The ability to style your hair on a Saturday night is up there with applying your own mascara, or learning to read. Everyone assumes having half-decent hair is so incredibly basic that of course you can make it happen. *Of course* you can. Except I can’t. (Though I’d like to point out that I can both read and apply mascara. Simultaneously.) I can do day-to-day hair because it involves zero effort, nothing more than a wash and go. But on a night out I look, well, like I’ve made zero effort. Like this, really:
Nobody wants ‘meh’ hair like that. I certainly don’t look very happy about it in this pic.
So, when I confessed my hair-dyslexia to Grazia’s beauty team, they sent me straight to beauty school. Jennie Roberts, who’s styled everyone from Kate Winslet to Gemma Arterton, and even did Victoria Beckham’s wedding-day hair (and David’s, the lucky lady), promised me she could get me up to speed in time for the party season. Here’s Jennie in action, teaching me how to do my own hair.
Jennie is one of the genius' behind The Session School's recently launched Hair School, the London studio where beauty professionals and civilians like me can learn how to create glamorous catwalk looks. No crispy curls, no cheesy catalogue hair, nothing that makes you look too ‘done’. Cool, wearable, fashion hair only.
All you have to do to put hair up is master one basic technique, the wave. After then, your hair can be put up, beehived, fluffed out and styled in a trillion different ways. Well, at least 10. You can change your hair from rock chick to 50s to Barbarella to goddess. But first, you need to master building block, the wave:
- Use a thickening spray, like Sebastian Professional Volumising Spray, to give your hair va-va-volume.
- Take one lock of hair at a time and, starting at the ends, wrap it around your tongs. A hot wand makes the job easier if you’re cack-handed like me, because you hold the hair around the barrel with a heat-protective glove instead of with an unwieldly clip which makes a kink in your hair. We used Herstyler Curling Irons: idiot-proof.
- Curl your hair away from your face to show off your cheekbones. And on the top section, curl your hair from cheekbone-level instead of from the very root.
- To hold your curls better, pin them up straight after you’ve curled each one, while they’re still warm from the curling wand.
- When you’ve curled all your hair, tip your head back and run your fingers through it. Scratch at your roots (gently!) for some natural backcombing.
- If you want more definition, go over a few of your curls on top.
- Use brushable hairspray (Elnett’s the classic, or Sebastian Professional is good too) as it gives you hold yet still lets your hair move and look natural. When you spray, do so with your head slightly tipped back or to the side for texture.
- Now backcomb your roots at the crown with a large-toothed comb to give your hair the perfect base for pinning up.
I liked my hair as it was afterwards, just big and loose and curly, like this:
Fortunately, because of Jennie’s step-by-step instruction, I can do it by myself.
And now you can do stuff like this with just a spot of backcombing and a few kirby grips…
Party season genius!
For more info or to book classes, contact the session school on firstname.lastname@example.org or look at www.thesessionschool.com
By Kate Faithfull