Power to the Tools: Olivia Garden Gives the Spotlight to Brushes

Alison Alhamed | July 5, 2017 | 9:21 AM
“Textured hair is generally sensitized, naturally drier and can be brittle,” Elias says. “The more texturized the less you should pre-dry. I’m a big fan of doing multiple slow, steady passes and pulling with tension, as opposed to blasting with heat.” Apply a leave-in conditioner and mousse on damp hair. Gently brush and detangle with the Olivia Garden iDetangle hair brush. Blow dry on-base with the Olivia Garden Ceramic+ion Speed XL round brush. Mist with hairspray once set. Brush out with the Fingerbrush to revel the curl in the shape. Use the Olivia Garden Style-Up teasing brush at the crown. Apply a lightweight spray gloss and smooth the surface with the Olivia Garden Supreme Boar brush.
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“Here the teasing is the star,” Elias says. “You don’t get a ‘gasp’ reaction if it’s just curled with an iron. Using a teasing comb and the Fingerbrush takes this look to the next level.” Gently brush and detangle hair with the Olivia Garden Fingerbrush. Create a v-shaped section on the crown. Brush into a slick top knot with an Olivia Garden Healthy Hair Ionic Combo brush. Secure. Take a 1/4” section, smooth with the Olivia Garden Ceramic+ion Supreme Combo brush. Wrap hair around elastic and secure. Use the Olivia Garden CarboSilk technical comb to tease small sections of hair from the ends toward the scalp to form a cushion for added volume. Smooth the perimeter with the Supreme Combo brush and set with a workable spray. 
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“If you want tons of volume, over-direct the placement,” Elias says. “If you want soft volume, dry on base. No volume, off base.” Your section size should be indicative of the size of the barrel. Apply a light amount of dry texturizing spray at base and blow dry the perimeter up using the Olivia Garden Supreme Boar brush. Dry and smooth completely. Take the interior crown section and heavily tease using the Olivia Garden Style-Up teasing brush to create the inner padding. Continue to tease the back of the hair and mold into a classic French twist. Take ½-inch sections and tease the front using the Olivia Garden CarboSilk comb. Overlay and smooth hair on top of the padded hair using the Supreme Combo mixed bristle brush.
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“With thick hair it’s important to use a brush that molds as oppose to straightens,” Elias says. “Asian hair already has weight, which can make it fall, so don’t focus too much on volume, focus on shape using a brush that compacts the cuticle but has enough grip to mold the hair.” Using the Olivia Garden Supreme Combo brush, blow dry damp hair and begin molding it up. Create a ponytail and secure. Crimp all hair in the ponytail. Take small sections and smooth with the Fingerbrush Combo. Using the CarboSilk comb, take 1/2-inch sections of ponytail and tease. Smooth the perimeter with the Supreme Combo brush. Set with a workable spray.
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This style evokes female power, made of strongly exaggerated lines and soft edges. Section crown of head with Olivia Garden Double Clips Petite into four even sections with diagonal partings circling the head. Create front and back anchors as guides. Use Olivia Garden Cara Shears to cut along the perimeter connecting the front and back guides. Continue to bring down top sections using the previous section as the guide to complete the cut. Use the Olivia Garden HeatPro Thermal Styler to wrap-dry the hair around the head with the nozzle pointing diagonally to follow shape of head. Repeat until entire head is dry. Complete final details and touch-ups with Olivia Garden PrecisionCut shears.
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Hair: Steve Elias; Assisted by: Carrie Bailon; Makeup: Sherrie Long; Fashion styling: Liz Baca, Photography: Will Taylor

Anne Maza oozes passion for her Olivia Garden brand, and is proud of the time, attention and detail that goes into each element of each tool that hits the market.

“Brushes are often left out of the storyline—liquids, color and appliances get all the glory,” says Maza, whose parents Jean and Micheline Rennette founded Olivia Garden in 1967. “Yet these tools are what captures a flawless finish.”

NAHA-winning editorial stylist Steve Elias, who collaborated with Olivia Garden on this Power to the Tools collection says in movies, often the attention and glamour is given to the actors but not the crew.

“That’s what happens to brushes and combs—we take them for granted,” Elias says. “Yet you can’t have a frizz-free, perfect flatiron without a heat-resistant comb, and you can’t do beautiful Instagram waves without an amazing blowout first. Even pristine hair color doesn’t pop unless it’s reflective and properly smoothed.”

So Maza and Elias set out to create strong, iconic shapes that puts tools in the spotlight and reflects the versatility and power of Olivia Garden brushes. Throughout the months of planning the concept, the team flirted with looks that evoked femininity and strength. Notions of warrior women and goddesses became reoccurring themes. 

“Olivia Garden has stood the test of time by sticking to what’s important: producing quality brushes that are both functional and beautiful, and always putting the hairdresser first,” Elias says (see his top 5 tips for selecting the right brush here).

See more how-tos from Olivia Garden here and learn more about brush and tool selection, and styling and finishing techniques, by attending Olivia Garden education. Find the class schedule at

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