When it comes to "doing my hair," my route of action is 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 texturizing 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 favor. In fact, en route to meeting with Danilo, my Uber driver inquired where I was off to, then upon hearing I was getting my hair styled, said, "Oh, now it makes sense why you're 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. However, the biggest takeaway Danilo underscored was that achieving a naked hair look didn't actually mean just doing nothing (of which I've often been guilty). "It's not neglect," notes Danilo. "Just because it's called 'naked hair' doesn't mean there's an absence of care. You're embracing the natural style and direction of your hair. It's accepted as a valid look, accepting your natural look and beauty."
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 hair-washing debate, Danilo is 100% in favor 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 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
After my washed hair was towel-dried, Danilo spritzed my entire head with a detangling mist to add moisture and prep for styling. Using the repairing shampoo and conditioner for the wash allowed him to brush it while it was still wet (usually a big no-no, as it can severely damage the hair).
Step Three: Spray Roots With a Body Booster
Danilo combed my hair into sections and spritzed the roots with a body-boosting spray to help give my locks a welcome dose of fullness. Even this quick step brings out the body in the hair, giving it that subtle amplified look that instantly takes hair from bedhead to I woke up like this.
Step Four: Lock in the Look With a Leave-In Cream
Danilo finished off the styling by carefully applying moisturizing leave-in cream to for "a nice soft finish to hair and added shine." He suggests applying a dollop to the back of your hand and then working with pea-size amounts to spread from there. "Comb it into position, and then pin," says Danilo. The step that simply doesn't exist along the way to achieving the naked hair look is taking out a blow-dryer. "Hair does well drying on its own without heat," reminds Danilo. "Some hair needs coercion," he admits, but that's where the styling products come in. Once you've nourished strands while washing, added some lift to the roots, and then worked in a leave-in cream to shape hair. "Arrange it, and let it dry up," says Danilo.
Step Five (Optional): Add Texture With a Curling Iron
To give your naked hair what Danilo describes as "pumping more of an editorial finish to it," you can add 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 undone and beachy, alternate directions as you curl. You can also skip this step completely to embrace your natural look and beauty.
Step Six: Secure the Look With a Lightweight Hair Spray
Danilo says you can repeat steps four and five until you've reached your desired texture. Once you're satisfied, run fingers through the curls to loosen them up then add a small amount of the leave-in combing cream to lock in moisture. Secure the look with a lightweight hair spray to maintain texture and healthy shine throughout the day. Pantene Pro-V's Air Spray is "totally touchable, lightweight, and alcohol-free," says Danilo, so it's ideal for finishing the naked hair look. Some people with more textured hair may want a heavier hold.
True fans of the naked hair look will just let their hair do its thing as the day continues. "If you want to reboot, go with the leave-in spray," advises Danilo. "It doesn't leave you product-heavy but it does refresh, allowing hair to reshape and bounce back." You can also revive texture with the lightweight hair spray. "Flip your hair and do a mist of it, lightly scrunch, and then arrange," explains Danilo, reminding again that when it comes to pulling off naked hair, "less is more."
Head to the comments to let us know if you try the look, and tell us what you think.