Lauren Conrad’s Hairstylist on How to Make Hair Accessories Cool

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In addition to being a successful businesswoman, author, and famously pretty crier, Lauren Conrad also has consistently good hair. A major reason for that (besides her gold mine of a gene pool and what I can only assume are piles of the best extensions in the world) is her go-to hairstylist, Kristin Ess, who most recently created the supersimple—yet jaw-droppingly beautiful—look shown above. Since it’s rare that I see a hairstyle adorned with a sparkly, blinged-out hair band and think, Wow, that’s understated and cool and not even vaguely reminiscent something Blair Waldorf would wear, I had to find out more about how Ess pulled it off.

Can you tell me about the inspiration behind Lauren’s look? “I had a large number of hair accessories with me that day. This was the first accessory we tried on with this outfit. It was so perfect, we just never took it off. She was wearing this very chic navy jumpsuit with a simple silhouette; with or without an accessory, I would’ve done her hair sleek with this outfit. Then we added this reverse headband, and it just elevated the whole thing.”

What made this look work so well? “I think what was cool about this is you couldn’t see it from the front—just a tiny sparkle near her ear. Then when she turned around to the back it’s like, Hey, surprise! We loved that.”

What’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to wear a hair accessory? “Trying to work around the accessory. I say do your hair in a style that would look great regardless of whether or not you had an accessory in it. Then find a way to subtly throw it in there.”

Any tips for making sure you don’t wind up looking like a little girl?“Headbands can be very youthful, so to keep it a bit more chic. Try something besides your average headband: Try a reverse headband or a knotted headband, something that looks a little more sophisticated and grown-up. Pair that with undone texture or something sleek. Also seek out real-deal hair-accessory designers. They always have great new ideas, and they know we’re all hunting for a more grown-up look.”

What are your favorite hair accessories right now? Any favorite designers you can recommend? “Lelet for everyday life and events, Twigs & Honey for brides and bridesmaids, and Jennifer Behr if I really want to splurge on myself or a client.”