Backstage Beauty Update: “Naked” Hair is In

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!

Creatures of Comfort

Esther Langham used Phyto products from to add volume, hold, and just a touch of gloss (the latter which comes from the brand’s Phytolisse Ultra-Glossing Finishing Serum ($30)).

Bumble and bumble


“To complement, not compete, hair was meant to be nonchalant, easy, and believable,” James Pecis says about the final look at Protagonist. He used Bumble and bumble’s Thickening Dryspun Finish ($31) to give an extra texture boost. 

Bumble and bumble

Rachel Comey

Jordan M used Bumble and bumble’s Prep ($26) to thicken up hair as it was being blow-dried. 


Rebecca Minkoff

Inspired by the androgynous, rock-bohemian influence of the collection, Orlando Pita spritzed Tresemmé’s Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray ($8) on models’ damp strands and blow-dried while scrunching hair for a rough, tousled texture. 

Lucas Flores Piran for Redken


Redken Creative Consultant Guido wanted to play up models’ individual personalities this season at Coach, and so washed and shampooed their strands with the brand’s new Dismiss Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner, then marched them down the runway with just a smidge of cream-paste to smooth flyaways.

Unite Haircare

Simon Miller

Johnnie Sapong wanted models’ hair to look like “it had been dragged through a bush." The result? Texture, complete with static flyaways. He used Unite’s Beach Day ($22) to add matte texture, then the brand’s Conundrum Paste ($27) to add just a bit of separation. (Also, holler at the curly-haired model rocking her version of natural!)


Jason Wu

Odile Gilbert used Kérastase's V.I.P. Volumizing and Texturizing Spray ($28) to thicken up models’ strands backstage at Jason Wu.

Banana Republic

For a fresh and simple vibe with a “luxurious, glamorous edge" backstage at Banana Republic, lead hairstylist Jeanie Syfu used Tresemmé products to add just the right amount of movement and body. The brand's Perfectly (un)Done Sea Wave Creating Sea Foam ($10) was applied to damp strands to add body, then the Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray was spritzed and layered for moveable, mermaid-esque texture.

What do you think of this undone hair trend? Sound off below!

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