Beauty

How to get Hollywood curls

Celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess shares her tips for her most sought-after Hollywood hairstyle.
lauren conradGetty Images

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
My overall aesthetic is like a hybrid: it’s not a matte texture, but it’s also not shiny like Old Hollywood waves. I try to find a way to marry the two. Jenna Dewan Tatum will say, “I want to get Essed!” It’s become my signature.

PERFECT YOUR PRODUCTS
I always start a wavy look by applying leave-in conditioner on wet hair, from mid-length to ends, to give it a gleam and protect it during heat styling. After blow-drying and curling, I always use a beach-wave spray for more shine and to create that “girl who surfs” sort of texture.

ALWAYS EFFORTLESS
My clients don’t like their hair to feel overstyled, especially Lucy Hale. So for a natural effect, I curl the top section from eyebrow-level down, and when I get to the ends, I smooth them out with an iron. After I’ve curled each section, I have a trick to loosen the wave—with my left hand I gently pull the curled piece and with my right hand I run my fingers up and down the hair to break up the wave pattern.

FEATURE FOCUS
I think parting the hair in the centre gives the strongest look, plus it shows off your face. I did this to singer Kelsea Ballerini because her hair was so long, so I wanted that balance. I also did this look on Halle Berry because those cheekbones are like chiselled out of stone, so I felt like we had to show them off!

lauren conrad
(Credit: Getty Images)

MISTAKE OR MASTERPIECE
If the curls aren’t perfect or you feel like you’ve gone overboard, pull the crown area into a half-up style. It’s a simple hairdo to pull off and looks good on any face shape. I’ve worked with Lauren Conrad, for what seems like 20 years now. Lauren usually prefers to go with a classic Brigitte Bardot–inspired silhouette with a tiny bit of tease. The tease also creates a bit of extra body and sexiness to the overall style.

Related stories