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Top five celebrity hairstyles

  • Story Highlights
  • InStyle readers vote on top celebrity hairstyles
  • Stylist: Reese Witherspoon's tapered bangs look modern, edgy
  • Stylist: Angelina Jolie's silky hair needs product for texture
  • Stylist: Jessica Simpson's hair is "touchable" but not fussy
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By Gina Way
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( -- Thousands of InStyle readers voted on the hottest hair in Hollywood, and the tally is in. Here are five winners--plus great insider tips from their personal stylists. Drumroll, please...

Baby powder keeps Reese Witherspoon's bangs from looking greasy.

Reese Witherspoon's tapered bangs

Witherspoon has long layers--all below the chin--and choppy bangs that end around her eyebrows. To keep bangs from looking too severe, hairstylist Mark Townsend cuts them a half inch longer on each side, rather than straight across.

"This way she can wear them to either side or straight down," he says. After cutting the shape of the bangs, he holds the scissors vertically to chop into the ends, creating subtle layers. "This makes bangs softer and less blunt," he says, "so they look modern and edgy."

Her Expert's Styling Secrets

1. Raise the volume

For fullness, Townsend blow-dries with a medium-size round brush. Holding the brush horizontally, he rolls the bangs under and pulls toward the nose; then, with the brush vertical, he½ dries them to the side.

2. Go soft, not stiff

Townsend applies hairspray to an eyebrow brush and grazes over bangs. "This little brush gets to the base so bangs stay in the direction you want them to go," he says. Plus, if you don't spray directly onto bangs, they won't look or feel stiff.

3. Bend the ends

Finish the fringe with a domed flatiron. Start 1/2 inch from roots and bend the iron toward the ends of the bangs. "The plates help round out the ends, rather than giving a flat, straight look," says Townsend.

4. Take a powder

Bangs that sit on your skin can get oily. For a quick clean sans shampoo, Townsend dusts his hands with baby powder, rubs them together, and runs them through hair. "This keeps hair from looking greasy--the powder absorbs the oil," he says.

Jennifer Aniston's sleek, shiny layers

"Jennifer has long layers with a slightly A-line shape," explains her longtime hairstylist Chris McMillan, "so there's less height and more fullness at the bottom." When he trims her hair, he combs it back and cuts it straight across. After her hair dries, he holds the scissors vertically and snips into the ends of the front pieces so they're slightly jagged. "Just a little layering creates a softer edge," he says. If you have fine hair, McMillan suggests you go a little blunter with the cut to accentuate fullness.

Her expert's styling secrets

1. Keep it light

Too much product can make this style appear lank and heavy. To control frizz and protect from heat, McMillan rubs a drop of smoothing serum on his hands and runs them through damp ends before blow-drying. "I use a little more on the ends after the hair is dry to create shine and nice separation," he says.

2. Make movement

McMillan blow-dries with a large round brush to smooth and straighten Aniston's natural waves. His technique: "When her hair is almost dry, I wrap each section around the brush like a roller, let it cool, then pull it down. You get a slight bend and swing, but not a curl."

3. Don't iron roots

Prevent a pressed-straight look by flatironing only from mid-shaft to the ends. "You don't want to lose fullness at the crown by ironing the roots," says McMillan. His tension on the iron starts loose and gets firmer toward the ends to maintain a bit of bounce throughout the mid-section of the hair.

4. Smooth flyaways

Heat from blow-drying and ironing can create flyaways. To keep them under control without shellacking Aniston's swingy strands, McMillan spritzes some hairspray onto his fingertips--not directly onto the hair--then passes them gently over the sections around the face.

Eva Longoria's glamorous curls

Longoria's hair falls to the middle of her back. Instead of chopping her long hair, stylist Ken Paves uses shorter hairpieces to create different looks. "It's a modern, long shag with lots of layers," he says, noting that the shortest pieces end at her nose. "This much layering reduces the weight on Eva's thick hair and adds movement that enhances her naturally wavy texture."

Her expert's styling secrets

1. Protect from heat

A conditioning spray on damp hair shields strands from heat damage. "It also helps to smooth and seal the cuticle so it reflects light, which adds shine," says Paves, who recommends misting thick hair from mid-shaft down. If you have fine hair, try a volume-building spray instead.

