Today begins the first installment of the HCG Gift Guide 2009! We've had many requests for gift suggestions, and we are making good on our promise to deliver. Unlike all the other gift guides out there, we aren't categorizing the gifts by recipient (you know how gift guides go - "for the fashionista", "for the hostess", "for the friend who never stops complaining", "for your pain in the ass secretary"). Instead, we just thought of random things that are awesome and attempted to group them together in some coherent manner. The maiden voyage of our Gift Guide focuses on something every HCG woman cares deeply about: her hair. Fun hair accessories are still going strong, and HCG loves participating in this action. Above, one of my favorites: a feathered hair flower from H&M ($5.95). This hair flower is softer and flatter than some of the crazier hair flowers out there, and it comes in pale pink, too. Next up, another great H&M hair accessory: a slightly sparkly multi-flower headband in black ($7.95 - also available in cobalt blue):This black headband is decidedly more low key than the feathered hair flower (so low key that I fell asleep when taking this photo) and doesn't require lots of long hair to pull off (let's be honest - the feathered flower might be a little much on someone with short hair). The ornamentation on this headband isn't too high which makes it work for casual Friday at the office or holiday gatherings (I wore it on Thanksgiving - very fitting, no?). H&M doesn't have an online store, but I've seen both of these hair accessories in several different H&Ms as recently as this past Sunday.
If the first two options are a little too busy for your intended recipient's style (your pain in the ass secretary), don't worry - there are tons of low key hair accessories to choose from. Practically every store in the free world carries skinny metallic headbands, and nobody does accessories cheaper than our old standby F21. Check out their braided headbands which come in all kinds of colors (including gold and black below). In typical F21 fashion, TWO headbands cost only $1.50:
As we've mentioned on HCG before, every woman should consider investing in a good hair dryer. I received this Sedu Ultrapower Professional Hair Dryer ($134.95 at folica.com) from my parents last Christmas, and it significantly improved the quality of my daily life. This hair transforming weapon cut my drying time nearly in half. Next up, a little gem I discovered while waiting in line with Little B at Sephora in college (it was one of those trips to Sephora where you could not let yourself leave without buying something, anything. This happens to CF almost every time she enters a retail store): Frederic Fekkai's Hair Mask with Shea Butter ($22.50 at Sephora). Don't be scared by the description on the bottle ("ultra dry, thick or unruly hair"); I don't exactly categorize my hair as "unruly", and this mask works perfectly fine on me. I find that using this mask about once a month helps me maintain a great shine (or maybe it's a mental thing where I think my hair looks shinier after I wash it out). I initially purchased a trial size of this mask for $9.00, so loiter around the register at Sephora and maybe you'll see a smaller version. There's a lot of tempting crap in those bins around the register, though, so try to stay strong and not buy the entire lot. If you really want the big size of this hair mask and can't find it at Sephora, it's also available at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's.
Our last item on today's Gift Guide is the one hair item I cannot live without: Redken Vinyl Glam 02 Mega Shine Spray ($12.75 on Amazon or wherever Redken products are sold. I paid $19.00 at my hair place, and I feel kind of angry now that I've found it so cheap online). The bottle isn't very large, but it lasts forever. If HCG were stranded on a deserted island, we would bring this shine spray (and the Sedu. And probably my flat iron because my bangs tend to get puffy in humid climates). I can't think of a better stocking stuffer. Let the gifting begin!