"Lived-In Hair" is the Hero We All Need

Celebrity Hairstylist Anh Co Tran's signature style (he's even trademarked the term Lived-In Hair!) has taken the world by storm -- and for good reason: the tousled look is perfectly imperfect, so you don't need to fret over styling it to a T, and it will make you feel stylish and cool in a shirt and jeans or a cocktail dress. Here, his three secret weapons for getting the look right every time.

The cut

Image: Anh Co Tran

"I always wanted to create hair that was broken in and that morphed into something cool," Tran says of the look that's now Instagram-famous. "The idea is that it's something styled but textured," he says. If you're not lucky enough to snag an appointment with him (he often has appointments in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York), his advice is to ask your stylist to add texture to your hair, remove weight, and create movement (and also, whip out his Instagram account, @anhcotran, where you can show your stylist endless examples of how the cut should look when it's finished). The look works for women from all walks of life because of its versatility, and Tran says every hair texture can rock this kind of cut, but curly-headed women should just err on the side of caution when they ask for the hair to be texturized.

The color

To complement your new 'do, there's only one kind of color service you should be seeking: highlights that look like they've grown out a little. "They bring out the movement in the layers of the cut," Tran says. Another great thing about them -- they add to the ease of the look because you're not chained to the colorist chair to touch-up your roots every six weeks. Ask your colorist if she uses the balayage technique, which is when they paint the color onto the hair instead of using uniform foils to create a personalized color plan for your specific cut.

The styling technique

To make it look like you just left the salon every day, perfect your curling iron technique. Working with dry hair, divide your hair into two sides. Starting with the bottom layers, curl a horizontal section of hair towards your face as you hold the iron at a 45-degree angle downward. "Alternate the next section away from your face, switching back and forth until you get to the top of the head," Tran says. Repeat on the opposite side of the head and in the back. His biggest word of advice: "Don't forget to leave a half an inch of the ends," he says. Finish by misting all over with L'Oreal Professionnel Dry Finish Spray ($24, ulta.com) and breaking down the curls with your fingers to create that disheveled look. 

More Tips for Perfectly Imperfect Waves

See how to get perfectly imperfect beach waves using your curling wand.


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