Hair accessories are officially back in fashion. Especially those with a '90s vibe: think hair claws, headscarves and barrettes. The secret to pulling off a retro accessory and making it feel totally wearable and now is to embrace your hair's own natural texture for a slightly more lived-in look. Forget perfection, as mussed up hair that feels organic is the way to go.
But if your hair texture needs a little finessing to look more bedhead than dragged through a hedge, then it's worth looking to System Professional's new styling range. There are 13 products infused with nourishing ingredients and inspired by skincare-makeup hybrids spanning three lines: Beautiful Base (BB) products offer lightweight hold to help when styling, Creative Care (CC) deliver softness and shine while Dynamic Definition (DD) give stronger hold and definition to your style. Hair still feels like hair, but it holds, making this range the perfect styling accessory to your hair accessories.
To put the products to the test, we called on two models with very different hair textures and challenged hairstylist Bruce Masefield to create four different accessorised looks. They're perfect for spring (when the snow finally melts and wedding season strikes) and each look can be adapted to suit pretty much every hair type.
You may never have thought to sew your hair before, but I'll always remember when I was backstage at fashion week years ago and a hairstylist told me that hair is very much like fabric. So with that in mind, Masefield used metallic embroidery thread and a blunt tapestry needle to stitch two sections of hair leaving gaps (we didn't want it to look too much like the hair wraps we wore as kids).
To get that mussed-up texture, Masefield used System Professional BB Blue Shaper (£24) to inject moisture and lightweight hold into the hair. To enhance the piece-y effect, Masefield misted the hair with System Professional BB Instant Reset (£11) to add a little texture. If you have thicker hair or want to ramp up the beachy look, try Sachajuan Ocean Mist (£18).
Makeup artist James Molloy kept skin looking real but perfected by applying Rimmel Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation (£9). To add definition to the brows, Byrdie loves Glossier Boy Brow (£14).
This messy scarf-adorned topknot makes for the perfect weekend or holiday hairstyle. The combination of flyaways and scarf will disguise greasy roots, so bank this for day-old (or more) hair. Masefield use a hit of dry conditioner like System Professional CC Instant Energy (£14) to give the hair natural movement and a clean feeling without any powdery residue. If your hair is seriously dry, mist with an enriching shine spray like Philip B. Weightless Conditioning Water (£38).
To keep makeup low-key for this look, try a creamy blush like Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink (£22) and add a wash of taupe eye shadow over eyelids and smudged under the lower lash line like Rimmel Magnifi'Eyes Mono Shadow in Millionaire (£5).
Always losing your kirby grips? A solution for that is to pile them all into your hair. Kirby grips have function, but if you opt for a metallic version and layer them up, they'll become a statement piece for mere pennies.
To get that windswept texture, work System Professional DD Platinum Fix (£18), a hair gel that doesn't make hair feel sticky or brittle, into dry hair after blow-drying. If your hair needs extra movement, randomly tong some pieces (you can find our favourite curling tongs here). Finish with a light-hold hair spray like IGK Hair Intern Flexible Hairspray (£25).
Manicurist Adam Slee took inspiration from the metallic hair accessories and used Rimmel Glitter Topcoat in Disco Diva (£6) to create an ombre shimmering effect from the cuticle to the nail edge.
Set the Bar
Sometimes you want your hair to take centre stage but you just want to add a little something to it. Enter this oversized Charlotte Chesnais Shell Gold-Plated Hairclip (£200). Masefield worked System Professional LuxeOil Elixir (£34) into the hair to soften the curls before layering up with System Professional CC Chrono Control (£12) to add a little definition and hold.
Re-create the skin glow with Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow (£29).
Photography: Matt Monfredi; Hair: Bruce Masefield for Wella System Professional; Makeup: James Molloy for Rimmel London; Nails: Adam Slee for Rimmel London; Styling: Amy Lawrenson. Models: Lisa Spencer and Georgina Clifford.