Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Survive a Writers' Conference in Style - Volume I

This post is the kick-off in a series on Writing Conference Survival.  For the intent and purpose of this series, we’re talking regional size weekend conferences – not retreats or more laid back local conferences that last a day. We’re referring to a conference that includes pitching to agents, editors, long days of networking, nights of parties and mingling mixer type events.  But we believe every conference, retreat, meeting, and coffee meet-up should be informative and FUN! It’s in this spirit that we’ve developed the M Shelf head to toe tips:  How To Survive A Writing Conference In Style
Today’s topic: HAIR.
Hair is an extension of you. It’s one of the first things people notice, particularly for women.  It should be an extension of your personality and profession.  For example, at my 9 to 5 job, I’m a Charlotte. 
I wish I had her hair (I don’t), but that’s my basic aim.  My job is professional and conservative, therefore so is my hair and apparel (outside of the occasional crazy pair of shoes and statement jewelry).  And, to a certain degree, I am a Charlotte hair girl. I’m a jolly Pollyanna and I believe in love.  I like my hair long and feminine in rich brunette tones. A Charlotte ‘do suits me the majority of the time, but occasionally I get a wild hair! (Pardon the pun)
The part of me that’s daring and wide-open, fierce and fun with a little rock n’ roll needs to come out and play.  That is the hair I take to a writer’s conference. It gives me confidence, puts me in an outgoing mood, and reminds me why I’m there.  So I let a little Drew Barrymore come out to play (but as a brunette of course).

For my fellow M Shelf blogger, I think it’s safe to say she’s normally a Reese hair on a day to day basis.

But for conference she wants glamorous rolls and spirited waves like Carrie Underwood.
The only way to get all of these different looks is product and appliance.
But everyone is different and this is about YOUR hair. Let’s say your look is more reserved or wild & funky with short hair – the point is, you want to feel good about your ‘do at a conference, because if you feel good, you look good and vice versa. Confidence isn’t just a great thing when you’re marketing yourself and your work – it’s darn near a must have.  
So regardless of the hair you have and/or want, product and appliance will help get you where you want to be.
The average day at a writers’ conference starts at 8am and ends around midnight. That’s some serious all day hair. Luckily you’re usually in a hotel and can do the occasional touch up work, but your base style needs to last.  Here are a few key products that we’ve found work well for All Day Conference Hair.
After much trial and error, including the aptly named Helmet Head hairspray, our number one pick for perfect conference hair hairspray is Kenra #26. All day hold, a great smell, and your hair isn’t “crunchy.”  It’s nice to touch and doesn’t look stiff, even though it is.  I don’t know how or why it works, but it does.  It comes at a price, but it’s worth every penny if you require hold.
This is something near and dear to my heart because I get frizzies after ten seconds in the southern air.  I swear by Moroccan Oil.  If it can make my unruly hair soft and smooth, it can help anyone. I’ve also recently discovered the Bed Head Hair Stick.  Those wispy baby hair combatants are no longer sticking up all over the place, even when rocking a wavy ‘do. Short hair, long hair – you just put some on your finger tips and shape it/smooth it how you want it.
If you need volume, we’ve found two things that work great for making limp hair full and ferocious.  Big Sexy Hair’s Root Boost and a tried and true set of hot rollers. The key to hot rollers? Flexibility OR having a roomie who doesn’t mind rolling the back for you.
Other Appliances
I’m a fan of curls and waves, so I go nowhere without my curling iron and hot rollers.  For others, it’s sleek and smooth with a flat iron.  Whatever you prefer, there’s no better line than CHI if you can afford it (it even gets my crazy hair straight and sleek). I can’t yet spring for a CHI, so trusty Helen of Troy or Hot Tools is a great second option.
We hope these tips will help if you have a quest for conference hair.  If you prefer to go au natural then power to you.  Own your look whatever it may be! =)


Elizabeth Michels said...

I tried one of my up-dos yesterday and it stayed all day!! Now, to get those curls to last all day...'s a work in progress. :) Great post, McGovy!

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