Detra Smith On How Her “Reincarnation” Series Came to Life


Alabama-based hairstylist and Olivia Garden educator Detra Smith‘s Reincarnation draws inspiration from mixed media artists that use unexpected twists to add a touch of whimsy to their canvases. “I like repurposing materials and turning them into art,” says Smith, who used special, nontraditional techniques to craft these colorful hairstyles.

Showcasing the hairstyling is model Jeanette Schock. Daryna Barykina photographed the shoot, while Hannah Henderson supplied glam.

We got the inside scoop from Smith herself about how Reincarnation came to be. And she generously shared how she created each look.

Look One

This look is inspired by geometry and the movement of flat waves in the wind. Avant-garde techniques were used to create each section, which were then arranged into the overall organic shape.

  • Step 1: Push and pull flat waves into 12” lengths of weft hair with the OG Ceramic + Ion Flat Iron. This technique mimics finger waves.
  • Step 2: Wind the threaded edge of the wefts around a pipe cleaner that matches the color. Bend the pipe cleaner so that the hair moves into the desired direction.
  • Step 3: Use the OG Ceramic +Ion Flat Iron to smooth a 20” ponytail. Finish the hair with the OG Divine DV4 100% Boar Bristle Brush. Put 1 Styrofoam ball on a dowel rod. Then, secure the hair with a small elastic around the ball as if creating a bubble ponytail. Add another ball to the rod and repeat the process.
  • Step 4: Zigzag hair back and forth over a hair pin. Use the OG Ceramic + Flat Iron to press the hair flat on the pin. Then, pull the pin out of the hair, and it will leave the zigzag pattern.

Look Two

Additionally, look two is inspired by the freedom of the butterfly. The juxtaposition of textures adds movement and interest.

  • Step 1: Cut hair from wefts with the OG Edge Razor to prevent blunt ends. Spread the hair on waxed paper in a layer so thin you can see through it. Then, spray it with a wet lacquer spray. Use the OG Ceramic + Ion Hair Dryer and Snap-On Finger Diffuser to dry the hair in place. It should resemble a web.
  • Step 2: Use the OG Ceramic + Ion Flat Iron and Mixed Style Up Brush to smooth long hair into a bubble ponytail. Then, place a small Styrofoam ball inside each bubble to create perfectly shaped spheres.
  • Step 3: Keep coils of hair together and spread with your hands to make soft textured waves. Do not stretch and separate the coils to prevent frizz.
  • Step 4: Spray thin textured pieces of hair until they are stiff. Then, cut into small strips. Place the strips into your desired shape and glue them together individually.

Look Three

The final look draws inspiration from the celestial sunrise.

  • Step 1: Use the same technique as Look 2 to create a web-like texture.
  • Step 2: Again use the OG Ceramic + Flat Iron and a hair pin to press the hair into a zigzag pattern.
  • Step 3: Smooth small pieces of hair with the OG Ceramic + Ion Flat Iron to lay down any flyaways. Then, crochet the hair in a chain stitch with a large crochet needle.

Be sure to keep an eye on Smith’s Instagram for more of her incredible work.

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