Articles By Allure

Holiday parties are the perfect opportunity to experiment with the most inspiring celebrity hairstyles you spend the rest of the year pining (and pinning) away for. Allure rounded up a month's worth of stunning options, complete with styling tips and product recommendations straight from some of the pros who created them.

There are braids, waves and updos galore. And if you don't have the same hair texture as the woman don't fret, you can still gather inspiration from these styles. A deep side part with a sparkly pin works on any curl pattern, and we think braids always look (and hold) their best with textured hair.

Sorry Pippi Longstocking, your signature braids are cute, but these celebrities really show us how it's done. Grown-up, gorgeous braids. And short-haired girls, stay tuned--there's something for you, too.

It was the twirl heard 'round the world: Kate Middleton set off a media firestorm this week for daring to adjust a curl, in public, at an otherwise somber Remembrance Day event. Some labeled her insensitive; others lamented her vanity. Still others wondered how this could possibly be a news item. Well, I’m here to defend Kate’s honor, and her hair, with the help of Debrett's "A-Z of Modern Manners," a British guide to proper decorum.

If you have not yet seen the shocking images, you may picture Kate chomping on a piece of gum, using one hand to twirl her hair while checking her phone with the other. In fact, however, over the course of about three seconds, Kate spots a rogue curl, twists it around her finger, and lets it rest on her shoulder. That’s it. Was she showing concern for her appearance at a rather untimely moment? Yes. Did she do anything wrong? Let’s consult the book.

Debrett’s states: “Hair should be kept clean and free from dandruff.” Check. Kate's hair looks spotless. Not a flake in sight. “Do not brush it or play with it at the table or near food.” Check. Kate is not in the vicinity of anything edible. “Avoid constant fiddling and twirling and never put it in your mouth." Ah—constant. Kate only would have broken proper social standard if she had "fiddled and twirled" her hair incessantly, which she did not. And she did not chew, lick, or suck on a single strand.

Finally, Debrett's has this to say about the royal family: “Assume that to royalty, being left alone is far from a discourtesy; it is a luxury.” The defense rests.

MORE: Do You Have Hand-in-Hair Syndrome?

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Fall's Sexiest Waves

Glossy, beachy, old-Hollywood—we've seen every possible variation of waves cross our desks. But none took our breath away like these pretty, messy ones created by Luigi Murenu for Allure's November issue. They're a stripped-down, roughed-up, insanely sexy version that we want to wear every day for the next four months.

Just remember to always apply a heat protectant spray before heat styling. And treat your curls to a deep condition at least once a week to keep them healthy.

Get the Look

  1. Apply a baseball-size mound of mousse (Murenu, a spokesman for Kérastase, likes the brand's Mousse Bouffant) on dry hair from roots to ends until they feel slightly wet. Using the mousse on dry hair will create a slightly uneven, matte finish, which is what you want here.
  2. Rough-dry the hair, then wind random sections around a one-inch curling iron, starting at the midlengths and leaving the ends free. Only hold each section for two to three seconds—you don't want a ringlet, just a slight bend.
  3. Run a flatiron over the ends to make them sharp. Then finish with a light mist of aerosol shine spray.
For more romantic hair ideas—and tips from Murenu—check out the November issue of Allure, on stands now.

I love a time-saving hair trick. No time to shampoo and blow-dry your hair in the morning? Mist on some dry shampoo, and you've freed up a few minutes for coffee. (One of my faves is Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray). And now there's a whole new kind of product for making your hair look more polished: They're called dry conditioners, and they soften and smooth hair with minimal effort. Here's how to get the most out of them:

What do dry conditioners do?

Spray dry lengths and ends with dry conditioner, and you're misting your hair with a fine coating of nourishing oils and hair-smoothing ingredients like emollients, explains cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson. Dry conditioners are designed to spritz on just enough to make your hair shinier, smoother, and softer (kind of like a deep-conditioning treatment) without the risk of overapplying or making hair greasy, he says. Bonus: If you flatiron or curl your hair after applying dry conditioner, the conditioning agents will help prevent breakage. Look for dry conditioners with argan oil (in Oribe Dry Conditioner) or sunflower oil (in Suave Dry Conditioner and Oscar Blandi Dry Conditioner).

When should you use them?

Whenever your hair is looking dry or dirty. You can aim dry shampoo at the roots and dry conditioner over the length and ends, and your hair will almost, almost look like you took the time to blow-dry it with a round brush. They're also great for smoothing flyaways, softening coarse or overly bleached hair, and making your hair look all-around more polished on days when you didn't bother to style it.


