My Three Key Hair Styles | AD

pink chanel handbag and elnett

The smell of Elnett hairspray is the smell of my twenties. The smell of my entire modelling career, really, wherever in the world it has taken me. Because I can’t think of many photoshoots I’ve been at where there hasn’t been a cloud of Elnett escaping through the door of the hair and makeup room; it’s one of the fashion shoot sensory staples, along with the sound of the clothes steamer and the frightening feeling of cold metal on your eyelids as the lash curler clamps down.

Mr AMR (who has been a photographer for far longer than I’ve been a model) didn’t know that we were shooting these pictures for an Elnett feature, but recognised the smell straight away. It’s just so nostalgic, I suppose, if you’ve worked in the fashion industry – it reminds me of those crazy, heady days in London or in Milanese or Parisian studios, rushing through the final shot with a motorbike waiting outside, ready to speed me to the airport to catch a flight to New York or Berlin or wherever it was I needed to go next.

pink chanel handbag and elnett

But enough of the reminiscing; it’s not the nostalgic smell of Elnett I’m supposed to be talking about, or even the fact that it must be one of the most iconic beauty products in existence. It’s the versatility of this non-crunchy, lasting-hold spray that makes it as useful for taming flyaways as it is for creating dramatic avant garde hair sculptures.

I’ve put together three looks – and by “looks”, I mean very easy hairstyles that I wear on rotation – for three different occasions.

pink chanel handbag and elnett

You can probably tell that the first is my most casual – this is what I go for when I seriously can’t be bothered to do any hair styling whatsoever. The ballerina bun with hair scraped back tightly and any loose sections pinned up with hairgrips. Ironically, this style is the easiest to do but requires the most Elnett – because I have regrowth from my postpartum hair-loss, there’s a whole mane of short baby hairs around my face. It looks ridiculous, like I’m a dandelion, and I have to virtually lacquer the baby hairs to my head.

pink chanel handbag and elnett

With a very chic, scraped-back look it’s always the flyaways that ruin the overall effect, so even if you don’t have baby hairs or regrowth you’ll need a bit of hairspray. You can either mist the Elnett lightly over your head and then pat down the offending hairs or spray your fingers and smooth down that way. The resulting graphic kind of sleekness is well worth the few seconds’ effort.

pink chanel handbag and elnett

(Bag: Chanel (let’s not speak of it again, there’s a post on it here), Star Sweater: Hush*, Star Shorts: Hush*, Pale Grey Trainers: Adidas at ASOS*, Elnett: online here*.)

boden sophia shirt dress

Ta-dah! From sleek and shiny to cute and wavy, I like to think that this is what I’d wear to an afternoon tea at Kensington Palace if I ever went to afternoon tea at Kensington Palace. There’s something a bit Alice in Wonderland about this whole get-up, but bear with; I’m trying not to wear jeans so much at the moment which means a bit of a departure from the norm in the wardrobe department.

boden sophia shirt dress

At any rate we’re concentrating on the hair, here (here hare here, name the film!) which has been gently tonged to create low-key curls that look soft and relaxed. If you have hair that easily drops when you curl or wave it you can spray each strand very lightly with hairspray before using the wand or tongs and then, once you’ve done the whole head, do a once-over misting to set everything into place.

boden sophia shirt dress

The joy of Elnett is that it brushes out very easily, so you can have strong hold for as long as you want it but then change your style quickly without being left with loads of crunchy, sticky residue.

boden sophia shirt dress

(Dolls House Cabinet: Andrew Martin here, Bag: Chanel as before, Dress: Boden*, Coral Patent Court Shoes: LK Bennett*. Elnett: online here*.)

hush summer playsuit

And then if you want to turn up the volume and drama a bit, it’s as easy (almost) as tipping your head upside down and spraying the Elnett into your roots. Warning: this is not for the faint-hearted – you will get maximum lift and volume!

hush summer playsuit

Here I’m in my evening attire (swanky drinks at a hipster bar) and I’ve gone a little bit rock and roll with the old barnet. By adding the volume to the roots, I’ve given the whole head of hair a messier look but I’ve also used Elnett on my fingertips to give a bit of definition to some of the top strands so that I don’t just look like Stig of the Dump. (Do you remember that book from school? I used to love it! Cultural references aplenty in this post, don’t say I never learn you nothing.)

hush summer playsuit

I’ve also parted my hair quite far down on the side of my head so that the top section sweeps across in a sort of faux fringe. It feels a bit Debbie Harry and the mussy texture stops it from looking too heavy. What do you think? Do you prefer crazy volume and a sexy bedhead vibe or the more prim and proper girl-next-door curls? I think my favourite (and this is controversial, because it’s not really showing off my hair at all!) is the sleek ballerina look. Mainly because I’m lazy and it requires no thought, but also because I like the way it makes my face look.

