Janelle Monáe's Pompadour Is Shockingly Easy To Recreate

When you're in a beauty rut, it's a little like looking in your closet and seeing absolutely nothing to wear. Sure, you have the bones to create a killer look — a bold liner here, a bottle of texture spray there — but sometimes you just need a boost of inspiration. That's why we created Short Cuts, a series of quick, easy-to-follow videos meant to educate and excite the beauty nerds in all of us. Whether you're looking to learn something new or to refresh your current routine, there's a Short Cut for you.

From her adorned updos to her graphic styles, there's no denying that singer/songwriter/actress/all-around badass Janelle Monáe is one to watch for inspiring hairstyles. But it's her gorgeous pompadour that's really become her signature. And we couldn't wait to give it a go as part of our ShortCuts series. What may surprise you, however, is just how easy it is to pull off at home.

Press play above for the tutorial, then scroll down for the full how-to.
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Step 1: Use a comb to section off a rounded area of hair at your crown. Think: All the hair that would create a very full set of bangs should be included. This will be the front of your pompadour.

Step 2: Use styling pomade, gel, oil, or cream — or a cocktail of a few products — to smooth the top layer of hair on either side of the pompadour, including edges and flyaways, depending on your hair type and texture. The goal is to create a smooth finish before pulling hair back. Nina used Lotta Body Control Me Edge Gel.

Step 3: Pull the rest of the hair into a bun. Tip: Cut an old pair of tights and use them as a headband/elastic hybrid, like you see here. Tuck or wrap ends into the bun and secure with bobby pins. Use the same styling products to smooth the hairs at the nape.

Step 4: Release the front of hair and split it into two sections.

Step 5: Twist the top half of the bangs forward and around to the left. Pin into place.

Step 6: Repeat with the second section, going forward and twisting around to the right. And you're done!

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