Is your hair oily, frizzy, or just simply an unruly mess that no brush can tame? We’ve all been there.
Having a bad hair day can be a major disaster when you’re trying to look and feel your best, but fortunately you can now give those emergency hats a break. Celebrity stylists insist there’s one hairstyle that’s on trend, flatters nearly any hair type, can give you a youthful yet glamorous appearance, and more importantly, can make any pouf look amazing.
READ: The Best Hairstyles for Women Over 40
It’s no wonder so many stars have been spotted with the timeless side-swept, which is now hotter than ever.
“Tons of my clients are asking for it,” says celebrity hairstylist Amanda Shackleton. “It’s super easy, looks sexy, and needs only a few steps to get the look.”
“Its popularity stems from the recent vintage hairstyles that are out, particularly the retro waves from the 1940s,” she explains. “Wearing your hair down, especially for a long event, won’t have much staying power, resulting in your hair looking flat and messy in a few hours. By taking your hair and pinning it over to one side, it takes the weight out of the style and keeps it protected from going flat. It’s also great to add volume and easiness on a day when you just don’t feel like doing your hair," says Shackleton.
“The pins are like a bra for your hair!” she adds.
To find out how the side-swept can cure any bad hair day, we asked several other stylists why Hollywood can’t get enough of this look, and how any woman can own it:
Just Add One Product
Celebrity stylist Mika Fowler believes this hairstyle is so universally flattering because you only need two tools to make it look effortlessly gorgeous. “A shaping hairspray is always best for this look,” says Fowler, who credits country crooner Carrie Underwood with sweeping her golden bangs to the side. “Spray a brush and comb and then work into the bangs. Also spray a little extra on the root area to hold its shape. If you can’t control the roots, the hairstyle won’t stay put.”
Look Out for One Shape
The side-swept does work for nearly any face shape, but there is one in particular ladies should look out for. “If you have a round face, don’t make a deep part,” warns Fowler. “It will just make your face look even rounder."
Shackleton loves giving her clients the side-swept because it’s the one hairstyle that embraces your mane’s natural texture. And the less heat you use on your hair to make it curly or straight, the healthier your tresses will be. “Whatever you do, don’t try too hard for this look,” she explains. "Its easiness is what makes it work. Stay away from showing the pins by taking small sections and twisting them before you pin. It will cover the end and give your hair a great texture to the side that is bare.” Also, take it easy on the spray. “Over spraying your hair will make it look glued and unnatural, so use a light spray.” For a unique spin, add a braid to the side, like Heidi Klum.
To give your hair extra waves, stylists recommend using dry shampoo to soak up oils before styling. Not only will this revive those tresses you haven’t had time to wash, but it will also add extra volume without using excess heat. And when you’re really having a bad hair day, add a sparkling headband or jeweled pin to give the illusion it’s been properly styled.
It's OK to Be Messy
“On a bad hair day, you can simply tease the hair loosely around the crown to create a slightly messy texture and height, which is the perfect cure for both oily roots and a bed-head cowlick,” says stylist Paul Labrecque. “Then, sweep the hair to one side into a braid or low pony. For added finesse, wrap a strand of hair around the elastic to hide it and secure it in place with a bobby pin and hairspray. No need for perfection, just let the messy happen.”
Side-swept hair doesn’t have to be ultra glamorous to look good and be on trend. “Kristen Stewart rocks the side-swept look perfectly in a ‘90s grunge by adding a deep side part,” says Labrecque.
Reach New Heights
The key to getting the side-swept down pat? Adding loads of volume in the right spot. “Volume at the roots allow for the side-swept look to appear effortless and sexy, and it prevents it from looking weighed down,” says Labrecque. When hair is wet, he suggests adding a root-lifting spray. “When blow drying, make sure to aim the blow dryer up while also lifting the hair up from the root, not down or to the side,” he adds. “This will allow hair to fall to the side naturally.” If you don’t feel like letting your hair down completely, add a loose bun to the side with bobby pins to ensure it stays in place.
Turn Back Time
Ladies over 40 will particularly love this look because of its ability to give a more youthful appearance with a simple trick. “Incorporating side-swept bangs adds a touch of femininity, while concealing the lines of your forehead,” says New York City-based stylist Angelo David Pisacreta. “Partner the bangs with mid-length hair and you have a very age-appropriate look.”
Try Faux Bangs
Thinking about getting bangs, but aren’t sure whether you’re ready for the snip? Don’t fret — the side-swept look can give you the illusion of having bangs without the cut. Simply ask your stylist to help you prep your tresses in a way that it seems you have bangs naturally, which will help you decide whether a fringe is ultimately right for you. “Side-swept hair is really popular because of its versatility,” says celebrity stylist Chaz Dean. “It can be edgy or classy, as well as give you the feeling and look of having bangs without the commitment of actually cutting them and having to get frequent trims. It also saves you the headache of growing out your bangs … a stage no one wants to go through!”
Have Thin Hair?
“For those with fine and thin hair such as Cameron Diaz, who looks amazing with side-swept hair, this particular style gives the appearance of hair being fuller and thicker,” says Dean.
On the Short Side?
Consider adding loose curls for an old-Hollywood feel, which also adds a punch of glamour to any outfit, day or night. After curling, simply spirtz on some hairspray. “Don’t allow your style to be too stiff,” warns celebrity stylist David Babaii. “Allow your hair to be more loose and natural. Even with an updo, let it be slightly messy and less structured.”
If your hair is thick and curly, it’s crucial to use pins to keep your mane in place without adding excess product, like spray or mousse. And never use gel, as this can only make your hair stiff. Make sure your pins match your hair color for a natural-looking finish.
Don't Go Too Flat
Even ladies with pin-straight hair can still rock the side-swept look. Simply add on a volumizing spray for extra height.