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The Salon Delray

The Last Word on Red Carpet Hair: Let It Be

What’s a hun? For that bit of insider intelligence, you would have to turn to Alicia Vikander, who stepped up to claim her best supporting actress statuette at the Oscars on Sunday, her glossy hair tumbling fast and loose from a lazy half-bun at her crown.

But when it came to emphatically underdone chic, Ms. Vikander had nothing on Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Emily Blunt and Margot Robbie, each of whom turned her back on the highly lacquered, stiffly sculpted up-dos that dominated Oscars past in favor of a free-form tumble of waves, one of the freshest, least contrived looks to emerge on the red carpet in years.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Oscars seemed a little less stuffy this year,” the Hollywood stylist Jen Atkin said. Though she was not in town for the ceremony, Ms. Atkin’s fresh-from-the-shower stylistic signature carried the night.

“Stars are embracing something more modern and effortless,” said Ms. Atkin, whose high-wattage clients have included Chrissy Teigen, Katy Perry and the whole of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.

High time, too. It seems that the Oscars, which has traditionally limped a few paces behind the style curve, has caught up at last. For evidence, there was a heavily pregnant Ms. Teigen, whose artfully mussed hair was arranged in a wispy fishtail braid. Kerry Washington also opted for a starch-free style, her hair falling from a back-combed mound at her crown and clasped into a raffish ponytail.

Ms. Ronan and Ms. Blunt were loosely coifed in a manner that actually reflected the way many style-savvy women want to look now.

It’s no news to younger women, Ms. Atkin pointed out, “that looser strands can give a bit of an edgy finish.”

For sure, those strands are the emphatically casual counterpoint to the showy regalia that so often accompanies Oscars night — the tonsorial equivalent of flat shoes or a well-worn leather jacket.

Frenchwomen have long embraced this free-flowing wash-and-wear style. Not least among them is the Parisian stylist Odile Gilbert, whose wizardry at the Altuzarra fall show in New York last month was a talking point, with models like Jamie Bochert and Binx Walton flaunting natural hair with a hint of lift and movement.

“It’s the hair they were born with,” Ms. Gilbert told Vogue.com at the time.

Interpreted on American shores as the kind of salt-sprayed “beach hair” favored by models and their myriad imitators, the look has considerable staying power.

As Ms. Atkin maintained, “Model-off-duty will never go out of style.”


Getty Images; Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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