You Asked It

Damn Girl Ya Look Good

Wild curls, thinning hair, school uniforms, and the tyranny of dresses.

I really like my hair. It’s red and and curly, which is nice. But it’s completely unmanageable. It’s super thick and really frizzy. No matter how long I grow it out, it just looks like an afro. I tried putting gel in it, but I ended up using too much, and my hair just looked crunchy. Do you have any advice for products I could use to make it less frizzy?

HALLOW YOUR HAIR SOUNDS AMAZING! My first instinct is to tell you to destroy all of your hair-related inhibitions and let that shit fly free like the bad-assest of ladies, Grace Coddington. OK, maybe that doesn’t help you, but I’m just really into WILD, BIG HAIR!

Clockwise from top left: Grace Coddington, Rihanna, Marisa Ribisi, Natasha Lyonne

First of all, toss the gel. You can’t use Pauly D’s tube of L.A. Looks for your unique locks. We need SPECIAL PRODUCTS for a SPECIAL LADY. Secondly, how often do you wash your hair? Daily washing can increase DA FRIZZ, so try washing it every few days. Get a good dry shampoo to deal with the in-between, like this one from Batiste. When you do wash it, use products that are specially made for your ’do. A curly-haired friend of mine says Miss Jessie’s Crème De La Curl conditioning wash is the jam. The Be Curly Kit by Aveda might also be good to try out at some point. In the meantime, I would start off with their Be Curly Curl Enhancer, which is good for keeping your curls locked in whilst taming the frizz. When it comes to drying, a regular towel can be too harsh, so use an old T-shirt instead. Here, you can even borrow mine. Gently scrunch your hair with the shirt while squeezing out any excess water. This is when you will want to apply a product that will help smooth out the frizz while making it shiny at the same time, such as Organix Moroccan Argan Oil. If you want to blow-dry your hair a little, make sure to use a diffuser to help shape your curls and prevent frizz.

I’m always looking for cute style inspiration on places like Tumblr or Blogger, but most of the outfits I see there include skirts or dresses. I’m a jeans girl and that’s all I really wear, so if you have any cute ideas, I would appreciate it! —Claudia, Michigan

I’m so glad you asked this question because I, too, have noticed the tyranny of dresses and skirts in the fashion blogging community! Girls brag about not having worn jeans in nine million years, as if there’s something inherently less stylish about the almighty denim. Well, I am here to proclaim that the adorableness of jeans is AT LEAST on par with that of dresses and skirts, and I, for one, plan to live in them all summer. My favorite denim look right now is “dumb T-shirt with mom jeans.” Here, I took a photo to show you how awesome it is:

Image via Born in Flames

Everything I’m wearing here is vintage, from my hand-drawn Shakespeare tee to my navel-grazing high-waisted flares. Thrift stores everywhere are stuffed to the brim with high-waisted jeans and awesome dumb T-shirts, or you can grab a Sharpie and draw your own design on a plain white tee, perhaps using Daniel Johnston (the drawing on Kurt’s shirt is his) or Patti Smith as inspiration. This look is about comfort, so don’t overthink the shoes: I usually just throw on my white high-top Chucks or my Bass saddle shoes and am on my way.

Another great jeans look is wearing a tucked-in or tied-up little blouse with a dark skinny jean. One of my favorite bloggers, Nadia Aboulhosn, does this look SO GOOD:

Skinny jeans are a little harder to thrift, so I recommend Forever 21’s Classic Skinnies, which last about a million times longer than an $11 pair of jeans should. Also, American Apparel’s Easy Jeans look amazing and go up to size 2XL. Throw on your favorite gauzy blouse or denim shirt, a little heel or wedge, and dare someone to tell you you ain’t as cute as a girl in a dress! —Leeann

I have the thinnest hair on the planet! Do you have any tips on how I could make it thicker without resorting to a “hair transplant”? Are there any products that I could use? Is there a certain haircut or hair color that I should stick to? —Kitty, the Philippines

