Expert Advice

Purely Hair

Maggie Mulhern | July 10, 2011 | 6:20 PM

This summer, it’s all about the hair. Whether clean and natural or dramatic and sculptural, the most powerful beauty statement is in the shape of the style itself, believes Joico International Artistic Director Damien Carney.

“It’s experimenting with extremes in size, shape and angles,” he says.

“Adding alternative textures to the hair is simple, but powerful. Subtle changes can make a look extreme, progressive or commercial.”

The execution of any design depends on the designer’s read on the client. “A beehive on a mom looks old-fashioned, but looks great on a young, cool girl,” he says. “It’s having the nerve to create and wear.”

Trying new techniques, or “escapism,” as Carney calls it, is vital for creative growth.
“It’s taking yourself out of your normal context. It’s not rocket science.” To challenge himself, Carney stripped down his toolkit to the most basic products and implements. 

“It’s amazing what rollers and products can do to alter a clean slate,” he says. “Never underestimate the power of foundational tools. Shampoo, rollers, spray and a brush combined can create extreme looks.”

The styling method is classic. Carney combs out half-sections, sprays them heavily, then wraps them in medium and large rollers. Once all the hair is set, he drenches it again in hair spray and places the model under a hood dryer until the hair is completely dry. To finish, he brushes and teases, smoothing sections for a haute coiffure feel, crimping some strands for a nouveau pompadour or simply backcombing for frothy volume.

“It’s an old setting lotion technique,” Carney says.
“We’re going for crunch. It doesn’t look perfect.”

Perfect, no.


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