How to get Zooey Deschanel Bangs

I have spent my life on a womanly quest, often ending in heartbreak {or heartbreakingly awkward photos}. I earnestly sought an answer, striving to be cool, or at least not uncool. It was a gift my mother could not pass down, a challenge my sister did not share. I journeyed alone and it took me 30 years to arrive.

I wanted bangs.

In 2nd grade I cried when forced to slick back my bangs for a ballet recital, convinced I had a huge forehead.

In 4th grade three supercool 5th grade girls spoke to our class, flipping their hair from side to side every few seconds {I immediately began folding that into my own mannerisms} all with giant, dual level, curled two directions, teased bangs.

I attempted this artistry at home but mostly ended up with smushed to the side hair with lots of hairspray. 

High school brought bizarrely thin whispy attempts. College a stringy swept-to-the-other-side version {in case it was just the right side of forehead that had been the problem?}. My early 20's saw a run of unfortunately short bangs.

Finally in my late 20's I made a magical discovery when Jeanne Coyne, who died in 1973, changed my life.

Cast to play Jeanne, Gene Kelly's wife, in a show about their love triangle during "Singing in the Rain" I made the transformation to look like her using synthetic fake bangs.

I fell in love. Thick gorgeous bangs were mine on stage every night!

Soon I had discovered, for sale at a beauty supply store in Manhattan, real fake bangs. Not an oxymoron, but rather faux bangs {they clip on} made of real hair so they could be cut, washed, curled, straightened.

For years {almost} no one knew the difference. In fact, I was wearing them when I launched Dean Street Society! {See my first photo shoot below.}

One day my hair stylist said, "I think we can do this for real. Do you trust me?" And I didn't. Not really. But if I figured worst case scenario they would suck like always and I could just wear my fake ones over them until they grew out.

It took a few weeks. But thanks to a great stylist/haircut and some advanced steps, I have become a woman. I have bangs. Which of course gets me a lot more Zooey Deschanel comments these days. But if you too lack a thick mane like Zooey, if your hair is thin or wavy or your forehead sweaty, here's my 8 steps to cute bangs that will make you want to hair dance.


1) Shampoo twice daily. Even if you throw the rest of your hair in a bun, sink-wash your bangs. Twice. The first time gets off the residue, the second {holy foamy lather worthy of a commercial, I promise!} gets a deeper clean. 

2) Use a saltwater/beachy spray. This gives fine hair some stick to avoid total whispyness. Only apply at the roots.

3) Blow-dry in a variety of directions. Curl comes from the root and the desire here is to "confuse the root". Instead of just drying down/straight, direct the root every which way to break it from it's habits. I love using the ghd brush to avoid the oils from my fingers.

4 + 5) Use the ghd straightener dividing your hair into 3 layers. Ghd is what my stylist uses, and if you're going to use it everyday, go with what the pros use. If you try to clamp the full bang all at once, you won't get all of it as straight, so do the bottom, middle, then top layers pinning the upper ones back with a bobby pin. If you want a bit of curl at the end, just finish off your ghd strokes by angling towards your face instead of straight down {which can look a bit harsh}.

6) Dry shampoo at your roots. This gives more volume, less shine.

7) Use a teasing comb. I don't do this daily, but if I know I'm headed to an event where I'll be taking photos this gives extra volume and stay-in-place-ness. 

8) Don't. Touch. The bangs. Avoid the oils on your fingers. First, let it go. Resist the urge to touch. I promise you can break this nervous habit over time to both look more chic in your mannerisms and keep your bangs less greasy! Two, when you do touch, try to use an item other than your fingers. In addition to the handle on the teasing comb, I've been known to use my credit card or keys. I'll sometimes use one finger at the roots to fluff them up without running my fingers all the way through them, or fluff them with the nail-polished side of my fingers. 


Shop this Style { Hair Straightener c/o ghd | Fine Hair Shampoo: Evo's Gluttony |  Sea Salt Spray: Evo's Salty Dog  | Dry Shampoo: Suave | Red Lipstick: MAC Lady Danger} + Photography by Sara Kerens 


I guarantee you'll want to put on a fan and make sexy faces at the camera too.

Now it's your turn to help a sister out!

What are YOUR tips for better bangs, or just hair in general? Leave 'em in the comments below!

Encourage Beauty

I am delighted to announce the Encourage Beauty Instagram Challenge is back!

Encourage beauty is a commitment to celebrating our beauty and that in others ...

A realization that when we shine, we encourage others to do the same ...

Not just permission to find joy in our beauty but the belief that joy begets joy and therefore we bless others ...