Kitty! You are not alone when it comes to having thin hair. Fortunately, in this day and age, there are plenty of products and options for thin-haired folks to try out. Sometimes a vitamin deficiency can be the root of the problem, so I would suggest talking to a doctor first to make sure you are OK in that department. When it comes to a hairstyle, getting a layered cut that is above shoulder-length may help since long, same-length hair can look heavy and might exaggerate the thinning. You should also use an organic, sulfate-free shampoo like Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo, since the ingredients in normal shampoos might be too hard on your hair. Then there is Nioxin, which is a product designed for people with thin hair. They have a whole system dedicated to it. As you would expect, it is more expensive than regular shampoos, but it has pretty good reviews. Dry shampoo is a good thing to have since oily hair looks thinner. Bumble and Bumble makes a great one that can help add volume. Apply directly to your roots and tease with a comb. The powders also come in different colors, so if you have any thin spots, finding one to match your hair color can help hide them. Good luck!

I go to an all-girls school with a really strict uniform code (no makeup, no jewelry, and skirts must be no shorter than eight centimeters above the knee), so people don’t get to see my true style. This is seriously getting on my nerves because I like to wear graphic T-shirts, skinny jeans, Hollister, and Jack Wills just like anyone else, but no one knows that. So, my question is, how can I show my (casual) style without breaking the school rules? —Lili, UK

Hi Lili! Since I don’t know the exact rules of your school’s dress code, I won’t be able to do a THOROUGH LIST, but I will definitely do my best to give you some ideas. The optimal thing to do to break up the monotony of a dress code is to accessorize! If there aren’t any rules concerning your backpack or book bag, have fun decorating it with patches and pins, or get this Jack Wills backpack! Since you are more of a casual dresser, I won’t suggest anything too crazy, but you can definitely show off a bit of your personal style with textured tights like these net tights from Wolford or these from ASOS, as well as hair clips or headbands. Footwear is another way to mix things up: if you can wear Converse, boots, or even these Jack Wills brogues, switch out the shoelaces to something more fun. Get a few pairs of cute flats, like these from Jeffrey Campbell or these peep-toes from Topshop. If the dress code is flexible with jackets and coats, find something comfortable that fits you well. Here’s a Hollister blazer that looks like it would obey the rules! Hope that helps!

If you have a style/beauty question for Marie and her dream team, please send it to


  • cicconeyouth April 3rd, 2012 11:26 PM

    I have curly red hair & it seemed like a punishment until about a year ago. No one could cut it right, always ended up looking mullet-esque. When it was super dry & frizzy, it seemed reminiscent of Ronald McDonald. I stopped caring because I thought my hair would look ugly forever.

    Miraculously, I finally got a good cut from a stylist that’s trained in the Deva Cut: She taught me all about managing my curls, keeping them hydrated, & gave me a kickass cut (BTW they cut your hair curl-by-curl while dry. I know, right?). The lady that invented the cut wrote a book called “Curly Girl Handbook” that has recipes to make your own hair treatments at home, cheap & rad!

    A few tips I learned during my first $75 (Eek!) Deva cut:
    -Before you leave the shower, flip your head over & shake out your hair. The goal is to get as much of the water out. Your curls will get weighted down by the excess water & can dry all wonky.
    -Keep your fingers and/or brush away from your hair while its dry. I know it’s tempting to run it through your hair, but it messes up your lovely curls!
    -Most important way to keep your curls pretty is to MOISTURIZE THEM HELLA. If you’re going to spend money on one hair product, make it good conditioner. Let it sit in your hair for 5+ minutes in the shower. Dry hair is the enemy of cute curls.

    • Kathryn April 3rd, 2012 11:40 PM

      I love Deva Curls! Works like a charm. Plus, they have cute names like No Poo and One Condition and AnGEL.

      • Sefe April 4th, 2012 1:10 AM

        I was going to suggest DevaCurl products too!

      • cicconeyouth April 4th, 2012 2:01 PM

        I use No Poo & the name always makes me giggle! Everything I’ve used from them is awesome. I have a spray that smells like lemon-lime, so delicious.

    • burn-your-flesh April 4th, 2012 1:14 AM

      Can I just say that your username is awesome, or just the fact that you like Ciccone Youth is awesome. I always wondered what would happen if they got together with Mike Watt again and made another album.

