Red-Carpet Hair: How To Master Old Hollywood Waves

How to get a voluminous blow-dry

The key to getting glamorous-looking waves that last all day and night is prepping your hair with products that ensure heavy-duty hold. Start by coating damp hair with L’Oréal Paris Stylista #Blowdry Heat Protection Primer. It will not only protect your locks from heat damage with its alcohol-free formula but also keep them looking bouncy for up to 72 hours. Smooth on one pump of the primer (two pumps for hair past your shoulders) and comb it through to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Start blow-drying your hair with your head flipped upside down to get as much volume at your roots as possible. You can also use your fingers to massage your roots as you go to really help pump them up. Continue until your hair is about 80% dry. Next, flip your head back over and use a vented round brush to pull sections of hair taut while you finish blow-drying, which will give you extra volume and a smooth, shiny finish. There’s no need to section out your hair or pay too much attention to creating bend at your ends, since the next step will do all of that work for you.

Create picture-perfect waves

Before you start curling your hair, it’s important to ensure that it’s 100% dry, as any residual moisture will prevent your curls from holding, especially if you have thick hair. Once you know your hair is bone-dry, section off the top layer (from the top of your ears and above), twist it into a bun and secure it with a large clip. Next, starting at your ear, take a one-inch section of hair and wrap it around a one-inch curling iron or wand; be sure to wrap it away from your face. (It’s easiest to hold the iron with your opposite hand with the tip facing down.) After a couple of seconds, carefully touch your hair on the iron; release it when it feels hot. Continue curling one-inch sections, keeping them as uniform and side-by-side as possible so you create an even curl pattern—one of the trademarks of this look. Once you reach the back of your head, repeat the process on the other side. If you have very thick hair, or generally struggle with your hair holding a curl, experiment with curling irons that have a smaller barrel size, and curl smaller sections of hair at a time. (For super-staying power, you can also pin the curl to your head as soon as you release it from the iron. Since your hair will cool in its tightest curl formation, it will stay locked in that shape for longer.) Once you’ve completed the bottom layer of hair, unclip the top layer. Use a comb to create a side part. (The deeper the part, the more dramatic your finished style will look.) Once you’re happy with your part, continue curling small sections in the same manner, from ear to ear. If you’re using the pin method, spray your hair with a fine mist of L’Oréal Paris Elnett Unfragranced Extra Strong Hold Hairspray once you’ve secured all your curls. Allow them to set for at least 30 minutes before releasing them and moving on to the next step.

Red-carpet ready

Once all of your curls are complete, it’s time to turn them into the ultimate red-carpet hairstyle. Spray a large natural-bristle brush with L’Oréal Paris Elnett Unfragranced Extra Strong Hold Hairspray, which will provide hold and definition without weighing your hair down. Gently brush through your curls, section by section, to break them up, until they form one smooth wave pattern. Once you’re happy with the shape of your waves, give your look a final mist of hairspray for strong hold and extra shine. Last tip? Hands off! Avoid touching your hair (we know—easier said than done) to keep those waves looking smooth and ready for their close-up all night long.

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