I Am Bringing the Crimper Back

Give this infamous hot tool a chance.
Publish date:
March 23, 2015
hair styles, Britney Spears, Barbie, ponytails

I’m not one to get nostalgic about my teenage years. I never understood the appeal of boy bands (that Backstreet Boys reunion tour baffled me), and it’s not like I miss wearing low-rise jeans and halter tops.

I was way too self conscious about my body, and my family was a bit strapped to get all those club clothes my public school eventually banned, anyway.

As much as I still want to be Jessica Alba in Never Been Kissed, deep down inside, I can't jump on the belly-chain circa '99 comeback bandwagon—despite FINALLY being cool with my body (and thinking so many of them are ow-ow cute!).

There is one look from the early aughts, however, that I’ve been obsessed with since Our Lady Pop Princess got down hard on a metal chair in 2000.


Because of this video, I’ve might’ve kept a crimper on my Amazon Wish List for the past three years.

Now that my hair got kooky with bright yellow streaks that are fading into a toxic-looking highlighter green, I figured I might as well go all-out weird. I figured it was time to get that infamous hair tool called a crimper.

And although I might feel too old to dress up as Malibu Barbie for Halloween (again, see: Alba in Never), I'm like that stoked kawaii cat emoji about my newly-acquired crimper. Here are a couple reasons why:


I went for the full-on Governor's 'do last week and felt like a beautiful wild bird lady. My hair is naturally thick, wavy, and frizzy, so I used a heat protectant argan oil before blow drying my hair with a boar-bristle paddle brush.

For thinner hair, use a volumizer like Big Sexy Hair's Root Plump Plus Spray Mousse ($17.95, sexyhair.com).

Post-massive blowout, I separated my hair into four sections, and used a 1 1/2-inch curling iron to create loose, messy curls (which is how I normally style my hair). I pulled a few 1/2 to 1-inch pieces from each layer at random to crimp.


Whenever I try to wear a ponytail, I'm either reminded of what a shitty cheerleader I was in middle school, or of that cryptic nanny who always wore her pony so very low and also dragged me to church without my parents' knowledge and put me in many, many time outs.

At Stella McCartney's Paris Fashion Week show this spring, models with chic-looking ponies made me want to give the style a second shot. The models' hair was sleek, with only a couple zigzagged sections pulled back into a low ponytail.

As I consider myself more Roller Girl than Someone Who Likes Tennis And Has Super Cute Tennis Clothes, I went with a bigger pony that I think my Totally Hair Barbie from '92 would've been into.

I separated my hair into two sections, then lightly straightened the bottom half (as again, I have naturally wavy hair).

For thinner hair, you might want to start by hella-teasing your hair. I then crimped this half in 1-inch sections, starting about half-way down each piece.

The key to each decent crimp is 7-10 seconds whilst clamping down on the end of the tool. So yes, it takes forever. But whatever, it's cute.

After letting the top half loose—and straightening the ends of that layer—I pulled my hair back and fastened it with a tie about 1-2 inches above the nape of my neck. I finished crimping the hair in the top half when it was in the ponytail.

I replaced the hair tie with a clear hair elastic that I'm sure would've broken had I attempted to style around it initially. I then secured some stray pieces at the crown of my head with bobby pins, and finished it off with a strong-hold hairspray.

So, have I convinced you to crimp? Do you think it should've just died in the '80s? Would YOU rock a belly-chain—'cause maybe I am still considering it.

Follow me on Twitter: @caitlinthornton