Glossy retro waves are definitely a hairstyle you should master, but there’s another version of the look we highly recommend learning how to do: the modern, brushed-out version that happens to be the epitome of cool. Equal parts texture and curl, these waves deliver a certain French-inspired je nais se quoi to your look. Since we could all use a little help in that department, we enlisted celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin to show us how to master this take on retro-inspired waves. Oh, and did we mention that this tutorial works for any hair length? Keep reading to see how it’s done!
Start with air-dried hair for natural texture, and give yourself a side part.
Separate your hair so you can work in small, thin sections.
Use a small-barrel curling iron (either 3/4-inch or 1-inch), holding it horizontally so it’s parallel to the ground, and curl the section of hair under.
After you release the iron, wrap the curl around your finger, and pin it up against your head to cool. Do this all the way around your head, but leave out a section of hair around your hairline.
For the hair around your hairline, repeat the same technique, but curl these pieces straight back, away from your face, rather than under.
Repeat step three, wrapping the hair back in the same direction you just curled it.
Once you’ve curled your whole head, Atkin recommends you set the curls with a mist of dry shampoo, which will give you a lighter, more natural hold than hairspray).
After a few minutes, remove the pins, shake out your curls, and spray texturizing spray all over. Atkin likes Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($42).
Use a boar-bristle hairbrush to lightly brush out the curls. Then, in small sections, use a comb to backcomb a few of the bends in the curls. This creates volume and emphasizes the curl, while giving it all a little more texture.
Finish with a light mist of hairspray for hold and your brushed-out waves are ready for anything!
Photographer: Justin Coit
Makeup Artist: Roxy
Producer: Jenna Peffley