How-To (beauty)

Long hair, three ways

From great cuts to styling tips, we love these sexy, classic looks.

Look 1: Face-framing layers

The key: Soft, flowing texture


What it takes: A great cut (with side-swept bangs to accentuate eyes and cheekbones, and no sharp angles anywhere), plus smoothing creams and serums.

1 Make it subtle, not shaggy. When you go for a cut, keep in mind that you're not going for a hard, rocker-chick effect. The layers are there to create movement and a flattering softness around your face. "There should be no extreme edges," says Susanna Romano of New York's Salon AKS. "It should look like you haven't had your hair cut in a while." The layers should be just around the face, says Stephen Knoll, owner of the Stephen Knoll Salon in New York City. "The rest of your hair should remain smooth," he says. "That way, you can still wear it up."

2 Get volume at the roots with mousse, and texture on the ends with shine serum. "The way to wear this cut is shiny and sleek, with body," says Tresemmé spokesperson and New York stylist Nathaniel Hawkins.

3 Blowdry your hair with a medium round brush, then set it in large rollers to create volume and wave.

4 Finish with a light mist of hairspray.

5 For added shine, treat ends to a touch of lightweight hair cream or wax.

Look 2: '60s Valley of the Dolls updo

The key: Strategic volume


What it takes: Long bangs, volumizer, and a little back-combing

1 Apply volumizer at the roots for lift—wet or dry.

2 For extra height at the crown, lift a section of hair straight up, slip a large hot roller underneath, and bend hair over the top.

3 Back-comb the crown. Work in small sections and pull the comb in one direction—down to the scalp, not back and forth. Stay close to the roots, says Hollywood salon owner Kim Vo: "If you back-comb out to the ends, the top of your head will look like a rat's nest."

4 Smooth some hair that's not teased over the top, clip it, and add a bit of featherweight hairspray to make it stick.

5 Temper the ladylike feel with a hint of messiness. Use your finger to coax out shorter layers around your face.

Look 3: Floaty Botticelli waves

The key: Uneven, spirally curls


What it takes: A curling iron—and the will to let go of perfection

1 Start with a heat-specific styler. When you iron fabric, you spritz on a little water to get it to hold the shape and keep it from burning; a spray-in conditioner/styler does the same thing to your hair. With a little moisture, the curl holds much better.

2 Run a small-barrel curling iron halfway down a section of hair; twist the rest of the section around the iron in a figure-eight shape; hold in for 10 to 15 seconds.

3 Let the curl fall; repeat around your head at slightly different lengths. The effect is like a pin curl—ripply finger waves with lots of movement. Run finishing cream through the ends.

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