lab rat

Lab Rat: A Hairspray for ‘Cool-Girl Hair’

Photo: Courtesy photo

Backstage at Fashion Week, the phrase heard more often than “Karlie, over here!” is that someone has, or is trying to achieve, “cool-girl hair.” Hairstylists like Paul Hanlon are using it endlessly to describe the “look” they’re going for: “She’s a cool girl, you know?” they will say, as if it’s obvious what they’re getting at. “She’s just cool.” “Like she-just-walked-in-off-the-street cool.”

But what does “cool-girl hair” actually mean? Short, long, bobbed, cropped, pixied, ombré-d? Bumble and Bumble, the original arbiters of “cool” downtown hair, have packaged the answer in the form of a new Cityswept Finish Spray.

One part texturizing spray, one part cream, one part styling wax, Cityswept Finish is like the Weird Science hair product I would create in my chemistry lab. “Cool” hair — according to Bumble and Bumble, at least — is hair with texture. It’s not long, wispy, sister-wife hair, but rather piece-y, slightly gritty strands that frame your face. A pixie without Bumble’s Cityswept evokes Jennifer Lawrence. A pixie with Cityswept: Miley Cyrus in the new Marc Jacobs ads. Essentially, Cityswept is promising attitude and perfect second-day hair in a single spray.

I tried it out on a day when my hair looked decidedly uncool. Owing to a miscommunication with a stylist, I left a salon with a Honey Boo Boo blowout. It was country-swept hair by way of a child beauty pageant. (Stella laughed for five straight minutes after I showed her my “anchorwoman on the ten o’clock news in Dallas” hairdo.)

I started to de-countrify my hair by wetting it and brushing out the curls. Generous sprays of Cityswept along the bottom started defining some of my bob’s original choppiness. Sssst — another generous cloud along the roots gave it some grit. And then a final ssssssst focusing on the middle and scrunching gave it some gentle bend. I still did not look like Jared Leto, but my hair definitely started to look like it belonged at least somewhere in the tristate area. The day after sleeping with a twisty bun generously doused in Cityswept, I woke up with flatiron-ed, smooth waves. From country to city, one product later.

Lab Rat: A Hairspray for ‘Cool-Girl Hair’