The 15 most romantic hairstyles of the moment
Nearly undone knot
Wispy, face-framing curls give Selena Gomez's swept-back updo a relaxed feel. First, create a side part using your fingers, hairstylist Kerrie Urban says. "Because the part isn't superdefined, eyes travel to the face first," Urban says. Loosely curl the entire head with a one-and-a-half-inch curling iron (BaByliss Pro GT Gold Titanium 1 1/2" Spring Curling Iron is one of our go-tos). Tease the crown, then smooth the top layer over with a comb. Gather hair at the nape and secure with an elastic, then lightly tease the ponytail and mist in a nonsticky hair spray, such as L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray. "Just start randomly twisting pieces from the ponytail and pinning them up, letting some of the ends poke out," Urban says. Then pull out a few pieces to frame the face. Finish with a mist of shine spray, like Garnier Fructis Style Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray.
Amanda Seyfried's supremely shiny, cascading waves are giving us a dose of Madonna glamour circa 2009. And getting them is much easier than you'd think, according to Urban. Begin by blowing hair dry with a round brush, then part hair down the middle and smooth in a styling cream (Urban likes Kiehl's Stylist Series Creme With Silk Groom). Divide hair into two layers, pinning the top layer aside. A triple-barrel curling iron, like Hot Tools Professional 3 Barrel Waver, is key for scoring these perfectly shaped waves. Starting one and a half inches from the roots, wrap in a section of hair and clamp down for 15 seconds. "Grab as much hair as will fit in the iron, or it will look more crimpy than wavy," Urban says. Repeat this process as you move down to the midshaft and ends, and then again as you make your way across the rest of your head. Once the bottom layer is curled, unpin the top section of the hair and do the same. "The waves should be uniform around the head," Urban says. Finish with a spritz of light-hold hair spray.
When in doubt, bouncy curls are a home run, every time. (Though it does help if you're Megan Fox...or any Victoria's Secret model.) Anyway, get them by spraying a smoothing product (hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins is loving Living Proof No Frizz Straight Making No Frizz Styling Spray for Fine to Medium Hair right now) over towel-dried hair, then work in a volumizing mousse, too, such as Redken Full Frame 07 Protective Volumizing Mousse. Blow hair dry with a paddle brush, parting hair wherever you like. Though you could use a large-barrel curling iron, Hawkins recommends using medium-size hot rollers for a softer effect. Take a two-inch section of hair and wrap it around a roller. Leave rollers in for 20 minutes, then let hair cool for a few minutes before breaking up curls with your fingers.
You're probably starting to think that all romantic hairstyles involve curls, but that's not the case (see Kate Bosworth's tousled blowout). To get her look, spritz a salt spray, such as Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, over towel-dried hair, then flip your head upside down and blow-dry with a ceramic round brush (the Creative Professional Ceramic Brush does the trick). "You want to keep your hair airy, and a boar-bristle brush will smooth it down too much," Urban says. Once hair is completely dry, flip your head back, create a middle part with your fingers, and lightly tease the crown for a bit of volume. One caveat: This style looks great on someone with medium to fine hair, but women with thick hair will have to put too much effort into the smoothing process, and it won't have the same lightweight feel, Urban says.
Easy side braid
"Lucy Hale's look isn't just about the braid," Hawkins says. "It's about the soft, pretty volume around her ears, too." After applying volumizing mousse evenly through hair from roots to ends (Hawkins likes Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Hydrocream Whip), blow-dry with a small to medium round brush, and part hair to the side. Tease the crown and sides and smooth with a comb. Gather hair into a low side ponytail, covering both ears, and loosely secure with an elastic. "This will give ease and control as you braid," Hawkins says. Start twisting a three-strand braid, keeping it tight at the base ("Otherwise it will droop," he says), and loosening as you move to the ends. Secure the end with a clear elastic, then tug the braid horizontally to create a piecey effect. "This is a great style for those with layers, because the pieces will pop out naturally," he says. Snip the top elastic once you're finished, and you're good to go.
The modern Bardot
This half-up style isn't just gorgeous because Alessandra Ambrosio is wearing it. It has a timeless, feminine appeal that works for pretty much anyone with medium-length or longer hair. Start out with an allover mist of thickening spray (we like Sally Hershberger Plump Up), and blow-dry with a round brush. Then, with a two-inch iron, curl the section of hair in the middle of the top of the head away from the face. "That will give you those pretty flips in the front," she says. Curl hair lightly at the bottom so it tucks under. Create a middle part that's an inch and a half long, and lightly tease the crown. Take the section of hair to the right of your part and pull it toward the back. Secure at ear level with bobby pins. Then do the same on the opposite side, draping it across the side that's already pinned down. Slide U-shaped pins in sideways to secure, keeping them concealed. "That seamless look is really pretty," Urban says. Pull out a few wispy pieces at the front and top with light-hold hair spray.
Worn with strong brows and flawless skin, Eva Mendes's imperfect blowout is perfect for a sexy night out (or in). Load up damp hair with curl cream, such as Carol's Daughter Hair Milk The Original Curl Definer, first. Then spritz hair with a texturizing spray, such as Shu Uemura Art of Hair Liquid Fabric Mineral Texture Spray, and blow it dry with a diffuser (Revlon Professional Ceramic Finger Diffuser gives frizz-free curls). "Once your hair is 85 percent dry, put down the diffuser and let the rest air-dry," hairstylist Tommy Buckett says. To give the look a touch of polish, curl the pieces around the face with a two-inch curling iron so that the ends tuck under.
Rumpled low ponytail
The best way to look like you didn't spend hours in front of the mirror for your next date? Don't. Berenice Marlohe's uncomplicated ponytail takes 15 minutes, tops. Wrap random sections of hair around a one-inch clampless curling iron—try the Sedu Revolution Pro Clipless Curling Iron—and hold for just ten seconds. "That's what creates that disheveled, inconsistent texture," Hawkins says. Once the last curl has cooled, flip the hair over and mist with a texturizing spray, such as Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray. Flip head upright, and backcomb hair at the back and sides, but not at the front. Gather it into a low ponytail at nape of your neck. "The goal is for it to lay flat and drape down back," Hawkins says. Secure with an elastic that's the same color as your hair, and shake out the ponytail to boost body.
That '70s flip
To get Kerry Washington's soft, feathered curls, blow-dry with a smoothing cream, like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Crème, parting it on the side, then break out your one-and-a-half-inch curling iron. Curl the entire head, wrapping two-inch sections around the barrel away from the face. Brush through curls with a flat brush, such as a Sonia Kashuk Hair Brush. To get S-shaped curls around the face, wrap the front sections of hair around the barrel first, then clamp down. Hold for ten seconds, then twist that curl and pin it to the head (like a pin curl); spritz with hair spray and comb through. Top with a light-hold hair spray to keep the shape intact.
Anne Hathaway's lash-skimming bangs tell us right where to focus. First, blow hair dry using a smoothing cream, like Aussie Anti-Frizz Cream, and a boar-bristle brush. "Pull hair forward and angle it down as you go," Buckett says. Go over hair with a flatiron, then run a dab of sculpting wax (L'Oreal Professionnel Texture Expert Lumi Contrôle adds hold and shine) through to separate.