Albert Luiz styles Miss USA's hair backstage before the compeition.
Albert Luiz styles Miss USA's hair backstage before the compeition.

Besides being the embodiment of beauty and brains, the newly crowned Miss USA has amazing hair.

Beyond all the factoids that led Kára McCullough to take home the highest honor and stand out among the rest (hello, she’s a nuclear scientist!) at the May 14 Miss USA Pageant at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, she was also the only competitor to wear her hair naturally curly.

With CHI as the official haircare sponsor for the 2017 Miss USA Pageant, Farouk Systems Global Artist Albert Luiz was responsible for creating McCullough‘s flawless look. He played up her natural texture by defining curls and adding volume and shine using CHI products and tools.

“The new Miss USA came to Las Vegas with a plan,” says Luiz. “She wanted to win under her terms by staying true to herself and her natural hair texture.”

Luiz has been doing hair for Miss USA since 1993, when every Miss USA contestant rocked similar looks—set curls and teased—but says now it’s all about the competitors embracing their uniqueness, individuality and “twist” on life. He says McCullough wanted her hair to looks as natural as possible. He only curled what was going to be seen and left the rest of her curls natural because of their already amazing shape and volume.

When MODERN told McCullough how gorgeous her hair looked, she replied by saying, “Do what makes you comfortable.” Spoken like a true Miss USA.

Highlighting and amplifying her natural hair texture, Luiz shares his step by steps tips and the key CHI products used to achieve her winning look.

Prep: Wash and condition with CHI Deep Brilliance Olive & Monoi Oil Optimum Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, allowing hair to air dry naturally.
Step 1: Backcomb parietal area with a rattail comb and spray the area with CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray to help hold the backcombing in place. This helps to add volume while allowing natural texture to bounce freely as she walked. 
Step 2: To enhance her natural texture, take 1/2" sections on the surface of the hairstyle and hairline spraying CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray at the base of each section. Then, laying the hair over the iron at the root area, quickly dry the spray while the hair was being held up to create immediate volume at root area. Next, point the iron in the desired direction of the curls and wrap each section around the small end of the CHI Air Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand. Alternate the direction of each section, wrapping and pointing the iron to create curls that don’t look or feel "done.”

“This technique ensures a random curl pattern and direction as not to completely change her hair's curl pattern and not curling every strand of hair,” Luiz says. “It is important to note that I left most her own texture as the foundation for her finished look and only curled the surface of her hair and the hair around her front hairline.”

Step 3: After curling enough strands, separate the curls with fingers and blend with her own natural texture. To maintain the new curls' direction and volume, additional CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray was used.
Step 4: To finish the look, spray the CHI Miss Universe Style Illuminate Spotlight Shine Spray throughout finished hairstyle. This will enhance her curls and texture and add additional shine.

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