An Easy Hollywood Trick for Waves, No Curling Iron Required

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Wavy waves.
Wavy waves.

Step onto the set of any photo shoot and you’ll find an actress or model with Princess Leia hair. It’s not because cinnamon-bun hair is sweeping the nation — it’s a trick often employed by hairstylists, an easy way to “set” hair into waves while someone is in makeup. “I do it all the time,” says Jennifer Aniston’s (and Kim Kardashian’s) hairstylist Chris McMillan. “I’ll often send them to makeup like that.” You don’t need a curling iron, and the effects are loose, smooth waves. Here, the Living Proof spokesperson shows why this technique works.

Prep the hair.

Step 1: Start by prepping the hair. You can do this style when your hair is damp or dry. If it doesn’t hold curl very easily, you can also make liberal use of a styling cream like Living Proof’s Full Thickening Cream.

Twirl, twirl.

Step 2: Divide your hair into two parts. Take one part and twirl.

Pin it.

Step 3: Twirl your hair into a bun and loosely pin.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 4: Repeat the same with the other side. Let your hair set. Go eat some breakfast pasta, drink some matcha, watch some Hulu, or if you feel like it, put on some makeup to get your day started. If your hair doesn’t tend to hold curl easily or you started with slightly damp hair, you can also blow-dry these buns for about five to ten minutes to further set. 

Unfurl the buns.

Step 5: Release the kraken. Oops, I mean — unfurl the buns.

Waves that are wavy.

Step 6: The finished result. And really, McMillan did not then use a curling iron to finesse the waves. The only thing added here was a wind machine, via the blow-dryer. If you want, you can also add a surf spray or texturizing spray (like Living Proof Instant Texture Mist) to break up some of the smoothness of the waves, with a hair spray on top to further hold it in place.

An Easy Hollywood Trick for Waves