Favourite style in the comments below, please – you can find Elnett here* online and at most good retailers. A quick note on this Hush playsuit* which is the comfiest thing in the world; it’s soft, unstructured and would look equally good with heels as it does with flat summer sandals. A brilliant holiday staple. If you’re dithering on sizes then go larger rather than smaller – the 10 was a little short in the body for me!

hush summer playsuit

(Summer Playsuit: Hush here*, Elnett Hairspray: online here*.)

This post contains an advertorial for L’Oreal Elnett.


© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Lucy
    May 24, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    Fantastic post! I find UK brands very often are too short in the body for me at 5 10. You are making me want your haircut!

    • Nina
      May 26, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Lucy – I just bought a Warehouse jumpsuit that was plenty long enough. I’m 5’11.

  2. Susanamantha
    May 24, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Well, I also prefer the ballet do. Mainly because I need the tacit approval that gives me to do the same with my hair, which I’ve done for the past, oh… several years. Yes, I’ve had to use the old Elnett to tame the flyaways.

  3. May 25, 2018 / 2:34 am

    My mom used Elnett all her life. The last, temptress look is the best.

  4. Barbie
    May 25, 2018 / 9:03 am

    Having your hair slicked back in the bun showcases your stunning beauty. The last one looks like a hot mess! Sorry. You asked. xo

  5. Laura
    May 25, 2018 / 9:42 am

    Fabulous post. I love it too – the smell reminds me of gymnastics and ballet exams!

    Nothing to do with hair or hairspray, but you look just like Mischa Barton in photo 8! I’ve never thought that before, but you totally do from that angle! Can anyone else see that?

  6. Jeannette
    May 25, 2018 / 9:45 am

    Because I’m older I like the tidy ballerina look, can’t understand why everyone’s hair looks such a mess these days!!! I don’t like hair to look plastered and that’s why I’ve used Elnett for years and years, but I also don’t like hair to look uncombed and untidy as today’s trend seems to be.

  7. May 25, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    I have been using Elnett hair spray forever, but I really don’t like the crunchy feeling it gives my hair. It is probably necessary for the hold, but it still bothers me whenever I use it.

  8. SomeGirlMel
    May 25, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Love how real you are. And that dollhouse cabinet is what dreams are made of!

  9. Marie
    May 25, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    I like the film reference to ‘Withnail and I’, one of my favorite comedies :)

  10. Sandie
    May 25, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    You’re rocking the Debbie Harry look!! All three styles look great on you but for a change, definitely think its the last one because it’s fun, flirty, fabulous!

  11. Minty
    May 26, 2018 / 11:58 pm

    Elnett reminds me of my Nan. She was always impeccably dressed and groomed having worked in a small boutique for over 50 years. She always had Elnett for her immaculate hair – nothing else will do.
    I still use it now, partially as a homage to Nan (she has been gone 20 years) and partially as it is a fabulous product which just screams old glamor to me.

  12. Wjs 57
    May 27, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    My mum is very elderly now and still uses Elnett. It together with Estée Lauder Youth Dew is the scent of my childhood and instantly makes me think of my mum.

  13. May 27, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    Wow, I so love all 3 styles! And you look amazing!!!

  14. May 28, 2018 / 9:32 am

    The Elnette smell takes me right back to my teenage years – ah that gold bottle was just about the only hair product I used in high school! I love all these styles on you, but particularly the last one. The volume is incredible!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  15. Joni Ondre
    May 28, 2018 / 12:34 pm

    Was going to leave a cheeky comment about the Elnett sticking out of your Chanel bag but thought I should keep this clean! I love Elnett, I have curly hair that I wear natural and a light dusting over the top keeps the frizz bloom down. My vote is the ballerina bun.

  16. Kate
    May 28, 2018 / 5:18 pm

    Omg saw your video where you talked about the grey Gazelles and then see them on you in this post… so had to buy!!

  17. June 12, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    I love the ballerina bun! It highlights your stunning bone structure. I also love the Chanel bag (who wouldn’t?) and the adidas trainers. X

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