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“What I love to do for Black women going to Hollywood events is show that textured hair can do anything,” explains Redway, who, in collaboration with Thompson, decided they would remix retro hairstyles during the actors’ Passing press tour, pulling inspiration from Hepburn for their imaginative bouffant moment. Upping the drama, Redway wrapped strips of black latex around the base of Thompson’s twist to match her glossy evening gloves. “Even if you’re referencing a hairstyle that’s not of this current time, adding an updated hair accessory can make it feel modern,” she says. “It took the look from Audrey Hepburn [in 1961] to Tessa Thompson in .”
Mischa G, New York hairstylist and owner of East Village hair salon Tree House Social Club, also loves to see twisted updos “dressed up” with hair accessories, such as velvet ribbons and sparkling pins, for an extra dose of personality. The beauty of beehives is that they’re strikingly versatile. “Bouffants can either be sweet and demure or more bad-girl-in-the-’60s, a little messed up from singing in a band or running around the party scene,” she explains. “It’s a style that someone who doesn’t want to hide wears—because you can’t really hide when you have that much height on your head.”
In crafting a bouffant, you want to build a strong foundation with hair that has some grit to it—especially if you have unprocessed hair. “It’s all about texture, texture, texture,” says Mischa G. “If your hair is super healthy and slippery, the shape will just fall out, which is why bleached hair works wonders for styling bouffants. If you don’t have bleached hair, use a texture spray, like Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray, to really build volume.” If you want to smooth out texture for your twist, Redway recommends applying a lightweight mousse, like Nexxus Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam, and blow drying with a round brush for extra body. While the hair is still warm, set it in pin curls, paying extra attention to the crown “where you’ll need the most volume.” Then, take a teasing comb and backcomb the crown to give it lift and volume, before smoothing it down with a flat brush misted with hairspray, like Nexxus Weightless Hold hairspray. Pro tip: “Depending on the thickness of the hair, I sometimes use small bun fillers that match the hair color in the crown,” says Mischa G. “It will make the shape a little bit more solid without having to overtease it.” To put it up, pull the hair back into a ponytail, twist it in the desired shape (being sure to hide the ends), and pin it into place with U-pins before setting it with as many blasts of high-hold hairspray as it takes.
Once you achieve your desired look, either with the help of a pro or DIY-style (with excess patience, pins, and hairspray!), rest assured that your beehive will dazzle from every perspective. “Whether you’re getting photographed from behind, straight on, or three quarter length, a bouffant looks great from every angle,” insists Mischa G.
“We came from doing nothing to our hair all of 2020 and it’s time to have fun again,” says Redway. “A bold look helps you to be the life of the party.” It’s a statement to be sure, but in my experience, committing to a bouffant ensures a night you—and your fellow holiday partygoers—will never forget. As Mischa G puts it, “Anyone can get a blowout, but only certain strong personalities can really pull off a large, unapologetic bouffant. Give them something to talk about!”
Sarah Jessica Parker answers all of our 73 questions: