Two Non-Ponytails, With James Pecis

Here’s a couple of things for you to do today:

1. Watch the video below.
2. Take a moment and allow yourself to melt in the warm embrace that is the charm of James Pecis.
3. Reconsider your entire hair game for the week, to the extent that you planned that far in advance. If your hair is long enough, both styles (braid updo and twisted pony) require very little, if any, actual expertise in doing your own hair. How convenient!
4. Optional but recommended: Go back and read about James’ first look in this series, some very loose, ’70s-esque waves. That way, you have a James Pecis-inspired look for every mood.

Now go forth and be productive. Have a great week!

Tiana Tolstoi photographed by Tom Newton. Video edited by William Kitchings.

We interviewed James about his career back in 2012—you can read that story here

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James Pecis’ Version Of Glamour Hair

An overdue congratulations are due to the hairstylist of our hearts, James Pecis. In October, he was named Oribe’s newest global ambassador, meaning he’ll never run out of Dry Texturizing Spray ever again. To celebrate, we hosted James, his first assistant Adlena, and model Tiana Tolstoi (who’s got one of the best heads of hair we’ve seen in a while), to bang out a couple of hairstyles with his new arsenal of products. This was Tom’s favorite look—below, he elaborates:

All I really want in this world is glamour. People like to call it ’70s inspired, but if it’s really good, it can be decadeless. Very Stéphane Marais, Inez & Vinoodh, Raquel Zimmermann styled as Jerry Hall…most would say this doesn’t translate to the “everyday woman,” but I think anyone can wear anything if that attitude is there. And if it doesn’t take a deathly amount of effort, what’s the excuse then? Come at me.

Anyway, James is known for cool braids and “downtown” hair, so this was different. But if anyone is going to make having volume cool, it’s James. He called it ’70s cult hair, but to me it reads more like Biba-style mixed with something you could definitely wear to a holiday party at Marc Jacobs’ house.

James started with clean hair (he washed Tiana’s existing product out in the sink with a forthcoming Oribe clarifying shampoo mousse made with charcoal). From there, he prepped with Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray and blew it dry. Then he layered in some Dry Texturizing Spray and curled Tiana’s whole head with a 32 mm Marcel iron (a standard curling iron with clamp works too, though—we asked). Once the curls set and cooled, he brushed the hair with a nylon and boar bristle brush to “aerate the hair,” meaning get that really great, fluffy texture. The motion is down and out, down and out, starting with the bottom waves and working your way to the crown. After the hair is dry, the whole shebang takes about 10 minutes. Big hair you can perfect even when running late? Thanks, James.

—Tom Newton

Tiana Tolstoi photographed by the author. Makeup by Nina Park (The Wall Group).

Keep that ’70s vibe going with Benjamin Puckey’s take on the makeup looks of the decade. Or fast forward ten years to Danilo’s ’80s hair tutorial

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The Theory Behind The Dry Haircut

“Straight hair doesn’t lie,” says hairstylist Jon Reyman, the owner of the Spoke & Weal salon in Soho and now the only place I’ll go to get my hair done. Now, this isn’t some statement saying that one hair texture is better than another—it’s all about the cut. And it’s the reason why Jon, and all of the stylists at his salon, cut hair after it’s been blown out bone-straight.

We started talking about this straight haircut theory after I came in with what I thought were sloping layers but really were abrupt plateaus that didn’t look so good. He explained: “Even for curly-haired people, if it looks good straighter, it will look good curlier. But if it looks good curly, it might not look good straight or wavy. I cut hair dry—so I blow dry it smooth, taking texture out of the equation. It’s all about length and density. Texture is always managed by tools and technique—how you style it, how you blow dry it, how many products you put in it. Length and density is my job. A lot of hairdressers hide behind the texture. They’ll give you a haircut, then they’ll blow dry it out and hide the bad haircut they did. It’s not that they do it on purpose; it’s just what they do. So when you go home, you can’t recreate it.”

