Welcome to the Art for Hair Blog!

We love creating hand-crafted hair sticks, hair forks and matching jewelry to show off the beauty of long hair! Our blog features our designs, different ways to put long hair up, as well as how to care for and grow long hair and features on other Etsy craftspeople.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Women and Long Hair: Does Age Matter?

Recently, my husband and I have been watching makeover shows, such as 'What Not To Wear'. It's been interesting to see that almost always, the women with long hair are given a much shorter cut, which is deemed 'more appropriate', despite their protestations that they want to keep their long hair. Although they generally love the results, the idea that short hair is somehow necessary once a woman is no longer a young girl is interesting. Why shouldn't 'older' women have long hair too?

Historically, long hair has been seen as a thing of beauty and femininity. The Bible famously states, 'If a woman has long hair, it is glory to her' (1 Corinthians, 11:15). In many cultures, a woman's hair symbolizes her power. Studies have shown that men really do find long hair more attractive than short hair. For example, a study in the journal Human Nature found that when men were shown pictures of the same women, first with short hair and then with long hair, the men rated the longer haired pictures as more attractive. Long hair slims the face and draws attention away from facial imperfections, as well as generally being associated with beauty and youth.

Why should women give this up, just because they are no longer young girls? Of course, not all long hair styles are suitable at all ages, and loose flowing hair is probably not appropriate in the boardroom. However, there are also many elegant, formal long hair styles, which while not suitable for young girls, are ideal for 'older' women in professional situations. If women realized that they had these options, and that with practice, elegant styles can be easily achieved, maybe they could preserve much-loved long hair and not feel that they have to have short hair to give a professional appearance.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Website Design Up!

We've finally got our new website design up and running! The home page is completely redesigned, and the individual hair stick pages have been modified with new photos and a different layout. We now have hair forks available to order in different lengths - choose from a fork with a 3, 4 or 5 inch functional length and we'll make it to order. Also new on the website are the interchangeable dangle hairsticks we recently posted about - currently we have a choice of 2 hairsticks, each of which comes with 2 dangles, and 4 more dangles are available separately. We'll be adding more soon, we have a stock of new hairsticks awaiting photography!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Individual Dangles for our Interchangeable Dangle Hairsticks

These are some of the individual dangles that we've been working on for our new interchangeable dangle hairsticks. These hairsticks have a barrel screw-clasp which allows a dangle to be taken off and changed for a different one.

We already have hairsticks at our Etsy shop, which come with 2 interchangeable dangles, but these dangles will be available to purchase individually. Once you have a hairstick with this system, you will be able to buy more dangles individually, so creating an extremely versatile collection of dangles, without the expense of having to keep buying a whole new set of hairsticks each time you fancy a change. These dangles will be available at our Etsy shop very soon!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Featured Etsy Artists 5 - PurrPrints

This week's featured Etsy artist is fellow SquidEtsy team member PurrPrints. Becca at PurrPrints is a wonderfully talented artist, who produces beautiful cat-themed art. PurrPrints is also a member of the Etsy for Animals Team, and donates 5% of all profits to the no-kill animal shelter, the Shamrock Foundation. Here's our interview with Becca:

Tell us a little about your shop?
PurrPrints is a relatively new shop on Etsy that sells my various cat-themed imaginings (and I'm starting to introduce some of my art without cats in it now too). It has prints, cards, ACEOs, magnets and (at this moment) a hand-drawn mini-purse. Soon it will also have pendants and possibly bookmarks--oh, and I often do custom work for people with specific ideas for colors and design combinations.

How did you discover Etsy?
It was mentioned in a blog I was reading--I can't recall which one right now--but I fell in love almost immediately.

What were the first items you bought and sold on Etsy?
I first got involved through Etsy's "alchemy" function, because I had a bunch of gift-giving coming up (my first anniversary, step-dad's b-day, husband's b-day) and I wanted to give some really special custom gifts. I think the very first one was a custom clock for my husband for our anniversary. The first item I sold was the red and brown version of "Kitty Love" [top picture] to an absolutely wonderful woman in Canada.

