By Sara Iravani
As a seasoned San Francisco resident, I have just about relinquished my Southern California beauty regime for one that favors a cooler, damp climate. During my first year, I fought tooth and nail against the inevitable loss of melanin and mousy brown hair color I hadn’t possessed since I was nine.
Currently, I am in a place that I can confidently say I am a recovering tanning bed addict. I no longer worry about relapsing because my addiction lasted three months before I realized this habit is: a) too expensive, b) didn’t produce the right ‘color’ skin pigment c) highly damaging to my skin (eek!). Admittedly, my priorities were out of order, I know, but I think many can attest that old beauty habits die-hard.
After submitting to the Bay Area and buying a lighter shade of foundation, I have one beauty contingent left -beach hair.
Perhaps our lackadaisical hippie brethren of the Bay Area originally popularized the ‘messy hair trend’ and have now bestowed the sought after look on current “It” girl Erin Wasson. The supermodel, hipster, and So-Cal style queen reigns over the fashion blogosphere with her fantastically sun kissed, ombre hair for all those to envy.
Sometimes I wonder how many Hairdressers have been presented with a photo of Erin Wasson and summoned to ‘Color my hair like hers’?
The latest messy-hair-girl-crush, in case you haven’t met her, is the newly anointed ‘Jane Birkin’- Marguax Lonnberg. The bleached blonde sports an enviable bed-head mane. Just another enviable photo to look at on the Internet.
With the help of my sister, another Northern California transplant, I decided to undergo the arduous search for a hair product that would produce the just-out-of-ocean look.
Experiment #1: DIY
The homemade sea salt hairspray.
My sister and I began a confident, thorough Internet search for sea salt mixtures. We decided the method prescribed by the ladies from bohemian, clothing line, Free People, was our recipe for success. They have to be experts to pull off all those longhaired, ‘free spirited’ lookbooks, right?
DIY Sea Salt Hair Spray Recipe:
1 Spray Bottle
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Coconut Oil
1 dap of Hair Gel
1 cup of Water
Result: Sticky, icky, hair on a Friday night. My friends got a good laugh in learning that I’d used my own hair concoction on my “nest” of hair, created by this oily version of sea salt spray. I can’t blame Free People for the bad hair night. I only have myself to blame -I think we may have used a tad too much hair gel or coco oil…Needless to say, it was on to Experiment #2.
Experiment #2: Braided Hair
Choosing a rainy, chilly night, my sister and I sat in front of a space heater with freshly washed and blow-dried hair. Trying a more obvious method, we French braided each other’s hair in four sections, so we looked like a weird, un-cool version of Bob Marley. We gently misted our braids with John Freida’s Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Hair Spray -for those of you with straight hair, I swear by this hairspray as the only one able to destabilize straight hair. Then, we slept.
Result: The morning after produced a 1980’s crimped look. Could be worse, but not what we were looking for…WWED (What Would Erin Do?).
Experiment #3: Salon Recommended
I decided it was time to hit the customer comments. My sister and I bought three products with the seemingly best reviews.
-KMS California Hair Play -Sea Salt Spray
-Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
Result: Unfortunately, the most expensive won this round, but to me my eternal battle is over. I have found the magic ingredient for achieving beach hair. Just a few spritzes of Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray + coiled bun + 1 night’s sleep.
My sister and I had the messy tresses we were searching for and now wake up looking like slightly less attractive versions of Erin Wasson.
Web flyer for San Francisco fashion boutique, Mira Mira.
For latest photography & graphic design visit NORTH//SOUTH.
As Published in SHIFT Magazine
By Sara Iravani
“Can you fact check these articles, after the other two are done?”
“I know its rush hour, but we need you to load 125 gift bags into your car and unload them for the party tomorrow.”
“Can you get my lunch and mail this package? Thanks.”
“Sorry we don’t compensate for gas or paying to park at our office…. :( ”
Most people know these lines as the tell tale signs they are working as an Intern. It almost always begins with an email:
Dear 20-Something College Graduate:
While we think your skill set and experience are most worthy of a job, we can only offer you an unpaid internship at this time.
Not Your Future Employer
In this day and age college graduates have one thing common on their resume: the internship(s). A necessary experience to have, and a practice that encapsulates what life is like working day-to-day in said occupation.
These internship experiences are meant to give graduates professional experience and contacts that may lead to a potential job….maybe in some fields.
In fashion, the stakes are high and the competition cut throat. A missed opportunity can leave you panicked and feeling like a failure. Quit? Never show weakness.
Forget med school and dealing with cadavers -this is the only industry that promotes crying in the corner of the studio. If you aren’t crying, you don’t care enough. Right?
In a giant leap of faith for potential new labor laws, former Harper’s Bazaar Intern, Xuedan Wang, filed suit against Heart Magazines for financial compensation. The 28 year-old, ex-Intern interned from August-December 2011, toiling away in the Accessories closet for 40 sometimes 55 hours a week.
“Unpaid interns are becoming the modern-day equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not paying them for the many hours they work,” the lawsuit claims.
But enough about Xuedan; I had my very first internship with now defunct Magazine, who, for defamatory purposes we’ll call 733 Magazine.
Bright, eager, and feeling like a million bucks, I spent the first week answering phone calls and sitting in an office with a large window that looked outside in the sunny, beckoning San Diego Harbor. Aside from running out to my car every 2 hours to refill the expensive downtown parking meter, the only work I was assigned was updating this newfangled writing medium for the magazine –the 733 blog.
Needless to say, my Persian, Electrical Engineer, Father dubbed it “Sara’s summer working at a party magazine”. I stopped getting offended by his title after one of the employees was thrown in jail with a DUI after the August Issue Release party –yikes.
A couple years later I graduated with a B.S. in Textiles & Clothing (not bullshit, material science jerk) and I had two internships under my belt. But after applying for various entry-level positions, I was convinced I needed more internship experience plus a vacation.
Winter 2010, Summer 2010 for the Southern Hemisphere, I packed my bags and headed Down Under, to work for the fledgling fashion scene.
Through my old college roommate, I secured a six-month internship working at one of the big fashion labels. To supplement my lack of salary, and not go totally broke from paying $12 Australian Dollars for a beer (yes, 1 beer), I found paid work at an Aboriginal Art Gallery run by Persians -go figure.
What’s it like being an Intern in another country? Pretty similar, there is just as much clothing carrying and sorting, but a little more hands on. I’m still convinced it was better than working for an American label.
At least it sounds cool on my resume.
After my six-months of slanging didgeridoos, bushwhacking on sandy beaches and terrible exchange rates, I did what every god-fearing, college atheist is doing. Apply for Graduate School.
As a 22 year-old I never imagined I’d run back to the safety net of school. Or move to a city of hippies and nudists, to pursue an M.F.A. in Fashion Journalism.
Bright, eager, and feeling like a million bucks (we’re heard this before) I landed an apartment in the old Beat district of North Beach in San Francisco and embarked on a two-year program to buy some time and equip me with a skillset.
I write this seemingly angry Dear Abbey note, in the midst of my final year as an MFA candidate. I know what you’re thinking: after all this bitching and moaning, where is she now?
Currently, I am an Intern.
But things are looking up.