When I left, my layers were all smooth and no edge, like I wanted. As such, I’m now a convert to the method—some other things about the technique that are worth noting:

1. There’s no reason to cut hair wet beyond it being what we’ve always done.

2. Having your hair cut dry will get you more one-on-one time with your hairstylist to talk texture, since they’re working with your hair in its dry state, rather than when it’s wet and slippery.

3. It’s faster! (Or maybe Jon’s just really fast).

4. You’ll get more tactical styling advice. Your hairstylist can be really up front about what they’re doing to make your hair look good since there’s no abrupt transformation moment in which hair goes from wet to dry. Everything’s pretty transparent when you’re getting a dry cut.

5. Dry cutting hasn’t really caught on yet—find one of the salons that offers it, or ask your hairstylist if they’re open to it and take it from there. Tell them you’re after an honest haircut.

—Claire Knebl


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The End Of ‘The Model Cut’

It’s the standard: mid-length brushing the shoulders, hidden layers, straight but with body, nicely point-cut, balayage-d probably. Kate Moss has had it for at least 10 years. It’s the model haircut and it’s gorgeous—but it’s also really boring.

The hair inspiration gods heard your cries for more (if you’ve been crying out that is—if you’re Emily Ferber, you’ve been trying to nail the model cut for five years and will probably die trying) and have presented you with a full range of looks worth screengrabbing and showing your stylist. Because, as Odile Gilbert so accurately stated backstage at Rodarte, “If there’s a show where all of the girls’ hair looks the same, then they end up looking like robots. We want them to go out looking bold in the front—they want to look cool and beautiful!”

So maybe that means it’s time for an impromptu cut in your bathroom à la Guido and the girls backstage at Alexander Wang. Or perhaps it’s something as simple as remembering you have wash-n-go curls like Damaris Goddrie. Whatever it is, wear your hair however you’d like. It makes for better slideshows that way.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

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Anna Speckhart’s Hot Roller How-To

A few months ago, we met Anna Speckhart. We learned a lot of things about her (that she hunts, and that you really can accessorize a vintage band t-shirt with pearls). But key among them was that she is a proponent of big, bouncy, beautiful hair—and hot rollers as the best way to get it. Seeing as we’re proponents of any way to look more like Anna Speckhart, we asked for more information. Being a sweetheart, she complied. Take it away, Anna:

Growing up, I was a firm believer that more was more. My daily beauty routine went something like this:
Step 1. Full coverage foundation (to hide my freckles)
Step 2. Bronzer (picture Snooki)
Step 3. Eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara (picture Snooki again)
Step 4. Glossy lip (Lancôme Juicy Tube in Pink Bling, to be exact)
Step 5. Hot rollers

I was an everyday, never-nominated Miss America.

Flash forward to 2015: I have ditched the entire makeup routine for a much more natural look (freckles included), but I’m still obsessed with the hot rollers. To me they are the total package: easy, come in all sizes, and last for days… (get your mind out of the gutter).

I’m a fan of Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Ceramic Rollers, which you can find at any retail store. I start by rolling the top layer of my hair from the back, followed by the sides. While they set, I throw on a face mask (I’m currently crazy for the Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening Mask), eat breakfast with one hand, and check Instagram with the other. They should be good to take out after 15 minutes—but if you get lost cyber stalking your ex’s new girlfriend, you can leave them until you’re 152 weeks deep into scrolling. If you’ve past that point, you’ll be doing no favors to yourself or your hair.

As soon as the rollers are out, simply shake and presto! Curls! Depending on your style, you may want to tone the volume up or down. If your Pinterest beauty board is filled with Dolly Parton and Farrah Fawcett, flip upside down and spray generously with hair spray (Elnett is always a favorite, but make sure you’re in room with air or you’re guaranteed to lose a few brain cells). If you like a more subtle approach, simply work a little Moroccan Oil through the ends. Personally speaking, I’ve always heard the bigger the hair the closer to heaven, and I’ve got to get there somehow.

—Anna Speckhart

Anna Speckhart photographed by Tom Newton. 

Need another hair tutorial? Try braids next

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