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Move over straightening irons, there's a retro styling tool that is making a comeback. Crimped hair has appeared on the catwalks of London Fashion Week, and is touted to be one of the most versatile trends of the winter season. This look is great for those with fine hair, or those looking for a simple way to add a little drama to their locks. With this in mind, here's our guide to crimping: think more classy than 'classroom'.
Past, present, and future
The sawtooth effect was created by Sebastian founder Geri Cusenza in the early 70's whilst working with Barbara Streisand, and was inspired by textile crimpers. The revolutionary crimping iron was an instant success, with the crimped style becoming a staple for the 70's and 80's. Crimped hair peaked in the high fashion world in the 80's, taking a slow dip in the 90's when crimping became the go-to style for school discos and teeny boppers. But over the last decade, we've seen a style resurgence, with celebrities and stylists using this textured technique to create fun, individual looks.
Chanel reworked the trend for its show in 2007, sending models down the catwalk with sections of crimped hair. Sam McKnight further evolved the crimp, by styling coloured extensions into models textured ponytails in 2014. Now in 2016, stylist Duffy gave the crimped look a fresh modern revamp for the Topshop Unique catwalk at SS/17 London Fashion Week, with models wearing their hair swept over to one side, with an exaggerated swept =fringe. Crimped hair comes in a variety of shapes sizes, thanks to different plate sizes available, and other styling tools you can buy to get the look.Recent styles have most certainly evolved from the static frizz of times gone by.
So how do I get the look?
If you don't have a crimping iron, you can use straighteners to achieve a crimp. Take a section of hair, zig-zag fold, and then press the straightening iron onto the hair. Release and let cool and you'll be left with a mermaid-like loose crimp. The larger and thicker the section, the looser the crimp will be. If you fancy going for a tighter result, use smaller sections and repeat.
Want an easy way to crimp hair without worrying about heat damage? An easy way to style a crimped effect not using heat is to braid. Small tight plaits left overnight will result in a crimped finish, and you can keep things casual by braiding in larger sections to give a looser crimp effect.
Crimping hair is a great way to build volume and cheat thicker hair, and it's far less damaging than backcombing to achieve volume. Crimping close to the root and underneath sections of hair, then smoothing over a straight top layer will give the illusion of fuller hair and will last all day. Remember to always use a heat protection spray before styling, and a blast of strong hold hairspray to the crimped areas will set your style.
If you don't fancy going for a retro-inspired full crimped head of hair, take inspiration from the Stella McCartney models, by crimping small sections randomly over the head. This option looks great swept back into a low ponytail to show off the square sections of texture. Crimp small sections midway down the length of hair, in block patterns for a modern way to wear the trend. If you are wearing hair down, go for a Lou Teasdale textured vibe taking very thin sections of hair and crimping. Combining this with twisted dreadlock style sections will give a really casual beachy vibe.
Roksanda models just wore the front pieces of hair crimped: an instant style update which adds interest to long straight hair. If you do decide to crimp all of your hair, be sure to avoid brushing once you've finished--unless you want a catwalk inspired frizzy finish that is. Use fingers to smooth and rake through, and a little serum will calm hair and add shine.
Those who find their hair can become greasy quickly will really benefit from this trend. Crimp top sections of hair then pull back into a high ponytail, as the hair will sit higher on the head and will add some texture and bounce to the style. For shorter bob styles and crops, stick to just crimping select sections of hair, as crimping can look overwhelming on shorter styles. If you have thick curly hair you could try out some coloured hair pieces crimped to add extra texture to your hair. Remember crimping close to the root will create a lift from the head, and make hair stand away from the scalp. Concentrating on ends of the hair can help wispy strands appear thicker.
Makeup should be kept dewy and fresh, and a black eyeliner flick can add the perfect finish. As this is a style that has high impact, it's important to keep things simple for the outfit. Go for rich textures in velvet and satin in plain jewel colours for the perfect party look, pairing with simple silver loops with 70's inspired bangles. Androgynous shirts, suits, and tailored trousers juxtapose the overall look and can give a sophisticated tone.
So time to rummage in your cupboards and find those crimping irons -- we knew there was a reason to hang on to them! For more style inspiration take a look at our blog or for more expert information on how to best look after your hair visit our expert advice section.
Featured article image credit: Nick Matthews (photographer), Symon May for colour, The Chapel Tunbridge Wells