CLTV April 27th, 2011


Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Make a Mess of Your Formal Look

By Kristyn Schiavone
Tribune Media Services

As dress styles have become longer, looser and more relaxed, the prom updo has become increasingly … undone.

The meticulously coiffed looks of the past have given way to loose chignons, messy braids, and ruffled waves. Even center parts are no longer perfectly centered. Instead, they’re slightly off-kilter, representing a trend toward, effectively, intentional bed-head.

“Everything is more on the messy side,” says Josie Nevarez, a platform four stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “Nothing is too structured.”

The only exception she noted is a tousled wave reminiscent of the 1930s and 40s, which, though still tousled, is neater than other hot styles.

When you head to a salon for your prom night hairstyle, with a look in mind that perfectly complements your dress, shoes and jewelry, it’s important to remember that the stylist won’t see the rest of your outfit. To avoid potential miscommunication, bring a picture, says Nevarez.

“Sometimes what [clients] are saying doesn’t really translate into what they’re thinking,” she says. “I do think it helps when they bring in a picture because then we’re on the same page. We don’t do exactly what’s in the picture, but we have an idea of what they’re looking for.”

Because the recession has put us all into save mode, the DIY trend is even extending to high school girls, who are increasingly doing their own hair for prom. Nevarez says many girls who wear their hair long will curl and blow-dry it themselves, and maybe even try simple updos. But there are also small changes they can make that are more cost-effective and will stand out just as much on the big night.

“If girls want to come in for a small change-up, they can do a bang, which is less expensive,” Nevarez says. “Clips and hair extensions are another great way to change hair without really changing it.”

Get red carpet-ready waves

Event hairstyles are highly influenced by the red carpet, with high school girls watching younger Hollywood trendsetters who are more daring with their looks. This year’s coveted style? Scarlett Johansson’s messy bob from the Oscars.

Nevarez says the beauty of Scarlett’s relaxed waves is that they can work on any hair length or texture. Below, Nevarez’s step-by-step tips on how to do this tousled look at home:

1. Start with dry hair, washed either that day or the day before. Prep it with a combination heat protectant and moisturizer – Nevarez likes Kerastase Nectar Thermique – and a root-lifting foam, like Shu Uemura’s Ample Angora. Run both products through strands of hair thoroughly. This holds the wave and keeps it from frizzing.

2. Section hair into 2-inch pieces, working from the bottom. Nevarez says imperfect sections are preferable for a relaxed look.

3. Spray aerosol hairspray on the individual section and, using a curling iron with a 1 1/4-inch barrel, curl hair from the middle of the section to the bottom, rather than starting at the root. Continue with each section all the way up the head.

4. After all sections are curled, flip over and give your whole head a light mist of hairspray. Spraying it upside down gives a volume boost at the roots. Shake it out, and you’re ready for a night on the town.