Bedhead is a misnomer: who actually wakes up with that effortless, slightly wavy texture that looks more French than frumpy? Though it is a less-is-more style, it’s not totally hands-off. So we tapped hairstylist Marcus Francis—the man behind numerous undone looks on Erin Wasson, Teresa Palmer, Gisele Bundchen, and Joan Smalls to name a few—for a lesson in bedhead.
On Clean, Wet Hair:
According to Francis you can get bedhead with freshly washed hair just as easily as slept-on tresses. The magic is in the product: start with a salt spray mixed with a volumizing or thickening spray. Francis favors Fekkai’s Summer Hair Beach Waves Spray ($25), Phyto’s Volume Spray ($28), and Bumble & bumble’s Thickening Spray ($28). “Comb the product through your hair using a wide-tooth comb and twist medium-size sections with your fingers, like a ringlet,” he says. “Then choose a few random ringlets, twist them up, and pin to the scalp with bobby pins.” Gently blow dry with a diffuser attachment before removing the twists. To finish, blast hair with a texturizing spray—try Oscar Blandi’s Texture and Volume Spray ($25)—and shake it out.
On Clean, Dry Hair:
Starting with dry hair is a little different. Spritz tresses with a salt spray, working it in with your hands and a blow-dryer. Blow-drying already dry hair may seem weird, but it will set the product and create volume. Now the most important tip: use a 1-inch curling iron to create a kink—not curl—in the hair. “Wrap medium-sized sections around the curling iron only once, alternating the placement from the middle of the strand to the lower half of the strand,” Francis says. Set each section with hairspray as you go. “Once you’ve finished adding the bends to the entire head, spray a texture spray, like Oribe’s Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray($38) and pinch the hair between your fingers to loosen up the texture even more,” he says. L’Oreal’s Everstyle Texture Series Beach Waves Spray ($7) works, too.
On Dirty Hair:
The hair you wake up with may not be the bedhead you want to show the world, but skipping a wash will help get the look. “[Wasson] doesn’t over-shampoo, which allows her natural oils to keep her hair in good shape,” Francis says. Freshen up second or third-day hair before trying the above strategy. “Some women may not be able to go more than one day without shampooing,” Francis says. “But before giving into a wash, try to spray a light mist of dry shampoo at the roots to absorb excess oil.” (You may be surprised that you can skip a shampoo with the right product, and if not, just lather up and use the clean hair tips above.) We swear by Ojon’s Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray ($13). “That, with random sprays of Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($39) at the mid-shaft of the hair, adds movement.” You’ll also need to have the proper comb on hand. “If your hair has a tendency to poof, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle and open up layers to liven up hair texture,” Francis says. Adversely, if you wake up to flat hair, use an old-school hair pick, like one from Conair’s 3-pack Hair Pics ($4), on the roots to “give lift and width.” Whatever you do, don’t over-style the hair—frizz is actually a good thing when it comes to bedhead. Now practice saying, “I just woke up this way!”
Photo of Erin Wasson courtesy of Getty Images.