      • cicconeyouth April 4th, 2012 1:59 PM

        Thanks so much! It’s been my username for 10+ years & most people just think I’m a Madonna fan (NOOOOOOO! haha). Sonic Youth is one of my main life influences, glad I had them to look up to when I was a teenager.

  • KinuKinu April 3rd, 2012 11:46 PM

    WOW. So awesome. I’m totally with the jeans thing…I LOVE wearing dresses and such….but jeans are awesome,too. My problem is….when I try to find jeans they NEVER fit. Like, it fits way too much in the thigh area and then in the back of my waist it’s like impossibly huge. I’ve resorted to making my own clothes. GARGLE FARGLE. Also,I’m in LOVE with Nadia…..>o<….she's rad :)

    • Leeann April 4th, 2012 9:37 AM

      I always have that problem too! Once I tried on 4 different sizes of a high-waisted jean at H&M — the only pair I could get up over my thighs had a 4-inch gap at the waist! SO frustrating. I wish I could make my own clothes and opt out of the dressing room shimmy!

    • camille April 4th, 2012 11:31 AM

      I have the same problem! But you know what, since I’ve found a great tailor that fixes the waists of my jeans for 10$, my jean shopping has been much easier. So now when I shop I try on all styles of high-waisted jeans, no matter the leg: if they’re flares and the waist fits, I just take in the leg myself, and if it’s the other way round, I get the waist fixed.
      If you’re still searching, the last pair I’ve found that fit off the rack was from Cheap Monday. They were on sale so I bought two, I only wear one and keep the other for when the first pair will have become too worn haha.

      • KinuKinu April 4th, 2012 8:47 PM

        I’m glad I’m not alone in this horrible predicament :D One of my mom’s friends suggested we find a tailor to fix my problem,so I could actually wear jeans.$10!!!!!!!! Was not expecting that one.I thought it would be beyond expensive.I hope the prices are as good here.Leeann,it is SOOOOOO frustrating.Me and mom have the same thing going on,so we both feel the pain.Also:dressing room shimmy.That made me laugh :D

  • Adrienne April 3rd, 2012 11:53 PM

    Oooh thanks for the tips Marie and Leeann! My hair has a somewhat sad story.. I used to have lots of (thick-ish) hair, but when summer began last year, my hair started majorly shedding! I’d shed so much hair when I shower. Now my hair is thin and I don’t have as much of hair as before… :( . At least the major shedding kind of stopped, but I’m still kind of bummed out that my hair is now thinner than before. Is this due to stress or something?

    • Marie April 4th, 2012 12:05 AM

      If you are stressed out, it might very well be! I know someone whose hair fell out due to stress, but I can’t say for sure that is why YOUR hair is falling out. Like I said in the article, I’d visit a doctor to see what she or he says! <3

  • AwesomeFrances April 3rd, 2012 11:55 PM

    Hey Red, your hair sounds AMAZING. I have looser curls than yours, by the sounds of it, and I WISH my hair was more afro-y.

    A few tips I’ve learnt for my curls over the years:
    - NEVER comb your hair when it’s dry.
    - Use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle, not a brush.
    - After showering, scrunch your hair with a towel or tshirt. Rubbing it with a towel creates frizz.

    A few natural hair bloggers I follow have sung the praises of Hair Rules: Curls without crunch!

  • starcollector April 3rd, 2012 11:56 PM

    Been looking for a pair of high-waisted dark jeans for many many moons. Also, I really don’t want to spend like 80 bucks on them… American Apparel is out of the question then. I also have these tall-girl long legs so the F21 jeans always fall short (pun most certainly intended). Can’t a girl with wide hips, major height, and a small wallet find a break in this cruel, cruel shopping world?

  • rainymouse April 3rd, 2012 11:58 PM

    After years of struggling with my curls, I learned to be happy and just stop worrying about it. Confidence and curly hair go together perfectly!

