On a regular day, I am very wary of letting other people do my hair. This goes for cutting, coloring, and perhaps most of all, styling. We all know how we want our hair to look. We spend years of our lives dealing with its particular kinks (or lack thereof), and just as much time test-driving products and techniques to get it looking its “best.” In other words, no one can possibly know your hair as well as you do. Which is why, even when I'm at a salon for a cut or color, I always reach for the blow-drier, some kind of goo on a nearby counter, and finish the job myself.
That being said, a recent Sunday was not a “regular day.” I found myself in the middle of a football-field sized Brooklyn soundstage, on a thrift-store couch, having a full-on pillow fight with a throng of hipsters, while a dude who looked like RiFF-RAFF (RiFF-RAFF himself would actually show up later) smashed a guitar into smithereens before my very eyes. Ryan McGinley documented the whole thing—a TV commercial for the relaunch of MySpace; not, as we joked in the Gloffice, a game show called “Beat Up The Fashion Girl”—from four hovering cameras. Almost as soon as the whole thing had started, someone yelled, “CUT!” I peeled myself off of a total stranger, rose shakily to my feet, and wandered past a DP who said, “Good shot. Your hair looked great.”
That’s thanks to hairstylist Holli Smith. When I showed up to set, prepared to deflect any touch with a “Oh, this is just how my hair is—there’s not a lot you can do with it,” Holli grabbed my arm, sat me down, took one look, and said: “We just need to make it a little crunchy.” I trusted something...the confidence?...in her voice. She reached for Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray and began spritzing my dry hair, first at the roots, mainly at the front, then sparingly towards the ends, using her fingers to sort of swirl the product into my scalp as it dried. Spritz, massage, eye the mirror—the repetition went on for a few minutes until the imperceptible layers in my bob began to undulate. Suddenly my hair had that thing I’ve never quite believed was possible (without a wind machine): movement. I literally did not want to touch it, for fear of messing it up. “Well, there’s going to be a lot going on in there,” Holli foreshadowed, leading me towards the set. “But it’s got that little bit of grip now, it’ll look cool when you fuck with it.” Maybe pillows are the newest secret styling trick, but my bet’s on the Oribe.