Texture paste is straight up terrifying to me, but that’s mostly because I’ve never known how to use it.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what it’s supposed to do — add a cool separation between waves and a piece-y, undone finish to hair —but that’s easier said than done, especially when you have very long hair and all the examples you’ve ever seen have been demoed on bob-length cuts or pixies.
Considering no one’s ever used texture paste on my hair, you get why I was surprised when famed hairstylist Sally Hershberger broke out a tub of it while doing my hair at her new salon at Hudson Yards in New York City.
In terms of what I asked for (a messy, voluminous, totally relaxed wave), it fit the bill, so I waited patiently, studying her every move to see how it would work.
She worked a bit of her 24K Vanity Hair Shaping Balm between her hands and then placed her hands underneath of my hair, shaking them back and forth, massaging my scalp, and pushing the hair up. This gave my hair, especially at the root, more of a lift and more body on the sides. It also ended up breaking up the waves a little more, giving them more of a realistic shape, and created soft, wide-swept-like flyaways.
What I had always been doing (and turned out to be very wrong compared), was scrunching a glob of it through my hair like a sea salt spray. I’d end up frustrated that all my hair was clumped together and sticky-looking. After watching Hershberger, I also figured out that I had always applied way too much paste or balm. When it comes to creating this textured look, a little goes a very, very long way.
You can check out a video of Hershberger’s technique here, and shop a few of the best balms and pastes out there, below.
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