Expert Tips On How To Achieve Korean Celebrities' Hairstyles: Song Hye-Kyo, Blackpink's Lisa And More
There's no stopping the K-mania—whether it's K-drama, K-pop, Korean food, Korean art, Korean stars gracing fashion campaigns or Korean beauty. With the meteoric rise of Korean entertainment and culture, a slew of beauty enthusiasts also clamour for K-beauty tips and secrets.
We also see the popularity of hairstyles that celebrities in Korean have. It's no surprise that Blackpink's Lisa's Cleopatra-inspired bangs have become synonymous with her image or that whenever Song Hye-kyo dons a new hairstyle, she's an instant trending topic.
To help you achieve your desired hairstyle spotted on your favourite Korean stars, we asked Marvin Lin, creative director at Shhh salon in Hong Kong—who boasts more than 20 years of hairstyling experience and is a veteran at editorial hairstyling to give her expert tips.
What are some trends you observed when it comes to Korean hairstyles?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of Korean hairstyles. Firstly, there's the classy, elegant, gentlemen or women that we see from stars such as Hyun Bin, Gong Yoo, Song Hye-kyo and Jun Ji-hyun. The key features of these hairstyles are that they're naturally voluminous, bouncy and the hair colour is close to their natural colour. This style is supposed to be understated but natural and flattering. It's not just on-trend but is timeless, airy and shiny.
On the other end, you have the young, trend-driven hairstyles from idols such as BTS and Blackpink, characterised by exaggerated platinum or pastel colours to express their personality and match their fashion-forward aesthetics. The bright, funky colours also create a more dramatic effect on stage.
Why do you think Korean hairstyles are getting popular these days?
K-pop and K-drama have been so culturally influential not just in entertainment but fashion and style. We have seen Korean stars on the front rows of major fashion weeks in Europe or New York City. This says a lot about them being trendsetters and influencers of our age. Their personal style, music and acting together with the high production quality, have captured the hearts and minds of many people all over the world, resonating with the millennials who are the key drivers and consumers of trends these days, so it is not surprising to see their style being emulated across the board.
Airy chin-length jaw cut
As seen on: Song Hye-kyo
Choose hair care products that can impart airiness and wispiness to hair. After washing with shampoo, I use OMG Airy Treatment which I apply all over hair while working more product towards the 2–3 inches of the ends of hair.
Use a styling spray that can create a voluminous, bouncy effect and apply evenly on hair before blow dry. Pay attention in particular to the hair roots while you blow-dry. I would use larger size curling tongs to curl the hair along the hairline (around the forehead) to enhance that fluffy bounciness. Volume and bounciness, particularly from the roots, are key to this hairstyle.
See also: Song Hye-Kyo: 8 Surprising Facts About The Korean Actress
Long double layered cut
As seen on: Jun Ji-hyun
Haircare tips: Use hair care products that fortify the hair shaft, add shine and leave an airy volume in their wake. Longer hair requires using more products that impart airiness while repairing damage and not weighing hair down to achieve the look.
Styling tips: Before blow-drying, apply a blow-dry lotion all over hair that helps volumising, and a lightweight leave-in treatment with damage repair and heat protection properties, to increase protection for the ends of hair.
Curl each section 2–3 times to create the S-shape curl. You can control the size and softness of the curls by choosing the size of your brush and curling tongs. For the hair on the sides, do them in two sections. Leave the curls as they are once released from the brush/tong and do not ruffle your hair until you are done with all the curls. Then, you can ruffle your hair or do a hair flip so the curls can loosen up and look more natural.
See also: "Kingdom: Ashin Of The North": 9 Details You Shouldn't Miss
Wavy textured cut
As seen on: Gong Yoo
Haircare tips: Under the scorching summer heat, it's crucial to pay attention to the water-oil balance of the scalp and prevent the scalp from becoming too oily, which would undermine the cool handsome airy strands and curtain bangs of this medium length hairstyle.
Styling tips: Before blow-drying, apply a volumising hair spray that protects and adds shine to hair. Depending on the formulation, you may apply more at the hair roots for a longer-lasting airy volume. Use a small round hairbrush to comb the hair upwards, pulling perpendicularly from the scalp and curl into a C shape (you may do so with the curling tong too). Do this in 4–6 sections from the hairline to the nape.
The hair on the sides which tend to be shorter can be combed backwards. Once finished, part your hair with zigzag movement with your hand. Top up with more blowdry lotion as desired for more bounciness and volume, or use clay to create the layer.
See also: 30 Best New Korean Dramas To Binge-Watch In 2021
Long fringe jaw length bob
As seen on: Blackpink's Lisa
Haircare tips: The key to this style is to create an effortlessly chic vibe. Choose hair care products with profound damage repair properties such as containing plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid, so that every time you wash your hair you are nourishing and rehydrating your strands.
Styling tips: Before blow-drying, apply a hydrating serum or blow-dry lotion with humectants to keep your strands looking plumped and hydrated. For this style, it's crucial to keep the frizz at bay. The key to shiny hair is to control the direction of the air so it goes from the hair root to the tip. Finish with a leave-in treatment that smooths the ends and tops up with moisture and shine.
See also: Blackpink's Lisa: 13 Of The K-Pop Star's Most Stylish Looks
Barbie pink or the millennial pink
As seen on: Blackpink's Rosé
Haircare tips: Asian hair colour is naturally dark and must be bleached to achieve this pink tone, but this means hair gets damaged. Use shampoo and treatment that contain hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed keratin and plant stem cells that repair damage and restructure hair shafts inside out at least twice a week. Use a treatment that penetrates and strengthens hair such as OMG Glossy treatment and leave on hair for 20–30 minutes for more repair action. This will help the colour last longer.
Styling tips: Apply plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid-infused blow-dry lotion to repair damage and enhance the volume, and leave-in treatment with heat protection and anti-UV properties before blow dry. Use curling tongs to create soft S-shape curls from the top to the bottom. Finish with Mist Beach Spray to create the beach girl vibe.
See also: Rosé From Blackpink's Most Fashionable Looks
The boy next door with centre part
As seen on: BTS' Jungkook and Park Seo-joon
Haircare tips: Haircare products with keratin, deep-sea extracts and hyaluronic acid would help create bouncy airy short strands while minimising the damage from blow-dry.
Styling tips: Use a hair spray before blow-dry to enhance the airiness and shine. Once hair is dried, use curling tongs on the hair along the forehead to create a C-shape curl. Apply some hair pomade to create that youthful, layered look.
See also: BTS Graces Louis Vuitton Men's FW21 Show In Seoul As House Ambassadors
As seen on: BTS' V
Haircare tips: Bleached and dyed hair requires a lot of nourishment and damage repair, so using hair products with outstanding damage repair action, such as containing plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid at least twice a week would be beneficial. Use a damage repairing mask such as OMG Airy Treatment on hair and leave on for 20–30 minutes before rinsing to boost the hair’s resilience and elasticity, such that even after bleaching and dyeing hair would still look airy and shiny.
Styling tips: Apply a blow-dry lotion with plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid that offers a higher degree of damage repair before blow dry with hot air. Use a medium size round brush on the hair above the eyebrows and create a C-shape while blow-drying. Finish with a leave-in treatment that protects and adds shine is crucial after bleaching and colouring.
See also: The Best BTS Gender-Defying Fashion Moments