What are you working on right now?
Bamboo pendants with small hand-cut prints of my cat drawings on them and a custom pointillist cat portrait (I'm too ADD to ever work on just one thing at a time ).

What is your favorite item in your shop?
Ooo. That's a hard one for me. My mind changes based on my mood, really. Right now it would be a toss up between the 8x10 print of Existential Cat
[see right] and the original of Indoor Cat Dreams [bottom picture].

What are your ambitions as an artist/craftsperson?
On the small scale, I want to continue learning new techniques--right now I've got my eye on sewing, especially. on the large scale, just to continue to get my work out there and meet wonderful people. I'd love to be able to support myself through my art if that's possible--if not, then I'd love to get to the stage where I can sell enough to buy all the other wonderful things I find from fellow etsians every day :)

Anything else you'd like to tell us?
I know I've alluded to it already, but I really enjoy meeting new people and doing custom work. I like making something that matters specifically to one person, something that fits the idea in their head and brings it into the "real" world.

My hope is that anyone reading this on your blog who likes my shop will drop me a line, even if they can't buy anything right now, just because I love making connections with people. That's really the big reason I'm into Etsy: the community.

Thanks so much, Becca! To see more of Becca's gorgeous art, check out the PurrPrints shop at Etsy. PurrPrints also has a lens (page) at Squidoo, with more information and pictures.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hair Sticks with Interchangeable Dangles!

Another of our new ideas for unique and 'different' hair sticks is now available at our Etsy shop. We've had a line of dangle hairsticks for some time, but were looking for ways to improve. So, interchangeable dangle hairsticks were born. These hairsticks use a silver-plated barrel clasp (like that found on a bracelet or necklace) to allow the dangle to be removed and replaced with a different one. This makes the hairsticks very versatile, as different dangles can make them suitable for many different occasions. We will be selling sets of hairsticks with several dangles, and also separate dangles. This means that if you have already purchased a hairstick from us with our interchangeable system, you can collect a variety of dangles to attach to it.

We've just listed the first of our interchangeable dangle hairsticks at our Etsy shop. In future, these will also be available at our website, once we have completed our redesign. The first hair stick we've listed on Etsy is shown in these pictures, and is a 6 inch wooden hardwood stick topped with a pink faceted Czech glass bead and silver-plated round beads. One dangle features a vintage-style butterfly with black detailing and more pink faceted beads and silver-plated beads. The other dangle is shorter, and consists of jet-black faceted glass beads and silver-plated beads.

We'll be adding hair stick and dangle sets, and also individual dangles, so check back at our Etsy shop soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Asymmetric Hair Sticks

Our latest additions to our Etsy and Dawanda shops are asymmetric hair sticks, like this pair of Green Jasper Asymmetric Hair Sticks.

I started by making the cascade stick with fancy jasper chips, but thought that a pair of them would be a little much. So, instead of a matching pair, I made a more simple, dangle-less stick to accompany it. I love this combination, as the sticks can be worn together, or else individually for great versatility. Of course, if you would like a pair of the cascaded sticks, we'd be happy to make them for you! Fancy Jasper is believed to have meta-physical properties, encouraging mental clarity and relieving worry and depression.

I also made a version using the semi-precious stone Tiger Eye:

These hair sticks are available at Etsy and Dawanda shops so far, we're working on a major website overhaul and will have a variety of asymmetric hairsticks on our website when the new version is up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lightening Hair for Summer

As one of those people who had very blonde hair as a child, which darkened with age, I well know what it's like to want to have lighter, blonder hair. The sun can bleach blonde hair, making it lighter, but there is always a temptation to try something to accelerate and enhance this process. However, if you want to grow long hair, you need to always be aware of looking after it and not causing unnecessary damage, so how can blonde and light brown hair be lightened without damaging it?

Lemon juice
Lemon juice is one of the most popular and well-known methods of lightening blonde hair, and it does work. However, the acidity of lemon juice is very damaging to hair, and those who have used lemon juice often complain that their hair is now 'straw-like' and vow never again. The acid of the lemon juice weakens the proteins in hair, causing long-lasting damage that is hard to repair. Lemon juice is best avoided if you wish to maintain healthy, long hair.

