A Harvard Medical School psychologist explains why we find wavy, curly and coily hair so sexy.
“Every strand of hair has a blood supply, and reflects what’s going on in the body,” says Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty.”
Textured hair looks naturally thicker and more voluminous, which we subconsciously take to mean that the wearer has a more robust supply of nutrients, making her more sexually attractive. Just one more reason waves, curls and coils are a hot commodity!
Hollywood is getting in on the extra-sexy volume with something we like to call mermaid waves. “It’s like mermaids are the new vampires!” says celebrity stylist Larry Sims, who tends to the locks of Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington. “Mermaid waves differ from beach waves in that they’re more polished and glamorous, with a distinct Hollywood feel,” he adds.
Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence just rocked them at the SAG Awards, models at the Monique Lhuillier and Moschino Spring 2013 Fashion Week shows bounded down in the catwalk in them, and Amanda Seyfried can’t get enough of them.
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If you want to get in on the action, the good news is that you can achieve mermaid waves with or without heat. Hydrated strands are essential, so use your favorite deep conditioner in the shower, or leave-in treatment once you get out. Then apply a waving spray to microfiber towel-dried strands (we like göt2be Beach Trippin’ Salt Infusion Waving Spray, $5.99 at drugstores in February.)
Blow-dry hair if you’d like to use heat. Then wrap small inch-wide sections around a conical curler, gently finger combing through the sections once finished to soften the style, advises Sims. Or as a natural alternative, divide hair into at least two sections and braid each one. Allow the braids to air-dry, ideally overnight. Then take out your braids, gently finger comb, and show off your slamming new waves.
MORE: Haircuts for Wavy Hair