Model at Preen AW15 with Crimped Hair

Model at Preen AW15 with Crimped Hair

Crimping is one of those hairstyles that will forever look dated.  The mere mention of crimped hair conjures up images of scrunchies, Madonna and eighties prom dresses.   That’s right crimping is to the 1980s what Marcel waves were to the 1930s.   It has become a natural association.

Crimping didn’t actually originate in the 1980s.   The first modern crimping iron was actually invented in 1972 by a chap called Geri Cusenza (the original founder of Sebastien hair products) but crimped hair has been popular at various periods throughout history.  Think about the fiery haired waves in the paintings from the Romantic art era and the tight zigzags of Roman hair in illustration and sculpture.

Actress Jane Seymour in 1975 with crimped hair

A Young Brook Sheilds with crimped hair in 1978

So why is it that we associate crimping with the eighties only?  Why are images of Cindi Lauper and Windy Willis trapped in our memory recall?

Madonna in 1984 with crimped hair

This season the runways were filled with crimped tresses – everything from references to ‘70s models to more modern Issey Miyake -esque ways to use a crimper.   At Stella McCartney, hair stylist Eugene Souleiman was intent on making a ponytail look interesting.  He chose to crimp small sections of the hair first, which ran like vertical streaks from the top of the head to the end of the pony.   Then at Preen AW15, Syd Hayes used a rick-racking technique (where small sections of hair are wrapped in figures of eights around a hair pin and left to set and then brushed out) to recreate a true 1970s style bouffant frizz crimp.

Syd Hayes Hair for Preen AW15

The important thing to remember is that crimping no longer has to be about tight angular ‘W’ shapes.   That type of crimp can be very useful for adding invisible volume to the lower layers of your hair but looks a bit like you’re about to slip into your leg warmers.  

Look for crimpers that have wider ridges or even 3 or even 4 tong wavers that allow you to add a looser, slightly more romantic vibe.   The Toni&Guy Salon Professional Glamour Deep Waver (£44.99; may look like an instrument of torture but is really easy to use.  If you have very thick hair already you will want to go easy on the under layers of your hair and if you want a something seventies then focus your attention on the lower two thirds of your hair so that the roots sit flatter to give you a more triangular shape.

The Toni&Guy Salon Professional Glamour Deep Waver

Acting Beauty Editor Katie gives crimping a go...

Claudia Schiffer Modelling for Versace in 1996

Jemma and Jodie Kidd in 2001

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