Sun-in and temporary hair dyes
First, temporary hair dyes work by depositing a layer of color on hair, and cannot lighten it. The only way to lighten hair with chemical dyes is to strip the natural color. This is permanent and will also damage hair to some degree. Sun-in is a form of bleaching, and will cause damage.

Honey is not a well-known method of lightening hair, but it is one which definitely works. Not only does it work, but trials by many of the long-haired at the Long Hair Community have recorded no cases of damage to the hair. Honey may leave a slight residue if not washed out properly, but even if this happens, washing again or using a vinegar rinse produces healthy, lighter hair. The current recommendations from the Long Hair Community's honey thread and honey guru ktani, are to use a 4:1 dilution of honey to water by weight. This means mixing 1/8th cup honey with 3/4 cup distilled water, for example. This should be applied to dry hair and left for about an hour, covered with saran wrap to keep it moist. It should then be shampooed out. Any honey should work, but darker honeys, and Jarrah honey in particular, have been found to work best. If it doesn't work, try a different honey. Honey works by producing peroxide, but other honey components are believed to protect the hair from damage. The effects of honey will obviously be more gradual than a chemical dye, but the pay-off is healthy hair. For more information, see the Long Hair Community's honey thread and current honey recommendations in full. If you like, a little extra virgin olive oil can be added (up to a tablespoon), as this boosts the effects. Too much will not be damaging, but will leave an oily residue. Honey lightening has also been reported to work on henna'ed hair.

Another natural method of hair lightening discovered at the Long Hair Community is the use of cinnamon. Cinnamon generates a weak peroxide, and again, no cases of damaged hair have been reported. Cinnamon is a much weaker bleaching agent that those in chemical products, which much reduces its damaging effects. Cinnamon can be added to a honey lightening receipe, but caution should be exercised as cinnamon is a skin irritant. Patch test your mixture first and avoid it coming into contact with your skin.

If you'd like to lighten your hair this summer, we hope that this was useful in enabling you to make an informed choice about which method to use!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dangle Chain Hairsticks now at Etsy!

We've just got a new supply order, and can finally work on a lot of new designs. We'll have a lot of new stuff at Etsy, Dawanda and our own website very soon!

First, we have these new chain dangle hairsticks. The decorative chain dangles from the top of the hairstick, and is attached to the other end of the hairstick with a small elastic ring. The chain can dangle under a hairstyle such as a cinnamon bun, or chinese bun (as in the pictures), or be wrapped around the hair.

They're a great addition to a hairtoy selection, whether to dress up for a formal event, look your best for a date or just for fun everyday.

Our first chain dangle hairsticks on Etsy are the Glass Flower Chain Hair Stick and the Turquoise and Jet Chain Dangle Hair Stick.

The Glass Flower Chain Hair Stick features green and blue Czech glass flowers and a beautiful green-blue fire-polished glass bead at the top. The stick is 6 inches long and the chain is approximately 7.25 inches long. The flower beads are beautiful light colors, which make it an ideal spring and summer stick. It would be great with a summer dress for those summer afternoon parties!

The Turquoise and Jet Chain Dangle Hair Stick features reconstituted turquoise beads, jet black faceted glass rondelle and coin beads and silver-plated beads. It would ideally complement a western-inspired outfit or would go well with blue or black outfits.

This stick would really pop on blonde or grey hair!

We'll have more new designs online soon, so check back soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Custom Length Hair Forks now at DaWanda

We're continuing to add hair sticks and forks to our DaWanda shop, and now have descriptions in French, German and English! Today we added these custom length hair forks - you choose the length when you order, and we'll carve it for you! There is no 'one-size fits all' with hair sticks and forks - everyone needs a different length, based on hair length, hair type, styles done and personal preference. Our forks at DaWanda will all be made especially for the buyer, to their specified length.

