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How Imaan Hammam Tames Her Curls

Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue Arabia, April 2017.

We’d be lying if we said that Imaan Hammam’s thick, dark cloud of free-flowing curls didn’t give us hair envy. While our curls tend to be virtually unmanageable, the Moroccan-Egyptian beauty’s next-level mane is always under control. To learn more about how the model tames her curls, Vogue turned to backstage hairstylist Ilham Mestour who is responsible for styling Hammam’s locks along with those belonging to the likes of Naomi Campbell and Doutzen Kroes.

“Working with Imaan is not about changing her into another person, but transforming her signature curls into different styles, sizes, and shapes,” explained Mestour to Vogue Arabia. “True beauty is embracing your tendrils, because that’s who you are. It strengthens your character and personality.”

Indeed, we rarely see Hammam without her signature, gravity-defying curls, which call for a curated selection of hair products and tools. “I’m a big fan of mixing products,” shared Mestour (who also boasts fuzzy curls typical of Arab North Africans.) With a little help from Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream and a few drops of Kuene Hair Cosmetic’s Moroccan Argan Oil, Mestour is able to smooth the model’s flyaways for a bouncy, frizz-free finish.

Ilham Mestour was also behind the wild, larger-than-life mane sported by Hammam at the Sophie Theallet Fall 2016 show during New York Fashion Week. “An Arabian lioness,” is how Mestour described the look. The hairstylist worked a generous amount of Keune Haircosmetics Blend Volume Powder to Hammam’s roots using her fingertips in a rotating motion to create gravity-defying volume. Next, she spritzed the Design Press Wax throughout the lengths for added definition.

On the off days that Hammam does decide to straighten her hair, Mestour uses a smoothing spray to protect her ringlets from any heat damage. Once her hair is blow dried, a generous layer of the Keune Care Line Silkening Polish is distributed evenly down her strands to keep it shiny, soft, and frizz-free.

Mestour suggests cleansing curly hair once a week, and using a conditioner or a mask in lieu of shampoo for the days in between. As for drying curls, she advises to always use a diffuser. The hairstylist also avoids gel and oil-based formulas, as they can make curls feel heavy and greasy.

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