Get The Look: Kerry Washinton

Though she's worked opposite some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters since graduating from George Washington University, it was Kerry Washington's role in the Oscar-winning film Ray that catapulted the 28-year-old into the upper ranks of stardom. This summer, the fresh-faced native New Yorker hits the red carpet and multiplexes across the country starring in Fantastic Four and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

We love Kerry's elegant, yet unfussy hairstyle. According to Elvonda Kennedy, stylist at Chicago's Toss Hair Salon, the secret to achieving this tousled, slightly "undone" look is having hair cut into long layers. Next, use a light touch with the curling iron so the spiral curls hang down as if done the day before.

Step 1: Kerry's look starts with exceptionally clean hair. Wash hair with a deep-cleansing shampoo, then follow up by shampooing again with a moisturizing shampoo. Kennedy says these two steps are vital since African-American hair is often weighed down by product build-up, and moisturizing shampoos alone don't have the cleaning power to remove it. Apply a leave-in conditioner that contains heat-protecting ingredients using a wide-tooth comb.

Step 2: Since towel-drying will wipe away the leave-in conditioner, Kennedy suggests removing excess moisture from the hair by blow-drying on a medium setting, gently lifting the hair with your fingers as you move the dryer over it.

Step 3: Once hair is damp but not wet, separate it into three sections. Using the end of a rattail comb, part hair from ear to ear along the back of the head and clip off. Using the same technique, part hair across the head from temple to temple. Create bangs with a half-inch horizontal part at the front of the head.

Step 4: Brushing hair flat with a paddle brush, blow-dry the back section in a downward motion until hair is completely dry and lays flat against the neck. Moving to the middle section, blow-dry hair in an upward motion to create body, movement and height. Blow-dry bangs toward the face.

Step 5: Now that the hair and scalp are dry, clip bangs out of the way, and, using a medium-barrel curling iron on small sections of hair, create loose spiral curls by holding the barrel parallel to the hair and wrapping the lower third of the section around the barrel. For this look, it is best to create spirals that curl toward and away from the face in a random pattern. Using a large-barrel iron, curl bangs toward face.

Step 6: Gently finger-comb hair, separating the curls, and section the bangs with a 1/4-inch part in the middle of the face. Lightly mist hair with a light oil sheen spray to complete the look.

Toss Salon and Day Spa/Boutique, 60 East 13th Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60605. For an appointment with Kennedy, call 312-986-8677.

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