In case you haven’t already noticed, we’re a little obsessed with messy hair, whether it be in the form of a braid, bun, ponytail, or out-and-out waves. But can you really blame us? The look screams effortless sex appeal—even if it does require some effort to achieve.
We’re always looking for ways to simplify our beauty routines, so we grilled Schwarzkopf Ultîme Celebrity Hairstylist Richard Collins—who has created enviable waves on stars such as Suki Waterhouse and Selena Gomez—for five hacks that make mastering the messy look easier than ever.
Braid damp hair before bed.
Although you might be tempted to take a blow dryer to your locks immediately after washing, it’s best to leave hair damp, opt for a braid, and hit the sack. “When you wake up, you’ll have that textured look—kind of a deep construction wave,” says Collins. In the morning, you can take some pieces and enhance them with a curling iron.
Twist hair in a figure eight.
Instead of simply wrapping hair around the barrel of your curling iron, twist each section before applying it to the wand in a figure eight motion. Hold the hair in place for a second, then release. The key to this trick is to avoid wrapping the hair flat around the barrel; the twisted motion gives more of a Victoria’s Secret kind of wave, explains Collins.
Use different size curling irons.
Collins, who avoids curling wands, prefers using curling irons with clamps instead because they create a completely different type of curl. “The wand kind of gives you that one [type of] curl,” he explains. By using an iron with a clamp, you can wrap and twist the hair in different ways to create variety. To get an even more unique bend in your hair, use different size irons. Collins suggests using two or three different sizes for an interesting look from root to end.
Curl different size sections.
In addition to choosing different size barrels, keep your waves free flowing and undone by banning uniformity. “When I get to the crown area, I’ll take a thicker piece [of hair], so it’s a little bit looser up there,” says Collins. In other areas, he suggests going for tighter curls, which you can later tease out with your fingers. Curling different size sections not only provides added texture, it also keeps your waves more natural-looking.
Don’t forget the face.
Lastly, pay special attention to the waves around your face. “You want them to be a little bit softer,” says Collins. “You want them to frame your face in the right places.” If you have only so much time to execute this look, spend it here—it’s the area of your hair that gets the most attention. And if the rest is imperfect, that’s sort of the point, so just roll with it.