Just when you thought all '80s fashion revivals had run their course, big hair is back.
Just look at Angelina Jolie on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair and Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City movie poster to see that the chic set is turning up the volume. We're not talking the teased, sprayed locks of the Bangles, Bananarama and Dolly Parton. The modern version of big hair is sexy, but with a touch of Aqua Net nostalgia. Tease too much and you'll end up looking as if you stuck your finger in a light socket, but master the technique and treat your tresses with the right product, and you'll look like a Sophia Loren sex kitten.
The man who gives Jolie, Anne Hathaway and the Victoria's Secret models their big, beautiful hair is celebrity stylist Ted Gibson. Last week, he took a few moments at his New York salon to show us how to go over-the-top sexpot or just add a little Giselle to your summer look. His step-by-step process is less complicated than it may seem, but it requires a few key products: a blow-dryer, some hair spray and hot rollers.
"This kind of hair takes a certain attitude, a lot of personality," he says. "It's really about having the confidence."
To get fullness, start at the root. First, cleanly divide your hair into five even sections (hair can start wet or dry). Then apply a volumizing product to the scalp where each section is divided.
Next, apply a light, controlling gel all over the hair. Gibson uses two or three pumps of Aveda's Phomollient styling foam, then combs through the hair with his trusty brush to distribute the product evenly. Blow-dry the hair until it's about 80 percent dry, and then finish by pulling the ends under using a round brush. "This helps get volume from the scalp." He uses a medium-size round barrel brush on anyone with hair that hits from the chin to the clavicle. For shorter hair, use a small barrel.
Once the hair is completely dry, it's time for the hot rollers, which should be really hot. Wrap 2-inch sections of hair around each roller until you look like a '50s housewife. Leave rollers in for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are completely cool. After taking the rollers out, the curls should be more like waves than ringlets. Then spritz a light hair spray all over the head. It should be a "working" hair spray, which means one that doesn't get sticky or stiff, allowing you to keep working and building volume.
Throw your head over and brush out. "You want volume from the scalp," Gibson says. "Make sure you do some back-brushing. Tease the hair a little at the crown, smooth down the top, and spray again. For fly-aways because of humidity, use a shine serum after brushing."
Melissa Magsaysay writes for the Los Angeles Times