Exclusive: Ariana Grande's Hairstylist Spills His Tips and Tricks for Achieving the Retro '60s Hair Trend

Spotted on Bella Hadid, Ariana Grande, Kim KW and Rihanna.

Ariana Grande

Design by Cristina Cianci 

Okay, we’ll be honest, most—if not all—of our hair inspo comes from Instagram. Bold haircuts and colors? Double-tapped. Braids, updos, and blowouts? Double-tapped, screenshot, and sent to the group chat for approval. When a trend starts to take off we’ve probably seen it there first. The latest hair trend to end up in our screenshots folder is a retro '60s-inspired style spotted on Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West, Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, Ryan Destiny, Justine Skye, and too many more to name. The look: big volume and dramatically flipped ends, a nod to the mod styles of the '60s but with added modern twists.

The Trendsetters

At the Savage x Fenty show, Bella Hadid sported flipped ends with a high-volume beehive and artfully placed tendrils styled by Yusef. “I’m always about a flip, I gave [Rihanna] her notorious flip at the Met Gala,” RiRi’s longtime hairstylist tells us over the phone. The Black Widow inspired scene from the show “was very dark and very mysterious. So in my mind, I wanted to create these sexy yet, evil housewives.” He also drew a little inspiration from the cult-classic film, Beetlejuice.

To get the flipped ends look, with or without the beehive, he explains, “I blow-dry the hair with a round brush. I use my Y by Yusef Round brush ($40) to set the hair and give it a natural flip.” The final touch to hold it all together, of course, hairspray. “I then use my Yusef 2 pk Toothbrush with Sectioning Pin ($12) to create the baby hairs on the forehead and to create the shape, good ol’ Elnett ($15) is the way to go to lock any flip in its place.”

Kim KW shared selfies from her closet, her flipped ends paired with a more sleek half-up half-down style. The front portion of her hair is swept to the side for a faux bang. Her longtime hairstylist Chris Appleton is responsible for the '60-meets-modern-day feel. He previously shared with us his go-to ColorWow products for crafting his favorite celebrity styles.

Also in our "likes" is Ryan Destiny with a similar style and heavily curled flip. She skipped the side-sweep in favor of a slicked back front.

Unlike the rest, Justine Skye nixed the updo altogether and let her hair down. The extreme flip is still there, however subtle on the volume.

Get the Look

Our interest was piqued once again when Ariana Grande's "Positions" video debuted. Known for her signature ponytail, Ariana and hairstylist Josh Liu of course put their own spin on it. "The beauty concept was presidential beauty and the first person who came to mind was the absolutely iconic Jackie Kennedy Onassis. With that said, I delved deep into iconic mod hair of the 1960s and ran with it: go big, go home, go presidential," he tells Bydie exclusively.

In addition to Jackie O, Josh looked to other iconic It-Girls of the era, listing Brigitte Bardot, Jean Shrimpton, Veruschka, Catherine Deneuve as a few of his muses. "Think big hair, bombshell curls, brushed out textures and exaggerated flips, while also keeping it current and very much Ariana." Of course in true Ariana fashion, there were a few ponytails paired with those exaggerated flips. He suggests shampooing first with Klorane's Dry Shampoo ($20) for a bit of added texture.

Here's Josh Liu's step-by-step guide to Ariana-worthy '60s hair:

Step 1: "I started by building texture by prepping hair with a good blowdry of volume spray at the roots," says Liu.

"If you have trouble teasing your hair, it may be too clean so use a texture spray or dry shampoo and hairspray to add some grit to create that airy and fluffy (yet polished) brushed out texture," advises Josh Liu.

Step 2: "Then using a teasing fine tooth comb I densely packed a tease and use an extreme hold hairspray and locked it in place using T3's Curl ID ($235) or clamp down with a little bevel directly on the tease using T3's Lucea ID ($235). That makes sure the tease doesn't brush out as easily and maintains maximum volume."

Step 3: He continues, "Once I have my densely packed tease throughout, I brush out the surface layer and start my curl set process. I spray each section using a strong hold hairspray and brush through, then curled from the ends upwards horizontally and stop rolling it up once I reach my ear line using my same T3 1.5-inch curling iron."

Step 4: "Then follow with an extreme hairspray, pinning each curl and spraying with an extreme hold hairspray to lock it in place."

Step 5: Liu explains that you may notice your hair feels a bit stiff but, "but once you brush out the hair from the bottom and work your way upwards—you'll see your hair is super soft, fluffy, bouncy and big." This technique creates your ideal shape. "It's always easier to build it up bigger than you need and tone it down by brushing it out as necessary. Going back in to tease can sometimes create unnecessary gaps in the style or lumps, so it's best to create a firm strong base and mold the hair into shape from there."

Step 6: Last but not least, lock in your style with a firm hold hairspray like IGK's 1-800 Hold Me No Crunch Flexible Hold Hairspray ($27).

Get the Products

Liu stresses that the key to nailing the look is teasing tools and products. "With big hair it's super important to build a strong base for the rest of the style so it's long-lasting and doesn't brush out easily," he explains. Here are few star items suggested by the pro to '60s big hair and flips.

T3, Curling Iron
T3 Curl ID $235.00
Ulta, Redken Hairspray
Redken Triple Take 32 Extreme High-Hold Hairspray $24.00

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