Not all hairstyles work for everyone. Techniques that work for some textures may not work for others. The key is to figure out what works best for your hair type. Here, stylist Vernell Hooker shares his tricks of the tress trade in an excerpt from Universal Beauty: The Miss Universe Guide to Beauty from (Rutledge Hill Press).
Natalie Glebova's lustrous locks didn't single-handedly score her the crown in Bangkok — but they sure didn't hurt. Farouk Systems hair stylist Vernell Hooker, who worked his magic on the raven-haired Canadian beauty, explains how he did it.
Thick and Straight Hair
Step 1: Pump It Up Every hairstyle falls a bit during the pageant, but Natalie's super-straight tresses were especially vulnerable. So Hooker started by building a sturdy foundation with a good spritzing of volumizer (in this case, Farouk Systems Infratexture) at the roots.
Step 2: Turn Up the Heat Hooker wrapped small sections around a hot curling iron, angling those pieces toward the hairline to create serious body and even more lift at the roots. He pinned each curl against the scalp until the hair cooled and set.
Step 3: Give It a Hand After removing the pins, he broke up the curls by gently finger-combing. Because gravity took care of the longer pieces and ends of the hair, he used his hands to style waves in place around the face.
Step 4: Seal the Deal To lock out humidity and lock in style, Hooker misted the entire head with a Farouk's Biosilk finishing spray. A light-hold formula that still allows for movement, it contains silk particles for a soft, natural-looking shine.
Of course, the techniques that work magic on Natalie Glebova's thick, straight hair might spell doom for the fine-locked blonde in the neighboring chair. Here, broken down by hair type and texture, is a sampling of some of the ingenious tricks we noticed backstage.
Look at the upside. To make small hair bigger, blow-dry halfway, then flip the head over and finish the job while misting hair closest to the scalp with volumizing spray to lock in some root lift.
Be a tease: A little backcombing around the crown and nape of the neck adds fullness and body.
Shine on: Shine spray containing silicone and silk coats strands and keeps frizz at bay.
Be a smooth operator: The best-kept secret? Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets. Stylists drag them downward along the surface of the hair to smooth away fuzz just before showtime and between acts.
Pump some iron: For locks that haven't been chemically relaxed, flat irons do double duty: The pros twist the iron as they drag it through small sections of hair. This smoothes the kinks while simultaneously creating large waves.
Extend yourself: Extensions and weaves were huge in Bangkok. Stylists added straight and curled pieces (to match the girl's own texture) at the crown of the head and above the nape to add fullness and flowing length.
Add loads of luster: African hair tends to be on the dry side. A final shot of shine spray just before showtime restores sheen, making tresses look soft, hydrated, and healthy.
Style in seconds — flat: Because of their coarse texture, unruly pieces are especially obvious. The stylists' secrets to keeping them in check: Moisten fingertips with pomade, such as Farouk Twisted Fiber, pinch the misbehaving strands together with the rest of the hair until the whole section is lying flat, and press with a flat iron.
Give good gloss: An all-over misting with shine spray enhances the natural gloss Asian hair is famous for.
Work backward: Latina women are often blessed with loads of gorgeous hair. The challenge is to keep it from overwhelming an equally gorgeous face. A few Velcro rollers popped along the hairline for 10 minutes direct those tresses backward — without sacrificing the volume.
Go halfway: Pinning up only the front half of the hair, at the crown, shows off the face while preserving the mane's natural body in back.