If a young Frances Estrada could have chosen the way her hair looked, it might have been curly and another color beside brown. Growing up, Frances – the boricua blogger, who goes by @ThePeckingOrder on Instagram and has amassed a sizable following – truly believed the grass was greener on the other side. “I feel like every time you have straight hair, you want to curl it,” she tells Remezcla. “And if you have curly hair, you want it straight.” But as she’s grown more comfortable in her skin (and failed curling attempts), she has embraced her straight hair.
As she experiments with style and shows off how her wardrobe changes to keep up with New York City’s seasons, her long brown locks – which she sometimes wears wavy – remain a constant. They’ve become part of her signature look.
Frances’ hair routine is all about simplicity. During a recent conversation with the fashionista, she walked us through the products she loves, experimenting with different styles, and her biggest hair inspiration, her mom.
As someone who has straight hair, what have been your biggest challenges?
Sometimes I was frustrated because I wanted to curl it. But it doesn’t stay as long as I want that way. My mom tried to get me curlers and different kind of products to make my hair look curly, but it didn’t stay long. I’m just embracing my straight hair.
You have also worn your hair long for a while. Has your culture played a role in that?
I used to have short hair for one year. But I’m really loving my long hair. And pretty much all my life I’ve [had] long hair. When I was a little girl, my sister didn’t like to cut her hair and I liked cutting my hair almost every year and doing different styles. And [my mom] was really open to it. She was like, “If you want to do it, just do it.” But I think it’s cultural because I think almost all my Hispanic friends have long hair like me.
Why did you decide to go short? Did you find it more challenging to deal with short hair?
I think it was two years ago when I decided to cut my hair. I was like, “I’m pretty confident if I cut it or leave it long.” So the first time I wanted to cut it, I was inspired by Olivia Culpo, ’cause she cut her hair really short, and my hairstylist told me, “Oh, you’ve always had long hair, so I think you shouldn’t cut that short the first time.” So he cut a little bit more than my ends the first time, and I just went back the next week and I told him, “I want it shorter.” And he was like, “Are you sure that you want it shorter?” I was like, “Yeah, that will grow out again. Don’t worry.” So he cut it and I did a long bob. That was my first haircut that was really different.
[The worst part was] when my hair was short and it started growing. I wanted to [tie it back] all the time, just because it was was weird. They say that awkward hair phase is when your hair is growing, so I used to [tie] it a lot, but now, when I have long hair pretty much all the time, I leave it loose.
What kind of products work best on your hair?
I have a basic routine since I don’t like cutting my hair as much because I want it long right now. I feel like my ends are split, and I need a haircut but what I do is, once a week I do a mask. I just apply it after I wash my hair and I leave it for the whole day if I’m going to be [home]. So I leave it on the whole day and just put a clamp in my hair and just leave it like that and I’ll wash it out during the night.
What about when you have to be on the go? What does your hair routine look like then and what products do you use?
What I do is [I] use shampoo and conditioner. I wash my hair every two days. I don’t have really greasy hair. It’s a mom thing. My mom used to tell me that I had to wash my hair every two days, so I’m used to doing it that way. [Then,] I do shampoo two times and conditioner. Ever since I was a little girl, [my mom] was like, “Oh, you shampoo two times and then you do conditioner on your ends, and a little bit on the upper part.”
After I get out of the shower, I comb my hair and I use a leave-in conditioner. I just let it dry with the air. If I want to straighten it more, I just use a iron and if I want to curl it, I just use a curling wand.
Being a fashion blogger, [I] receive a lot of products. I try pretty much everything. I’ve [also] tried [drug store products] and it looks really good… And the hair mask that I’m using right now is from John Frieda. It doesn’t mean that if the product is pricey or high end that it’s going to be better than a drug store product.
From September 30 to October 20, Ulta Beauty is offering up to 50% off the most loved brands as part of its Gorgeous Hair Event. Every day, they have beauty steals from from several different brands, which makes trying new items more accessible. What products are you excited to try and why?
The Instyler Airless Blowout Revolving Styler. That is basically a blower machine. I don’t know how to blow out my hair. I never learned that from my mom and she knows how to do it. So, I feel this, the Blowout Styler, it has a brush on it and the other part, [the rounded barrel] is like an iron. It makes the blow out easier.
The other one is the Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo & Conditioner. I wanted to try it because I’ve never tried a keratin product.I feel like when I hear the word keratin treatment, [you hear how] you cannot pull up your hair for two days. I’ve never done it because … my hair is straight, so I don’t need that. I’m [usually] looking for more volume and being able to make my hair wavy.
[And then there’s] the Chi Silk Infusion. That one, I was really curious about this product and it says that it’s for everyday hair and it leaves your hair strong, soft, and healthy. So I was trying to use this just to have healthy hair.
It seems like your mom has had a big influence on your hair. What is the best lesson you’ve learned from her?
I think pretty much everything that I know, most of it, is because of her. She loves fashion and she loves changing her hair. She dyes her hair. When I was a little girl I wanted to dye my hair and do some highlights. I think it was when I was in seventh grade, and she told me, “Don’t do it.” I’m like, “But you dye your hair.” And she’s like, “Oh, but if you do it, then you have to go like every single month to dye your hair and if you’re not a consistent person, then it’s not going to look good.” So she told me that so many time that, that idea of dying my hair just went away. I’ve never colored my hair.