Who shouldn't use them?

If your hair is prone to looking stringy or limp, you'd be wise to steer clear, since dry conditioners can weigh down very fine hair. And even though they contain starch to absorb some grease, avoid misting them right at the roots. If you have curly hair, listen up: Dry conditioners do not smooth or boost curls. I know, it sounds like they would be awesome for that, but trust me—a very kind colleague tried it out, and it made her curls look fuzzy. Your curls may like these oils, but you will still have to use a styler for curl definition.


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Ever wondered why you can't French braid your own hair? Or why your version of a bulky fishtail looks more like a sad, skimpy minnow? We talked to James Pecis, a hairstylist known for his intricate weaving techniques, for help acing our braids.

1.Get low 

If your braids are looking uptight, it's probably because they are up and tight. Start braiding a few inches down from your ears. This is the biggest difference between a sexy laid-back look and a playground style.

2. Gain weight

If you want a thicker, lusher braid, resist the urge to pull it apart. "That loosens short, spiky layers," says Pecis. Instead, gently massage it with your thumbs and forefingers until it's big and bulky. And, if your hair is really fine, prep strands with dry shampoo first for fullness.

3. Lose the mirror

"It's very confusing to try to follow what you see in the mirror, which is an inverse of what you're doing," says Pecis. Go by feeling instead. Yes, your braid might turn out a little less precise than you'd anticipated, but that messiness is what makes it sexy and cool.

4. Tie knots

Want a braid that looks totally different from everyone else's? Try tying knots. Take a small piece of hair from one side of your head, divide it in two, and tie it into a square knot (like the first step in tying a shoelace). Continue all the way across, creating a chain-link effect as you go. Secure with an elastic. You can apply this technique across the back of the head, the front of the hairline, or even down the top of the head for a unique twist. "It's the best style to get through the end of a New York summer," says Pecis.

For more tips on braids, ponytails, half-up styles, and more, check out the September issue of Allure, on stands now!

Hair loss in young women could be related to a lack of two key nutrients.

A study involving 80 women, ages 18 to 45, who were diagnosed with thinning hair found that they had 51 percent lower iron levels and 78 percent lower vitamin D levels, on average, than 40 women of similar ages who did not have excessive hair loss.

Iron is known to be involved in hair growth; optimal vitamin D may slow aging in general and also activates key genes related to the hair's normal cycle of growth and shedding, explains lead study author Rania Abdel Hay, an assistant professor of dermatology at Cairo University in Egypt.


She recommends that women with thinning hair take supplements of

  1. Iron
  2. Vitamin D

Particularly if blood tests reveal that they are below the cutoffs of 30 micrograms per liter for ferritin (iron stores) or 70 nanomoles per liter for vitamin D.


She advises against boosting vitamin D levels by increasing sun exposure, which itself causes damage to hair (as well as to skin).

For the original article and more Beauty News, check out Allure.

Could the key to thick, lustrous hair and radiant skin be as simple as eating more yogurt?

While researching the impact of probiotic yogurt on digestive health in mice, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology noticed that the animals' fur had become "stunningly shiny," says study director Susan E. Erdman.

They eventually found that mice fed either the yogurt or purified probiotic bacteria had improvements in hair's growth and luster compared with mice on a control diet, and their skin was younger-looking and more luminous.

This may be a display of reproductive fitness, as the female mice with shiny hair also had lower pH levels, which have been linked to increased fertility, Erdman explains. Though human studies are needed, "I wouldn't be surprised if there was a similar effect in people," she says, noting that the mice consumed the equivalent of a cup of yogurt with live cultures daily. It seems that the bacteria cause changes to the immune system and hormones that can affect skin and hair, she adds.


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Some days, frizz gets the best of us, 4th day hair is no longer cooperating, or no matter what Holy Grail product we use, those curls just won't clump. It happens to the best of curlies.

Don't get frustrated with your hair or give in to hair envy. Instead, capitalize on another one of your gorgeous traits, like your gorgeous smile, high cheek bones, or glowing summer complexion.

For more summer beauty trends, check out the Beauty Experts, Allure.

If you're going to straighten your naturally curly hair, make sure to do it right! Heat damage and loss of curl pattern are big, bad downsides to wearing your hair straight, so avoid these common mistakes next time you flat iron.

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