This Controversial Hair-Curling Tip Turned My World Upside Down
Having worked in beauty for quite some time, it's rare I come across a hair or makeup tip that turns my world upside down. But that's exactly what happened yesterday when, backstage at C/MEO, Evo hair director Lauren McCowan revealed to me her controversial trick for creating lasting waves. And you know what? Apparently, based on bad advice, I've been doing it wrong. McCowan says that while we've largely accepted the idea that to prevent curls from dropping we need "more heat, and more hairspray", this method is flawed. "When you use tools on really high heat, you take too much of the base hydration out of the hair and the style won't last—doesn't matter who you are, how good you are at styling or which product you use." This is because too-hot temps encourage the cuticle to open and search for water in the atmosphere. If you've ever done a head of curls only to find that 20 minutes later they've devolved into a frizzy mess, you'll know this firsthand.
Another benefit of lower temps is increased control, especially for novices. "We're used to doing things fast when styling at super-high heat—to get a relaxed beach wave at that temperature you have to be a ninja," says McCowan. Her advice? Never dial your tools up past 175 degrees. Additionally, low heat can actually be a way to seal in protective and reparative products which can result in healthier-looking hair and less frizz. "If you fill the hair with what it needs like proteins and moisture, and seal it in with heat, it takes a lot longer for it to react to the atmosphere around it," says McCowan. FYI, models at C/MEO hair their hair prepped with Evo's Day Of Grace ($30), a nourishing leave-in conditioner, and Icon Welder ($27), a thermal spray, and there wasn't a tortured-looking mop among them. (A big deal mid-fashion week.)