Now that Phoebe Philo-fuelled minimalism has wholly infiltrated fashion, the British designer's influence is extending into beauty. Sharply tailored clothes demand clean, polished skin and hair, the latter of which has started to hit the red carpet like it's 1996. Last week, the style received the ultimate stamp of approval when Mary-Kate Olsen showed up to the CFDAs with her straight, shiny locks (newly dyed chocolate brown) tucked behind her ears. The origins of her look, not surprisingly, can be traced back to this season's runways. Read on for how to make your straight strands look more fresh than fried.
Runways: Joseph Altuzarra, who took home the Swarovski Award for Womenswear at last week's CFDA awards, asked stylist Paul Hanlon to give his models stick-straight hair to frame his sporty, Hawaiian-inspired spring collection. Hanlon used an arsenal of Frédéric Fekkai products to achieve the look, first massaging Advanced Full Blown Volume Styling Whip ($25) into the roots. After using extensions to define a deep side part, he sprayed Advanced Brilliant Glossing Sheer Mist ($9) across the hair before securing the front section with Coiff Magnifique Ultra-Light Finishing Cream ($25)-apparently, Altuzarra doesn't want anything but the clothes moving on the runway. The look popped up in Paris a couple of weeks later, at Céline's intimate spring show and Akris' Grand Prix-inspired collection.
Red Carpet: Jennifer Lawrence rarely wears her hair down, instead pulling her thick blonde locks into a loose bun or up-do. But for the Paris premiere of The Hunger Games, stylist Cim Mahony suggested she iron down her wavy mane to better suit her Tom Ford sheath. "We were in Paris," he said. "And I just felt that it had to be a little more chic." So he used a round Mason Pearson brush to blow out her hair before spraying Less is More's Chitin Spray ($32) at the root (like keratin, chitin strengthens the hair and protects it from heat) and the brand's Protein Spray ($32) on the ends. "Blow dry your hair, instead of straightening from the roots, using a big round brush to get a naturally straight look and keep some volume," Mahony says. After ironing the hair, Mahony finished with Alterna's Rapid Repair Spray ($20). "I think we will definitely see trends moving more toward geometrical, straight, and sharp," he added.
You'd be hard pressed to find sartorial similarities between Lawrence and an Olsen, but they're obviously occupying the same headspace. As if dying her locks a rich cocoa colour wasn't enough change, Mary-Kate Olsen swapped her typically mussed hair for a "pin-straight, no body" style at last week's CFDA awards.
Stylist Mark Townsend, who had to talk Olsen out of a topknot, says technology's key to the flat iron's comeback. "Women were burning and frying their hair to get it that straight; it didn't look pretty," he said of the '90s trend. "The technology behind those irons has come such a long way that you can get that shiny, healthy hair." Pay attention to the plates, he says, making sure the iron uses tourmaline, a semi-precious stone crushed into the ceramic for the gentlest process; he favours the Sedu Ionic Ceramic Pro Flat Iron ($130), we also like Sephora's Tourmaline Flat Iron ($48).
To make Olsen's hair "super, super shiny," Townsend drenched it in Dove's Nourishing Oil Serum ($6), blew it out with a round brush, and sprayed Dove's Style+Care Thermal Replenishment Spray ($5) on two- to three-inch sections. "Because I'd blown it out, I only had to flat iron halfway down," he said. "For 90 per cent of women, it isn't necessary to turn the iron up to 400 degrees," adding that at home, women tend to iron bigger sections of hair resulting in more overlapping and yes, more frying. To finish, Townsend swears by Sally Hershberger's Star Shine Spray ($14).
Products: Our favourite brands are also interested in the straight hair trend. Kerastase's new Cristalliste line promises to make long, fine hair thick and shiny, while Suave's Keratin Infusion Smooth & Shine Serum ($5) protects hair from intense heat and fights humidity to prevent frizz. Unless, miraculously, your hair is flyaway free, you're going to need a shine spray post-heat. Bumble and bumble's Shine On (And On) ($26) is one of the lightest (still hold the bottle at least six inches away from your hair) and Biosilk's Shine On Shine On ($12), which is actually infused with silk, helps repair split ends. Your hair might not end up Olsen-perfect on the first try, but you're off to a good start!