This Styling Technique Is Like No-Makeup Makeup for Your Hair

Updated 01/27/18
Naked hair: model with undone hair
Free People

When it comes to doing my hair, my MO is typically to do as little as possible. I'll wash my hair every other day (or less if I can get away with it), let it air dry, possibly add a swipe of smoothing cream or texturising spray, and then head out the door to face the world.

So when Pantene invited me to experience a real hairstyling experience courtesy of celebrity hairstylist Danilo, I was on board. Despite my habitual low-effort meets less-is-more approach to hair, it hasn't always worked in my favour. In fact, en route to meeting with Danilo, my Uber driver inquired where I was off to, and then upon hearing I was getting my hair styled, said, "Oh, now it makes sense why your hair looks like that." The way it looked was how I wear it every day.

Once in the expert hands of Danilo at the Ciel Spa at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles, my hair quandary was named (and ameliorated). "This look is called 'naked hair,'" Danilo explained. "It's like no-makeup makeup for your hair. It's part of the trend arsenal and it's been embraced very much." Though his typical stylings are decidedly more complex, Danilo, whose client list includes Gwen Stefani, Reese Witherspoon, Selena Gomez, and Natalie Portman, is a proponent of the naked hair look. He describes it as an on-trend way to give your hair a break.

"I don't want to say it goes against the grain, but it's refreshing," he says. "Through the lineup of everything we've done, it's a breath of fresh air to see this beautiful natural texture."

Fresh from my Uber driver's uninvited commentary, I was relieved to discover that my particular low-maintenance approach to hair not only had a name but was on trend and Danilo approved. Using a series of newly released Pantene products, Danilo treated me to a styling session while teaching me how to achieve the naked hair look and master "loving the ease of less" while still appearing polished.

Keep scrolling to discover Danilo's step-by-step breakdown for creating a naked hair look (while still looking put together).

Step One: Wash. The first step to achieving good-looking naked hair is having clean, healthy hair to begin with. Though people fall on different sides of the whether-or-not-to-wash-your-hair debate, Danilo is 100% in favour of a good clean. "If you are my client, you're getting your hair washed," he says, but notes that it's all about using the right shampoos. In the past, shampoos would strip the hair of their natural oils, hence the trend to forgo washings to let hair recover. With today's technology, this isn't always the case.

Pantene Pro-V's Repair and Protect Shampoo (£3) that he used on me "has the technology to rebuild your hair while washing," strengthening strands at the core with lipids and antioxidants.

Step Two: Use a detangling mist. While my hair was still wet from the wash, Danilo spritzed my entire head with a detangling mist to add moisture and prep for styling. 

Step Three: Spray the roots with a body booster. Before even taking out the blow dryer, Danilo combed my hair into sections and spritzed the roost with a body-boosting spray to help give my locks a welcome dose of fullness. We love Tigi Catwalk Root Boost Spray (£16).

Step Four: Lock in the look With a leave-in cream. Danilo finished off the styling by carefully applying moisturising leave-in cream to help restore moisture and add shine. He suggests applying a dollop to the back of your hand then working with pea-size amounts to spread from here. Bumble and bumble Don't Blow It (£24) is perfect for this.

Step Five (optional): Add texture with a curling iron. To amplify the look, you can add more dimension by wrapping the treated sections of hair from step four around a curling iron for 15 seconds then releasing for a soft, shiny wave. For something a bit more beachy, alternate directions as you curl.

Next up, how to get shiny hair with these five genius tricks.

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