Gabrielle Union, who is killing it as the newest judge on America’s Got Talent, just posted a photo on Instagram of her new haircut, a choppy shag by Larry Sims that grazes her jaw line. The cut, which features shorter side-swept bangs, is a real departure for the actress, who frequently sports braids or extensions. We asked celebrity stylist and television personality Anthony Pazos (he starred in four seasons of WE tv’s L.A. Hair, ranked #1 in the female African-American demographic) to offer a tutorial on how to duplicate the fresh summer style.
“Let’s presume that we’re working with natural texture and not hair that’s been chemically straightened,” says Pazos, “which means you’ll have to blow-dry the hair straight before going in with a flat iron to bend the ends a bit.” For Pazos, only one blow dryer fits the bill, and that’s the Elchim 8th Sense Hair Dryer because it offers settings that address eight existing types of hair. “African-American hair is often fine or fragile, sometimes both,” he says, “and I love having the option of choosing a setting designed specifically for that type of hair.”
Pazos also recommends Nature’s Touch, the natural styler from Elchim because it offers 11 settings. “That means I can get the results I want with just one pass, eliminating the damage caused by taking multiple passes over the same section of hair.” Another plus: The heating plates have a rounded design to avoid tangling fine, fragile locks.
Here, he walks us through the look:
1. Shampoo with a smoothing or straightening shampoo, which fights curly hair’s natural tendency to frizz out. Rinse and apply a smoothing or straightening conditioner to prep the hair for blow-drying and flat ironing.
2. Apply a heat-protecting straightening serum like Unite Lazer Straight Relaxing Fluid from roots to ends.
3. Use a small, round boar bristle brush to provide ultimate grip as you blow-dry the hair with the Elchim 8th Sense Hair Dryer.
4. Blow-dry starting at the nape of the neck. Work your way up the head, using your boar bristle brush to keep the hair at the roots as straight as possible. Continue around to the sides of the head and repeat the process.
5. To create a voluminous, side-swept bang, blow-dry the bangs forward.
6. Now, take your Elchim Nature’s Touch and bend the fringe away from the face to create a swoopy effect.
7. Work your way around the head, using your iron to give the ends a slight bend.
8. To finish the look, use a texture spray or a little pomade to piece out the ends.