Are You Even a New Yorker If You Don't Get 'The Bend'? How to Perfect the East Coast Blowout

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If you haven’t noticed, all the coolest hairstyles are coming straight out of New York these days. From the butterfly cut to the bottleneck bob, New Yorkers are finding low-maintenance looks that fit their busy schedules. That’s where ‘The Bend’ comes in. It’s the latest style sweeping the bustling city, so we tapped NYC hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai to share how to nail the trendy blowout at home. 

Meet the Expert:

the bend hairstyle jenny walton
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First Off, What Is The Bend?

The Bend is a loose, wavy hairstyle that requires little to no maintenance. “It’s that day three or four curls look—not relatively straight, but also not curly,” explains Fekkai. “The waves in your hair look effortless and relaxed with a bit of bend.” While all lengths can rock this look, the style works best with shorter locks. Whether you prefer a chin-length cut or a shoulder-grazing lob, this tousled look will definitely show off volume and dimension for the city folks. 

the bend hairstyle new york fashion week guest
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Why Is It So Popular for New Yorkers?

As mentioned, low-maintenance looks are a must for ultra-busy New Yorkers. Fekkai notes, “This hairstyle is so prevalent in NYC because it only takes five to ten minutes. You only need a few products to style it.” Simply put: This style is a chic and modern option for the modern gal. Achieving the look only requires a few subtle touch-ups throughout the week, so you can spend less time in front of the mirror. 

So, How Do You Achieve The Bend?

To recreate the look, all you’ll need is your go-to styling products, a curling (or flat) iron and a wide tooth comb. It’ll only takes a few steps—and a few minutes—to get The Bend, so you’ll soon be a pro without any serious hair skills necessary. 

  • Step One: Wash your hair as usual before applying a heat protectant and blow drying your locks. Fekkai recommends blow drying with the nozzle point downward to prep your hair for the bend style.  
  • Step Two: Once your hair is completely dried and protected, reach for your curling iron. The styling tool is key to creating the signature waves. Fekkai suggests that you start wrapping each section around the curling iron at the cheekbones. “It’s an ideal starting point, as it looks flattering for all hair lengths.” Oh, and here’s another idea: Alternate between wrapping away and towards your face for movement and dimension. 
  • Step Three: Wait a few minutes before gently dragging the section down for a loose texture. Remember: Avoid curling the ends so you can maintain that stretched, S-shape throughout your hair. Fekkai points out that it’s OK to miss a few strands so you’re not over curling your hair. 
  • Step Four: Run your wide tooth comb, boar bristle brush or your fingers through the curls for a tousled look. The goal is to have loose curls that add movement and show off beachy waves that would make a West Coaster jealous. (Sorry not sorry.)
  • Step Five: Spritz on texture spray to add shine, volume and hold to your new ‘do. After a few days, add some dry shampoo to your root for more volume. 
the bend hairstyle alexa chung
Edward Berthelot/Contributor/Getty Images

Before You Go...

This look doesn’t have to be perfect. The more tousled, the better. “This style is universally flattering and goes well from day to evening,” raves Fekkai. “It's popular among long bob haircuts, but I love how it looks perfectly tousled [on anyone], adding just a subtle wave without losing length to your hair.” Seriously, isn’t it a little fun to bend the rules every once in a while in the city that never sleeps? 

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...