"It's bringing '90s vibes," says Julianne Hough's hairstylist Riawna Capri of the 'hot flip' look her client and so many other stars are rocking now
There’s something in the air in Hollywood. Or, should we say, there’s something in the hair.
When Julianne Hough took to Instagram on Jan. 6 to tease a new haircut, then showed up to host the Creative Arts Emmys the next day with a flipped-up bob, she was just one of several celebrities that day to turn heads with the fresh look.
Elsewhere in Los Angeles, Ayo Edebiri and America Ferrara were at the Golden Globes wearing a similar style, which had also been worn by Quinta Brunson and Carey Mulligan in recent weeks. Sarah Hyland showed off a curly crop just this morning.
These stars are among the many committing to the cute, short bob cut, which hovers around chin length and is styled in a C-shape. The big twist, however, is the curled-out ends, which give us flashbacks to YM in 1998 (think: modified "The Rachel," or Drew Barrymore with bangs, or Ashley Olsen in a cardigan and pastel skirt).
“It’s almost nostalgic. It brings a sense of happiness,” says Hough’s hairstylist Riawna Capri of the look.
The Nine Zero One salon co-owner tells PEOPLE about the day Hough made the cut.
The decision was about “letting go” literally and figuratively, Capri says. “During Dancing with the Stars, she kept saying, ‘I think I want to go short,’ then then one day we did a faux bob for Dancing and after that she was like, ‘let’s do this.’”
Capri continues, “There are times when I know she's just talking and there are times when I know it's for real, and it was for real that time. So we looked at our calendars right then and there.”
With the January date set, the duo leaned into the mantra: New Year, new do.
“Hair is like crystals — it holds energy,” Capri says. “If you have hair that's down to the middle of your back, that's whatever's been going on in your life the past three years, if not more. You're carrying that dead weight around with you. That's why there's such a release when people chop their hair — you're literally letting go.”
She adds, “It's an interesting thing, and why I love what I do. Doing things like this make people feel good inside. It's so much more than just the bob or the big chop. It really is a release of energy. That's exciting.”
They created the look in stages over the course of several days. “It's probably about five to six haircuts altogether,” Capri reveals.
The result: a look that’s “simple, chic and crisp,” Capri says. “It’s very Parisian, polished. That’s what she wanted. This is not the OG Julianne cut with texture and a piecey-ness [to it], this is structured, blunt.”
As for the styling, Capri explains, “it wraps around your ear to your chin in a C- shape. It’s 100 percent bringing the '90s vibes: My So Called Life. Gwyneth Paltrow.”
Want the look? “You definitely want to smooth the hair with a blow-dryer as well as smoothing products. I'm really loving R+Co Bleu's stuff. Their oil Optical Illusion is my new favorite.”
Capri notes that on Hough’s hair she also used a deep conditioning serum before blow-drying it because they’d just colored her hair and wanted to maintain the health of it.
Using a flat iron, she created the C-shape: “I don’t want volume. I don’t want the hair to get bulbous. I want it sleek, and a flat iron can help me create that tight look versus a curling iron that would create more volume.”
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The “flip action” is especially cool, Capri says. “When you do have hair this short, you can feel limited. Right now, this is the hot flip.”
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