How to Add Serious Texture to Stick-Straight Hair

woman with textured hair


When the messy bedhead look, with its cool, undone texture, skyrocketed to the top of every must-try beauty trends list, we were all excited. Among the most excited? Those who wake up with tousled waves on a daily basis, needing just a spritz of texturizing spray to get things started. This, however, left those with fine, stick-straight tresses, who were decidedly absent from that wash-and-go group, scrambling for a viable antidote.

While it may take a little more effort, it appears that all is not lost for those looking to create the fuss-free look for themselves. With a bit of coaxing, it turns out that those with straight hair can too achieve the roughed up texture in just a few simple steps.

To show us exactly how it’s done, we’ve enlisted the help of hairstylist Jen Atkin, who has worked with celebrity clients such as Kim Kardashian West, Sofia Vergara, Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Mindy Kaling, and many more.

Scroll through to see our step-by-step tutorial on how to add serious texture to even the straightest strands.


texture on straight hair
Justin Coit

To perfect this look, you’ll first want to start out with damp hair. Freshly washed is fine, but lightly dampened, second-day hair is even better because it gives you a little more natural texture to work with.

Step One: Part

parting your hair
Justin Coit

Next, you'll want to set up the base of the style by parting your hair down the middle. Using the tail of a comb will help you get the most precise, straight part. A fine-tooth comb also works well in this situation.

Step Two: Sea Salt Spray

Sea Salt Spray
Justin Coit

After you have your hair parted to your liking, you’ll want to spritz texturizing sea salt spray all over, from roots to ends. Atkin recommends Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist ($34).

Step Three: Dry and Scrunch

Dry and Scrunch
Justin Coit

Then, use a blow-dryer to rough-dry your hair, scrunching the ends as you go.

Step Four: Smooth Dry

Smooth Dry
Justin Coit

When your hair is almost completely dry, finish blow-drying with a boar-bristle hairbrush to evenly distribute the product.

Step Five: Add Bends

Add Bends
Justin Coit

In small one to two-inch sections, you’re going to start adding horizontal bends down the length of your hair with a flat iron. Take one piece of hair and roll it under (towards your scalp) with the flat iron. Release the iron. Then, pick up where you left off, this time bending the iron in the opposite direction—up, away from your head. Continue this process, alternating directions down to your ends. Finish the ends by smoothing them straight down.

Step Six: Spiral Curl the Front

Spiral Curl the Front
Justin Coit

When you finish, wrap a few face-framing pieces of hair in the front around a one-inch curling iron or wand. Hold the iron vertically to get the downward spiral. Leave the ends out, and don’t clamp down on the curling iron to get the most natural curl.

Step Seven: Fix and Finish

Fix and Finish
Justin Coit

Finally, you’ll want to gently finger through your hair, pulling apart any sections that are stuck together or look too finished. Atkin says you can scrunch in dry texture spray for more texture, or add a small amount of pomade to the ends for even more piece-y separation.


how to curl your hair
Justin Coit

This technique works well with all hair lengths. However, with long hair, you’ll need to add a few more bends as you go down the length of your hair.

Photographer: Justin Coit
Hairstylist: Jen Atkin
Makeup Artist: Roxy
Producer: Jenna Peffley
Model: Corrie
Check out Atkin's website Mane Addicts for even more hair inspiration.

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