Kim Kardashian, The Brand, is arguably going stronger ever before. And Kim Kardashian, The Person, has worked to shape the latest iteration of her brand partly through her new aesthetic — both on Instagram and on the red carpet — which is strikingly pared down and minimalist, especially when compared to her more-is-more personal style of eras past. Along with her newfound style restraint (muted tones, slightly more modest silhouettes), Kardashian has also been cultivating a signature hairstyle that’s similarly subdued: super-sleek, shiny, stick-straight hair. Yep, the kind you wore in the early aughts. But definitely chicer. (We’ll credit the lack of stripe-y zebra highlights for helping to accomplish that.)
What’s more is that Kardashian, who has often been known to wear extensions and wigs, has apparently been forgoing faux hair lately in favor of a more natural look. Such was the case when Kardashian appeared on “Ellen” for her now-famous emotional interview discussing her attack in Paris, according to her hairstylist Jen Atkin: “yes that is Kims hair and yes it is THAT healthy [sic],” she wrote on Instagram.
Michael Silva, who styled Kardashian’s hair for the 2017 Met Gala (as shown in the main photo, above) says there was a calculated thought process behind the straight-haired look for the event: “We decided to keep the hair sharp and strong in juxtaposition with the soft, sensual quality of the dress.”
To create it, Silva started by prepping Kardashian’s hair with Toni & Guy Leave-in Conditioner [Silva is a spokesperson for the brand] to control frizz and protect against humidity (which was in high supply that evening). After blow-drying it smooth, he sectioned the hair, sprayed each section with Toni & Guy Medium Hold Hairspray and then went over it with a flat iron. Spraying the hair before heat styling helps to lock in smoothness and add shine.
Justine Marjan, a hairstylist who often works with the Kardashian’s family and can sometimes be found traveling with her, has also been behind several of her recent throwback styles. “Healthy hair has definitely been in, in contrast to the matte, lived-in, dryer styles we saw a lot of last year,” she says, explaining why this look is trending now. But she’s not shy about acknowledging its obvious throwback roots. “This is definitely a nod to the ’90s and early-2000s,” she adds.
One key to making this look feel more modern than its heavily layered predecessor from the early-2000s is to make sure the cut is right — and that means perfectly blunt ends. “Blunt ends make the hair appear, thicker, fuller and healthier,” says Marjan.
Marjan’s styling process is fairly similar to Silva’s: She starts by prepping the hair with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner and then applying a lightweight oil to hair before blow-drying. “I’ll use a combination of Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Oil, Oribe Smooth Styling Cream or R & Co Blowout Balm,” she says. Next, she creates a clean center part and blow-dries the hair flat with a smoothing brush. The next step is flatironing individual sections of hair with a GHD Platinum Flat Iron, following with a smoothing brush and then “holding the hair flat to the head, so it dries without any kinks.” After a generous mist of hair spray, Marjan then touches up any lingering frizz or flyaways using the old hair-spray-on-a-toothbrush trick.
Kardashian is no stranger to sparking hair trends — one could easily argue that the last decade or so of long, voluminous waves owes largely to her — so we’re betting this is a look that’s going to catch on as people begin to trade their length for health and shine. Given that blunt bobs are already The Official Haircut of 2017, it’s only a matter of time before the masses start stashing away their curling wands and give this early-2000s revival a try.
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