A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of catching up with Eric Del Monaco, official hair artist and colourist for L'Oréal Paris in Canada and one of the nicest guys in the biz. (Truly—I once had to interview him at 10pm on a Friday night, and he couldn't have been more gracious about the unfortunate timing. Even though he probably wanted to throw darts at my head.)
Since he spends a BIG chunk of his time overseeing all the hair for Toronto Fashion Week twice a year, Eric is THE MAN when it comes to translating Runway Hair to Reality Hair. Which brings me to the topic of this month's Ask The Expert post:
How do we create glam, sexy, ON TREND hair for the upcoming sweep of holiday parties... and of course, NYE?
(AND—most importantly—how do we do it if we've got to go to somehow make this miraculous transformation in the poorly-lit, supremely unflattering office bathroom?)
Don't worry—it CAN be done. Here's Eric's easy peasy advice for getting a reasonable facsimile of what Drew, Rachel and Scar-Jo are sporting in the pic above:
1. START WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
You DEFINITELY need a volumizing shampoo. (Are you bored yet of me recommending TRESemmé's 24 Hour Body? Okay, how about L'Oréal Paris Vive Pro Glossy Volume Shampoo? I heard somewhere that the line was a verrrrry close formulation to Kérastase, which is owned by the same company but triple the price.) Then, while hair is still wet, apply a mousse (Eric likes L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Volum'Max Volumizing Mousse) to the roots. And of course, what kind of beauty editor would I be if I didn't mention that you need a heat-protecting product before you blow-dry?
2. CURL, CURL, CURL
After you've moussed, protected and blow-dried, curl your hair all over with a large-barreled iron. If you have to go to work, do this in the morning and then loosely tie your hair up and out of your face. (This will keep the curls intact.)
3. GET SOME SEXY TEXTURE
News flash: it's all about texture right now. Think slightly messy, borderline frizzy but in a romantic, Jane Austen movie way.
So come 5pm, let that hair down—and then go to town with texturizing products. Spray your hair upside down with the classic Elnett hairspray (it's cheap AND it works—you'll find it in every hairdresser's kit). To rough up the texture even more, apply a wax or a paste like L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Mineral FX Messy Look Paste. (But no gels, says Eric.)
4. TRY A RELAXED UPDO
So even though we just let our hair down, after we've textured the shizzle out of it, we can't leave it like that. No, putting it back up—either completely up or half up—will be MUCH classier, trust me. And the good news is that updos are real relaxed this season. According to Eric, you don't want anything too constructed.
So use your fingers to RAKE it off your face (don't you love the word RAKE?) and pin back random sections until you're satisfied. You could even do a side-bun like the one Scarlett J. is working in the above photo.
Oh! And are you aware of the proper technique for bobby pinning you hair? (I'll fess up to only learning about this recently.) To pin up one section, you need not one but TWO pins. You criss-cross them—it's the criss-crossing that makes the hair STAY.
5. ADD AN ACCESSORY
Now the finishing touch. Who doesn't love an accessory? I think most women have an inner magpie, and what could be prettier than a shiny brooch or jewel sitting delicately in your hair? You could also do a satin hairband (if you're still channeling Blair Waldorf, that is) or even go OTT with a Marc by Marc Jacobs-style bow. My personal favourite—and Eric's—is the feather-adorned fascinator. No point spending big bucks though. I buy them at Forever 21 (see current selection here).