  • Bren April 4th, 2012 12:03 AM

    I have very thin hair as well, I think it has something to do with my underactive thyroid, and rising stress levels over the last few years. I’ve been hearing a lot about Biotin? I’ll be trying it soon, but I’ve researched it a lot. Also folic acid, or prenatal vitamins. There are so many things to help you with these things. I’ve read of people going “no shampoo” where they stop using traditional shampooing methods and use a mixture of baking soda and water for shampoo, and olive oil, or apple cider vinegar and water as conditioner. I think I’ll be trying it out soon. I’m already down to only shampooing my hair twice a week, and I find it’s been good for my hair since it looks a little fuller and less thin.

    • Anaheed April 4th, 2012 12:04 AM

      Viviscal totally works, too.

  • Tyknos93 April 4th, 2012 12:22 AM

    Rookie is reading my mind. I JUST came from Nadia’s blog…
    To the first poster Miss Jessie’s is okay and moderately priced. It get my scalp really clean. Kinky Curly is great for detangling. Carol’s Daughter has been THE BEST overall store bought product for my hair. It smells amazing and leaves your hair soft and manageable. The price is a bit steep at times. STAY AWAY from petroleum based products. They can weigh down your hair causing breakage and clogging of your follicles.
    Get a Denman brush for detangling your hair gently. Brush from ends to root.
    I don’t know if others do this but as a woman of color I don’t wash my hair more than twice a month because our hair tends to produce less oil.

  • Gracidea April 4th, 2012 1:56 AM

    To whoever asked about curly hair- the Curly Girl method is AMAZING. Seriously, I now have minimal amounts of frizz and I spend so much less time on my hair than I used to. Here’s a link if you’re interested- .

  • mayaautumn April 4th, 2012 3:07 AM

    ive also noticed that there aren’t many jean-wearing bloggers….i wear jeans quite a lot, but I also wear skirts & dresses quite a lot, so i guess it’s just even really! heres the link for my blog if your interested:

  • MissKnowItAll April 4th, 2012 6:17 AM

    My hair is unmanagable and curly but when I let it go it’s not an afro. It’s more like a puff ball of hair. I hate straightening it but I want ringlets, not poofy curls. What do i do?

  • ezingz April 4th, 2012 7:11 AM

    I wore my hair in braids for years before I finally learned to manage and embrace my curls!
    I suggest Mixed Chicks products, they have worked miracles for me. Particularly their leave-in conditioner.
    Good luck (:

  • Hayley April 4th, 2012 7:26 AM

    Ehm Kitty you can have some of my hair which is incredibly thick and ugghhhhh.

  • Ashencat April 4th, 2012 7:29 AM

    Great post! I love Rookie especially Day-umn Girl ya Look Good and Live through This. I loved the tips about the school uniform and I so wish my school was less strict. :(

  • DitzyMo April 4th, 2012 7:44 AM

    I have a little bit grown pixie cut, and it’s thick and sometimes wavy. I really want to do something that will make it look more feminine. I’ve always admired people with short hair, but I just can’t seem to pull it off right now.

  • ivoire April 4th, 2012 9:17 AM


  • Krista April 4th, 2012 10:30 AM

    HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT EASY JEANS???? Ok everything else today is cancelled.

  • MaggietheCat April 4th, 2012 12:46 PM

    Curly hair craves moisture. If you feel like your hair is always frizzy, it is almost certainly dry. Immediately start shampooing your hair less, use a regular conditioner in the shower AND a leave in conditioner or some kind of creamy styling product. You may find that a combination of products will work best for you. Typically in the salon where I work we’ll mix a creamy, moisturizing styling product with something that is slippery/smoothing. Also, a weekly deep conditioner can go a long way.

    someone who does this for a living.

  • Sheila_The_Great April 4th, 2012 12:58 PM

    I have crazy curly hair, and those were some awesome tips!

  • Abby April 4th, 2012 1:15 PM

    A cheapie option for a good curl product is Garnier Fructis Style curl sculpting cream-gel. It’s the best of a cream and a gel with none of the crunch. It’s my complete favorite.

    Also, does anyone know any good stores to find jeans that are larger around the waist but still skinny on the thighs? I’m an apple-type shape and carry my weight in my belly, so I have a hard time finding jeans that are good around my belly and thighs (because those aren’t that big).

