How to Add Serious Texture to Stick-Straight Hair

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

When the messy bedhead look, with its cool, undone texture, skyrocketed to the top of every must-try beauty trends list, we were all excited. Among the most excited? Those who wake up with tousled waves on a daily basis, needing just a spritz of texturizing spray to get things started. This, however, left those with fine, stick-straight tresses, who were decidedly absent from that wash-and- go group, scrambling for a viable antidote.

While it may take a little more effort, it appears that all is not lost for those looking to create the fuss-free look for themselves. With a bit of coaxing, it turns out that those with straight hair can too achieve the roughed up texture in just a few simple steps.

To show us exactly how it’s done, we’ve enlisted the help of hairstylist Jen Atkin, who has worked with celebrity clients such as Kim Kardashian West, Sofia Vergara, Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Mindy Kaling, and many more.


To perfect this look, you’ll first want to start out with damp hair. Freshly washed is fine, but lightly dampened, second-day hair is even better because it gives you a little more natural texture to work with.

Step One: Part

Next, you'll want to set up the base of the style by parting your hair down the middle. Using the tail of a comb will help you get the most precise, straight part. A fine-tooth comb also works well in this situation.

Step Two: Sea Salt Spray

After you have your hair parted to your liking, you’ll want to spritz texturizing sea salt spray all over, from roots to ends. Atkin recommends Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist ($34).

Step Three: Dry and Scrunch

Then, use a blow-dryer to rough-dry your hair, scrunching the ends as you go.

Step Four: Smooth Dry

When your hair is almost completely dry, finish blow-drying with a boar-bristle hairbrush to evenly distribute the product.

Step Five: Add Bends

In small one to two-inch sections, you’re going to start adding horizontal bends down the length of your hair with a flat iron. Take one piece of hair and roll it under (towards your scalp) with the flat iron. Release the iron. Then, pick up where you left off, this time bending the iron in the opposite direction—up, away from your head. Continue this process, alternating directions down to your ends. Finish the ends by smoothing them straight down.

Step Six: Spiral Curl the Front

When you finish, wrap a few face-framing pieces of hair in the front around a one-inch curling iron or wand. Hold the iron vertically to get the downward spiral. Leave the ends out, and don’t clamp down on the curling iron to get the most natural curl.

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