Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: Guest blogger Payton Kennedy offers straight talk for those with straight hair

This week, SHOP TALK welcomes guest blogger Payton Kennedy, who offers a rebuttal to last week’s post on curly hair, urging straight-and-fine-haired lovelies to rock the bob — and learn to love hats.

Payton Kennedy in the early stages of embracing her fine, straight hair.

I was bald until I was two. When my hair finally decided to make an appearance, it was stick-straight and as fine as dandelion fluff. My mother’s strategy on managing my wispy locks was to keep it boyishly-short. Oh how I longed for curls! The answer: a perm! (This was the ’80s). After enduring hours in the chair with my scalp burning and nostril hairs gone, I emerged with … waves. Determined not to flatten my waves that night, I attempted to sleep sitting up. I woke the next morning with my head firmly planted on the pillow, my waves reduced to nothing but fuzz.

Over time, I have learned (and accepted) a thing or two about my hair. Above all, it will never be anything but straight. Perms, curling irons, and rollers are no match for my ramrod tresses. I will also never have long hair. Once it hits my shoulders, the ends do a disappearing act. With these things in mind, I offer five tips for fellow fine-and-straight-haired:

1. Find a stylist who gets it. If he or she utters the word ‘layers,’ or pulls out the funny scissors with the different-sized teeth, exit the building quickly. My stylist knows exactly what to do with my hair, and I love her for it.

2. A bob is the only way to mimic the look of thick hair. It’s also the most low-maintenance. Whether it’s sharp with a fringe, or softened with a few (subtle!) layers, the bob is simply the best cut for fine, straight hair. After all, this is what it naturally wants to do!

3. Use a spray on conditioner/detangler and wide-tooth comb on your wet hair. No matter how short my hair is, my thin strands are always a mass of tangles when wet. And there’s no hiding breakage with straight hair.

4. Avoid heavy products such as mousse, gel, and pomade. Sure, you may start out with an edgy ‘do that stands straight up in all directions, but trust me, two hours later your hair will be limping sadly back to its rightful place. I also don’t use products claiming to ‘boost volume’ – in my experience the only thing they boost is the goop-factor. Stick to light styling products, varnishes, and UV protector sprays. (If you’re a blond, try my favourite: Schwarzkopf Blonde Me Shine Magnifying Spray.

5. Learn to love hats. When you have fine hair, skipping the morning shampoo means that by 3 p.m. you’ve got an oil slick on your hands.  A days’ build up of natural oils are a good thing … and who wants to wash their hair every day? A hat solves the problem — and you will be très chic!

For all you fine-and-straight-haired lovelies out there determined to rock the big hairstyles, I salute you and your efforts!  Go forth in good faith — just know that when you’ve finally had enough of the upside-down blowouts, curling iron and hot roller burns, toxic permanent waves and sticky pomades, you can come back to this post to find out exactly what to do.

Payton Kennedy looking lovely in her straight-and-fine locks.