Cool girl hair: tips for effortless waves

Celebrity hair stylist, Ashley Streicher is practiced at creating the most effortless, ‘cool girl’ looks for her clients. Today she lets us in on her trade secrets. 

Forget the curling, crimping and primping from days gone by – ‘cool girl hair’ these days is all about that effortless, textured, ‘French bed-head’ style celebs keep rocking.

Yet, if you, like us, wake up feeling more Cousin Itt than ‘It Girl’, it can be a difficult task to purposely style your unruly hair into an ‘effortless’ look.

Here to save us from our misery is celebrity hair stylist & R+Co collective member, Ashley Streicher, who has done an exclusive Q&A with Body+Soul on her top tips for women of all hair types to master the look.

Q: What’s your definition of ‘cool girl hair’? Why do you think this style is so popular with celebs and regular folk?

A: My definition of “cool girl hair” is one that is loosely tousled, lived-in hair, without the look of tight curls or being overly flat ironed. It’s someone who has confidence without looking too “done”. Almost bed head or French girl hair. I think celebs love this look because the traditional “red carpet” look is ‘so done’, and this is a way for them to look a little more cool and relaxed and confident.

So, what is the step-by-step to get cool girl hair like Streicher? Waved, but not curled, lifted but with movement, undone but not frizzy? We have the answers.

Q: Should I start with freshly-washed, damp hair, or dry hair that’s a day old?

A: You should never have to do too much to get the cool girl vibe. I recommend letting hair naturally air dry with my Sun Catcher Power C Boosting Leave-In Conditioner. After washing, no brushing or combing. Just let your hair out of a towel and squeeze product into your hair. No touching until dry!

Q: What products do I need to use, and in what order/how should I use them?

A: Let airdry with Sun Catcher Power C Boosting Leave-In Conditioner. Once dry, spray Two Way Mirror Smoothing Oil into your hands and squeeze the product into your hair, this adds shine, enhances the wave and gives it a little hold.

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Q: Do I need to use any particular heat styling tools to get the exact wave, or is there a heat-free trick?

A: Totally depends on your hair texture, if your hair naturally air dries curlier than you like you can use the flat iron to relax a few bends or if your hair dries a little bit more straight than you like add a couple bends with a curling wand.

Q: How long does this style usually take, and are there any shortcuts if you are short on time?

A: As long as it takes your hair to airdry, usually I shower right when I wake up and then do everything else I need to do while its drying, once dry this style can be worn for several days, each day getting even better “bed head”.

Q: What’s the secret to achieving this ‘I put in zero effort and it looks incredible’ hair, without the frizz that comes with… putting in zero effort?

A: If your hair gets frizzy its really important to not to touch your hair while its air drying. A little bit of frizz while air drying is really good as that’s what is building your volume, adding the products I’ve already mentioned to your hair once its dry, helps as well.

Q: What if I want cool girl hair, but I’ve got bangs? How do I make my front fringe look tousled and not overdone while keeping it sitting right? (like this)

This is Kristie’s bangs air dried with no brushing or combing, just added some Two Way Mirror Smoothing Oil to enhance that curl and VOILA!

Q: What if I’ve got textured or super curly hair? What does my version of cool girl hair look like?

A: You may need to use heavier products and maybe not wrap your hair up in a towel and instead brush through your hair last in the shower and squeeze moisture out with a towel but try not to rough up or disrupt the texture too much. Add product when wet and then don’t touch, letting it dry a little heavier. Once dry, if needed, you can relax the curl a bit with a flat iron. The biggest tip in “cool girl hair” is that it’s unique to YOUR hair. If your natural texture is super curly then cool! Find your texture and go with it. It’s all about finding confidence in what you are naturally given!

Q: Are there ways to wear this style to make it look just as good the next day, and the day after that? (All about squeezing in an extra day before washing again.)

A: If you’re going for real “cool girl hair”/“French girl hair” you do NOTHING the next day. Sometimes my hair looks a little crazy the next day right when I wake up, but I assure you, it will settle down a lot as the morning unfolds and as you do not pay any attention to it. It’s kind of like a crush, the more you ignore them the more they like you.

Q: What kinds of things should I ask my hair stylist for if I’m getting a haircut and want this cool girl style to be my everyday look?

A: Make your hair stylist work with your natural texture, let them know you will not be blowing it out and that you’d like them to teach you some tips on how best to wear your unique natural texture!