How do I know what length hair fork I need?
If you have never used a fork before, and don't know what length you will require, it is easy to measure with the help of a partner. First, you need to take a pencil, or hair stick if you have one, and make a cinnamon bun. We have illustrated instructions on our website here but what you need to do is first hold your hair back in a ponytail. Do not use a hair band! Start twisting the tail of the ponytail, so it forms a 'rope'. When it is tight, it will feel like it wants to curl up on itself. Coil the rope around the base of the ponytail. Insert your pencil or hairstick through the bun and scalp hair, starting at about the 1 o'clock position, making sure to weave the pencil/stick in and out of the bun and scalp hair so that the bun is held securely to your head.

Now ask your partner to measure the distance across the bun, ie the length of the pencil/stick which is hidden inside the bun hair. Now consider how much of the fork you wish to be seen on either side of the bun. For most people, this is about 1-1.5 inches, as too much 'extra' fork prong will make your bun look small and be unwieldy. Add this measurement to your first measurement, and you have the functional length of fork you need. This measurement does not include the decorative top of the fork, and is the length you need to know to order your own custom-length fork, to perfectly suit your hair.

Styles 4 - Half-Up Bun

This simple hairstyle is a variation of the cinnamon bun, but only half the hair is put up and the rest left down. It may be possible to create this style with hair that is not yet long enough to do a regular cinnamon bun. One or two hairsticks may be used.

First, hold your hair back in a regular half-up. With one hand on the base against your head, twist the hair so it forms a 'rope'. When it is fairly tight, coil the rope to form the bun. I find it easier to do this by twisting it around my finger.

Insert the hairstick into the outer coil, first horizontally 'into' your head, and the rotating so it is pointing the direction in which it will go through the bun. Make sure you 'weave' the hairstick in and out of the scalp and bun hair, so that the half-up bun is held against your head.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Art for Hair Joins DaWanda

So, since we have so many European buyers, we decided to join DaWanda and set up a new shop there. DaWanda is an online marketplace for hand-crafted goods, like Etsy, but aimed at the European market. We're still finding our way around, but so far it looks great, and has some really useful features for both sellers and buyers.

DaWanda has sites in English, French and German, and since Lindsey speaks all these languages, we'll have our items listed in all these languages soon. So far, we're still feeling our way around. We've listed some hair sticks and have forks to come.

The green flower, hand-carved red oak sticks shown here are available on DaWanda as custom length - choose what length you require, and we'll make them to your specification. The pearl dangle sticks have a 6 inch functional length and feature freshwater pearls in a beautiful dark peacock color.

A couple of differences from Etsy are how users can leave public comments for items, and set up 'pinboards' of their favorites... oh, and prices are in Euros, of course!

If you're in Europe, come visit us at Dawanda soon!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Featured Etsy Artists 4 - Kas' Kreations

This week's featured Etsy shop is fellow Team SquidEtsy member punkerkas, and her shop Kas' Kreations. This eclectic shop features wonderful photography as well as textile work. Here's our interview with Kas.

Tell us a little about your shop?
I sell crochet items, my photography in various print sizes, a few of my punk inspired DIY clothes and some other misc. items.

How did you discover Etsy?
Through a friend.

What were the first items you bought and sold on Etsy?
I first sold one of my photos and the first item I bought was a print of a really neat painting.

What are you working on right now?
Right now a '77 punk band dress, a Social Distortion scarf, and a Misfits beanie. I start so many projects at once so there is probably others that I forgot.

What is your favorite item in your shop?
My "Come Play" photo print. [see above]

What are your ambitions as an artist/craftsperson?
I love creating new things without a set plan and see what comes out. As far as my photography goes, it's a way for me to relax and capture weird scenes throughout Southwest Missouri. Hopefully I'll be able to expand out further from southern Missouri and find even more strange sites.

Anything else you'd like to tell us?
I do participate in SNS (when I'm at home at least) and offer 10% off your entire order during the Saturday Night Sales. Plus some surprise sales that will be listed in my shop announcement. [For more info on Etsy SNS, check out this page here]

Thanks so much for the interview, Punkerkas!

