It was a regular day at the office—I was stressed out about a deadline and had roots full of dry shampoo—when I made my way to the Nexxus New York Salon in TriBeCa. Thank goodness, I thought as I walked through the doors and into the spacious, brightly lit salon scented with Le Labo Santal 26 Candles (£51). Yes, dear readers, it was an Instagram dream world.
I was led to the back for a protein treatment, head massage, and moisturising hair mask. Talk about a mid-afternoon break worth taking.
I admittedly put my hair through a lot, so this pampering sesh was greatly appreciated. Not to mention that I was about to meet the woman responsible for the strands of Selena Gomez (and Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, and Reese Witherspoon). Basically, I couldn’t wait to sit with the hairstylist behind almost every cool girl in Hollywood.
I met Lona Vigi, a bubbly, hilarious stylist who was just as down-to-earth as she was talented. (And man, was she talented.) After 30 minutes and a dozen laughs, I left the salon with one of the best blow-dries… ever. My hair was textured, a little messy, and full of volume with curls that cascaded in a natural, effortless way down my shoulders. What was her secret, you ask? Well, besides god-given talent and years of practice, Vigi used a curling-iron trick that was genius. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t ever seen it before.
Keep scrolling for the hair hack that changes everything.
OK, here it is: She uses two curling irons with different barrel sizes.
When I asked her why, she replied, "I love this look because it creates undone, sort of beachy waves that are not uniform. It's sexier and more fun."
But it still felt like something a professional had to do—like, how would I ever be able to replicate it at home? She laughed and shook her head. "It's so easy. I just alternate different-sized curling irons with varying movements to create individual-looking curls. For some, I curl halfway down the length of the hair, and for others, I curl the whole piece. I curl one piece forward and the next one backward so it looks like a natural wave instead of a curling iron wave."
Upon closer inspection, it did look really easy. Even something a novice like myself could accomplish without too much practice. See, the genius idea behind the whole thing is that it's not supposed to look uniform—so you can't mess it up.
Vigi added, "I always leave the ends out, because once you curl the ends, you create a more finished look."
So which curling irons are her favourites? I was taking notes at this point, naturally.
"I use a bunch of different curling irons and wands. R Session curling irons are amazing and GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand (£120). I like larger irons, depending on the hair length, but generally I go with a one-and-a-half-inch and a one-and-a-quarter-inch curling iron. For shorter hair, try one a one-inch and a one-and-a-quarter-inch barrel. Or a curling wand and a one-inch iron works well because it allows for different curls mixed in."
When I pressed her about the best products, she explained that it totally depends on your hair type. But there are a few hero products she always uses to hold and define the wave.
"I use Nexxus New York Salon Care Mousse Plus (£12) to add volume before styling, and on thicker hair, I like to add Nexxus New York Salon Care Oil Infinite Nourishing Oil (£27) to my hands or fingertips to tame any frizz," she shared.
We parted ways (Vigi was tired from waking up at 5 a.m. to work on Selena Gomez and was on her way to style Reese Witherspoon), and I definitely had an unprecedented pep in my step. And guess what? My hair didn't fall flat—and garnered a ton of compliments—for six days straight. On the night of the sixth day, I reluctantly washed it and fantasized about how much of my pay packet I'd be willing to drop to schedule another appointment.
Interested in more hair secrets? Read about why I wore hair extensions for nine years (and why I finally stopped).