“I grew up in a household of six girls. Thatâ€™s a lot of hair to deal with. My mother, tasked with caring for all our tangles, tried to make it easy on herself by cutting everyoneâ€™s hair short. Somehow, though, I managed to run off during those group haircuts and was able to keep mine long. Itâ€™s been that way pretty much ever since.
My oldest sister was big into at-home, DIY highlights; she used to rinse her hair with chamomile tea to lighten it up. By copying her, I learned to perfect golden highlights of my own. You know, Iâ€™m Brazilian. I love the summer, the surf, that whole beachy look.
While people today know me for my waves, I wasnâ€™t always into them. As a kid I wanted straight hair so badly. On one of my first modeling jobs in Brazil, the stylists straightened my hair for the shoot, and, completely obsessed with the sleek look, I kept it that way for my debutante ball that night. Now I see photos from the event and cringe. I looked like I was trying so hard, not like myself.
When I moved to New York at 16 to model, I got back into wearing my hair natural. But it was the mid-nineties, and waves werenâ€™t exactly in style. There was an androgynous thing happening in fashion: Girls had these serious, conceptual, very cool-looking haircuts. As I started to work more, I noticed how models had to change their hair a lotâ€”different cuts, new colors, really radical stuff. But I pushed to use wigs on shoots instead of giving in to cuts. Like recently on the Balenciaga shootâ€”I loved doing this campaign because I could transform myself without really cutting my hair. It was cool to see myself like that, but, personally, Iâ€™ve always liked having long hair. And, Iâ€™ll be honest, it gives me confidence. In my 20 years as a model, I tried only a couple of drastic hair changes: I once dyed it dark, and another time I cut it shoulder-length. For the most part everyone on set and backstage at shows left it with loose, natural wavesâ€”and over time it just became my thing.
Then at some point wavy hair became super popular. It first struck me when one of my sisters went to a salon and asked for a loose, wavy effect. The stylist, without knowing she was my sister, referred to the look as the Gisele BĂĽndchen. I thought that was pretty hilarious.
Since Iâ€™ve become a mom, wearing my hair naturally wavy is still the most practical option for me. Plus, Iâ€™ve never had a lot of patience for sitting around in a salon. I donâ€™t get my hair done that often, so I pack those little hair-conditioning ampoules from Pantene to keep my hair healthy between shoots. Theyâ€™re small and easy to carry; thatâ€™s how I avoid wonky hair days when Iâ€™m away from my regular routine.
Itâ€™s still funny to me how I used to want straight hair. Iâ€™ve learned a lot during my years in the modeling business, but at the end of the day, wavy is just more me.” ~Gisele BĂĽndchen
How to get Gisele’s perfect waves:
“While I love my natural waves, I’m also a fan of the curling iron. The key is to keep the look imperfect.” Here are the steps:
1. Blow out hair first, then wrap sections around an iron, focusing the curl at the ends, below ear height.
2. Mist hair with a light styling spray. [Try Pantene Pro-V Stylers Flexible Hold Hairspray, $5, target.com]
3. Now loosen the strands with your fingers and give your head a good shake. This helps soften the curls and gives you a lighter, less “done” look.
Author: Simone Kitchens
Photo by Cedric Buchet/Art Partner