Remember the days before beach waves? No, really. Do you? It’s not easy, but if you think really, really hard, we bet that a few memories that you’ve (understandably) blocked out will come flooding back to you. Picture it: You’re 12 years old and rocking fresh new braces (with neon-coloured elastics, of course) and you plop down, post-wash, into your hairdresser’s chair and ask for a classic blowout with—drumroll, please—rounded ends. You know, for volume.
We knew you’d remember.
It was bouncy. It was fluffy. And it left an impressive and almost gravity-defying amount of space between your face and hair. Most importantly, the rounded blowout—the older, more polished sister of ‘The Rachel’—was favoured by the supermodels of the ’90s, including Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. Chic!
Fast forward a few decades to today, and rounded blowout are officially back. This time, A-list celebs like Selena Gomez, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber are spearheading the retro trend.
We reached out to OUAI and Mane Addicts founder, and celebrity hairstylist (who works with many of the celebs mentioned above), Jen Atkin, to get her take on the updated trend and it’s seemingly overnight resurgence.
Rounded blowouts are “flattering for most face shapes,” explains Atkin. “And [they’re] an ode to the iconic ’90s supermodels. The ’90s were such a great era for hair.” But are our beloved beach waves gone for good? Probably not. “I think polished hair is having a moment right now, especially with the bob trend,” says Atkin.
In fact, she’s such a fan of rounded blowouts that she gave the trend a go herself.
But did Atkin’s cut inspire her clients to try out the look, or was it the other way around? “I find so much inspiration in my clients,” says Atkin. “They’re all so brave in the looks that they go for, so naturally, it made me get an itch to do something different.”
This blowout may have exploded recently, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. Fashion and beauty trends often go hand-in-hand, and with the popularity of trends like sleek, monochromatic outfits, matching suits and vests still going strong, it’s clear that we’re in a season of, well, trying. Make no mistake about it—the days of effortless beach waves and oversized prairie dresses are undoubtedly just around the corner once more, but for now, a borderline severe hairstyle like a rounded blowout with ends flipped meticulously inward is just the thing to finish off a chic, polished suit.
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Sold on the idea of trying out a rounded blowout? Amazing! So uh, now what? While this is one hair trend that looks super polished and hard to do at home, it’s actually easier to DIY than creating effortless-looking beach waves using a flat iron or curling wand.
According to Atkin, you can achieve the hairstyle du jour in only four steps (!!). First, “start by prepping damp hair with OUAI Wave Spray. Then, using the Dyson Airwrap with the soft smoothing brush attachment, blow-dry hair from roots to mid-lengths. Next, attach the volumizing brush attachment (on medium speed and heat) and dry your ends, tucking under for a rounded [effect]. Finish by applying OUAI Rose Hair and Body Oil along the surface for a shiny and polished finish.” Et voila!
If you’re really feeling the look and want your rounded ends to last even longer, Atkin suggests “turning up the heat setting on the Dyson Airwrap and holding it in place with the volumizing brush attachment for a few seconds longer, then switching to a cool setting to seal the cuticle and prolong the rounded ends.”
Don’t have an Airwrap? Get the look by using a round brush to give yourself a voluminous, at-home blowout, and finish the ends with a large-barrel curling iron or a flick of your flat iron.
Worried that your hair is too long to pull off a rounded blowout? Don’t fret! You can go the Hailey Bieber route and flip in the ends of your long hair. “This looks great with chin-length [hair] but anyone with longer hair can also achieve the look as well,” says Atkin. “It would just be a longer version, which is also very flattering.”
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This winter, we encourage you to dust off your hairbrush and give the throwback rounded blowouts trend a whirl. You know, for volume.