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5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Updo, Courtesy Sharon Blain

by Maggie Mulhern | January 30, 2019
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Photo courtesy of @sharonblain
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Sharon Blain is the queen of hairstyling, earning dozens of awards for her beautiful finishes. For the past five decades she has been practicing the art of dressing hair and holding workshops to share her knowledge. Although her seminars sell out quickly, there are few spots left for her “The Creative Edge With Sharon Blain" workshop to be held at the Moroccanoil Academy in NYC from March 18 – 20 (it will be held again Sept 16 – 18.) The three-day hands-on atelier will focus on the essential techniques used to prepare the hair, as well as the secrets of long hair styling. This intense course it open to licensed hairdressers.

Blain stresses that the consultation is vital for any type of dressed finish - “The key to any successful updo is communication and honesty," Blain says. "Don’t over promise and under deliver.” 

MODERN caught up with Blain and asked for her tricks on creating the perfect updo. Here she shares her top five best practices:

  1. PREPARATION: Preparation is key to creating a flawless long hair do. I recommend to make sure the hair is blow dried prior to any setting or tong work. When you begin with beautiful smooth hair it help avoid a dried texture finish. 
  2. PRODUCTS: Using the correct products is essential for the perfect updo. Use a factor 3 thermal spray to blow dry the hair and then again when curling the hair. I personally like the hair texture to feel like coarse linen. This hair texture will be more responsive when creating the look. And yes, I would prefer to have the hair a washed the day before to add more texture. I only use medium hold hair spray when the look is finished and a weightless shine spray during the dressing process. It keep the hair workable.
  3. FOUNDATION and PROPER SET: Over teasing can make the style appear old fashion. It’s better to have a strong set at the roots so teasing is not needed. Consider crimping the roots and setting the mid and end. It’s creates great texture to work with and excellent for finer hair types.
  4. PINNING and SECURING: Pining is important for a long lasting result. I prefer to use Bobbie pins than a fringe pin as its more secure. Most long hair girls have some degree of layers these day. With that in mind, I love using a baby elastic band at the end to hold the layers together before pinning. This eliminates a need for lot of pins and guarantee longevity.
  5. SUITABILITY: Just because it’s in fashion doesn’t mean it suits everyone. Be careful to check out the client's featured (eg, nose, ear size, body shape etc.) Softer hair styles will always flatter larger features. Avoid tight pulled back looks they are best suited on stunning models.

In the fall of 2016 MODERN met with Blain when she was teaching "Magical Fingerwaves" at the Moroccanoil Academy. In this short video, learn her secret to creating this special shape:

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