Stella’s Obsessions: Achieving Natural, Graphic, Pin-Straight Hair

Stella’s Obsessions: Achieving Natural, Graphic, Pin-Straight Hair

A little bit of patience and care with the right tools and products is key to maintain your natural mane.

A little bit of patience and care with the right tools and products is key to maintain your natural mane.

Text: Stella Pak

An ongoing series, V's Contributing Beauty Editor Stella Pak indulges us with her current obsessions.

Opening up the V71 Asian Issue back in 2011 as a Korean-American born and raised in New York, I was proud that my beauty was finally celebrated and normalized. We always talk about diversity in any industry of America, but the voice of the Asian American community in beauty back in 2011 was a whisper in the background amongst other ethnicities, shapes, and sizes in the conversation. When I came across the image of Liu Wen in Girls On Top shot by Terry Tsiolis and styled by Jay Massacret, I was relieved to find that it wasn’t another caricature of Asians as a Geisha or Pocahontas but of a simple downtown girl sporting an Alexander Wang top with a casual pair of Levi’s tied together with a Reformation belt, and with her long, thick, pin-straight hair moving softly with her stride. It quickly became hair-goals for me and I’ve been sporting the look ever since.

Long, graphic pin-straight hair isn’t only for Asians. It’s just my own personal identification. Think of all the style icons –Naomi Campbell, Mariacarla Boscono, Cher, Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, where the look has become a signature of their style. But if you’re not one to wear wigs and weaves, growing out your hair requires a lot of care and patience. Once your hair is grown from its roots, it’s already exposed to damage from the sun, products, tools and dehydration. Achieving the graphic look of pin straight hair requires only a couple of products and a reliable hairdryer.

With its recently released new color way, Dyson Supersonic™ Blow Dryer costs a pretty penny at $400 but rest assured. Dyson invested $71 Million into the laboratory to develop the hair dryer and investigate the science of hair. This includes testing on 1,000+ miles of hair, 600 prototypes, 100+ patents and 103 engineers on the team for this product. To protect your natural shine, “The Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer has intelligent heat control, helping to ensure hair isn’t exposed to excessive heat and never goes above the temperature selected. A glass bead thermistor measures the temperature 20 times a second and transmits this data to the microprocessor, which intelligently controls the patented double-stacked heating element.”

I reached out to David Mallet, hairstylist to Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, and Karl Lagerfeld, who also owns two salons in Paris–one of which in the Ritz Paris–who shared some tips with me on how to achieve a graphic pin-straight look.

  • First and foremost, your hair should be dry. Air-drying tends to be time consuming and giving yourself a sleek, straight blow out beforehand with Dyson Supersonic™ Blow Dryer will make the straightening process much easier.
  • Taking your pre-straightening process a step further, you can also do a mask to hydrate hair before the blowout. Try my Mask No.1: L'Hydration. Immediately after one use hair will feel stronger without being weighed down and will also combat the effects of adverse weather. If hair is hydrated, you'll have more control over the fly-aways and hair is less likely to frizz.
  • Oils are essential. Hair oils + serums with the right properties, like my Hair Serum, will not only protect your hair from heat styling but will also contribute to keeping strands frizz-free, smooth and straight. Made with macadamia nut oil, rich in palmitoleic acid, this serum restores and invigorates dull hair. The omega-7 fatty acid helps smooth and seal the hair cuticle, which in turn preserves moisture.
  • After hair is prepped and blow dried, run a flat iron over your strands, from root to ends, finishing off the pin straight style but be sure to prepare the iron at the right temperature. Much like an oven, you need to pre-heat your iron rather than crank up the temp to save time. If your hair is thinner, be careful of high temps. But also be sure you're not using a temperature that is too low. Low temps usually cause the repetitive movement of going over your hair a bunch of times, which results in static.
  • Once you've reached your desired style, spray some hairspray to keep your look in place. And be sure to avoid under all circumstances humidity/steam and sport/increased body temperature (scalp perspiration) to keep hair as pin straight as possible.

Credits: COVER IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHED BY TERRY TSIOLIS AND STYLED BY JAY MASSACRET FOR V71

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