If you’ve kept your crimping iron around (that is, if you’re old enough to even own one), you probably only use it for the off-chance you’re invited to an 80s party or want to dress up as Material Girl-era Madonna for Halloween. But crimping—those S-shaped waves we tend to associate with the mid-80s, but which had a brief resurgence in millennial fashion—may not be such a thing of the past. Crimped hair seems to be gaining new life, with designers pushing it as a hair trend for the past few seasons, and even celebrities giving the throwback look a try.
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We’ve noticed more than one designer trying to bring back crimped hair on the runways. Some, like Reem Acra, teased out crimped hair to make a voluminous statement. Others gave the crimped trend a sleeker treatment, like Zac Posen’s texturized updos for Fall 2013. Giorgio Armani made use of an S-shaped crimp to accent the most recent collection in Milan, while Derek Lam styled his looks with a messier version, as seen backstage on Cara Delevingne.
A few risk-taking celebrities have jumped on the trend as well. Annie Clark, better known as indie artist St. Vincent, recently did her ‘do in kinky crimps for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and the result was punky and rebellious. Actress Saoirse Ronan also rocked a sawtooth crimped ponytail at last year’s Irish Film & Festival Awards, giving the up-and-comer a sporty but edgy look. If you’re not ready to bring your crimping iron out of storage just yet, look to celebrities who are styling the softer side of the crimped hair trend. Last fall, Jessica Alba, for example, wore her hair in a looser, more undone crimp that she kept shiny and fluff-free. Editor Zanna Roberts-Rossi has also been spotted doing the crimped look, and her version is beachy and perfect for summer.
Care-free crimped hair fits right in with the 90s revamp that’s having its fashion moment—and is a great next-day style after you try one of spring’s intricate braided styles. You don’t have to bring your crimping iron out of storage to get this look: simply braid your damp hair into a few plaits (the more you do, the tighter the crimp will be), and let it finish drying, then unwind and muss it up with a little texturizing product for a style that’s not the crimped hair you remember.