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Holiday Hair Tutorial From the Hippest 'Hood in Brooklyn

Screen siren waves or breezy updo—take your pick.

December 17th, 2013

Jane Houle

A holiday party is a great time to add a dash of daring to your look. Be it a fuller skirt (Tibi has the best ones right now), a bold pump (Alejandro Ingelmo, please), or a head of beautifully sculpted waves (Isn’t the ideal always Rita in Gilda?).

The ubiquitous surfer girl has grown up a bit. With the rise of a more ladylike silhouette, hair has followed suit. To show us how to get the look, we headed to the cutest new salon in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with the cutest name, Little Axe Salon, helmed by Bumble and Bumble and Whittemore House vet, and now Oribe educator Coby Alcantar. We enjoyed a bit of tea on a blisteringly cold day as she turned our adorable model Allison’s fine straight hair into a gorgeous head of waves.

1. Create a canvas that will hold a wave.
To achieve this, Coby used mousse from roots to ends on towel dried hair. She then divided hair into five sections and blow-dried using a boar bristle round brush, lifting the hair at the root to create volume. She refers to this step as “cooking the product” into the hair. She then used a comb to created a very deep straight side part.

2. Curl with a 1-inch curling iron.
Coby took sections as wide as the curling iron and spritzed each section with Oribe Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray. She then wound the root section of each piece first, then carefully wound the ends in, as they take less time to set. This technique ensures root lift and height. She secured each section to the scalp with a pin. As you style, pay attention to the direction of the curls. They need to be curled in opposing directions in order to form the signature “s” wave. So the first curl off the side part should be curled up and away from the face.  The next curl should be curled down towards the face. Repeat until the entire head is curled and set.

3. Let hair cool.
Speed up the cooling process with a shot of cool air from your blow-dryer. Then turn your head upside down and use a Mason Pearson brush to gently stretch out the curls.

4. Add volume to the crown.
Coby used a technique called back-brushing—basically teasing but with a brush instead of a comb so the effect is more subtle. A great tip she imparted was to only use the tips of the brush to smooth the top layers of the hair over the back-brushing instead of the entire force of the brush, which tends to flatten the head and undo the height created by the back-brushing.

Coby also gave us a great quick updo idea for those girls who always wind up with their hair in a half pony/bun—you know, the work-to-going-out bun.


1. Create a fresh base.
Add Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray to the roots. This product adds texture and helps to deconstruct the Veronica Lake set. Could be good to keep at your desk for an after work transformation!

2. Add texture.
Work a very small amount of Oribe Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste into your hands until invisible. When applying, toss hair upside down and lightly run hands through the hair. This helps the updo last.

3. Find your spot.
Keep head upside down and decide on the placement of your ponytail—it is easier to find that perfect spot on your own head this way and creates a nice taut ponytail. For Allison, we decided on a slightly off-centered ponytail.

4. Secure the pony.
Use a bungee (elastic with hooks on both ends for a super tight ponytail) or an elastic hairband to hold your pony in place. Split the length of the ponytail in two.

5. Back brush the two pieces to expand the hair.
Use the tip of the brush to smooth hair over the top, like you did in the Rita look.

6. Fold and wrap the hair around the base of the pony.
Secure with hair pins. Pull out some fuzzy strands around the hairline.

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