Yes, soft hair doesn’t hold bend well, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for the fine-haired lady who dreams of cool girl beachy waves. Jon Reyman, the master hairstylist and founder of Spoke & Weal, is here to show you that curls are possible for soft hair—even if your hair is short.
Reyman doesn’t mince words when discussing the pitfalls of fine hair: “[It] may become greasy quickly, in many cases it’s more flat and limp. Soft hair is hard to create volume.” But volume is often what the soft-haired want the most. So for this look on Domino’s associate lifestyle editor (hi, that’s me), Reyman wanted to beef up the hair for a cool look with more textured curls, and messier than soft hair usually looks (as shown in the before photo below).
“Some people can have their hair look good and feel good,” says Reyman. “But most people have to choose one or the other. If it looks good, it might not feel good, or the reverse. So if fine hair feels soft, it looks flat. So the course-ness is your best friend.”
The trick is in how you wash hair, the products to use, blowdrying, and then curling with a flatiron, not a curling iron.
“We shampoo it, but we don’t condition it because it helps the hair shaft to stay larger,” says Reyman. We want more body and volume, and fine hair naturally gets greasy and flat and soft. So shampoo expands, conditioner makes smaller, so we don’t want to do that; we want to expand without shrinking.”
Use a blow dryer with a nozzle attached (Reyman swears by the Dyson Supersonic Dryer). “The nozzle helps direct the heat and concentrate the airflow, so it’s more of a refined blowdry.”
For this type of hair style, he prefers using a Vess or Denman brush while blow drying because the bristles are wider, thus it doesn’t smooth the hair shaft too much, which is perfect because we want as much fullness as possible. Continue until hair is completely dried.
Flat Iron for the Curl
The secret to this look is the ‘cool girl’ curls, and you’re going to use a flat iron to make them, which sounds strange, but hear us out. “It’s called an s-bend, it’s just basically a more natural look than using a curling iron,” says Reyman.
You’ll take sections of hair—Reyman says don’t be too precise, just roughly take sections, “the less you make it look done, the better it looks,” says Reyman. Hold the flat iron vertical and bend the section of hair in an S shape and feed the hair through the flatiron quickly, momentarily clamping the hair at the bends. Domino loves ghd flat irons, they work flawlessly.
“High heat, all the way to the top, I always recommend the highest heat: the hotter it goes, the more reliable it is at setting and staying,” says Reyman. The wave really showcases your haircut, and the “haircut is the style for this look, so really rock it.”
A volumizing shampoo, like Aveda Pure Abundance Shampoo, is perfect, and no conditioner needed. Use a fair amount of texturizing spray (don’t be shy!) into towel-dried hair to create a palpable coarseness. Reyman likes Aveda Texture Tonic for a ton of texture without weighing down hair.
Hair by Jon Reyman using Aveda. Makeup by Chantecaille’s National Artistry Ambassador Eddie Hernandez using Chantecaille. Produced by Lahaina Alcantara. Styled by Rachel Besser. Special thanks to Spoke & Weal for being awesome.