  • mitchum April 4th, 2012 2:39 PM

    Red, I totally understand your frustration, but what’s up with saying your hair “just looks like an afro” as if that’s a bad thing? Afros are awesome!

  • violetlilies April 4th, 2012 3:59 PM

    THANK YOU MARIE!!!!!!!!
    okay, first things first sadly net tights, flashy hairbands, hollister blazers and converses qould end up in a lifetime of detentions, buuuttttttt, i can accesorise! I never thought of bags seeing as i felt like it was more practical just to have a decent one cause i have so many books, and i can definately use badges!
    Rookie is so my savior this easter! I did the galaxy nails yesterday, never stop wearing jeans AND i have frizy hair.
    MUCH LOVE TO ROOKIE!!!! <3 Lili/Violetlilies

  • VanyaTheDinosaur April 4th, 2012 6:23 PM

    I am one of those extremely weird people who hates jeans and loves dresses/skirts.

    The thing is, I have super-long legs and am skinny as a stick, so pants just DO NOT FIT ME. Arrrgh.

    (Except for H&M and Delia’s, but those are like 40 bucks a pair. No, thanks.)

  • isabellehungryghost April 5th, 2012 3:32 PM

    terrible to have a school uniform. i could never imagine that. in germany you can wear what you want to school. we have a lot of punks at our school. your clothing is expression. and make up? nobody should be allowed to tell you how to do that.

    • violetlilies April 5th, 2012 4:36 PM

      In the UK very few schools dont have uniform. Despite everything I dont hate school uniform that much. I only ever really wear eyeliner and eyeshadow and even then on special occasions as it gives me really bad acne so that really doesnt bother me, plus it’s a really relaxed rule as long as its not extreme. Plus, a friend from my dance class doesn’t wear uniform to school and got seriously bullied because of what she wore and took it out on herself and started to self harm. Uniform would have prevented this.
      I just hate the way the that I can’t show who I am because of it because I’m a bit of a geek, so people don’t see past the teachers pet a grader stereotype. I’m not the stereo type and I hate the way that uniform hides this. The worst thing is the skirts rule. I got told off last week for having my skirt a third of the way up my thigh. That’s annoying.

  • Hanne April 5th, 2012 6:53 PM


    No, seriously, finding a pair of jeans that fit me is a pain in the butt, so a couple of years ago I just gave it all up. I have a body shaped somewhat similar to Nadia in the picture above, and things that went over my butt was normally waaaay to big for my calves when shopping for skinny jeans. Or too long as well, since I’m short and curvy. And I think that’s the problem with jeans for many girls, no matter size you are it’s so hard to find the ones that fit perfectly.

    Since then I’ve bought myself a sewing machine and I’m having a blast playing seamstress with all my thrifted “projects” I’ve been hoarding while waiting for it. And I think that maybe this is the year I’ll give jeans another chance, since I got some JEANS NEEDLES when I bought my sewing machine! I have this dream about a simple outfit consisting of a stupid tee, skinny jeans and flat converse that I think I can pull of now that I’m waaay more confident with my body than I was back in the day. When Easter is over I’m going to the thrift store!!
    Confidence = everything can be pulled off!

  • smilingrottenflesh April 6th, 2012 12:34 AM

    More curly red hair inspiration – Merida from upcoming movie “Brave.”


  • karastarr32 April 7th, 2012 3:40 AM

    Lurv the school uniform thing, it’s exactly like me, gonna get those JW brogues too now… :)

  • katycruel April 7th, 2012 11:02 AM

    I have very thin hair and Seanik shampoo from Lush is the best best best thing I’ve ever found for it – some of the “volumizing” shampoos have hydrolyzed wheat protein that weighs my hair down but this just leaves it shiny and wonderful and a little fuller than normal! And it’s a bar shampoo so it’s easy to transport and lasts for a long time. I swear they are not paying me, I just love this stuff, because I’ve spent 30 years looking for a good shampoo and finally found one.

  • e April 8th, 2012 10:38 PM

    I second the Nioxin recommendation! I had really poor health a few years ago and a lot of my hair fell out. This system made such a difference to my hair thickness (and self esteem)