I thrive on volume: bright lights, blaring music, red lipstick, raucous laughter, dirty jokes told just a little too loudly over clear liquor in the shadowy corner booth of a dive bar. A case study in small-dog syndrome, what I lack in height, I’ve always made up for in presence. That’s why I think I was meant for bigger hair — not necessarily the round-brushed, corkscrew-curled, Studio 54-style big hair of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but thick, healthy, lush waves, the kind that the writer of a cheap romance novel sold in the magazine aisle at the drugstore would breathlessly refer to as a “mane.”
What I got instead was soft, shiny, whisper-thin strands that just do not line up with my perception of myself, as a person who takes up space, and lots of it. Nobody wants an identity crisis, so I do what I can to stay sufficiently volumized. And if there’s one product in my robust collection that makes the biggest difference, that gives the most grit with the least stickiness or weighed-down feeling, it’s Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite.
I keep one in my bag, one at my desk, and one in my bedroom, as you would a particularly good lip balm or hand cream. Neither lip balm nor hand cream, this powder isn’t quite a powder, either — it liquefies on contact, so once you start messing with it, it vanishes without a trace on even the darkest hair (as in, mine). The thickening fibers are like a performance enhancer for your hair, except they won’t show up on a drug test. This is a good-hair secret you can keep.
What constitutes an “essential” varies widely from person to person, but for me, a canister of this conveniently travel-sized texturizing powder is as necessary to my daily existence as my wallet, keys, ID, MetroCard, sentimental jewelry, Ativan, a roll-on blend of relaxing essential oils, the minimum five lipsticks I have on me at all times, and a necklace I recently made out of one of my dog’s lost puppy teeth. (It’s a good luck charm.) A few mists at the roots, raked through with my fingers, and I’m golden — my hair is as look at me! as I am, and the earth shifts back onto its axis. Man, that was a close call.
Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite Soft Volumizing & Texturizing Powder, $17.95, available at Ulta Beauty.