DIY haircuts

I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was in college. I’ve used a lot of different electric hair trimmers, but just recently I got one that has ceramic coated blades. It clips hair much more efficiently than plain steel blades. As a bonus, this one is cordless, making it easier to maneuver. — MF

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Ocean-friendly sunscreen

Many sunscreens contain ingredients harmful to coral reefs. Hawaii announced a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate, which goes into effect in 2021. Our family switched to zinc oxide sunscreen, which doesn’t hurt coral reefs. We like Thinksport SPF 50+ ($10.25 per tube). — MF

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Cheap hairdryer

I’m always amazed and slightly annoyed when the hotel hair dryer works better than my more expensive one back home. This hair dryer is inexpensive, portable and works just as good as any $50+ dryer. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Painless hair brushing

Because of the Tangle Teezer, I actually like brushing my hair after I shower. Just a few, quick strokes and my hair is super smooth and detangled. I’ve used the Tangle Teezer on my 10-year-old niece, who has really long hair and hates getting it brushed, and there was not one complaint. A tip for brushing long hair painlessly: gather all hair in a fist and brush in sections from the bottom up. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Best inexpensive hair curler

Over the years I’ve spent anywhere from $20 to $150 on heat styling tools, and this $25 Remington Curling Wand is the best hair curler I’ve ever owned. It heats up in 30 seconds and the curls keep all day, even through the next day. I owned the smaller ½-inch wand for 5 years before I bought the larger 1-inch wand and now I can curl all my hair in less than 5 minutes. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Keep your hair in place while sleeping

I use my satin pillowcase ($10) on nights before “no-wash” hair days. The silky pillowcase prevents my hair from getting tangled up or matted so that I barely have to brush it or style it. Beauty blogs claim that these pillowcases also prevent face wrinkles while you’re sleeping, which would be an added bonus if true! I just like how it makes my hair look and how cool and soft it feels. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Get rid of frizz and flyaways

My favorite quick-fix hair product is Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine. The product description says it’s unique and hard to define, and it’s true. I use it when I don’t have enough time to heat style my hair. I rub a dime-size amount between my palms and pat it through out my hair to smooth it out, create shine and get rid of flyaways. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Spikiest hair gel

If I don’t spike my hair, I look like Captain Kangaroo or Moe Howard. Bangs may have worked for those two august gents, but it doesn’t for me. The best styling gel I’ve come across is Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel ($8 for a 2-pack as an Amazon Prime Add-on Item). A little dab does the trick, and it lasts all day. — MF

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Hair bun pins

These spin pins are essential for holding your hair in place in a perfect little bun. They never loosen or fall out, even while working out. My only problem is that I’m always losing them and rebuying them. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Best hair towel

I bought an Aquis Microfiber hair towel and I use it every day. It’s probably shaved off a minute or two of blowdrying, but what I really appreciate is that my hair is breaking less, and visibly smoother and less frizzy. Also, it’s much more comfortable to wear a lighter, less heavy towel on my head. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Hair timesaver

Dry shampoo works great at absorbing oil and making my hair look clean when I skip out on washing it. All brands pretty much work the same, and you could even use talcum powder. I prefer Batiste Dry Shampoo because it comes in “brunette”, which spares me having to aggressively comb out the white powder from other shampoos. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Prevent frown lines

I often get sinus headaches and sometimes when I fall asleep with a headache, I will wake up with deep wrinkles from brow furrowing throughout the night. Frownies helps to prevent these from forming. I’ve already gone through a box and will continue reordering. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Facial sonic cleansing brush

I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia2 for a couple of months now and I’ve seen a definite improvement in the appearance of my pores and brightness of my skin. It does a really great job at removing my makeup and exfoliating. I can’t imagine living without it now. — CD

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Best flushable wipes

I’ve installed inexpensive bidets in the toilets at my house, and I’m sorry I can’t bring them with me when I travel. But I have recently started carrying a DUDE Wipe packet in my pocket. The packet resembles a condom packet, but it contains a flushable single wipe. It’s unscented and is treated with vitamin E and aloe. — MF

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Flossing better

The civilized way to floss is to use a long-handled floss bow so you don’t keep putting your fingers deep into your mouth. I’ve been using a Reach Access Flosser for many years, now rebranded as Listerine Ultraclean Reach. Rinse after use, and replace the cheap tiny bow as needed. — KK

HygieneClaudia Dawson
Travel floss

GUM Soft-Picks do a better job than toothpicks or floss for cleaning food and plaque from between my teeth. The soft green brush pushes out all the gunk without hurting. I buy the version that comes with the travel cases. — MF

HygieneClaudia Dawson