Backstage Beauty Update: “Naked” Hair is In

Faith Xue

We’re almost halfway through New York fashion week and though many works of (hair) art have been unveiled backstage (at Tracy Reese, Cushnie et Ochs, and Mara Hoffman, to name a few), we couldn’t help but notice another low-key hair trend (or rather, anti-trend) taking center stage: we’re dubbing it “naked” hair.  The final look—slightly disheveled, textured, with just the tiniest hint of wave—is supposed to look like hair in its most “natural” state; the “I woke up like this” makeup trend in hair form, if you will. We’re putting the quotation marks there because, like no-makeup makeup, this effortless effect does require effort—quite a lot, in most cases. At Protagonist, lead hairstylist James Pecis used Bumble and bumble products to prep models’ hair, pinned it back into twists, then undid them to manually create a baby wave.  To give it all a uniform feel, some models had their thicker strands pinned back, while others had extensions added.  At Jason Wu, Odile Gilbert used a curling iron to curl just the middle of the hair shaft, for a slightly more polished, yet still careless feel—he called it, “sexy hair in a subtle way.” At Simon Miller, Johnnie Sapong achieved this using the opposite technique, adding lift at the roots with volume powder and running a straightener to flatten the middle of models’ strands for “savage look with matte texture.”

We’re always ones for a more laidback approach to beauty, but like no-makeup makeup, we do have some qualms about this faux effortlessness. For one, it’s a whole lot of effort to achieve a look that really only comes naturally to a select few; not everyone’s hair naturally dries into perfect, barely-there waves (see: any curly-haired or African American model). Instead of touting one version of natural hair as more ideal or enviable than the rest, let’s all remember to keep the quotation marks around “naked” and take into account the effort it often does take for most to achieve this undone look, shall we? Keep scrolling to see eight ways hairstylists created this effortless texture backstage!

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