2. Blow-dry a base

Blow-dry using a large round brush to get height at the crown and a smooth, polished texture on top, says Paves. On the sides, he holds the brush at a 45-degree angle ("closer to horizontal than vertical") as he blow-dries hair, rolling sections up and back to give the face an open and lifted look.

3. Reinforce the curl

To give longevity to Eva's curls, Paves starts on the sides, wrapping 2-inch sections around a large-barrel curling iron (1 1/2-inch) and spiraling back, away from the face (at the same angle he round-brushed the hair). The top sections are wrapped away from the face and angled down.

4. Set with spray

Paves smoothes over the top section with a paddle brush that has been spritzed with hairspray. On the sides "I use a wide-tooth comb to separate and lift curls in the same direction I rolled them," he explains, "while I mist hairspray into the hair to give it volume and movement."

Angelina Jolie's bombshell blowout

Jolie had four inches trimmed to get this subtly layered, below-the-shoulder cut. Hairstylist David Babaii, who often works with the actress, says "it's a classic Vidal Sassoon 'round layer cut,' which creates cascading layers that reduce some of the weight in her hair so it flows better. The key is not to over-frame the face with too many choppy layers."

Her expert's styling secrets

1. Raise the volume

"Angelina's hair is so silky it needs product to give it just a bit of texture," Babaii says. "Wave spray does that, so long, straight hair gets an instant lift." He sprays the roots of damp hair, then blow-dries starting on top with a medium round brush, rolling sections away from the face.

2. Vary the curl

On top, he wraps 1- or 2-inch sections of hair around the barrel of a 1½-inch curling iron, hot-roller-style, curling hair away from the face. On the sides, he holds the iron vertically to wrap sections back, then slides the iron out and hair-clips the underside of each curl close to the scalp.

3. Give it a lift

Once the curl has cooled and he unwraps the clips, he uses a flat, firm-bristle toothbrush that has been spritzed with a little hairspray to back-comb the base of each section. He starts about 1 inch from the roots and brushes back toward the scalp. The friction builds fullness and hold.

4. Loosen the set

Babaii uses a boar-bristle paddle brush to gently brush through the hair. The bristles graze the top layers so you don't lose the lift at the base. He then shakes the hair out using his fingers. "This smooths the hair and opens it up but doesn't flatten it," Babaii explains.

Jessica Simpson's tousled waves

Skimming below her shoulders, Simpson's hair is "lightly layered, with a few shorter pieces in the front curving around the face," explains her hairstylist, Ken Paves. The strands gradually blend into a longer, less choppy length toward the back, which "pulls hair away from the face and allows it to lie better." Paves wanted to give Simpson something "touchable" that would "never be fussy"; he believes this lightly layered look is "versatile and universally flattering on any woman." But, he warns, "don't over-layer the sides and base or you'll end up with a long shag."

Her expert's styling secrets

1. Keep waves in

For this look, don't blow-dry hair smooth. "There's no reason to take out the natural wave that will hold this curl," explains Paves, who starts by applying a mousse to damp hair. While diffusing, he uses his fingers to tousle hair instead of a round brush, which can straighten. "This leaves the wavy texture in," he says.

2. Use two irons

Paves relies on two sizes of curling irons (1-inch and 1 1/2-inch barrels) to simulate a more natural curl pattern. "I use the larger iron on the top sections, from the temple up, to create volume and a looser wave," he says. Curl sections randomly to keep the look slightly uneven and imperfect.

3. Don't clamp down

To create a looser, undone feel, Paves pulls a 2-inch section of hair toward the face, and twirls it with his finger twice before wrapping it lightly around the iron, then rolling it back away from the face. "Winding hair around the barrel, rather than clamping the ends and rolling, prevents ringlet curls that are too defined," he says.

4. Break it up

Once the hair has cooled, use your fingers to gently loosen and break up the curls. Paves lifts and shakes hair while simultaneously misting a light spray wax to add fullness and hold. "But don't touch the finished style when it's still warm," he warns, "or you'll get fuzz and flyaways." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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