The fashion world took notice when top model Karlie Kloss chopped off her signature long locks for a Vogue spread (more on that next week) but was getting extensions—and lots of them—not so long after she debuted the chop, all in preparation for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. You see, the Angels have a very specific, very sexy (very stereotypical) look: bombshell. And that means a mane of full, thick, long, perfectly curled hair.
It’s a hairstyle that has an incredible audience—and has had an enduring shelf life as far as beauty trends are concerned. Popularized by everyone from the Kardashians to other A-listers, the gigantic, barrel curls have gone the way of the smoky eye: an old faithful.
“Curl means mass, doesn’t it?” said Bumble and Bumble’s Jimmy Paul backstage at Ohne Titel during New York Fashion Week Spring 2013. “Every girl is already doing it. It’s flattering when it’s down and wavy.”
Yet at Ohne Titel—and a plethora of other shows for the spring season (such as Diesel Black Gold and Versus)—the curling irons were nowhere to be found. Gone were the inch-and-a-half barrels, replaced instead by the once outdated flatiron.
“It’s dream hair,” says Redken’s Guido Palau, who manages countless manes backstage just about every Fashion Week. “There’s something very pretty about a girl like that. But when you see a lot of something, you feel like fashion reacts against it. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not.”
It’s hard to believe that an overwhelming return to sleek, straight hair after a Fall season of opulent, shiny, retro glamour is pure coincidence. It seems that the ever-fickle fashion world has decided that straight is “in,” perhaps appealing to the Republican consumer?
Palau explained that the hair trend has come full circle, in a rather slow-moving cycle. “It went from Kate Moss grungy to beach. You began to tong it badly. And then that permutated into a wave, and before you knew it, that became sausages on the red carpet.”
Spring’s decidedly more minimalist style—what Paul refers to as “graphic”—echoes the aesthetic of the '90s. And most of the makeup for the season was on the same track: simple, understated, barely-there. Next season’s woman certainly looks polished and put together—pin straight doesn’t exactly come easy—but in a way that feels less produced. And to distance the look further from the '90s graphic sleek, Palau tousled it a bit for some looks, or bent it to look a bit slept in.
“This particular trend has gone around a few times,” Paul noted. “But that’s what a trend is—it’s an option. Shiny, glossy, sexy hair will never be finished.”
And judging by the runways, neither will the sleek and straight. —Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi)
Click to the next slide above to watch Michael Angelo of Wonderland Beauty Parlor demonstrate how to achieve the perfect pin-straight look.