Instead of barrel tongs, curlers or foam rollers, hairstylists simply employed a pair of straighteners – but not in the way you're used to. If you've ever used straighteners to fashion a barely-there wave, you'll know that it can be quite difficult to nail. Twisting, clamping and pulling hair through the plates can sometimes result in unnatural zigzag waves, frazzled ends and burnt fingers, which is why hair at backstage at LFW was braided first.
At JW. Anderson, hairstylist Anthony Turner saturated wet hair with L'Oréal Professionnel's Tecni ART Pli Shaper, £15, blow-dried it downwards with the Dyson Supersonic, £299, and wove lengths into two, low schoolgirl-esque plaits. He then pressed straighteners over each braid, from the base right down to the end, holding for a second or two at a time, before sending the models into makeup, where hair was left to 'set' to create "modern day, bohemian, organic and light curls." Turner told Refinery29, "We didn't want the look to be forced, instead, exactly like the models had just washed their hair, put it in a braid and let it dry in the sun to create a subtle wave."
For Roksanda, hairstylist James Pecis followed suit also using the 'plait and press' technique, but this time, hair was worked into four braids to make the waves a little tighter. Pecis further drenched damp hair in L'Oreal Professionnel's Tecni ART Liss Control, £15, a non-sticky gel-creme to encourage hair to hold the shape of the braid, and prepped the roots with Pli for "fullness."
Once hair was braided, Pecis massaged the braid out to make it "rounded, rather than angular," before clamping down gently with the straighteners, letting the braids "set" for a while, then using The Wet Brush, £13.99, to brush out the waves, which created a natural frizziness.
Not only is the technique speedy but it's a little kinder on strands, as the straighteners are only touching hair for a matter of seconds each time you pass them over. “Braiding your hair and quickly clamping straighteners over them is a great way of quickly getting some lived-in, cool feminine waves," says hairstylist and Mane 'n Tail ambassador, Stefan Bertin. "Because of the size of the sections, naturally there will more heat distribution through the hair and a little less damage than using smaller sections and a tong. It’s a great technique for spring and summer as it creates an effortless almost boho vibe. Just make sure the sections aren’t too small to avoid that really crimped look and remember to use products that rebuild and rejuvenate dry, over-worked hair. Mane ‘n Tail's Deep Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, £6.99 each, both lock in moisture, and fortify the hair with vitamins."
And if we've learned anything from the professionals, it's that using a heat protection spray is a must (Refinery29 rates Moroccanoil's Perfect Defense, £26.85 – the aerosol spray ensures every inch of hair is shielded). It also pays to make sure your hair is bone dry before taking to it with heat, to avoid frying it completely.