"Status hair?" Is there even such a thing? Author and career beauty editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig would have you believe so, if her tome "How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets to Getting Gorgeous Without Breaking the Bank" has any say about it. Glossy, luxurious hair is so essential to achieving the effortlessly beautiful and impeccably groomed look of the world's Kate Middletons and Angelina Jolies that hair is the first topic Pomerantz Lustig tackles in her beauty how-to, and at greater length and depth than any other topic in the book.
While I kind of take issue with the book's title because I'm not entirely sure why one would want or need to look particularly "expensive" on a regular basis, per se, there's still nothing wrong with wanting a lush beautiful mane. And, lucky for us all, a fleet of dry shampoos and texturizing sprays have bombarded the market in the past couple of years that can help you achieve massive hair at any price point. The downside? Big hair means matte hair, generally speaking--dry shampoos and sea sprays kill shine.
Call me a cynic, but we all know how fashion works; a tiny group of elites start wearing/doing something that most people can't access or afford, then the media promotes it, average people learn about it and demand grows, mass market retailers replicate it cheaply, it becomes de rigueur, and the tiny group of elites that originally made it cool abandon ship and move on to something else, usually the exact opposite of whatever all of the common folk are now wearing. I give you exhibit A: beachy waves. Just when every high school girl in America began wearing her hair like that, sex symbols like Beyonce, Victoria's Secret Angel Karlie Kloss, and Pamela Anderson chopped it all off. Talk about a statement of identity!
So this is where we are, or have been for quite a while: kind of matte, kind of crunchy "beachy waves" that are actually barrel rolled curls on medium to long hair. That's 2014's version of "mall hair," and what do the cool kids do who don't want to chop their hair off? They switch it all up again, and that's where we get the look rocked by Kate Upton at the MTV Movie Awards this year. "I take your matte beachy waves and I raise you the almost impossible to achieve SHINY VOLUME!" That's what Kate's hair is screaming in this pic--and, after the following tutorial, that's exactly what your hair will be screaming, too.
Kate Upton MTV Movie Awards 2014
You want: cool girl hair like Kate Upton (and all of her girlfriends!) had at the 2014 MTV movie awards. As Kate's hair stylist, Peter Butler for Moroccanoil describes it, we're talking about big shiny hair that's "inspired by the works of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin as well as the strong and powerful 80’s woman a la Cindy Crawford and Jerry Hall— I wanted big, polished hair.” .........................................................................................................
Red carpet ready big polished hair, this is not! This is me with a couple of days old blow out that's probably been hit once or twice with some dry shampoo and/or Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. Time for a do-over!
When you're trying to create big, shiny hair, product choice is key. On Kate, stylist Peter Butler used only Moroccanoil products, as all are impregnated with that lovely argan oil (even the mousse) to prevent anything from looking dry, dull, or stiff.
Moroccanoil product kit
In order to research and write this article, Moroccanoil sent me a set of products necessary for recreating Kate's look at home. For me, they sent along samples of their Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse and Moroccanoil Treatment Light along with this cute little travel bag. Everything smelled amazing and was supremely easy to use--mousse on roots only, oil on the ends of my hair, nothing less or more.
*For purists, here's a detailed list of the products used on Kate Upton's hair, as recounted by stylist Peter Butler for Moroccanoil:
· To create lots of volume, hold and lift, I began by applying Moroccanoil Root Boost to the roots of Kate’s damp hair and then blanketed her locks with Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse. Using the Moroccanoil Paddle Brush, I blow dried the hair in large sections.
· Next, I divided the hair into 2” sections, misted with Moroccanoil Luminous Hair Spray, and wrapped each section around a 2” barrel curling iron to create a rough wave.
· To create a tighter curl and additional bounce, I divide the hair at the top of the head into 3 sections and curled each with a 1” barrel iron from front-to-back (bang-to-crown).
· Once the curls cooled, I brushed out all of the hair using the Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Classic Brush and created a deep side part with a comb.
· Using a dime-sized amount of Moroccanoil Treatment Light, I massaged the products between my hands and then began applying it directly to the hair from the ends up to smooth the entire look. For added shine, I sprayed two pumps of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine into the air and wafted it over Kate’s hair.
· Last, I ran a wide-tooth comb through the waves to separate them into a natural look and in true 80’s fashion I blasted the style with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray.
For amazing hair, I've learned over the years through much trial and error that the tools you use are everything. A crappy hairdryer can literally be standing between you and the hair of your dreams, and I am truly not exaggerating here! All of the Moroccanoil in the world isn't going to do it for you if your heat tools are frying your hair to death. Pomerantz Lustig emphasizes this in her book and I kind of took it all with a grain of salt, remaining married to my old Conair, until Rowenta sent me literally the most badass hairdyer known to mankind: the Inspiration Pro Auto Sensor Hairdryer. This is like some kind of ninja warrior magic weapon like some kind of top secret special ops military helicopter that flies iteslf. Weird analogy? But I speak the truth, ladies. Ever wonder why you can never replicate the blowout they give you at the salon? It's not for lack of skill with the round brush. Your stylist knows what's up, and (s)he probably has one of these bad boys.
Three temperature settings and two speeds plus a cold shot means that you can rough dry your whole head to 75% dry at medium heat, then go back with a round brush and concentrator to heat up each section around the brush, as if it were a velcro roller. Finish with a cool shot for 20 seconds and you will have curled your ends under like Kate Middleton's--and they'll last until your next shampoo. These are essentially the same instructions that Pomerantz Lustig gives you in her book, by the way, and this technique works.
Dryer tech 2
Your new ninja hairdryer has all kinds of fancy sounding top secret tech like ionic ceramic tourmaline that basically does amazing things like infuse your hair with smoothness and shine with infrared heat that never scorches. Not fancy enough for you? Then I beg you to consider the presence of an auto-sensor that knows when you're holding the dryer and when you're not. Raise your hand if you've ever tried to put down your dryer to get a new section of hair and gotten all frustrated flipping switches to "medium" and "low" and stuff, accidentally blowing yourself in the face and frizzing up the rest of your hair in the process. Your hand's still down because you know what I'm talking about, right? Leave your dryer settings where they are and put the thing down in between sections; it will turn itself off when you set it down and it will come on again when you pick it up. I am obsessed with this feature!
Easy controls on the dryer handle that don't get in the way of my grip and never randomly switch off during styling.
Auto sensor tech
Here it is--the crazy ninja on and off feature that knows when you're holding the dryer! I have no idea why you would ever not want this to be working, but you do have the option to turn it off if you wish.
Here it is--the after look! Living proof that, with the right products and tools, you can achieve volume and shine at the same time! Take that, cool girls!
Here's the hair after my second go-around with the dryer. It's not perfect, but I'm getting better at my technique--and my hair looks much better than it ever did before!