Thursday, March 31, 2011

Temperamental Broads Guide to Viva Las Vegas-Hair

Doing your hair at Viva can be one of the biggest headaches! I have a hard time doing rolls as it is, now throw in a different climate, hard water, and a hangover and they become nearly impossible. Over the years I have gotten better at it, but I still have those moments where I want to rip my hair out of my head!

Last year I was overall really happy with how my hair turned out because it was the first year that I set my hair the entire weekend. We arrived on wednesday so I was able to set my hair properly and wore that same set until friday night. Yes, I was that crazy girl that washed and set her hair at 6 am friday night/saturday morning. All I wanted to do was pass out, but it saved a lot headaches for the rest of the trip. Basically though, I wore the same 2 sets the whole weekend:

Thursday. Fresh set. 3 front rolls.

Friday. Same set but one big side roll. This is the Grable do.

Saturday. New set but I went back to the 3 front rolls.

Sunday. Same set, just put into braids.

My goal this year to be as happy with my hair as I was last year. Its shorter, which may bring on some new challenges. By now, though, I have a few tried and true methods for achieving good hair at Viva and I thought I would share them with you here.

Try out sets in advance.
Viva is no place to try new things with your hair, although sometimes I have and it has worked out well (the Grable do, faux bangs), usually you will just end up frustrated and with ganky hair. Do your same sets using your same styling methods. If you want to do some new styles my best advice is to test them out in advance. That way you can work out the kinks and get the styling methods down. Also, sometimes a style may not look that good on you and its best to know that before Viva. For instance, I look best with some hair down. I don't have a strong profile so updo's arent the most flattering on me. Thats why I usually do half up, half down.

What to Pack:
I always take a variety of things I may need to set and style my hair:
To wash my hair I bring a volumizing shampoo and conditioner like Big Sexy Hair. Leave the moisturizing stuff at home!! It will just weigh down your hair.
To set my hair I bring 2 setting lotions: Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion and Lottabody. I also bring an extra mini spray bottle to hold water. Also, make sure to bring your blow dryer (the one in the room sucks) and a scarf to wrap your hair in at night.

 For curling I bring foam rollers, Remington Tight Curls, and a half inch barrel curling iron. I also bring a variety of clips to set the curl. When using a curling iron it is best to clip the curl in place and let it cool that way. It will hold a lot longer!
 For styling I bring 2 types of hairspray: a light hold like Garnier Volumizing Anti-Humidity to set the curls, but not make them stiff, and a strong hold like Beyond the Zone Frozen Stiff to freeze my rolls into place.
For finishing I bring 2 types of pomade-a waxy one like Ion Texturizing Hair Wax to smooth down the hair, and one like Pureology Shine & Control for, well, shine. 
Make sure that you set your hair so that it can last. Add extra hair spray and bobby pins and jump around the room a bit to make sure it all stays in place. If you dance like I do you don't want any of it falling out mid dance so make sure its all in place, including any adornments you may add.
Also, bring print outs of some styles that you like. I have a file folder filled with hair inspiration that I will bring with me to Viva. That way when I'm attempting a style I can see how its supposed to look in the end. You could even bring Lauren Rennels Vintage Hairstyling book if you need some extra help.

All the extras:
Bobby pins- large and small.
Metal clips- large and small.
Combs- regular, rat tail, teasing, and mini for my purse.
Hair brush-paddle, round, and boar bristled.
Hair rats in a variety of sizes, including one for faux bangs.
Hair combs
Flower clips, scarves, bows and other pretty things.

When to Set:
My rule is wash my hair as little as possible during the weekend. To some people this may sound gross but for anyone who consistently sets her hair this is one of the most important rules. This can be hard to do at Viva because with all the heat, cigarette smoke, and sweat, all you really wanna do is clean your hair! Believe me though, doing a new style everyday on clean hair is just a headache waiting to happen. I will wash and set my hair on wednesday night, then by friday or saturday I will wash and set it again. Between washes I will re-roll my hair at night (morning) before going to bed. I am usually drunk and ready to pass out but I do it anyway because it will make everything easier the next day. Make sure to brush it really good to get out any excess styling products, then roll it the way you did to begin with. If I have rolls I will not usually take them out. Wrap a scarf around your head and go to sleep!

Here's a quick, non-hair related tip---bring ear plugs. I will be rooming with 2 boys and I know from experience that both of them snore. Ear plugs block everything out so that I can actually get some rest!

Refresh Your Set
One of the key things I do throughout the weekend is to refresh my set whenever I go back to the room. This is especially important after the car show or pool party where you've been in the sun and wind for hours at a time. I will simply take either my Remington Tight Curls or my curling iron and go through and re-curl sections that may have fallen. Add a little more pomade and hairspray and change out your flower and you're ready to go!

