TIFF 2018: How to Recreate Natalie Portman’s Red Carpet Hair (According to Her Hairstylist!)

So far, TIFF 2018 has brought us a ton of incredible looks, but Natalie Portman in particular has been a standout for us on the red carpet. Whether soft and romantic in a blush Dior gown or bold in a white suit and red lip, Portman has killed it once again.

We got to chat with Bridget Brager, the celebrity hairstylist who helped get Portman red carpet ready. From sleek hair packed with shine, to soft Hollywood waves, Brager gave us all her insider tips. And you won’t need to section off a ton of time for these looks. In fact, after Portman’s flight got her in late, Brager made sure to execute these styles in the quickest way possible.

Brager also holds the position of Herbal Essences Celebrity Stylist and the haircare brand is one she truly believes in (and one that won’t break the bank!). “I’m really proud of Herbal Essences because of their bio:renew line and their sustainability act. They have a lot of transparency when it comes to their ingredients,” she says. “That’s kind of why I partnered with them. I want my clients to see me working with a brand that I know is legit.”

A quick and inexpensive celebrity glam look? Sounds good to us.

Look 1: Soft and Romantic

  1. Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner. If you have fine hair like Portman, Brager recommends the White Grapefruit and Mosa Mint option from Herbal Essences’ bio:renew collection.
  2. Brush the hair out and create a side part. This will help to open up the face. “Not too dramatic though. You can really make a dramatic statement with a side part but we really wanted this style to be a little sweeter,” Brager says of Portman’s look.
  3. Grab a two inch section of hair and begin to blow it out, using a round brush. Brager uses a boar bristle one by Mason Pearson.
  4. Every time you finish blowing out a two inch section, set it with hairspray. “Hairspray that’s brushable is so important because it actually gives the hair memory and it allows you to recreate and create looks all throughout the day while still holding the style,” she says.
  5. After spraying, immediately curl the section. If you’re in a rush this will give the curls time to set properly, rather than if you waited to curl it all until the end. Brager used the T3 Twirl Trio on Portman which is essentially three curling irons in one. The tool has three different barrel sizes. “I use the 1.25 inch, it’s the middle one,” she says. “I curled her hair into the root because I wanted the flip and any sort of interest to be on the bottom.”
  6. If you have duck bill clips, use them to set the curls. If not, Brager suggests using jumbo bobby pins, “They’re awesome and then you’re not spending extra money.”
  7. Wait for your hair to cool, allowing the curls to set in place. “The longer a curl sets and the longer you refrain from brushing it out, the more the hair will remember the curl. It becomes a stronger hold,” says Brager. “So after curling, instead of just dropping the curl and letting it hang and loosen, wrap it up and let that heat dissipate.”
  8. Once the hair is set, get your hairspray back out and use it on the same round brush. Brush the hair out, teasing slightly at the crown. You can use the same brush for this step or switch to a rattail comb. “You’d want to set the comb in about mid-length and then just press down. Take it out and then repeat,” she says, mentioning that  slow and steady wins the race when it comes to this step. “You might see your grandma tease her hair really quickly, but that creates knots and then it’s hard to smooth over and look pretty.”
  9. Give the hair one last spray and add a dab of Herbal Essences Argan Oil of Morocco Oil-Infused Créme to tidy up the look, flatten flyaways and add shine.

Look 2: Soft Hollywood Waves

  1. Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner. Brager’s go-to is the charcoal line from Herbal Essences bio:renew collection. “It’s especially great at the end of summer,” she says. “It’s a total detox for the scalp and it’s not too heavy. It doesn’t strip the hair so it’s just a really nice balanced product.”
  2. Just like in the style above, grab two inch sections of hair and blow them out.
  3. Take a curling iron (Brager used the same T3 Twirl Trio, this time on the 1 inch barrel) and lay the iron into the hair, creating a half bend before taking it out. Then take the curling iron and flip it over, going under the bend you created to make another bend that goes on top. The movement is essentially under, over, under, over, under, over. “You can create this really beautiful wave that’s reminiscent of old Hollywood style,” Brager says.
  4. Next go in with a texturizing spray. For this look, Portman wore a very put-together suit. Texturizing spray relaxes the hair and it gives it movement, creating a nice juxtaposition against the polished look. For this step, Brager actually recommends using one of Herbal Essences dry shampoos. “It’s such a good texturizing spray. I don’t even know if they meant to do that, but it’s awesome,” she says, comparing the products to Moroccanoil’s (much pricer) version.