Get the season’s most covetable hairstyles with these foolproof how-to tutorials

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To ensure your tools don’t go to waste, we’ve taken four of the season’s most covetable styles and devised foolproof how-tos

You’re sitting in the salon chair, watching intently as the stylist spritzes, sprays and massages all manner of substances into your hair. Following their every move you take mental notes, comforted by the ease at which they twizzle and twirl your locks into that perfectly dishevelled wave, convincing yourself that – armed with the right tools – you’ll be able to conjure up the same magic at home. So strong is the promise of good hair days to come, you find yourself heading home with a bag full of these wonder products.

So why is it that – when left to your own devices – everything you observed in that salon chair seems to have been washed down the plug hole with your shampoo? Which texture spray to use? Do you apply this smoothing cream to wet hair or post blow-dry? Were you meant to put on a five or 10 pence-sized dollop of hair oil?

The confusion (and subsequent mass of greasy, unmanageable hair) is enough to put you off experimenting with different hairstyles or turn you off a product altogether. Sales may be on the rise (we now collectively spend £293 million a year on hairstyling products in the UK*) but just how many of them end up at the back of our bathroom cabinet, never to be used again? “Clients can get frustrated with products if they aren’t using them right, and without proper education, there’s little chance you’ll be getting the most out of whatever spray, serum or oil you’ve invested in,” advises hairstylist George Northwood.

But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. It’s time to dust off your styling products, because in a bid to demystify this bewildering realm, we’ve taken four of the season’s most covetable hair styles and devised a foolproof guide to the products that you’ll need to create them. Just call us your hairstyling fairy godmother…

  • Hervé Léger S/S 2016

    Scroll right to find out how to get this look

  • 3D Volumiser

    Toni&Guy, £4.99,
    “Don’t start with freshly washed hair,” advises session stylist Lyndell Mansfield. “You need texture and grip to hold the braid.” Fake it on finer hair with a volumising spray. Lift random layers and spray the underneath so no sticky patches are showing.

  • Sectioning Comb

    Trevor Sorbie, £3.99,
    A comb with a pin-like tail is the easiest way to draw a deep-set parting. Then take three strands of hair from the parting – each the width of a Sharpie – and French plait along the hairline. Weave each section under rather than over so the plait lies on top of the head, and secure with a small clear elastic at the nape of the neck. Then tie the rest of the hair into a low pony or if your hair is short, twist and pin it up.

  • Give me Texture Dry Texturising Spray

    VO5, £4.19,
    “Pull a few wispy baby hairs out of the plait using the tail comb,” suggests backstage hairstylist Syd Hayes. Then mist a dry texture spray (formulas with sea salt are best) onto palms and rub over the braid to induce a little ethereal frizz.

  • Philosophy s/s 2016

    Scroll right to find out how to get this look

  • The Original Iron

    Cloud Nine, £129.95,
    “This style works on any length but if it’s curly or afro-textured, start by straightening,” suggests session stylist Clare Rothstein. Then, take belt wide sections and clamp the hair horizontally at ear level. Keeping the irons still, feed the hair upwards into the irons bending it from left to right and clamping with each turn. Continue by picking random sections for an imperfect wave.

  • Dry Shampoo Powder

    Une Nuit a Bali, £8,
    Thicker hair will need dry shampoo to get that worn-in texture – a fine powder formula will help avoid any irritating white patches. Simply sprinkle through the lengths. Scrunch the hair to encourage frizz and a dry finish.

  • Boar Bristle Brush

    Moroccanoil, £46.45,
    It may feel counterproductive but brushing the hair is the only way you’ll create a uniform fuzzy wave. “Boar hair bristles untangle hair easily and reduce static,” advises Hayes, so look for a barrel brush (they’re the most versatile) with the dense bristles. Pull through the lengths while holding the palm flat to the scalp to maintain a neat silhouette at the top and volume towards the ends.

Mega curls

  • Topshop Unique s/s 2016

    Scroll right to find out how to get this look

  • Be Curly Curl Enhancer

    Aveda, £19.50,
    A curl cream will define curls better than any frizz serum. Apply a bottle top-sized blob to wet hair and coil each curl around your fingers to set, leaving to dry naturally. If your hair is straight, opt for mousse to help hold the curls to come. Then blast with a hairdryer until it’s bone dry.

  • Conical Wand 13-25mm

    Babyliss Pro, £35,
    “The bigger the tong, the faster the curls will fall out,” advises Rothstein, “but the very end of a conical wand will create these small tight curls.” If you hair is already curly, simply wrap the frizzier ringlets all the way to the root for a couple of seconds to reset. On straight hair, wrap inch-wide sections around the end of the wand, holding for seven seconds and if your hair is shorter, pull the curl downwards as you release to slightly stretch it.

  • Make Waves Creation Hairspray

    Tresemmé, £4.12,
    Lock in the shape with a strong but invisible hairspray to allow your curls to move. Spray in an orbit around the crown of the head. Tip your head upside down and shake it while running your fingers through the curls to loosen them a little. Still too perfect? Blast with the cold setting on your hairdryer for a final muss up.

Wet chignon

  • Jason Wu s/s 2016

    Scroll right to find out how to get this look

  • Tecni.Art Wet Domination Extreme Splash

    L’Oréal Professionnel, £10.80,
    The only product that gives that glass-like finish is gel and this has flexible polymers so hair isn’t crunchy. Drag through lengths until it’s so saturated, you look like a Bond girl emerging from the sea.

  • Thick Hair Elastics

    Scünci, £3.25 for 10,
    Comb the hair back with a wide tooth comb (“It will form a smooth, clean silhouette and create the comb mark detail,” says Hayes) and tie into a pony tail at the back of your head, fastening with a thick elastic hair band. “Wet hair doesn’t have as much grip, so you need extra strength to keep it secure,” adds Rothstein.

  • Japanese Grips Purple

    Session Kit, from £7,
    To create the detail of the bun, separate the pony into six sections and roll into loops, pinning the end of each one into the centre. “Good quality pins are vital,” advises Mansfield, who stocks her kit full of these thick Japanese grips. “You need them short enough to be disguised in the hair but strong enough to hold the style.”

Photography: Thinkstock, Getty, L’Oreal Professionnel for Topshop Unique, Tresemmé for Hervé Léger
*research by Mintel

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Stylist Beauty Team