Get the look: Camel heads

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted a new hair trend among Emirati women.

‘Camel heads’ pack hairpieces and milk cartons under their hijabs (scarves covering the hair and neck) to give the impression of a full bouffant.

This sounds like the hair equivalent of bra-stuffing, but I admire the balance of culture, fashion and comfort (most often while I’m chasing sleep on a head of large rollers). I’d like a restful holiday, so I asked Valerie Finnegan Cahill, owner of Ikon Hair Design, how I could ditch the velcro and get Olivia Wilde’s beachy waves.

Step 1: Ask your stylist for long layers. “It’s all about the cut,” says Valerie, who is seeing this look more in-salon, now the summer is here. “Without the excess weight, the tousled look has more staying-power.”

Step 2: Wash your hair. If yours is fine or limp, use thickening products. “What’s really appealing about Olivia’s tousled waves is that they look fresh, and voluminous,” says Valerie. She recommends Joico body lux shampoo and body luxe conditioner, €13.90 each.

Step 3: Towel-dry your hair and accept help from a texturising product. Valerie applies ‘structure beach texture spray’, €11.90, all the way through damp hair.

“The mist is very fine and creates a wavy, windswept look with medium hold and a matte finish.”

Step 4: Find your natural wave. Valerie separates a section of hair and lets the ends rest on her palms.

She then gently lifts the hair up and toward the scalp, so an arc perks up at the roots and the shaft folds onto itself like an accordion.

“Now squeeze,” she says.

When she releases her clenched fingers, waves bounce down. Valerie says ‘the squeeze’ (which can be skipped if your hair is naturally wavy) creates glossy dimension in dark hair, which lacks the nuance inherent in light-reflecting blondes.

Step 5: Air-dry or gently diffuse your hair, taking care not to disturb the waves until it’s dry.

Then, toss your hair upside down and set the look with a quick spritz of light-hold hairspray.

For more texture, through the mid-shaft and ends, lightly mist the ‘structure beach texture spray’ over the dry hair.

For a more polished look, like Olivia’s, take random waves and define them with your wand or flat-irons (make sure your hair is dry before using heated tools).

Step 6: Finally, Valerie says to relax and forget fussing with your hair. “Beach waves are perfect when they are not perfect. That is their special appeal.

All you have to do is go out and be fabulous, darling.”


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