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Anatomy of Cool

Launchpad’s Alyson Osterman-Kerr taps some of the industry’s hottest stylists to tell us what makes “cool-girl” hair so, well, cool. 

You’ve seen them on your Instagram feed, time and again: photos of women with effortless-looking, perfectly imperfect waves, crafted to appear as though they had just rolled out of bed (which, of course, they have not) with the #BestHairDayEver! What are the secrets to achieving this look for your clients seeking to emulate the styles of social media’s fabulous?

“Most of my clients come in looking for a updated take on a categorically classic haircut, with a lot of movement and texture,” says Anh Co Tran (@anhcotran), co-owner of the Ramirez Tran Salon in Beverly Hills, California, who counts Lily Collins and Uma Thurman as clients. “I’ve really worked hard to refine my take on adding texture and movement through curling hair and creating my signature lived-in look. One of the most important aspects of this style is that it can work on everyone—from young socialites to on-the-go moms. A ‘cool’ look must be versatile!”

Paul Pesce (@thePaulbearer), a top stylist at Three Squares Studio in New York City, agrees. “My clients range from musicians and artists to young executives, stay-at-home moms and celebrities. Everyday people strive to look and feel their best no matter what industry we serve,” Pesce notes. “They all want an easy-to-maintain style that looks and feels effortless. Time is a luxury in New York, and people would rather have more time to work and play than to spend hours on their hair and cosmetic routine...simple sells.” Hence, the salon often delivers lived-in looking hair that’s cool in more ways than one—it looks amazing, plus it’s relatively easy to maintain. That’s why part of this cool-girl movement also includes embracing and enhancing clients’ natural texture, so that they may go about their day with relative ease and not fret about constantly maintaining their manes when they’re out and about. “Cool hair takes minimal effort to look amazing,” stylist Tim Dueñas (@timduenashair) of celebrity hot spot Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood, California, relates. “Right now there is a vast array of ‘cool.’ Women and men are embracing their natural texture, and this in itself gives a much cooler vibe.”

Also topping the “cool” list? Locks that don’t look as though they’ve been freshly groomed. “The beach wave will always be prevalent, but many clients are seeking a bit more of a straight ‘day three’ blow finish,” affirms Dueñas. “Really hip, while at the same time maintaining a sense of polish.”

So the next time a client sits in your chair asking for the coolest look, remember that it doesn’t matter whether she spends her days pounding the pavement or the catwalk—the style is attainable for all. “That’s why I love the ‘cool-girl’ look so much,” Dueñas smiles. “There isn’t one type it works for; it’s for everyone.” 

[Images: Tim Dueñas/Nine Zero One Salon]

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