Getting the Most out of Your Set

Since there are many style options that you can do with one set, I try to do variations throughout the weekend. On a fresh set I will leave most of it down. The next style will include more rolls, or the combining of rolls. By the third style you can do an up do or braids. This way it doesn't look like you have the same style the whole weekend. Also, using different hair accessories is a good way of changing up your style. So bring lots of different options to dress up your hair.

So there you have it! Those are my main tips for having good hair at Viva. This was mainly geared for girls who set their hair since it is a lot of work maintaining a set. Whether you set it or not I'd like to hear your tips at achieving great hair. Even if you don't go to Viva! What are your tried and true hair styling methods?



  1. Great tips! I am getting a haircut this afternoon because my sets have sucked lately since it's gotten too long, and I wanted to have plenty of time to get used to a new cut and how to style a bit shorter 'do.

    The only tip I could think to add is: don't forget a bandana or a not-sheer scarf in case you have a hair fail! My hair can take forever to dry and setting it before bed on Friday two years ago (we didn't go last year) meant I woke up with totally damp hair, so I wore a bandana Rosie-style all day while my hair dried. I saw lots of girls doing it so I didn't feel too weird about it. I imagine I'll probably run into the same issue this year, too, since I know I won't be able to last the whole weekend on one set. At least I've since learned that if I use a TON more rollers it dries a lot faster, even though it generally gives me a much tighter set.

  2. Great tip! Thats happened to me too. A scarf is the best bad hair save!!!

  3. I can't imagine your hair NOT looking fabulous! I love your hair!

  4. You should've seen me yesterday. It looked horrible!!!

  5. I love these tips, Holly! I am going to bring my hot sticks, Sedu hair dryer, ceramic curling iron, pin curl clips, bobby pins from Sallys, a few snoods, a few hair scarves, a good variety of hair flowers, Sebastian hair spray, and my beloved Ojon travel-size dry Shampoo. Sauve also makes a wonderful dry shampoo and it only costs 3 bucks!

    I use dry shampoo on my roots to refreshen my style. I can go two days maximum without washing my hair. My hair is very fine and it gets oily quick.The dry shampoo usually has a nice scent that is good for eliminating smoke, food smells, or what I call "nightclub" scent.

  6. Thanks for the tips. I need to find a new pomade (been using the coconut pomade but they discontinued it and I'm stuck with 1/4 jar left :( booo) I need to experiment with new styles and haven't wet set my hair in AGES! Love your blogs :)

  7. Tara-Hmmm I haven't used my Hot Sticks in a while. Maybe I will break them out as well.

    Jennie-Thanks!! I like the pomades I use but I also like Black and White. I hear Hawleywoods Grooming Spray is really good too. I haven't tried it yet but wanna pick some up at Viva.

  8. Oh my goodness! That first photo! I would DIE if my hair ever looked that good. I would take one million pictures and post them everywhere


  9. I wish my hair were as long as it was then. Right now its still growing out so I will have to maake do.

  10. Boy version - Sweet Georgia Brown (blue can), Black & White, and Royal Crown pomades. Blend the three as needed. Comb. Done. I'm going to the bar for a drink.


  11. wonderful post! I absolutely agree...a cold set works SO much better. Since I'm not doing any late nights this time (I'm bringing kids) I have no excuse not to set my hair at night every night. My goal is to do two of Lauren's hairstyles from the book, each day. Wish me luck!!

  12. Great tips.I have started the hair styling packing already cuz I know I will have some of these issues.I have been trying to come up with styles for each outfit,lolHope i'm not the only one who does have s many hair accesories i have trouble picking what im taking.

  13. great tips for maintaining your set! thanks. any tips for keeping your hair completely dry in the shower? in other words, you do a wet set at night and then wake up in the morning with hair you wanna keep dry but also wanna take a shower. i've tried lots of different stuff w/ a plastic shower cap on top and some hair always still gets wet. any tips that work for you?

  14. Stephanie-I will usually bring big alligator clips and just clip all of it out of the way. Then I will use either a shower cap or scarf to keep it dry. I also dont put the water too hot and I open the window so that the steam doesnt ruin my set too.

  15. Fabulous blog & where did you purchase your faux bang?
    I adore your hairstlyes. I have extremely fine hair & sooooo need this faux bang. Planing to go VLV next year can't wait.

  16. Bijouxie-I had a few people asking about them at Viva. Here's the link

    I think I will do a proper post about them too.


I love reading your wonderful comments and opinions!! Feel free to ask questions and I will happily answer them as fast as I can! Any negative comments will be deleted.

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