I posed this question to my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago while chic-spotting in Paris. Whether we were riding the Metro or cheers-ing at the Plaza Athénée, every girl worth looking at appeared as if she hadn't seen a comb in days.
And yet they all looked painfully chic.
The look wasn't messy per se, but rather lived-in and piece-y, with little crinkles and imperfect edges, à la Lou Doillon, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and even a touch Audrey Tautou in her new Chanel No. 5 commercial.
How do they get the look? I'm chalking it up to Gallic nonchalance, which, unfortunately, isn't bottled and sold at Sephora just yet.
In the meantime, there are a few products out there that are excellent for faking sexy, tousled, imperfect hair. Use these texturizers sparingly until you find the right amount that works with your hair type. And as you apply them, repeat my mantra: 'piece-y, not greasy.'
Eufora Piece Works Defining Paste. This deep conditioning styling product is great if you have little bends and dips in your hair. It will define them, but because it's re-workable, it won't stiffen them. Tip: Rub the paste between your fingertips before working it through your hair with your hands. Then massage it onto your ends for a mermaid-y, piece-y look. $22.
Davines Invisible Styling Cream. Add a touch of this cream to towel-dried hair, and promise me you won't go near a blow dryer. You just might love what develops -- a voluminous style that doesn't look labored over. $20.
bumble and bumble Surf Spray. It's certainly not the newest product on the block, but in my opinion, it's one of the best hair texturizers ever to hit shelves. It gives hair that delicious grit and piece-y texture, without any hardness, shininess, or worse, greasiness. $22.