Notes From The Powder Room

SMOOTH OPERATOR: Shiny/Sexy/Smooth Hair is Mine! It's All Happening!

When I was 10 years old, I had straight hair and I was an absolute creep.

At school, I sat directly behind a girl named Lauren whose hair was this curly/wavy hybrid of joy — the hybrid of my dreams — and every night, I prayed to myself (I didn’t have a particularly religious upbringing) that one day I would have her hair. I also prayed — again, to myself — that Freddie Prinze, Jr. would overlook the law, geography, the law, my glaring personality flaws and the law in order to recognize his purpose in life as my husband. Guess which prayer came true!

I went through puberty and my hair got all Lauren on me, but as it turns out? Her hair is the worst. My hair is the worst. I don’t know how it lives with itself.

Like, what is it supposed to be? What is it doing? Talk about an impromptu philosophy class.

Enter the Amika Downtown Graffiti Ceramic Styler, stage left. First of all, even if you never use it, if you tilt it and prop it up just the right way, it looks like conceptual art from a senior year art student’s final project, which is the best kind of art. On the real, how fun and fresh is the design?

It heats up to 200 degrees Celsius, it has floating ceramic plates and it has a convenient nine foot cord if you also happen to live in a strange excuse for an apartment with outlets located in questionable locations. If you want to get Bill Nye about it, it radiates far-infrared heat which means nothing to me but apparently preserves moisture in the hair shaft and protects your hair cuticles from damage. According to Amika, “regular use actually results in healthier and more beautiful hair” because of this technology, which I can’t confirm for certain but I really want to believe it.

Also, I did this with it in about seven minutes:

Not pictured: Me whispering “I love you.”

I want to mention that my hair is ridiculously thick and I typically have to re-straighten every section multiple times and hope for the best, but with the Amika styler I was able to do one pass through each section and it was instantly straight. Like, 0 on the Kinsey Scale straight. Anyway, the point is that it’s like I’m 10 again. My exterior is finally in tune with my personality.

Before I used the Amika styler, however, I got down with a few other fantastic products that I’m going to keep to myself so I can keep having better hair than you. Kidding! Here they are:

Amika Obliphica Oil (Sea Buckthorn Berry) Nourishing Mask.

It might seem a little on the pricey side, but it’s the size of a latte and the tiniest bit goes a long way. You can use it as a special treatment or as an everyday conditioner, and it’s like a multivitamin for your hair: Moroccan Argan oil! Vitamin C! Obliphica oil! Fragrance! I’m just reading ingredients at this point, but you get me. My hair always feels incredibly silky after I rinse it out, and I never even wait the full 2-3 minutes because I have things to do, man. Worth it.

Sojourn Thermal Protection Straightener, Sojourn Serum Smooth and Sojourn Wet/Dry Volume Gel.

I recently found out about Elan Sassoon’s line Sojourn and I am obsessed with it at the moment. The products are all sulfate and paraben free with a pH of 4.5-5.5, so there’s nothing sketchy going on in your hair. The word “sojourn” means “a temporary stay”, which is actually the most cruel thing I’ve ever heard because if these products are trying to get rid of me, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. All of these Sojourn products also leave your hair totally touchable and soft, so there’s none of that stiff crunchy nonsense happening that makes you feel like an outdated candy bar.

Protecting your hair from heat (why so serious, 200 degrees Celsius?) is really important, and Sojourn’s Thermal Protection Straightener smoothes out your hair and it’s super defensive by closing your hair’s cuticles to guard its health and color from heat.

The Serum Smooth is one of the best smoothing serums I’ve ever used — it helps me lie about how shiny and smooth my hair naturally is, but it also doesn’t leave any greasy residue hanging out on my head like a lot of other brands tend to.

Lastly, the Volume Gel is yet another new favorite product of mine. You can use it on wet or dry hair get the volume you want in seconds. The best part is that I didn’t even need hairspray. Fact: I haven’t gone without hairspray by choice in 3 years.

Potential drawback: I’ve been petting my hair for the last hour and now my hand is tired. You win some, you lose some.

  • Jennifer Still

    Get that smooth hair, playa.

  • Courtnee Adelle Karpay

    what kind of lipstick/gloss are you wearing?? it’s beautiful.

  • Lauren Alvarez

    Where can I get sojourn?

