Big hair has earned itself a bit of a bad name over the years, with glamour-obsessed women – from Marie Antoinette to Dolly Parton – torturing their strands in the pursuit of super-sizing styles to sometimes-crazy proportions.
But, when done well (read: subtly), adding volume to the hair has numerous benefits. It looks lush and healthy. It makes you appear taller. It renders the face more petite and delicate. And it has the effect of visually slimming everything below. What’s not to love?
The best take I’ve seen on big hair was on the Versace catwalk (above, right) at a Milan Fashion Week. Stylist Guido Palau created a straight and swinging style, which was slightly elevated by a 1960s-inspired lift at the crown. The genius was that it was big but also sleek – which volumised hair usually is not.
It’s also a nifty way to take the severe edge off a lean look; “I started to backcomb the hair not so far back in order to add root volume at the crown,” says Palau. “This technique softens the stick straight hairstyle and makes it much more flattering for women to wear.”
Actress of the moment Elizabeth Olsen (above, left) may not have worn Versace to the European premiere of Godzilla (it was Elie Saab) but she cleverly stole the hair look. Long and lean, her hair showcased her glossy new brunette colour gorgeously, while the added height made her appear even more slinky and statuesque in her flowing gown.
So now that we have a trend set to happen, let’s brush up (ha!) on the how to …
- Step One: Wash hair and work through a styling cream – Palau used Redken Pillow Proof Blowdry Two Day Extender, $30.95.
- Step Two: Mist a thickening spray into the crown – try Redken Guts 10 Root-Targeted Volume Spray Foam, $29.95.
- Step Three: Blow-dry hair using a natural bristle brush to enhance shine. Your part can be either to the side – à la Versace – or in the middle, as seen on Ms Olsen.
- Step Four: To ensure hair is stick-straight, spray on a thermal protectant (like Palau’s pick: Redken Iron Shape 11 Finishing Thermal Spray, $29.95), and flat-iron from roots to tips.
- Step Five: To finish off, back-comb hair at the back of crown (using a rattail comb), smooth the surface over (grab your natural bristle brush for this), and set with hair spray.