Big Hair Looks Cool


At the risk of sounding a little cocky here, I’m going to come right out and say that I (finally) have great hair. Case in point: during my most recent trip through LAX, as I walked through the creepy body scanner at the security checkpoint, the TSA guy actually high-fived me and cheered, “You have amazing hair! Great job!” with alarming enthusiasm. A little jarring at 6am, but I’m used to it.

My hair has mad body, gently flowing curls, and a soft, glowing sheen that comes from avoiding all the fun stuff—hair dyes, bleaches, and irons of any sort. Boring? Maybe. But it's all I can say when asked what I do, which happens often, by both women and men alike.

But there were darker times. Coming of age in the early ‘00s and the re-popularization of the straightening iron made me do all the wrong things for my hair type. I parted it down the middle, flattened it vertical, and despite the effort, the end result was entirely unflattering for my big, round face. When you’re trying to keep everything too perfect you end up with that stiff, awkward facial expression that's supposed to sub in for a natural smile in photos, and I have the cheesy local mall glamour portraits to prove it.

Then after a break-up last fall, I cut off all my glorious length in an emotionally spurred attempt to channel the mid-length tousled bob. But my curls rebelled and the cut made me look more ‘80s anchorwoman than Karlie Kloss.

Now that my hair is almost nipple-length and my curls are weighted enough to cascade down versus poof up, I feel like myself again. No definite part, volume up top, and air-dried works best for me. As much as I aspire to embody the understated cool of the straight-down, undone style that's currently trending in theory, I feel better with a little more obvious glamour. Young Priscilla Presley-level volume—it'll be back in due time.

...Like now, actually. Even Joey Silvestera, Blackstones salon owner and the man that sparked my languid hair envy with July 2013's blunt "non-haircut", says that big, brushed-out '60s hair is making a comeback. And now that the tables have turned—just kidding—now that big hair is back, if you've naturally got laid-back lengths and want to try something different, he says it's about re-embracing mousse! (Seriously, where's mousse been?) Joey says that Bumble & bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam and Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse are the best on the market.

—Eunice Lee

Eunice Lee is ITG's ad manager and Benetint disciple

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  • Yasmeen M

    I completely understand the initial struggle of doing to your hair what you THINK looks good. Having voluptuous (we're talking BIG), curly hair myself, I went through a time in which I dyed, straightened and bleached to stay chic and "in-style". Having just overcome the damage that all caused (externally and internally) I can say now with full confidence that being your natural self is in-style and that means letting your mane run wild, whether you've got long, feathery locks or a curly bob. Avoid the harshness of being what you're not, treat your hair well, and wear it freely. That's how you (finally) have awesome hair. Kudos to you, Eunice.

    • sashi

      absolutely, wear what you have. I have all the curls, and sometimes I feel like a wild lion! I get self-conscious because they tend to get "un-professional". I like to have things under control, but recently saw photos of my younger cousin who has simillar hair, and she just lets it go, is beautiful and doesn't look concerned with fuzz in the slightest, and it really made me see it's ok to be myself! Why it takes an 18 year old to remind me of this, ah how frustrating!

      • Yasmeen M

        Sashi, I totally get where you're coming from! I find it kind of funny that it takes the younger ones of the world to remind us to let loose--they haven't learned to care yet. I think for others like us it takes a certain amount of courage and wit to tame the curls. To this day I still fight frizziness and have found you need determination to find the product that will work with you and confidence to wear your hair freely, knowing that it won't always look perfect.

        • sashi

          thanks for that. And what is cool though is that my hair is an accessory on its own. I can wear plain outfits but I never look boring! You are right, on humid days I use products made for straightening in fact- of course they don't- it just smooths.

          • ITGEunice

            Blast humidity! You know something that randomly works for me when it's a frizzy day? Liquid Rollers Curl Balm from this brand called Evo. Sometimes, though, there's no fighting it as we all know.

    • Nae

      "Voluptuous, big curly hair" sounds just like mine! I get some layers cut in to my hair when I can afford it (which is rarely, to be honest), but beyond that, I've just embraced that I'll never have sleek, stylish do's. And I'm happier for it!

  • Agnese ♡

    I think that talking about hair and skin care, people shouldn't follow the trends. I mean, every face has its shape, and not all the cuts fit all the faces.
    Ironing and dying your hair really make it look dry and without volume, as you said.

    Amazing post.

  • Bella

    You *do* have unspeakably great hair. I can't believe that just grows out of your head. You must have hogged the entire gene pool when the "good hair" genes were distributed. I'm off to quietly eat a jellybean in the corner, while I ponder the unfairness of this situation.
    When I pull gently on my hair it comes down below my shoulders, but it likes to reach for the sky at any given moment. Mousse just ain't gonna cut it here.

  • kt mo

    Yaaaaas, we have the same hair, and i am SO glad it's cool to be like this again. i still gets pangs of envy when i see some flaxen haired cool girl with hair like a silk sheet hanging down her back on the L train, but I know my hair is envy inducing in its own way so it balances out.

    I don't really know how to use mousse though? I remember scrunching it on non hair-straightener days in junior high, but I don't think that's right?

    • ITGEunice

      Omg the scrunch! Totally did that in junior high too. I call it the "crunchy scrunch" because I used way too much product. Now if/when I use mousse, I just try to evenly apply a dollop into damp hair and let it air-dry (sans scrunch) or blow dry (using fingers, no brush). Happy styling!

      • MoseyM

        I got peer-pressured to do the crunchy scrunch during summer camp in the Midwest in the 90s.

  • JY

    You should write more often.

  • Haiku Jew

    Big hair is my fave
    and these products, I do crave
    then, I'm gonna rave!

