Not to make this all about me, but as a person with very curly hair, I’m rarely impacted by celebrity hairstyles. Instead, all the lobs and inventive looks just reinforce what I know to be true: I’ll have long layers until I die. So my threshold for celebrity hair obsessions is pretty high. There’s Nicole Kidman’s curls in Moulin Rouge, Julia Roberts’ ringlets in Mystic Pizza, and now Dakota Johnson’s phenomenal hair. There’s no self-interest in it because I can’t relate to her texture, which is how I know my love is true.
The adoration is a recent thing. Johnson keeps a low profile outside of the Shades of Grey trilogy, I can only assume because the series is such a moneymaker that she can pick her projects carefully. But 2018 is bringing us more Dakota than ever. With Bad Times at the El Royale premiering this week and Suspiria hitting theaters a few days before Halloween, she’s just started hitting the press circuit to promote the two, bringing her incredible hair along for the ride.
Her bangs are the MVP. Most often center-parted, they’re curtain bangs to the prettiest degree, with a hint of straight-across fringe depending on how they lie. The layering is magnificent. Her hair gradually falls into a cool, seventies-like shag (Suspiria is set in the decade, so that makes sense). The versatility is the best part: whether her hair is pulled half-back, up in a pony, or down and flowing, her face-framing layers manage to skirt the look of prom-y tendrils. Even within a single night’s look, from one angle they look like Audrey Hepburn–esque baby bangs and from another like sexy rocker bangs falling into her eyes.
It’s like a magic trick. Barely there bangs from one angle:
Baby bangs from another:
But, what? Out of nowhere, shaggy bangs:
I reached out to Johnson’s hairstylist, Mark Townsend, for some intel. He attributes the excellence to her embracing products. Where before she was a “dry shampoo and that’s it” woman, Townsend has recently convinced her to bring some styling extras into the fold.
Townsend finger-combs some Dove Curls Defining Mousse into Johnson’s hair and rough-dries it with a Dyson blow-dryer, he says. When her hair is 90 percent dry, he sprays her ends with Oribe Royal Blowout, and smoothes them with a round brush while her top layer of hair sets in Velcro rollers (I know, very retro, but Townsend says volume is back in a big way).
Honest Beauty Sea Salt Spray gives her bangs that piecey texture, and then Dove Extra Hold Hairspray, sprayed onto a toothbrush and applied, keeps them in place. The rule is to never curl the tendril, Townsend says. He keeps it looking natural by just slightly bending the hair toward her face, and giving her bangs a trim every few weeks to keep them between her eyebrow and lash, which is apparently a crucial inch of space.
Again: This will never be my life. Even so, I do have a flat-iron, bobby pins, and a dream.