Up until a few months ago, Nina Dobrev‘s long, shiny waves were at the top hair inspiration boards everywhere.
But as soon as the Vampire Diaries star wrapped the series, she chopped her strands into a short bob — and gave us an entirely new reason to be obsessed with her hair. So we spoke to Dobrev — and her go-to hairstylist, Riawna Capri — about why she chopped her strands, and found out exactly how to style our locks like hers, just in time for summer.
“I had been wanting to cut my hair for over six years, but I wasn’t contractually allowed to,” Dobrev told WHO about her cut at a Reebok Classic leather event during Coachella. “So as soon as my contract was done I decided, the timing of it was more symbolic because it was my first film that was being released since I had left the show. It was a new character, a new chapter for me, a new look.”
But cutting her hair wasn’t just about moving on from her former role or switching things up for spring. The change was actually a mark of maturity for the star.
“The long hair was my kid look and now I’m becoming a woman and my roles will hopefully reflect that,” Dobrev says. “I wanted to physically change because people can be small-minded and they can see you as one character forever and so I wanted to start fresh.”
Want to get her look? Riawna Capri, Dobrev’s best friend and hairstylist, revealed the three easiest ways to achieve her piecey, just-left-the-beach texture. First, she advises washing your strands with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner and towel drying before applying styling cream to just your ends, which will avoid weighing down your roots. To score Dobrev’s wave, Capri recommends simply twisting small sections of hair as you air dry it, or if you want a more structured wave, curling a few sections with a 1-in. curling iron, before spraying texturizing spray all over and locking in shine with a finishing mist.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE
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