It’s no surprise that Jessica Szohr has a knack for playing badass babes. With her sultry complexion and piercing blue eyes, she both captivates and compels, especially in her new role as Gretchen Polk in USA network’s crime drama, Complications. At Mane Addicts, we kind of have a thing for hard-hitting girls who stand up for what they believe in. So we brought in the blue-eyed beauty as our Mane Muse, enlisting Aviva Perea as the Mane Master behind it all.
Aviva and Jessica have worked together many times, so she really has a sense of how to manipulate Jessica’s natural curls, which Jessica admits is a feature she gets complimented on the most. With that in mind, we wanted to manipulate her texture and show off some styles that work great for girls’ whose hair has a little extra oomph. So we put ourselves in the hands of Aviva. Jessica gushes, “I always trust that what she does with my hair will turn out amazing. She’s wonderful.”
The first look we approached was “like a tribal beachy girl warrior,” says Aviva, who prepped her hair with Oribe Surfcomber Mousse. To get the perfect natural looking wave, she suggests “using a 1 inch curling iron, but instead of wrapping the hair around it, create an ‘s-pattern’ by holding the iron horizontally, similar to what you might do with a flat iron.” Her texturizer of choice? John Masters Organics Bourbon and Tangerine Hair Texturizer because “it smells amazing and gives just a hint of shine.”
She then separated the hair from the tip of the eyebrows to the top of the crown, sectioning away the hair underneath. The top section was then divided into 3, where she created 3 backcombed braids, twisting around her fingers to create 3 different top knots mimicking a Mohawk. From there, “I then started pulling up different pieces from the sides of her hair so she would look like a mermaid.”
The next look was inspired by a fantasy tribal princess and Aviva used real leather to wrap her braids. With a deep side part, Aviva “created an inverted French braid, wrapping two pieces of leather into the hair, one a brown braided piece, and one in solid black. When I got to the back I created random knots through the ends.”
We’re obsessed with braids for summer. In the warmer months they contain hair from humidity and add intricate detail to a style, especially if you’re a girl who avoids heat or only washes a couple of times a week. For all you curly girls out there- this is key to maintaining healthy strands, and something Jessica swears by.
The final look played off the second. The two braids were twisted together and pinned to create another Mohawk variation. Aviva secured any loose strands to make it look like she was ready for glamazonian combat. If you want to play with texture and variation in your braids, just use your fingers to pinch and pull on the sides to create added width. Then loop and pull the hair to your taste and secure with French pins. They’re easily removable so you won’t feel too committed if it doesn’t work out.
As much as we swoon over Jessica’s three looks today, don’t expect her to walk around with Mohawk braids on the reg. Her character in the show is more of a natural beauty- with a cute blunt bob and simple waves and curls. Outside the show you’ll find her wearing something different. She loves “a sleek pony tail. It’s feminine and clean.” And if you’re wondering what products Jessica keeps on her top shelf, it’s (of course) Oribe Dry Texture Spray, Klorane Dry Shampoo, and Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner.
If you want to see more of Jessica, watch her get into some trouble and kick some ass, you have to check out Complications Thursdays at 9pm on USA.
Photographer: Mike Rosenthal @mrmikerosenthal
Video: Dave Lang @thedavelang
Hair: Aviva Perea @hairbyaviva
Makeup: Mai Quynh @storyofmailife
Nails: Stephanie Stone @stephstonenails
Stylist: Sara Dinkin @fancyhipster
Produced by: Andrea Berk @aaahndrea
Art Direction: Desirae Cherie @desiraecherie
Story Written by: Justine Marjan @justinemarjan