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Thick, swingy, extra-long hair is having a moment, if a look at the recent fall fashion collections is any indication. Bianca Brandolini and Tallulah Harlech were spotted front-row at the Giambattista Valli show with unprecedented waist-skimming lengths, while Gabriella Wilde caused a stir at Burberry with her center-parted blonde hair spilling down the back of her navy cape. The backstage scene was no exception, with runway (and street-style) favorites Caroline Brasch Nielsen and Tilda Lindstam sporting extra-long lengths-even by model standards. Also offering proof of its instantly youth-embuing effects: Los Angeles-based model Kirsty Hume, whose thick rope of honey-colored hair has been her signature since the early nineties, and actresses Sofía Vergara and Amanda Seyfried.
Around the Vogue offices, the look has long had a serious fan base, with too many die-hard devotees to count on one hand.
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"It feels very feminine," explains Vogue.com Associate Editor Patricia Garcia, whose bouncy, chest-grazing waves seem to defy gravity most days.
"I've had long hair all my life. It's strong, and it resonates," says Vogue.com Contributing Photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank, while for Vogue Fashion Assistant Emma Morrison, it's all about ease: "The longer my hair, the less attention it needs-I can wash and go, and if letting it air-dry takes a turn for the worse, I can always throw it into a bun or a braid," she says, before adding: "I vacillate between Proenza-messy or Chloé-bouncy. Having long, simply layered hair allows for versatility."
What's new about the latest incarnation is its plush, swingy, uniform length and its effortless texture. "Overly layered long hair with thinned out-ends is no longer chic," explains New York-based hairstylist Harry Josh. "Right now, it's all about thick ends and full hair that screams luxury."
If you're thinking about growing yours out, says Josh, you'll need a plan to make it through the difficult in-between phase. Keeping hair healthy, especially at the ends, which tend to get thinner or split with recurrent damage, is key. He recommends washing less often when possible and using "a hydrating conditioner on your ends-it'll make your hair look really clean and healthy." A comb, rather than a brush, will detangle gently. He also suggests misting a smoothing spray, like John Frieda's Perfect Ends, at the bottom before blow-drying. "It's a lightweight spray that keeps things looking polished."
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If your hair isn't oily, Josh stresses "getting a blowout and then making it last with dry shampoo as opposed to washing, conditioning, and blow-drying more frequently which can lead to heat damage and breakage."
And you can always cheat for an extra boost: Josh is a firm believer in Viviscal, the biotin-based vitamin supplement that's beloved by models from Karlie Kloss to Caroline Trentini. There's also Revita, the new growth-enhancing shampoo and conditioner that promises longer, stronger, thicker, shinier hair using a combination of structural amino acids, polyphenols, copper peptides and free-radical fighting agents. Both require patience since results improve over time-but then this is a look with staying power. Think of it as a long-term investment.
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