Fashion Week is brutal on hair–at least, it is if you’re a model.
Imagine this: Your hair gets crimped, curled, straightened, dyed, pinned, teased, and twisted just about every hour. (And don’t even get us started on extensions–on an average day a model could have extensions added and ripped out at least three times.)
We’ve seen the close-up shots of bruised, blistered, bandaged feet, but never does it look like hair is causing all that much pain. Why? As it turns out, hair stylists have a bevy of tricks to make even the tightest of ponytails not feel like–in the words of our web editor Ali Hoffman–”tender head.” And since this season we saw so many updos, from the swinging braids at Jeremy Scott to the French twists at Rachel Comey, we wanted to share them with you. Here are the three most genius updo tricks we learned backstage during New York Fashion Week:
1: It’s All About The Pins
If you saw the sleek, verging on severe buns at Altuzarra, you know that not a single hair was out of place. The look, which stylist Paul Hanlon described as “very chic, very graphic–imagine a hair bow cut in half,” required a handful of bobby pins to keep it looking tight. “It’s quite painful and tight for the girl,” he admitted, but let us in on his secret: Put the pins in a spiral around the ponytail. That way, they’re evenly spread out and less likely to dig in to the scalp.
2: Do The Bend And Snap
The other trick to not making models want to rip their buns out at Altuzarra? For Hanlon, it was all about making sure the ponytail wasn’t too tight–at least, not to the wearer. When you’re tying an elastic band around your tresses, bend your head down–it will feel very tight, but when you bring your head back up there will be a bit of slack between the hair and the scalp.
3: Prepare To Twist
Sometimes, the most elaborate-looking undoes are actually the easiest. At Erickson Beamon the models had “Richard Avedon-inspired, ’60s, gorgeous big French twists,” as Sara Potempa, working with Aussie backstage, explained. It looked amazing, but as she revealed, it actually isn’t that difficult of a style to replicate. All you have to do is make a ponytail about two-thirds up your head, pull the elastic down a few inches, twist the hair as you pull it down, and pin it close to the head (following Hanlon’s advice), et voila: an upside-down French twist in five seconds! “It’s a modern French twist,” Potempa points out, adding, “It automatically adds a natural bump to [your hair], and it gives you that feeling of the 60s, but it’s still cool.”
–REBECCA WILLA DAVIS