz? Make sure hair is 100 percent dry. After drying hair, let it sit for a few seconds. If it is still cool to your touch, it isn't dry yet. Hair should be room temperature-warm when you touch it. Try drying your hair, doing your makeup, and then attempt the touch-test. 

The Greatest Emergency Hair Kit Ever

Want to keep your hair looking good all the time? Add the following to your desk drawer or laptop bag: 

  • Two bobby pins
  • One pencil or chopstick 
  • Rubber band

With just these tools, you can create a couple looks that are perfect for the board room. 

First, try the half-up/half-down trick. 

  • When hair is down, grab a one-inch section from the left side of your hair, above your ear. 
  • Cross it over to the right side and secure in the middle with one bobby pin.
  • Take a section of hair from the right side of your hair, above the ear.
  • Cross it over and secure in the middle with a bobby pin.

Swink hair 1

*Trick for the bobby pin: Start at the bottom of the piece you are securing, move the bobby pin up the section and then twist it back down to secure. 

For an updo, start with the style above. Gather the hair into a low ponytail and twist the bottom of the ponytail around your finger and up. Then, using a pencil or chopstick (or more bobby pins), secure. See the picture for help: 

Swink hair 2

Lovely hair is a couple simple steps away!

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! What are your favorite hairstyles for the office? What is in your emergency hair kit? Leave a comment or tweet to us and Swink Style Bar to keep the conversation going.

Special thanks to the ladies at Swink Style Bar for the hair tutorial! 

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