Modern Takes on Classic Styles
THEN In the 1940s, Hollywood sirens like Rita Hayworth played peekaboo from behind a cascade of waves. With a deep side part and sculpted swirls that began around eye level, the sultry look became a sexy signature.
NOW These curls have loosened up! Strands start bending by or below the ears, says Emma Stone's stylist Mara Roszak, and the hair over the top of the head stays straight and smooth-a soft, modern touch.
Glam Waves: How To
First work mousse throughout wet hair to add hold. Then blow-dry with a round brush. When finished, gently brush through. Hold a hot curling iron vertically, then wrap 2-inch sections around it, starting midway down the hair. We love the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Spring curling iron ($60; folica.com). Once you've done your whole head, brush again "to break up the waves and give them a softer look," says Roszak, who likes adding a touch of Leonor Greyl's eclat Naturel styling cream ($43; leonorgreyl-usa.com) for shine before topping with Rene Furterer's Vegetal finishing spray ($27; beauty.com).
The French Twist
THEN Like many roller-set dos of the '50s and early '60s, this Audrey Hepburn-esque look was "all about perfection," says hairstylist Jen Atkin, who created Jessica Alba's look. Its crowning glory? A high bouffant bump that often stretched from the front of the crown to the top of the twist.
NOW "It's messy, soft, and romantic," says Atkin. Strands are allowed (even encouraged!) to fall around the face and stick out of the twist. The crown is teased-but not to skyscraping heights.
The French Twist: How To
The key to this carefree version, says Atkin, is creating a rough texture before winding it up. Apply mousse, followed by a wave-enhancing spray like Fekkai Coiff Oceanique Tousled Wave spray ($25; fekkai.com) to wet strands from roots to tips. Blow-dry with a round brush. Section off a 2-inch piece of hair from the front of your head; use fingers to rake back the rest into a low ponytail and fasten with an elastic. Tease the tail, then start twisting it and tucking it in toward your scalp; pin the twist to your head as you work your way up with Ricky Care's Invisipin U-pins ($3/30; rickysnyc.com). Tuck ends into the twist and pin in place (don't worry if some pieces poke out). Take the section of hair from your crown and tease the roots. Brush it back (so you have a small pouf), and pin the bottom half into the twist. Pull out a few strands around the sides.
THEN Mia Farrow's famous cropped style featured trim bangs that hugged the hairline and short strands that lay close against the head. It gave confident gals a sprightly, youthful appeal.
NOW As these trendsetters show, the gamine cut has grown up-and out! Sides can be short, but "the main focus is on long bangs and the drama they create swooping across one eye," says Evan Rachel Wood's stylist, Marcus Francis.
The Pixie: How To
Focus on coaxing long strands from the front and crown to fall forward. Francis suggests making a deep side part in wet hair and drying it 85 percent of the way before coating it with a bit of glossing cream like Davines for Wizards No. 4 Glossy Modeling Putty ($25; davines.com for stores). Then place a small, round brush on top of a 1-inch section at the crown. Brush down and across the forehead as you blow-dry. When finished, use pomade to slick the sides and define pieces in front, says Francis. We like Serge Normant's Meta Form Sculpting pomade ($25; sergenormant.com).
THEN Back in the 1950s, it was all about structure. The veritable helmet of hair could require a roller set and plenty of aerosol spray to achieve the polished look of ladylike stars like Doris Day.
NOW Short hair is no longer a prerequisite for a cheeky, chin-length style. This faux bob is a trick of the eye: Long strands are pinned up to create a more relaxed take. Gabrielle Union's stylist Larry Sims describes it as "reminiscent of Old Hollywood but with a looseness that updates it."
The Bob: How To
This "trim" can be smooth worn smooth, or with texture. To rock the waves, Sims suggests applying a heat-protecting product like Göt2b Guardian Angel Flat Iron balm ($6; at drugstores) before using an iron to curl all your hair. We love the Hot Tools 1" Ceramic Ti Tourmaline Professional curling iron ($44; hottools.com for stores). Lightly brush through, then tease, starting from where you want your bob to fall (say, around midneck), down to the tips. From there, either scrunch up curled strands to the desired height or roll hair under in 2- to 3-inch sections for a sleeker look, says Sims. Use U-shaped pins to secure scrunched or rolled pieces to the scalp, then give it a few shots of John Frieda Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold hairspray ($6; at Target). Voilà!
THEN More along the lines of a cinnamon bun, circular and voluminous. The neat style helped a belle de jour played by Catherine Deneuve establish all the proper sophistication of an Yves Saint Laurent–wearing housewife.
NOW It's a fun, flirtier topknot that celebs have fully embraced. Hair is piled high atop the head, and pieces are able to spring free. "An imperfect shape makes it fresher," says Elizabeth Olsen's stylist Mark Townsend.
The Bun: How To
While you want the knot to look a little undone, Townsend likes to keep the hairline slick. He suggests prepping damp strands with Dove Style + Care Nourishing Amplifier mousse ($4; at drugstores), then blow-drying. Create a tight, high ponytail and mist it with Oribe Hair Care Dry Texturizing spray ($39; oribe.com) before teasing. Loosely braid the tail so when you wrap it around the elastic to form the bun, random strands pop out. Secure from underneath with pairs of small pins like Goody Colour Collection bobby pins ($4/50; at Target); cross them over each other so they make x's for extra hold, he says. Cover hands with L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega hairspray ($5; at drugstores) and run them over the top of your head to tame flyaways.