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How to deal with winter hat-head

I love hats — but I hate taking them off. My beautifully-styled hair gets completely full of static. If the static is under control, my hair gets flat or twisted in knots. The terribly annoying part is that I never know which problem I’m going to get.

Winter is just getting comfortable here in Canada, and promises to stay for a few more months. Here are some tips to keep your hair office-ready while still dressing appropriately for the below-freezing temperatures that are bound to ensue:

Make sure your hair is completely dry: I’m terrible at this. My hair takes forever to dry in the morning, so if I don’t straighten it the night before, there is no way to make it work the next morning. It also means that my hair dries in the shape of my hat during the morning commute. Make sure that your hair is dry AND styled before you put that hat on, or else there is no hope for a good look once you get to work.

Choose the hat wisely: Make sure the hat you are wearing isn’t too tight. A looser material will allow your head to breath and therefore avoid the flat-head look. Wool hats, surprisingly, can prevent static while more synthetic materials will make your hair frizzy and dry. You can also try a loose beret.

Try braids or a knot: Put your hair in a style that is not affected by static or hats in general. A little static in a braid adds texture, and can come off looking more professional than a hat mess (get it!?). If you don’t like to braid your hair, try putting it in a small bun or knot. This way, you can take the bun out when you get into the office and let your locks fall gracefully, without the added frizz or static.

Use anti-frizz: Moisturizing oils or creams can help settle your hair before you put in the hat and trap the moisture in. This should avoid a) dry ends and b) any added static from the hat. Again, make sure that your hair isn’t damp when you leave the house. I’ve used some leave-in conditioner and it’s had similar effects. Make sure you style your hair and let it settle before you put on the hat.

Touch up once you get to work: Make sure to have some elastic bands and bobby pins on your desk in case of disaster. Maybe even a small can of hairspray. When you take your hat off, shake your head upside down to get more volume. Sometimes, that’s all it takes — other times, it requires a bit more work. And then, there are the times when nothing you do helps. In that case, put your hair in a bun or a ponytail and say “screw it”.

Everyone is entitled to a bad hair day, especially in the winter.

How do you deal with hat head? Let us know in the comments below!

What’s the deal with ugly Christmas sweaters?

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There’s a feeling
of Christmas”

What exactly is ‘holiday style’? Well, thanks to a generation of men and women who are on the lookout for everything that goes against society, we can now celebrate the era of the ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’. Hipsters are the cause of everything overpriced and overhyped, but ugly sweaters are something we can actually thank them for. While we’ve all been subjected to an ugly sweater at some point in our lives (sorry, grandma!), over the last few years people have deliberately sought out these sweaters instead of stashing them in the back of the closet where they belong. The ugly Christmas sweater tradition has come into our lives and fortunately, it is here to stay.

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And thus, I have some good news for you, ladies. Tight cocktail dresses are a thing of the past. Despite the effort designers have gone through to introduce a new line of holiday-themed, sequinned ensembles and comfortable high heels (yeah right), looking presentable is one less thing we have to worry about during the holiday season. Because now, it seems that everyone is on board with the ugly Christmas sweater bandwagon. H&M, Urban Outfitters, Etsy, and a search on Amazon can lead you to the most elaborate, over the top designs of some pretty amazing, ugly sweaters.

The phenomenon behind this trend is simple; donning a sweater so visually unpleasing is well, adorable. It takes away from the pressure of having to look ‘party-ready,’ and the theme brings people together as a happy group of very poorly dressed people. The focus is taken off of your work and school life, and it takes Aunty Em a much longer time to bring up your love life. Instead, questions now sound a lot like ”where on Earth did you get that?” to ”Did it hurt to put that on?” These questions might have hurt you on an emotional level before — when you wore that sexy red and gold dress you loved so much — but now it can be taken as a compliment.

The trend is also great for those with a competitive edge, who want to express their creativity and come up with outrageous ways to make their ugly sweater just a little more ugly. We have been stuffed animals, ribbons, ornaments, and other Christmas-themed decorations attached to these ensembles. So, there’s no longer an embarrassment towards sporting an ugly sweater similar to one you may have been forced to wear as a child to make your grandmother happy. Now, you are no longer a child who is being dictated what to wear and when to go to bed. You are now in a society where everyone is collectively ugly. And that’s special. Also, it’s warm. (unlike that $250 dress you had in mind)

The only feeling of regret you’ll feel at your next Christmas party is not wearing something uglier. Flashing lights on a sweater may seem a little too ridiculous, but Sally over there seems to be rocking it at the drinks table. So the question is, how can you wear an ugly Christmas sweater to its full potential?

Well, the characteristics of a good ugly Christmas sweater, first and foremost, is the colour. You want to wear a colour that screams IMG_0908Christmas; red, green, or anything that comes in the form of an ornament. Next, its important to look for a sweater that has elements of winter and the holidays on them. Whether that’s a gingerbread man, a reindeer, or Santa Claus himself, your sweater should make people look at it and exclaim, ”yes! Just yes.”

That’s not to say you can’t sway from the Christmas theme. Hotline Bling sweaters are wildly popular this year thanks to Drake’s dad moves. Essentially, the point retailers are trying to make here is that anything works. Whether you want to splurge $100 on a three dimensional sweater or invest a modest $30 on a simpler piece, the key to owning the ugly in your sweater is to just let it be ugly. Put effort behind your sweater. Throw some nice pants on and touch up your makeup with some matching colour on your lips. Wear your sweater like it’s a ball gown. Only then, can you let the sweater be ugly to it’s full potential. (Also, it distracts everyone from the bags you’ve acquired under your eyes instead of under your tree from the holiday stress.)

How-to books are now on bookshelves and on publishing desks, making the ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon that more legitimate. Pinterest has boards on how to make them, your Instagram followers are having photoshoots with them on, your Facebook friends are updating their profile pictures, and other women are currently sitting somewhere on their kitchen table with a hot glue gun. It’s really a beautiful thing; unified ugliness.

So, what I’m trying to say is, it’s time to throw a Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Tomorrow? The expensive one’s don’t even itch! Don’t forget to send me an invite, my sweater is ready to go. Because whether you agree to it or not, the holiday sweater has become as important as drinking eggnog and ”singing” carols by the fireplace. And for that, we are thankful.

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