Ask Chuck: How to style your hair and keep cool this summer

By Charles Colson
July 25, 2013 at 2:25 a.m.

I am booked up with picnics, barbecues and weddings this summer. Is there any miracle quick solution for keeping my hair looking halfway decent with all the elements like scorching temperatures, dusty winds and rain showers?

Let's see if we can come up with something more than just halfway decent. Of course, we are in an area with all these elements present almost year-round.

One clever way to create the illusion that hair is down but keep it off your neck is to try creating a low, swooping side ponytail. Next, style the bangs to one side, which adds volume at the cheekbones.

This visually widens the center of the face and instantly balances the length. As I have mentioned often in other columns, it's all about balancing front and side facial features.

Remember, we are seen more so from the side views than head on. This proves it is equally important to pick a style that enhances our entire physique.

In creating this illusion, as mentioned above, try also using a deep part on the opposite side from where you are placing the side ponytail under the opposite ear. Already sounds attractive, right? You can also use a twist or braid at the nape of the hairline and pin up with bobby pins.

Don't be afraid to tease hair where necessary to give more volume. Finish by using a light hair spray - especially with the elements the weather delivers us. By the way, this style actually has a name called the waterfall.

Pretty cool for summer, huh?

Sometimes, styles are meant for the slimmer faces. I happen to have a very round face and find it difficult to locate hairstyles appropriate for me. Got any good summer ideas since I don't want to cut it all off?

Glad you asked this question. Many people have round faces but don't want to admit it completely. There is a style called the curlicue. This is an easy updo that not only keeps you cool, but also the volume and texture in the front draws the eyes up, which visually slims a round face.

Thanks to the First for Women magazine, these styles can be well seen in picture forms. This style has backswept curls that add balancing to the profile.

To create the best backswept curls, use a small, three-quarter inch curling iron and curl the entire hair in one-inch sections. Of course, in natural wavy hair, simply blow-dry and scrunch the hair. This is where you lucky ones get to celebrate.

After curling all the hair, especially in the back, use your fingers to create height and pin up where it is pleasing to yourself. This is where you even have the choice - if pinned just in the right places - to give the appearance of having short hair yet still keeping it long.

Leaving a few curly strands down along the hairline will create that natural look that makes this style envied. Now, use a light hair spray just where it is needed. To keep its natural appearance, don't overload it with hair spray. Keep that softer look. Make it to where men would love to run their fingers through your hair, right?

Charles, I recently heard that there is actually a summer style where it speaks of having stacked ponytails. Is this ridiculous or what?

By no means - you actually heard right. It is a style called the swoop stack, believe it or not. However, it is quite simple to create and gives a great slimming appearance for most all shape faces.

Just simply divide the hair in three sections - front, crown and back. Starting with the lowest back section, pin hair into a loose ponytail, with the rubber band only about three-quarters of the length.

After forming the ponytail, pin the lower part as if in a loop and then spread, fan and sweep across the head. Repeat the same with the upper crown section and follow with the same steps for the top front.

You should then have three swooping sections that are tiered. This is quite attractive when the hair is highlighted because it brings out many levels of color throughout the style.

This can also be dressed up for that perfect evening out with accessories enhancing each division of layers. Again, as I always say, keep them all guessing if it was you or the professional who created this. Am I right?

Let's get serious. I have extremely short hair, kinda like a pixie cut, and would love to have a style that looks like I have long hair. Are hairpieces still in style to create such illusions?

Most definitely. This style and illusion can be created by using your hair, in the front and sides, as they are presently. Check out what is available at a wig salon first. They still sell falls and even ponytails that can be attached to your crown or the center back of the head.

However, you should pin together as much hair as possible in the back area. The best results from hairpieces are found in natural human hair, which, of course, reacts to weather conditions like your own hair. The falls are easily used for straight styles and/or curly ones in which you can just touch up with curling irons cautiously.

These hairpieces also come in synthetic fiber and withstand many weather conditions. They are also quite difficult to maintain because they are not compatible to using curling irons, etc. It is often a chore just to keep the synthetic wigs and hairpieces clean.

So your best bet is to purchase a human hair one, which are found in many shades to blend with your hair color. The falls can be styled as ponytails and even braided different ways to create that desired longer look.

Try experimenting with this challenge, and you can easily have a short style for the daytime and completely dress it up for evening wear with that extra special add-on hair. Human hairpieces can even be worn at swimming parties and still look like it is all your hair.

However, if anyone asks if it's your natural hair, just tell them - of course, you bought every bit of it. Enjoy these styles and let everyone wonder if you really read my column.

Charles Colson is an area hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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