Runway hair isn’t always meant to be accessible—take the wet, slicked-back style that’s so popular this season, or the oft-used intricate updo. That’s why I get so excited every time I see something I could actually wear (bonus points if I can execute it in a reasonable amount of time). So today, let’s talk about two styles I love for the following reasons: finger combing (oh my god, I already do this every day, it’s meant to be), natural texture, minimal styling, and gorgeous results.
First up is the inverted braid at Costello Tagliapietra. While designers aren’t going quite as braid-crazy this year, a few iterations of the look are still popping up here and there. This one just might be my favorite, mostly because the show is inspired by “the elegant woman getting away from it all on a luxury vacation,” which is obviously something we should all aspire to channel in our everyday lives.
“It’s a return to a classic look, but we’re pushing it forward. I wanted a really raw look, almost like bedhead, a little roughed up, but modern, beautiful and super easy,” says celebrity hairstylist Nelson Vercher of Rita Hazan Salon and ArtMix Beauty. Vercher directed his team to keep little “flaws” like cowlicks and flyaways around the hairline intact.
To get the desired natural finish, Vercher sprayed the hair with René Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo, using his fingers “like a claw” to bring out more texture. Next (and this is a genius tip so pay attention), he spritzed the hair with thermal spring water: “You just want a fine misting—if the hair gets too wet it’s not going to look natural. We were going for natural texture, which meant no blow-drying, no backcombing, no brushing.” If you’re a frequent user of dry shampoo, you know it can sometimes make the hair look a little matte. A fine mist of thermal spring water (I’m partial to Avène because it’s French, but also because it’s awesome) can work wonders in imparting some healthy shine.
Of course, the braid itself is the main point here. To keep it looking relaxed, leave a few face-framing pieces in the front (think wispy and soft). Vercher changed things up a bit by doing an inverted braid, which simply means he started braiding from underneath. The process remains the same, since the structure of the braid is still your classic 3-strand pattern. Tie it off with elastic when you’re about an inch from the bottom, then mist it all over with a finishing spray like René Furterer Vegetal. And that’s it!
The second look is simultaneously more polished and more relaxed. The legendary Didier Malige executed the Jan Brady-inspired style at Band of Outsiders, while Shiseido’s resident makeup genius Dick Page crafted the glowy, sun-washed makeup, swoon.
“The hair is very California, very ‘70s,” says Malige of the refined aprés-swim, surfer girl look (it sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not), “I start on clean, dry hair and make a low side part so that hair falls to the right. Starting at the roots, I mist hair generously with René Furterer Fioravanti Shine Spray, combing it through and massaging it in with my hands. This helps to bring back the natural curl, whatever texture the model has.”
Malige first creates the sleek side bang that offsets the loose hair so nicely: “It has to be really flat in front, like Jan Brady would do. The movement has to be exaggerated. I lift the end of this “bang” and hold it with a clip. I put a bit of paper under the clip so it won’t leave a dent. The hair is also clipped behind the left ear in the same way.”
The bang is then secured behind the model’s ear with two bobby pins, which brings us to our next pro tip. “We want the pins to be matte so that they are invisible on the runway,” says Malige, “So before putting them in the hair, we sand them with an emery board. When the pins are matte they won’t pick up the light.”
The rest is a gradual process of building body with Fioravanti Detangling Spray, a light “ruffling” of the hair with fingers, and a final dose of volume with the help of Volumea Spray. “This gives the texture we created a controlled volume and a light, airy natural finish,” he explains, “This look isn’t so much about hairdressing. We are not using blow-dryers. And it’s best not to use combs or brushes, and just use your hands. We’re not doing the hair—we’re just touching it.”
I can get on board with that.
All images by John M. Craig for René Furterer