Anyone who follows street style with any regularity is surely familiar with “the hair tuck” by now. You know, that insouciant move where you leave your hair loosely half-tucked into a sweater or sweatshirt as if you couldn’t be bothered to flip it all the way outside the neck hole.
Although it might not seem like there’s much to mastering this style, there are in fact a few key elements and styling tricks that are essential to pulling it off properly. Here are four things to keep in mind before you attempt the tuck.
Make it messy.
One critical aspect of the sweater-tuck is that it shouldn’t look deliberate. “The whole point of this look is for it to seem very relaxed and like you almost mistakenly have your hair tucked inside your sweater or jacket,” says Steven DeCarlo, senior stylist at Mizu New York Salon.
Now we’re not saying you can completely abandon styling, but a few strategically placed flyaways are crucial. “Add a few pieces falling out around your face and volume in the back, [and] you are good to go, ” he suggests. Pull baby hairs out around the face in a random manner to draw attention to your tuck. These wispies will also add movement—even if the majority of your hair is hidden.
Add lots of texture.
DeCarlo explains that this look will work on a range of hair types from straight to curly, but retaining texture is important no matter the hairstyle. Second- or third-day hair, which has grittier hold, is actually ideal for this look.
To get that effortless vibe, use a curling iron to enhance texture and movement, advises DeCarlo. Tease select pieces on the crown to give overall fullness and make the hair look less haphazard. Follow your teasing with a dry texture spray and/or dry shampoo to remove any excess oil.
Think of your hair as a scarf.
This is an ideal look for fall not only because it requires that you wear a sweater, but also because you’re likely to need all the added layers you can get. In lieu of reaching for a scarf, think of your hair as a big bundle of warmth. Just be careful to avoid wrapping your hair too tightly around your neck—the faux-beard look isn’t what we’re going for here.
All the tousling in the world won’t make a difference if you’re not wearing the proper clothes for this look. We’re not saying you need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe—just make sure to throw on a loose sweater, turtleneck, or collared jacket the next time you want to try the hair tuck, says DeCarlo. These garments will make your hair the center focus while anchoring your strands in place.
Funny how much advance planning goes into looking like you didn’t try, right?