Chloe Hill’s Instagram is a joy to behold. Her colourful and fun style epitomises “dopamine dressing” and we simply cannot keep a smile from forming when scrolling through her rainbow of stylish content.
In person too, the Wellington-based stylist, photographer, Prada nerd and founder of the platform Cool Pretty Cool is a delight - someone who has developed their own unique style, and embraces the power of fashion in expressing creativity and personality.
As obsessed as we are with her personal style, Chloe’s curly bob and bangs also make us a little green with envy. A purveyor of fun accessories, she not only shares her haircare secrets below but also encourages us to add bows, clips and scrunchies to our dos.
How is your hair so great?!
Look, not to be one of those annoying can’t-be-complimented kiwis but it’s not so great! I definitely tie it back when it’s not behaving which is more than 50 percent of the time. But I do love my curls on a good day!
Is it high maintenance?
Nope. I’m not big on putting effort into anything beauty-wise. Low effort is my motto.
Who ‘does’ it?
I cut it myself most of the time, my fringe especially.
When I’m eventually back in Sydney I’ll go to Paloma Garcia, she cuts curly hair like no other. Every time I go it’s like a reset for all the bad haircuts I’ve given myself!
What do you do to take care of it, and to define your incredible curls?
I used to swear by Bumble and Bumble and to be honest I miss their curling range so much. But I’m trying really hard to not buy plastic packaging wherever possible, so I have trialled so many hair bars instead.
For my curls, the best combo I’ve found is using Lush’s Coconut Rice Cake Shampoo Bar, then patting my hair dry before I apply Sphaera’s Nourish + Restore Conditioner Bar. I let it sit a while and then lightly rinse out; leaving a little still in my hair and sometimes applying extra, as a leave in treatment.
Then I let my curls air dry, or wear a head scarf if it’s windy so they don’t frizz out too much. It’s hard to avoid a wild head of hair in Wellington sometimes though.
We are obsessed with your curly bangs. What tips do you have for maintaining that?
Wash it regularly. And lightly twist the curls in your fingers when you get out of the shower so they air dry into nice bouncy curls. Apart from that, try not to touch them!
If they ever seem a bit flat I just give my fringe a fresh snip and I find when shorter the curls look better. Last resort is to use some thin tongs to curl any sections that aren’t behaving. The secret is to take a section and twist it, and then wrap the twist section around the tong. It gives more of a natural looking curl.
What are some of your favourite ways to style your curly bob?
I wear it half up most of the time because it’s so much easier and the curls underneath always look better than the ones on the top of my head. I love a big scrunchie or bow to accessorise with.
Where - or who - do you look to for inspiration when it comes to styling and looking after your hair?
I often ask people that follow me on Instagram for tips. I am in touch with so many people with curly hair and they give the best IRL tips.
I don’t trust beauty influencers who spruik a different curly hair product every other month and am sceptical of getting advice from anyone who doesn’t have curly hair.
Paloma Garcia is the one exception and has so many curly hair clients, somehow she gets it.
Any cute hair accessories you are currently obsessed with?
I always pull out my Prada FW15 flower hair clips, they're just the most beautiful hair accessory I’ve ever seen.
Also my Alessandra Rich floral bow clip is such a good one to clip in for a half up do when I can’t be bothered putting in any effort.
As a frequent traveller (prior to the pandemic), what are your top tips for keeping your hair in check no matter the climate (on the plane and off)?
Wash before you fly and don’t overdo the leave in products, it feels fresher and offsets that greasy hair so many people have when they step off a long haul flight.
Pack a cap and some bobby pins. If your fringe gets ruined in transit, at least you can hide it away or pin it back.
How would you describe your natural hair?
Wild and has a mind of its own!
How would you describe your relationship with your hair - today, and in the past?
Growing up all five of my siblings and my mother had straight hair, so I was never taught how to look after curls. It was cut into a bob and curls were brushed out. So I grew up trying everything I could to tame curls and get my hair as close to straight as possible. The 2000s were not kind to anyone with thick curly hair.
I tried everything from gelling my entire head of hair back into a sleek pony, getting permanent straightening treatments and having hair dressers go at my hair with thinning scissors (anyone with curly hair knows that’s a sure fire way to up the frizz).
I spent my early twenties using straightening tongs to tame my hair into a wavy shoulder length do. But finally I started to embrace my curls and one fashion week I just let them air dry naturally. All the positive reinforcement from friends and the realisation that it was so much less effort to wear my hair naturally converted me to wearing my hair curly all the time.
I cut my fringe about a year later, after watching this hilarious video. I still use this pull into the middle and snip method and it works so well, so thanks to that wonderful woman for the inspiration!
After I had my baby a bit over a year ago my curls dropped a lot and my hair thinned a bit, but they’re getting back to normal now and hopefully when I drop breastfeeding completely they’ll be right back to pre baby curls.
Who else do you think has great hair?
Roxie Mohebbi has the most amazing head of hair in Aotearoa!
Any current hair trends you’d be keen to try?
I just googled “2022 hair trends” hahahahahahahahahahaha! That’s how out of the loop I am with beauty stuff. Look, I think I’ll be playing it safe and adding accessories here and there, pretty keen to track down some OG butterfly clips to be honest.
Any other good hair tips?
There are so many amazing plastic free hair care options out there. Don’t get discouraged if you try one bar and it’s s**t, keep trying more until you land on one that is perfect for you.
Also if you’re thinking of wearing your hair natural after years of using tongs or irons, give it a go. Just try it out here and there on the weekend, look for people that have similar hair to you and ask them for tips. Curls are really different and you need to get advice from someone who has a similar texture and thickness.