How to Get Big Hair à la 'Brave'

How to Get Big Hair à la 'Brave'
(Disney/Pixar)Disney's Brave is already a box office blockbuster and we couldn't help but be inspired by Princess Merida and her gorgeously untamed curls. In fact, it took the Pixar crew two and a half years to simulate the movement of soft wild locks.

"It's not just pretty hair," explained Brenda Chapman, one of the movie's creative directors, "It's about who she is." Thankfully, a real life replication won't take nearly as long.

How does one achieve such masterfully voluminous tresses like our heroine?

Louise O'Connor from OC61—a stylist extraordinaire with clients like Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Faith Hill—was kind enough to let us in on the professional secrets to big hair. Put away your straighteners, ladies, flat hair is so last season. This year, bigger is better.

How to Get Big Hair à la 'Brave'
(Cinemagraph by Tanya Leigh)

"I get clients weekly asking for big hair. It's very much in," Louise told us, then proceeded to explain how to get the look at home, no '80s rock star back-combing required.

1. Start off on the right foot by using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner.
2. After washing, use a serum like Black 15-in-1 Miracle Hair Treatment on your wet hair to protect and maintain the shine (a can't-miss step for gals with fine strands).
3. Next dry your hair with a round brush until it's 80% dry.
4. Stop to use a volumizer like Oribe's Volumista on your roots.
5. Finish blowdrying, focusing the heat on where you used your volumizer.
6. Select your curling iron of choice and then curl away (choose a small barrel for loads of tiny curls like Merida or a large barrel for beach-y waves).
7. For extra-big results finish with a dry shampoo (we like Klorane's natural formulas).

Before we made our own Brave attempt at big hair, we had to ask: Can hair ever be too big?

"It can be," she warned, "It's very fashionable right now to do the Amy Winehouse beehives, but that's for a certain look and person. You want the volume but you don't want to look like you're from Texas. It has to be tastefully done, it has to move. Glamorous is the word, it can't be tacky." We couldn't agree more.

For some celebrity inspiration, check out Louise's picks for who does big hair best:

Gisele Bundchen
Gisele Bundchen on a Photo Shoot
(Bauer Griffin)
Eva Longoria
Eva+Longoria in Celebs at a Screening of 'Moonrise Kingdom'(
Jennifer Lopez
How to Get Big Hair à la 'Brave'(Getty)

Editor, graphic designer and illustrator.