Big crimpin’

Crimping is back and chicer than ever! Super stylist James Galvin, from the iconic Daniel Galvin salon, tells us why and how to do it NOW

It’s the late ‘90s, and you have tickets to see Geri Halliwell play GAY at the London Astoria (RIP), post-Spice Girls split. One is dressed in a leopard print dress with neon pink lace trim (classy). But how to finish the look…? Easy – you reach for the crimpers, zig-a-zig ah your way across your locks and then fluff it out to enormous widths. Done – TAXI!

We all have a crimping story, right? Well, it’s time to write yourself a new one because crimping is BACK – and it’s actually looking pretty blooming beautiful! It’s great for adding little sections of texture, a soupçon of interest to the eye, or in the right ensemble, for giving a look a real edge. But, my fervent fans of frizz, you must tread carefully…

“Just like any look, if it’s not done correctly, it can look dreadful,” grimaces James Galvin, from the legendary Daniel Galvin Salon, and also the backstage stylist who brought out the crimper at the Éthologie by Jasper Garvida SS18 show (pictured above), where he styled for L’Oréal Professionnel. “There really is a fine line between this looking well done and looking terrible. It’s all about bringing the look up-to-date and moving it on from the original ‘80s/’90s version.”

So, how did James put his 2018 stamp on it at Éthologie? “It’s about incorporating the crimped texture with modern finishing that includes styles such as ponytails, braids, curls, waves…” he explains. “In the past, looks were extremely large and a real statement, whereas today they’re a lot more understated. This is where you’re seeing very sleek ponytails incorporating a gently crimped element.”

 ghd Contour

BaByliss PRO Deep Waver

Now, just look at it and it’s clear – crimping is F. U. N.  We could all do with a dose of that, right? And depending on the type and size of the crimper you use, you can create loads of different types of finishes. But first up, if you’re looking for a crimper, you might need to update your language. Salons and stylists like to talk about texture nowadays, and modern tools for crimping have fancy new names – we love the ghd Contour (be quick – it’s a limited edition!) and the BaByliss PRO Deep Waver.

So, what else do we need to know to make sure we don’t go horribly, horribly wrong?

Here is James’ tips list

Don’t overload crimped hair with product – it’s so important the hair isn’t ridged with too much product. The hair has to remain soft and sexy.

You can crimp hair that’s a day or two old as this helps to create hold. But if you are going to crimp freshly washed hair, I would always use a heat protector that has a bit of hold factor to it (I like Kérastase L’Incroyable Blow Dry lotion) and then for a slightly matt finish, I like to use Kérastase VIP Powder.

Finish with a workable, flexible hairspray – believe it or not, crimping can drop out if the right products haven’t been used! (Layered Online loves Infinium from L’Oréal Professionnel, which is always on hand backstage at London Fashion Week).

To get an even crimp, make sure not to overlap your crimped sections. And make sure to remember how long you are clamping the crimper on the hair. There’s no need to hold it on the hair for too long, as you don’t want to damage the hair or over heat the ends.