Ultra-Long Hair Is Trending—But Is It Chic?

Jenna Rosenstein
Harper's Bazaar

From Harper's BAZAAR

There's long hair, and then there's the ultra-long locks we've seen recently on Rihanna, the Kardashian sisters and a handful of celebrities: strands so long they graze the hips. In the real, non-celebrity world, natural hair that long is rare. Lengthy extensions are pricey-and natural waist-length hair would take a lifetime to grow. And once it does, the strands are usually in less-than-stellar condition. That, and waist-length hair is not historically synonymous with good taste. But can it be? We posed the question to hairstylist Chris Appleton, the man behind the statement-making manes of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Jourdan Dunn, and Ariana Grande.

"It's so chic," he told Bazaar.com over the phone. "One of the reasons why I did it was because it's such a statement. It's not overly fussy, it's simple." Appleton says he originally was inspired to start securing 32-inch extensions on his clients from an old picture of Naomi Campbell. "If you go back in time, it's kind of like Naomi," he says. "The way she wore it, she looked so iconic. It is very dramatic." In fact, Campbell still wears her hair that length today. The supermodel is single-handedly bucking the argument that long hair is aging.

But even Appleton agrees that it's "such a fine line" between hair that deserves to be flipped and hair that deserves to be chopped. It starts with the thickness and finish of the hair (or extensions). "It shouldn't take over-it should be slim and chic. The key part is to keep it really high shine, like a mirror. It should be really glossy, really poker straight hair with high shine," he says. "It gives it that expensive feel. When it's overly thick and heavy, that's when it becomes too much."

Appleton typically sprays Rene Furterer Gloss Spray in wet hair, dries it straight with a Mason Pearson brush, then mists Bumble & Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Dry Oil Finishing Spray through the hair before ironing it sleek with a GHD flat iron. He tells his clients to pull their hair into two loose braids when they sleep to keep it healthy.

So there you have it-with a shiny finish, super-long hair can be high-fashion. If your hair is capable of growing down to your butt, then by all means rock the look with confidence. But there's something kind of fun about having dramatically long hair for a day, week, or month and then taking out the extensions and moving on. It certainly requires a lot less waiting.

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