There's nothing glamorous about Felicity Huffman on screen. She plays a harried mom on Desperate Housewives pushing wisps of flyaway hair out of herhaggard eyes and squinting in horror while her three boys get up to some new form of mayhem, a role which earned her an Emmy. The talented actress also picked up a Golden Globe, and an Oscar nomination this year, for her portrayal of a pre-operative transsexual who embarks on a cross-country road trip with her troubled teenage son in the highly acclaimed film, Transamerica. The meaningful roles she plays are so far removed from her personal style, that her red carpet looks are always refreshingly elegant. Her hair and makeup is consistently subtle yet sophisticated. We asked stylist Ann Minahan to show us how to achieve Felicity's beautiful head of curls.
Step 1 Prep hair according to its texture. Women with very curly hair should wash it about 12 hours before setting the style, using a de-frizz or softening conditioner. Women with fine or straight hair should wash it just before setting it. In both cases use a leave-in conditioner to give hair extra weight.
Step 2 Getting curls like these requires a system. After washing your hair (or dampening it, if you washed hair earlier), flip head upside-down and blow dry, using a vent brush to pull hair over the head while starting the drying process at the roots.
Step 3 Section the hair (four sections should suffice '- top, back and either side '- unless you have very thick hair) starting at the top. Take about one inch of hair, and holding it at the end, pull it forward. Then take a medium-width roller and roll the hair back, pinning it to the head when finished. Do that all over the head, being sure that for each section, you pull the hair forward, and roll it back. You can also create a similar look using a curling iron, if you have one with a two-inch barrel. Again, pull the hair forward, and roll hair around curler backward to the head. After letting the heat set the curl for a few seconds, release the curling iron, but affix each curl to the head with a bobby pin or small clip.
Step 4 Apply a spritz of volumizer to the roots of each curl in each section. Allow the hair to set for at least 20 minutes. Remove the pins and finger-comb the curls, pushing up through the hair, until you get the desired amount of curl. If you want a looser look, comb through the hair with a vent brush.
Step 5 Turn head upside-down and lightly spritz a gentle hold hairspray on it. If you still need more lift at the roots, back comb at the crown and sides gently, and smooth down the top layer of hair.
Product Name: Fast Food Leave-in Conditioner
This product is a must for anyone who regularly abuses her hair with coloring, rollers, curling irons and blow dryers. It might be a bit too heavy for women with very fine hair, but it's a godsend for those who have thick curly hair that never wants to take a style.
Product Name: Phillips Monster Vent Brush
Great for creating round, loose waves on the ends of hair with a blow dryer to provide heat, or for gently brushing hair forward over the head while blow-drying roots.
Product Name: Sedu Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron
Straightening systems are always hard on the hair, but if you're going to do it, invest in a good tool like this one that won't completely fry or split your ends. This system can even handle highly processed hair that's usually too fragile for straightening.
Product Name: Redken Align 12
Humidity-resistant frizz control '- a must-have in humid weather if you're looking to sport a sleek and shiny style.
Product Name: Bigwigg Root Volumizer
Perfect for limp hair that needs a quick plump at the shaft for maximum volume. Bigwigg is applied to the roots after hair is dry, and it's specially formulated for fine to medium textured hair.
Product Name: Phytocurl Spray
A styling treatment designed for curly hair, this natural product keeps the frizzies at bay under even the most intense weather conditions.