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Courtesy of Miu Miu

Librarian-cool frizz rejects polished hair for a more frazzled mood

Throw away your Tangle Teezers and find your nearest hedge, it’s all about embracing frizzy, unkempt hair

  1. THE LOOK: Frizzy, messy, frazzled unbrushed hair for all textures and lengths.
  2. WHO’S DOING IT? Miu Miu’s Fall 2023 show put a spotlight on it, but it’s also been embraced by 2010s Tumblr girls, frazzled English women and Kate Moss brought back her signature messy bedhead hair from the early 2000s at the Met Gala .
  3. HOW CAN I GET IT? This look is totally DIY. You only need yourself and a carefree perspective. Throw away your hairbrush and grab a balloon for the authentic Miu Miu style.

People no longer want to be told to “tame” their “frizz” and hair that’s a little bit messy has never been cooler. It was Miu Miu’s AW23 show that cemented the idea that undone, frizzy hair is here, sending models including Mia Goth and Emma Corrin down the catwalk with static hair created with balloons. “Miu Miu is very forward in their idea of women’s beauty,” says hairstylist Guido Palau, who was responsible for the brainy, bookish and librarian-cool frizz on the runway. “We’re always looking at fashion with a different point of view, so it’s a good show to sort of be provocative in a new way.” 

And yet even before the show, frizz had been quietly creeping back into the cultural zeitgeist, embraced and celebrated by all hair textures. Yohji Yamamoto’s and Chanel’s AW23 shows also seemed to dive into frizz, and on social media, people have been rediscovering rollers and a softer, glam look which lends itself to untamed hair. At this year’s Met Gala, Cara Delevingne wore a distressed pale turquoise shag wig – dishevelled and unpolished as ever, and Marion Cotillard a pale pink frizzed-up bowl cut.

But it was Kate Moss who is known for being the true queen of the chic bedhead, spending much of the early noughties looking like she had misplaced her hairbrush. After a period of more polished styles, at the Met Gala last week she wore her hair in lived-in, rock-n-roll, cool girl waves that recalled her former frazzled locks.

As more and more people move towards an anti-beauty look that is firmly centred on their own point of view rather than catered to one polished, oppressive vision led by the industry, frizz feels like the ultimate reclamation. “I think frizz, natural hair texture and hair being just a little bit more lived-in and free feels more unique,” says the stylist, educator and salon owner Jayne Matthews, who often posts herself and her clients with perfectly imperfect, deconstructed hair. “It’s kind of ugly-beautiful. But it also feels unique and it’s just a relief after perfectly curled, waved, shiny hair and filtered faces.”

The culture and aesthetics of the 2010s are also back with a vengeance, seeped deep in nostalgia, and the fact that messy, frizzy hair recalls days of 2000s boho chic and 2010s Tumblr is no coincidence. Scene kids and Indie kids alike were infamous for teased or unbrushed hair. Think Cory Kennedy being photographed by Cobrasnake, the soft-messy hair of the Olsen twins or Alison Mosshart.

“We were looking at people arriving at airports or celebrities out on the street and how their hair was perfectly imperfect,” Palau says of the big idea behind the Miu Miu hair. “Maybe it would be a gust of wind that’s blown it the wrong way, or there’d be some kind of frizzy texturing part of the head, do you know what I mean? It’s the idea of hair that had been caught in a moment.”

On top of noughties nostalgia, there’s no question that the geek-chic girl is rising. If you’re seeing spectacles, loafers, knee-high socks and bookishly unpolished hair everywhere you might as well blame it on the frazzled English woman aesthetic that went viral on TikTok late last year. Think: Kate Winslet, Bridget Jones, et al in their messy claw-clipped hair. It’s less about the manicured perfection of the done-up Y2K aesthetic we’ve been seeing for so long, and more about real life and the potential for what some might define as frumpiness. Likewise, coquette hair which is also trending has its original roots in the bedhead hair. Just look at OG coquette babe Brigitte Bardot. “It’s natural and sexy, like they’ve been rolling around,” says Matthews.

For people with curls and textured hair, embracing the frizz is intrinsic but has never felt more celebrated than it does now. “I think we’ve been leading it up to this with bedhead and curly-haired frizz,” says Matthews, who often works on people with thick, curly hair. “Curly-haired people have been embracing their frizz for a few years now and even brushing out their curls and letting them get bigger and more disco.”

Likewise, Nia Jones, a stylist, salon owner and Latest Looks expert who specifically works on Black hair tells her clients not to brush their hair. “I love working with frizz and unbrushed hair,” she says. “Recently, more and more steps are being taken towards natural beauty within the hair industry. This means fewer people opt for styles that involve extensions and dye, and more people are returning to basics and natural haircare products. For some, going back to basics involves reducing the amount they brush their hair or avoiding brushing completely!”

If you want to get the look, it’s easy. At Miu Miu, Palau blowdried the hair, putting some of the models into ponytail styles before blowing up balloons and rubbing them on the tops of their heads. The only product he used? “Got2B’s very strong hairspray to freeze that moment.” For trying the look at home, he says “You could blow dry and then take your t-shirt or sweater off and then whatever is pulled out, you could leave or you could just freeze that with a very strong hairspray. It's like capturing the moment of that kind of messiness or the sort of deconstruction of the hairdo.” 

Transient, messed up hair caught in the moment? The very ethos of 2023 and its beauty culture.