  • Emma Hager

    Gorgeous hair. What you're describing above makes me envision a smiling Farrah Fawcett (but with silkier hair), as she prances around in the opener of Charlie's Angels.

  • Elizabeth

    mousse was the first hair product i used - i would steal it off of my mum's dresser, and apply it so badly, only to my roots, making my hair go all crackly and stuck together. this makes me want to use mousse again - properly! gorgeous hair.

  • Heather

    I would love to be able to rock my hair like this, but mousse scares me. I'm sure I've never used it correctly, but as someone with oily hair, washing it every other day is challenge enough without adding product to the mix. Any suggestions?

  • Katrina

    I think you and I may be hair twins! I have thick, voluminous Asian hair that grows like weeds. It's my favorite attribute and I get compliments from strangers all the time. People ask if I take vitamins or whatnot.

    I also used to flat iron it to death, and it would stop growing after a certain point. Now I don't heat style at anymore. A couple times a week, I'll just rinse and condition. Once a week, I'll sleep with coconut oil in my hair and shampoo it out in the morning. Homemade sea salt spray and mousse forever!

    Also, why are all Asian women self conscious about round faces? Don't get me wrong, I am not in love with my moon face, but my chubby cheeks are sometimes cute and make me look really young.

  • mamavalveeta03

    Beautiful!!! I do the natural thing in the summer, and my hair is never healthier.

  • Lauren

    Big, thick, messy air-dryed hair is the only way to go. Otherwise it is too sweet, and sweet hair is boring. I live in Washington, DC - so trust me, I know.

    • JY

      Don't get me started on DC.

  • Lauren

    Also, ITG, maybe you're already one step ahead of us on this, but you need to declare tomorrow as Jenny Lewis Day. I want to read about her favorite lipstick.

  • Aparnaa

    But see, your hair looks like a blowout - basically what I want to get to. What happens when you have, well, Merida hair?

    (I know - everyone wants what we can't have, and really that flat iron period was not my best look either.)

  • Kim

    I have thick curly hair too! Except, the last time I was at the airport the TSA person didn't compliment me on my hair, she searched it. No joke, messed by bun all up.

  • Sahsha

    Let us bow to the alter that is Eunice's magnificent mane! #flawless #shewokeuplikethis #werenotworthy

  • Trandon

    Weeerrrrkkkk mama! You are the fiercest lion in the concrete jungle, mama!

  • Charlotte – CURATOR OF SOKO GL

    YES, i've seen her hair in real life and she does have amazing hair.

  • Daphne Ferris

    Eunice... what products... shampoo etc. do you use ??

    • ITGEunice

      Disclaimer: I'm not necessarily recommending these since we all have different hair and these are probably not the healthiest options on the market. But, what I've actually been using in my real life since jr. high is Pantene. I dunno, those '90s commercials just hooked me for life. Lived in complete ignorance of sulfates, etc. until very recently. Lately I've been trying some new options and I like Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo and Bb. Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo. I end up going back to Pantene conditioner though from time to time. What do you use?

      • JY

        Just use Pantene. For results alone, the fancy stuff is a waste of money. If you like the packaging, the scent, or the experience of using swanky shampoo, then go ahead. I would.

  • Lily

    I don't exactly regret my time with the chemical relaxers, but damn sometimes it feels good to have my natural (thick, wavy) texture back.

    Open question, legitimately curious here: which do you guys think is worse, frequent heat styling (flatirons and such), or strong relaxers (which get touched up maybe once in six months)?

    • QC

      For the moisture robbing dryness which inevitably leads to splits and breakage, frequent heat styling has got to be worse. A six month relaxer routine at least means that hair can be well cared for in between treatments, and there are ways to minimize damage during the chemical treatment.

  • Mady

    While Eunice's hair is gorgeous, I wouldn't call it curly, at least based on the photo. Rather, it looks like my hair after I've straightened it with an iron and then added some wave with the same device.

  • V

    Texas hair forever.

  • syllogism

    I've been ignoring mousse for a while, but right now I really like L'Oreal's Elastic Curl Mousse. It gets my very curly but thin hair volume and curl definition, but it still looks like it COULD be just the way my hair naturally is (spoiler alert: it's not).

  • coffeetoo


  • JY

    If only everyone dressed like Claire Underwood. No, it's all Michael Kors and Tory Burch there.

  • Charlotte

    By the the looks of it you've got the same hair texture as me! Lots of volume, bounce, body, ALL OF THE HAIR basically, and kinda wavy by not entirely. Because it's got so much volume I always shove it up in a bun for work otherwise it gets too annoying, but I'd love to start wearing it out naturally more. And because I have such big hair I've come to realise I can never be 'groomed' or 'polished', will always look kind of disheveled but I kinda like that. It's endearing?!

  • Diana Emmeline

    Question: where do you stand on hair brushing? I have natural wave that always looks really great out of the shower, but I can't get over not brushing my hair which tends to get tangled when dry. Ideas?

    • pamb

      No brushing curly/wavy hair! Wide tooth combing only! I comb conditioner through my ends in the shower, comb it when I get out, apply product, tousle my hair, diffuse and done. No other tools, and I don't even comb it again until my next shower. Brushing tends to frizz my hair, and take my curls out.

  • arandomaccount

    I have big voluminous hair, that many women hate but I love. I get it all shiny and soft looking with conditioner (though it is in good condition and looks nice even without conditioner). Many men like my hair though, and some women. But on my FB account, most women and men only compliment women when their hair is in a bun, tied back in a ponytail or just has less volume overall - this is my personal experience. My big hair just doesn't get any compliments, and I keep it very nice and neat too but when it is very weighed down and straighter looking it does get compliments.


Bumble and bumble
Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam
Living Proof
Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse