This year’s red carpets were an endless source of Old Hollywood glam, most notably with side-swept waves
While a crimson carpet always denotes a glam occasion, during this year’s award season in particular, Old Hollywood was new again. Ultra-polished, cascading waves à la Veronica Lake were spotted on nearly everyone, from Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez and Isla Fisher at the Golden Globes to Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Chastain at the Oscars. “Women in Hollywood want to emulate this classic style and pay homage to the stars of the past,” says celeb hairstylist Allen Edwards—famous for giving Farrah Fawcett her signature feathered ‘do—of why the deep side-parted, large waves are a perennial fave. “The glamour of the ’40s and ’50s is truly iconic Hollywood style.”
However, this red-carpet look isn’t just for a big event. It can be done for daytime, too, and works best on mid-length to long hair that’s generally one length all around (layers in front are ok). “If you have short hair (above the shoulders or a bob) you will get a more ’30s look; the curls will end up being tighter, more like a finger wave,” says Edwards, who’s also done the tresses of A-listers Julianne Moore and Renee Zellweger. To dress the look down, try a less glossy version—use a comb to pull waves apart and don’t slick hair behind the ear.
To achieve a waved look at home, you’ll need either a 1.5-inch curling iron or foam/metal rollers and hairspray (we’re loving the solid hold of Joico’s Power Spray right now). First, blow dry hair straight, then part it to the side. “The deep part is essential to creating this look, as it helps to give the waves more body and volume. Establish the part by matching it to the arch of the eyebrow. Do not part your hair down the middle—it takes away all of the glamour, and the waves will overwhelm the face,” cautions Edwards.
Start by curling the bottom layer in thicker sections, holding the iron iron for about eight seconds only. (Or keep rollers in for about 10 minutes.) Hairspray is essential here, and Edwards suggests using it before removing curlers or the iron to get more polished waves. Afterward, “comb the curls out using your fingers. for a looser, wavy look,” says Edwards. “Finally, use hairspray to tame any flyaways, and pull the hair behind one ear. Make sure you use ample hairspray to make it stick!” But don’t overdo the spritz as too much product cause wave separation.
To further up the glam quotient, sweep all of your hair to the opposite side of the part. Says Edwards, “Sweeping the hair to one side can make the face look thinner and highlight certain features like your cheekbones and jaw. If you have a “best side,” which we all do, this is an excellent way to show that side off! This look is flattering for most any face shape. If you have a square shape or sharp features, the waves and side part work to soften this.”