Visit Kas' Kreations now to see more of Kas' work and to purchase.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Burgers with a Difference!

It's a hot 4th of July weekend here in Florida, so of course we wanted to be outside and grill. However, we're vegetarian, so ordinary burgers wouldn't do. The solution? Portobello mushrooms!

First, we marinated the mushroom caps in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Then, onto the grill. Once they were almost cooked, we added provolone cheese. Finally, we made our burgers with 3-grain bread, bean sprouts, lettuce and tomato. They tasted great, and are a wonderful alternative to meat!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Beaded Spiral Hair Fork Now on Etsy!

We're continuing to develop our line of hair forks, and love this beaded spiral fork we just listed on Etsy. It's hand-carved from red oak, which is a beautiful light red wood, but we wanted to add something. The spiral of dark green beads is a striking contrast to the red wood, and the edges of the beads have a blue flash which catches the light. The red oak is polished to supersmoothness with tung oil. We currently have poplar and red oak forks on Etsy, but are excited about working with exotic woods soon. We aim to offer a selection of woods to suit all hair colors. We'll then be adding forks to our website, as well as Etsy.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Customer Review - Butterfly Cascade Silver Hair Stick

One of our lovely customers made our day yesterday, when she sent us this review of her new Butterfly Cascade Hair Stick, bought from our Etsy shop. With her permission, here is her review:

Short Review:
I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

Longer Review:
I fell in love with this hair stick when I saw the picture online. I’ve been looking for a 4 to 5 inch hair stick to put my hair (newly grown to waist length after years with shoulder length hair) into a cinnamon or Chinese bun. I’ve tried the traditional hair sticks sold at places like Claire’s, but they’re usually 8 to 9 inches long, and stick out so far on my tiny head (I’m 5’3”) that they look odd. Not only that, but large hair sticks mean it’s impossible to hug people (almost poked out some relatives’ eyes!) or even drive a car without leaning forward to avoid the stick(s) gouging into the headrest. So I was thrilled to find a dainty little stick that was still sturdy and ‘load-bearing’ enough to hold long hair in place.

I loved the delicate little fairy crystals that hang down from this stick (which is completely gorgeous in its own right even without the dangly sparkles). And when I saw the butterfly on the end I knew I had to have it – it was so beautiful!

It’s always nerve-wracking ordering online (or through a catalog), because you can never be sure that what arrives will be as nice as the picture. Well, I’ve never been more delighted with a purchase ordered sight unseen! The hair stick is at least ten times as beautiful as it was in the picture – the movement of the crystals, the play of light upon both the stick and the crystals, all contribute to its incredible beauty. I’m absolutely delighted.

And the earrings! What a lovely bonus! I usually have a hard time getting earrings to work for me (my small face and short neck means many earrings overpower my face) and so stick to simple teardrops. I thought these earrings, when I saw them, though gorgeous, would overpower my face. But they look wonderful, not too overpowering, but beautifully dramatic while still in perfect proportion. The hook on the wires to keep them fastened is wonderful, since the hook-less wires do sometimes work their way loose.

All in all, this is one of the best gifts I’ve ever bought myself! I’m absolutely thrilled!

I’m hoping to rope a relative with a camera into taking pictures of it in my hair sometime soon, since I don’t own one. But until then know that it’s absolute perfection – in and of itself, of course, but especially In My Hair!

Please accept my profound gratitude for such an exquisite piece of hair jewelry! It’s a true work of art!

Yay! We put a lot of care and effort into making our hair jewelry, so it is great to know that it is so appreciated.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cassia - Natural Hair Conditioning

Cassia obovata, also known as Senna or 'neutral henna', is a herb used to strengthen and condition hair. It binds to the hair shaft, making the hair thicker and glossy. It is sold as a green powder, made from ground leaves.

Cassia has its conditioning effects by working in much the same way as henna, but henna is also a permanent red-orange dye. Henna should not be used unless you truly want to change your hair color, *permanently*. Cassia can be used to gain the strengthening benefits of henna, but without permanently dying your hair.