Hop on the list here to get the scoop on how to join us, why it matters, get the calendar, plus some swoon-worthy inspiration headed to your inbox over the next week!



While "encourage beauty" is a year-round mantra of Dean Street Society, I love our occasional Instagram challenges as a way to walk the walk, publicly celebrating and inspiring.

This time around we're upping the joy, bringing on six women I madly admire for their outer and inner grace and am so inspired by.

Can't wait for you to get to know and grow alongside Anna of In Honor of DesignJessie of Style & Pepper, Brynn of Being Elliott, Kat and Em of The Refined Woman, and Lauren Scruggs of Lolo Mag.


Join us here today, love! And share with your friends so they can join us too.

Then I'll see you on Instagram on Monday to kick things off ...

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Style in Bloom

First things first can we talk about how much I love the balcony-ette at the new Dean Street Studio?!

I was on a mini mission with #ChooseJoyJune as something I'm trying to embrace more every month of the year: little intentional moments.

I'm a master at hustling through life's moments of gumption, and I embrace seasons of grace when I get to travel, but in the everyday it's a habit I'm having to build. 

Do you empathize? If so, my two answers have been walks, and a happy place.

I take as many calls as I can while walking in my neighborhood, listen to books on tape, or just let my mind wander.

And I come sit at my little flower box for mini-breaks throughout the day to just slow down and soak in.


Shop this Style { Top : H&M : Similar | Pants : H&M : Similar | Mug : Anthropologie | Shoes : Nordstrom Rack : Similar | Bracelets : Thrifted + Similar } + Brooklyn Photography by Bethany Michaela


I'm also floral smitten as soon as the sunshine comes out for spring!

In this ensemble I mixed three florals, and threw caution to the wind ignoring my traditional pattern pairing principles like "one busy, one bold".

The result might be a bit too bold for your taste, but whatever your comfort zone, I say push it every now and then.

One year ago I never would have worn this ensemble: three florals, sheer shirt AND some version of harem pants?! No way.

But I grow and evolve as a person, and in my personal style. I seek out new people on Instagram who push my boundaries. And continue to take risks now and then in the dressing room.

Life's too short to be scared. Play a little.

And whether you're wearing them or surrounded by 'em, take time to stop and smell the flowers. {wink}


August Instagram Challenge

After 2.5 glorious years with the #StyleMe Instagram and Closet Challenge, we're gettin' fancy!

Instead of living solely on Instagram, starting this month we're adding an email component just for our VIBs {very important bettys}.

Come hop on the list to receive exclusive notes from moi each Sunday with inspiration from my personal closet to help you interpret the challenges and see your closet with fresh eyes.

And if you're new to #StyleMe you'll also want to check out what our bettys say about why they love it so!

Pop in your email and the brand new calendar will be headed straight to your inbox! 

Here's to a month of stress-free pre-coffee leaving-the-house-feeling-fabulous mornings ... {wink}

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Betty, Meet Jess & Diana!

Stories make life interesting, and this one is about a girl with a dream who's seeing it come to life.

Almost three years ago on September 1st, 2011 I hit publish on a new little website called Dean Street Society. The dream was that she would become a business run by a small team, a handful of bettys {or dappers}.


Eight months later, hosting a show for Hearst Media that took up a large portion of my time, I hired my first assistant, Kayte. The show got cancelled the next month, but I was already grateful for the extra help 10 hours a week.

A year later Kayte moved on, I was traveling, muddled throughout without someone for a few months and then hired Nicole for 20 hours a week. "I can't believe you've been doing this on your own!' she exclaimed, "There is so much to do!"

She was with me for eight months until we conceded I need someone at more set hours, not feasible with her two young kiddos. I brought Liz on as an intern and she was so good she stepped into the role at 25 hours a week before her internship was over.

6 months later she confessed that it wasn't the right job for her. With a husband in the military she needed more simplistic stability in her job, and realized entrepreneurship was anything but. I set out to hire a new Chief of Staff, and realized that Dean St was ready for a whole new season.


The position went from part-time to full-time, from one freelancer to two employees in a matter of weeks. One of those shifts you call a game changer.

After holding the ground together on my own for almost three years, I now have two teammates, and the beginnings of my original vision it took almost three years to achieve.

Needless to say, I am giddy to introduce you to the newest members of the Dean Street Society team: Jess and Diana.

We had our first "all team" day recently and I wanted to pinch myself! I felt like I was getting to "play office" all day with friends instead of by myself!

They also explain why it's been all quiet on the eastern front around here this July, but we're all goosebumpy about what's coming in August and beyond. {wink}

Thanks for being a part of this story, love, and I can't wait for you to get to know Diana and Jess soon!

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