When it comes to wearing your hair back—whether it's in a bun, ponytail, braid or top knot—I have a pretty strong point of view. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: 99 percent of the population looks better when their hair is slightly disheveled and messy, as opposed to super-tight and super-slicked.
Why? Because those soft little baby hairs around the hairline (as well as a looser, slightly texturey 'do) are MUCH kinder on our features. Scraping and/or slicking your hair back so severely will basically shine a great big spotlight on the state of your skin, how well you've applied your foundation and blush, the size of your nose and how much your ears stick out. For starters. This is why it's usually best left to models and celebrities.
That said, reader Aja, whose question was the inspiration for this post, would still like to know this:
Are there any good hair products to slick back those damn baby hairs that always poke about when I put my hair up?
For those of you who love that look (or should I say, can pull it off!), I'm gonna share a great little trick on how to tame them baby hairs. And for the rest of us, who need the softness around our faces, I want to tell you about an easy method to get that cool fuzzy halo.
First, a couple of visual examples to make sure you know exactly what I'm talkin' about here.
Here's Doutzen Kroes (check out my video with her here) demonstrating the fuzzy baby hair look:
Yes, she's gorgeous enough to pull off any hairstyle (and even this sort of terrible yellow eyeshadow), but I totally dig the texture here.
Maybe a better example of a non-supermodel person is SJP:
Because she has fairly strong features, I think the fuzz gives her face some much-needed softness. I also happen to love the baby hair on Alexa Chung:
Compare and contrast with something like this:
Kirsten Dunst is a very attractive woman (and she's Girl Hot too!), but I just don't think this super-tight, super-slick top knot looks good. Compared to the effortless, fuzzy "halo hair," this is much less flattering and feels a bit like it's trying too hard.
Know what I mean? Now for the tips!
How to coax your baby hairs into the soft 'n' sexy "halo" effect
Depending on your natural hair texture, you might not really even need to do much coaxing! So this is primarily for those of us with hair that's on the fine, straight, flat side. (Sob.)
Lately, I like to use this product:
Or this one is also fab:
Regular dry shampoos are not what you want here—you need a hair powder that morphs into a clear texturizing product once you rub it in your hair or between your fingers.
Just sprinkle it around the top of your head (a little goes a long way but you can do it in sections underneath your part), and then start to work it in, pushing up from the roots. Pretty quickly, you should notice that it's giving your hair some bulk and volume, as well as the beginnings of that fuzzy halo. Kevin Murphy has a great video demonstrating how to use his product.
Then—to REALLY bring out those cute baby hairs, take your wrist (not your palm), and move it in a circular motion all across your hairline. It's basically a twist on the backcomb method of teasing, and will instantly give you that halo we're after.
A few more things:
- Only do this on dry hair.
- Skip the hairspray or any other prodz after you finish—they'll ruin the effect.
- If your hair is pulled back in an elastic, place both hands at the back of your head on either side of it, and gently pull forward. This will make your 'do just ever so slightly looser. (Read: cooler.)
- Don't try to pull out large chunky tendrils at the front, because then you'll risk looking a bit dated. Whitney Port showcases this Beauty Don't:
How to tame your baby hairs if they're bugging you
I actually love this trick, even though I'm a pro-baby hair type of person. Here's the secret: it's actually not the product that matters so much, but the tool that you use... which is this!
That's right. Grab a (new, clean) soft-bristled toothbrush and spray it with hairspray. This one is most hairdressers' fave:
As an alternative to hairspray, you could use a smoothing or shine-boosting serum. The Frizz Ease one would work great.
Then, just use the toothbrush to brush down the sections you want to tame, and you're done! Frizz zeroed in on and smoothed, without weighing down the rest of your hairstyle.
Get the products
Have your say
Do you love the soft 'n fuzzy baby hair halo effect?
Or are you on Team Super-Sleek?
Do you have a trick of your own for dealing with baby hairs?