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A Toss Up

[whitespace] hair updo On the Up and Up: The updo isn't just for prom queens anymore.

How to do a new updo

By Diana Rupp

Call it "Relaxed Modernism" or "Dishelved Chic," the look right now for hair is soft, idiosyncratic updos. And unlike some of the highly structured styles seen last year, an updo can easily be achieved at home. "It's like building a puzzle with no real design," says Hair Play owner and national KMS award-winning stylist Fritz Clay. "You make up your own rules as you go along. There are no barriers, no right or wrong way. The sections don't have to look the same as long as the hair has balance and shape."

Here's how:

  1. Start by sectioning out the front of your hair from ear to ear. Clip it up and out of the way. This area is styled last.

  2. Divide the rest of your hair into two to eight sections, depending on how elaborate you want the style to be. And don't worry if the parts are straight. "Open your mind," advises Clay. "Don't concentrate too much. Just throw it up and let it happen."

  3. Work each section from top to bottom. Start by tying a pony tail (the tighter the better) with a snag-free, unbreakable elastic like those by Blax (available at professional beauty stores, $4 for 10) but on the last pass pull through the end only halfway through the band, thus creating a loop. Tease this hair between thumb and forefinger to build height and texture. Use bobby pins to brace the loop on the head, circling it around the band.

  4. Follow-up with hairpins to control loose hairs. Continue teasing (the messier the better!) and using both types of pins as well as a light hair spray for control. When you're happy with the overall effect, blend the separate sections together to cover up any parts and create the appearance of a uniform style.

  5. Finish by experimenting in the front with mix and match twists, knots, curls, braids, then dress the hair with accessories such as rhinestone clips, flowers, wire or antique buttons attached to bobby pins. "It's definitely a mood," says Clay. "Your hair may never turn out the same, but it will always look good."

Check out this technique and a bunch of other styling how-tos in Clay's video Salon Hair at Home ($10), available in February at www.hairplaywiz.com and Hair Play, 1599 Dolores St., 415/550-1656.

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From the January 18, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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