Cassia does contain a dye molecule, but it is much weaker than that of henna and is a pale, golden-yellow instead of red/orange. Unless your hair is gray, or light blonde, it will not show up on your hair, and even if it does, it will wash out in a few weeks. Gray hair will become light blonde, but very light blonde hair may become darker.

For one Cassia application, you will need around 20-80g, depending on how long and thick your hair is. For reference, my hair is approximately bra-strap length and normal thickness, and I use 25g.

First, you need to make a 'mud' from the cassia powder. Mix the powder with enough water until you have a thick paste. If you would like to encourage the golden-yellow dye, leave the mixture to sit for an hour before applying it. This allows time for 'dye release'. You could also try using orange juice (an acid) to mix the powder with - it is thought by some henna/cassia users that acid benefits dye release, although others have found that just water is sufficient.

You can either use a straight mix of cassia and water/OJ, or you can add other hair conditioners to your mud. Cassia can make hair feel dry initially, so adding another conditioner helps alleviate this. Honey is a great conditioner, and it's addition in a mixture also makes the cassia much easier to wash out of the hair. However, honey has the potential to lighten hair (more about this in another post soon), so if this would be a problem, microwave the honey for 10 seconds first (to kill the lightening enzymes). Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey, depending how long your hair. If your hair tends towards dryness, try adding a little (1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil. If your hair tends to be greasy, you will probably want to avoid the use of oil, or experiment with a smaller amount to see how your hair reacts.

Once you have mixed your cassia, apply it to wet hair. It is easiest and least messy to apply in the shower cubicle, then wrap your head in Saran (plastic) wrap. Use an old towel around your neck to catch any drips. Leave the mixture on your head for 40-60 minutes, then wash out. You will need to use shampoo to get all the mud out of your hair. Some people prefer to wash it out by running a bath, then lying back and soaking their hair, but in my experience showering works just as well, especially if there is honey or oil in the mixture. If you just used cassia and water, your hair may feel a little dry initially, but this should get better after a couple of washes. You can repeat the cassia treatment every 3-4 weeks to maintain its conditioning effects.

Cassia obovata can be obtained from many online henna sellers or herbal companies. However, Cassia senna, a common constipation remedy, has much the same effect on hair and is more commonly and cheaply available. Cassia senna powder can be found at online herb stores or health food shops.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Featured Etsy Artists 3 - Gifts, Etc

This week's featured Etsy shop is Gifts, Etc, a wonderful Etsy shop run by talented artist and craftswoman Katie. Gifts, Etc has an amazing array of papercrafts and also offer custom items. Here's our interview with Katie.

Tell us a little about your shop?
I sell handmade greeting cards, gift tags, business card envelopes and more. I also have some of my photography in my shop as well as some diecuts for scrapbooking.

What inspires you to create?
My son is my inspiration for anything I do. He's always so bright and cheery and I want that whole feeling to come across in my items. I do this by using fun, lively scrapbook papers and embellishments.

How did you discover Etsy?
By sheer luck. :-)

What were the first items you bought and sold on Etsy?
Hmm...the first item I sold was my Valentine's Day Gift Tags...on my very first day!! lol First thing I bought was a banner.

What are you working on right now?
Right now, I'm working on some brand new Christmas items! Yes, I said Christmas. :-)

What is your favourite item in your shop?
I loove my Hugs and Kisses card (seen to the right). My inspiration for this card was my amazing boyfriend.

What are your ambitions as an artist/craftsperson?
To continue making beautiful papercrafts that bring a smile to someone's face.

Anything else you'd like to tell us?
I'm having a HUGE Christmas in July sale, the entire month of July! Different specials each week. Stock up on your Christmas needs now!

Thanks so much for talking to us, Katie at Gifts, Etc! Our favourite Gifts, Etc item is these colorful Flower Power Business Card Envelopes. Check out Gifts, Etc this month and make this the year you really are prepared for Christmas!

Gifts, Etc also has a fabulous blog, check it out for more on Katie's work, contests and featured Etsians!