  • Amy Hoffman

    I love that you worked the Kinsey scale into this post. Too funny. Anyway, I think I have the same hair as you, so thanks for the recommendations.

    • Cézanne Colvin


  • Tali Ylise Orland

    My hair did the exact same thing!!!! it was pin straight growing up, then one day it just decided to become this curly/wavy mess. So not cool hair, so not cool.

  • Melissa Senger

    my hair is almost exactly like yours! I straighten the hell out of it when I go out but rarely use any product. the only problem for me with straightening is that it gets fly-away. Any suggestions for that?

  • Lauren Nespoli

    I know what you mean. When I let my hair air-dry, it kinda looks like I either didn’t brush it or I put it in a ponytail for hours and let it get that ponytail crease and then took the ponytail down! So I usually straighten it. And I have an Amika straightener! It’s pink zebra print or something though, lol. But my hair still doesn’t get as smooth/straight as yours, even after straightening for a half hour. Maybe I don’t have it hot enough or something. Or maybe I should check out some of the other products you recommended! I have Joico’s thermal protection spray, but you spray it on after straightening according to the directions, which seems weird to me. You spray yours before, right?

    • Cézanne Colvin

      Wait, where did I say that I used it after? “Before I used the Amika straightener, however, I got down with some other fantastic products.” I’m confused!

      Do you crank your straightener up to full heat?

      ALSO! The ponytail crease! That is exactly what my hair looks like 65% of the time.

  • Yetta Weissen

    Not a fan of the anti-curly tones within this post :/

    • Cézanne Colvin

      Oh man, I apologize! That’s NOT my intent at all. I think curly hair is really pretty! I’m just frustrated with MY hair. I would have explained more, but i just wanted to get right to the products since this post was long as it is. Anyway, if you can believe it, is VERY thick to the point where everyone comments on it/styling it can take an hour, a weird texture, dry/damaged from too many dye jobs, and some days it’s very straight with a permanent indent in it and flips out awkwardly, some days it’s really wavy, some days there are like… 4 curls in it… etc. It’s just very annoying to me in its inconsistency and thickness.

    • Jayme Glynn

      Dude, I don’t really think there’s a vendetta against curly hair here. And is that even something you can take offense to? If something says, “i prefer my hair when it is straight rather than when it is curly”, i don’t really see how anyone is dogging certain hair or being anti-anything other than the amount of effort styling different types of hair can take. I think maybe you’re looking for something that wasn’t even there in the lightest shades.

  • Julia Gazdag

    Did you just use the kinsey scale in reference to beauty tools? I think I just went from a 0 to a 6.

  • Olivia Luterio

    First of all, I would like to say that your (current) natural hair is extremely coveted by moi. Yes, it may be a mess, but it is a truly beautiful mess. I just thought I’d let you know that since you don’t seem to want it much, I’ll happily take it off your hands.

    • Cézanne Colvin

      Thank you! I wish it wasn’t at this terrible stage of growing out. Long hair will be mine… eventually.

    • Olivia Luterio

      You’re welcome. I, too, am on the quest for long locks. Patience is my toughest opponent!

  • Yetta Weissen

    No worries :)

  • Yetta Weissen

    PS: have you ever gone to a Dominican salon for a blowout? They can blow the thickest of hair into Lucy Liu proportions in under an hour. It’s kind of magical.

  • Angie Boyce

    My hair did the same thing! Smooth and silky, I turned 12 or 13 and…BAM. I like it now but also like to straighten it sometimes and it’s pretty difficult!

  • Haintso Rakouth

    ah the hair crazyness. My hair went through so much. went from thick and straight to curly to now wavy/curly. That nourishing mask is great, mainly after this wholse summer. One thing i learned from using a mask for a special treatment is after applying the product to your hair, get a hair cap, then let it sit for 10 minutes. It makes your hair feel so great!!! That hair straightener looks so awesome. I have to use something more than 200 degrees since i have thick hair. I’m currently using paul mitchell smoothing iron.

    Also do you blow dry to smooth the roots or just air dry then straighten it?
    you look lovely btw!!!

  • Noelle Montana

    Sojourn products aren’t sold near me :( is there any other products you can recommend instead?

  • Sara Michaels

    Thank you for these recommendations! Can’t wait to try some of these out.

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