How to get Carrie Bradshaw hair: expert step-by-step tips to achieve those iconic curls and more

Who doesn't want Carrie Bradshaw hair? And just like that—here's how you get four of her most fabulous styles

Sarah Jessica Parker with icocnic curly Carrie Bradshaw Hair on the set of and just like that
(Image credit: Getty images)

Ever wondered how you can get Carrie Bradshaw hair? You're not alone. Carrie's iconic coiffures are just one of the reasons to watch And Just Like That, the reboot of our favorite fashion-centric show, Sex and the City. Just as her ever-evolving wardrobe has been a constant source of inspiration, Carrie Bradshaw hair and the many styles thereof have had a major influence on our beauty routines since the show first aired back in 1998.  

“I always found that her hair stole the show and was the perfect finish to any outfit she wore,” says Adam Reed, Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. From the voluminous curls that made their debut in season one to low-effort high-impact easy hairstyles like beach hair waves, the New Yorker’s hairstyle repertoire is ultra versatile. “We really saw a hair evolution over the seasons that has pushed and changed beauty trends—still to this day,” adds Reed.

So once you've nailed down how to dress like Carrie Bradshaw why not give her famous 'do a go too? We've charted Carrie’s four most iconic hair looks and how you can recreate them at home with expert tips from pro stylists Adam Reed and Syd Hayes. 

Carrie Bradshaw hair: A step-by-step masterclass

1. Classic Carrie Curls

Carrie Bradshaw Hair - classic curls

(Image credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor)

Appearing on-screen in series one, Carrie’s classic curls quickly became her most famous hairstyle. They’re voluminous, disheveled yet defined, and, according to Reed, can be achieved on hair that isn’t naturally curly. Hurrah! If you have naturally curly hair, skip to step four, straight-haired types start from step one.  

  • Step 1: Prep is key. “If you don’t have a naturally curly hairstyle and you want to achieve this look, apply L’Oreal Professionnel TECNI.ART Pli, on dry, clean hair and blast dry,” says Reed. The spray will add bounce and help you build the perfect curls. 
  • Step 2: Blow dry. “It’s so important to use a hairdryer effectively and efficiently when creating Carrie's curls and volume. Ensure that you rough dry your hair on medium heat and medium power," advises BaByliss Ambassador and International Session Stylist Syd Hayes. "Too hot and you'll end up with frazzled, dry ends."
  • Step 3: Start curling. “Next, start taking sections of hair from the back of your head and using one of the best curling irons, wrap each section around the barrel of the tong and repeat this until you reach the top of the hair,” says Reed. His top tip? “It’s important to take small sections if you want to get the iconic Carrie Bradshaw curls.”
  • Step 4: Cool your curls. “Let the curls cool before applying a texturizing salt spray and then shake your head upside down for great volume,” says Reed. For naturally curly hair you can jump in at this point to achieve that matte, beachy Carrie Bradshaw hair. A helping hand from the best hair styling products will help the look stick around. 

Our beauty editor recommends…

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L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Pli Shaper | RRP: $22.80/£16.50

Mist before or during blow-drying to lift roots and create long-lasting body and bounce that looks like you’ve stepped straight out of the salon.  

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ghd Curve Creative Curl Wand |RRP: $199/£129

Invest in this foolproof curling wand that features a small barrel for tight curls and a heat-up time of 25 seconds. Need more advice? learn how to curl hair (opens in new tab)for perfect Carrie curls.

2. Oversized Messy Bun

Carrie Bradshaw hair in a messy bun

(Image credit: Bill Davila / Contributor)

“Carrie’s signature oversized bun is a look I adore as I love creating effortless texture in hair,” says Adam Reed. Requiring minimal effort but offering maximum impact, the messy bun is one of the easiest hair up styles to achieve that looks great on everyone. If you don't have the natural length and volume to recreate the XXL Carrie Bradshaw hair bun, backcomb your ponytail and fill it with a blast of the best dry shampoo to bulk it up. 

  • Step 1: Start with a ponytail. “Pull all the hair up into a high ponytail hairstyle and don't worry if it's not tidy,” says Reed, “the beauty of this look is how perfectly undone it is.”
  • Step 2: Create the bun. “Begin wrapping the hair around the ponytail to create the bun. Then secure it with some hair pins.” Again, don't worry about making it too neat and remember to slide bobby pins in 'bumpy' side down for grip that lasts the day.
  • Step 3: Apply product. “Finish by applying L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Super Dust into hands and scrunching the bun for added texture.” Any texturizing products will work well for this. 

Our beauty editor recommends…

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VERB Volume Texture Powder | RRP: $18/£16

Work this savvy spray into your messy bun to add texture. Tapioca starch boosts volume while pro-vitamin B5 and glycerin (opens in new tab) hydrate and soften strands. 

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Slip Skinnies | RRP: $39/£39

Secure your ponytail with a Slip skinny scrunchie. Crafted from mulberry silk, the luxurious hair tie holds hair up without tugging or creasing. 

3. Glamorous Flowing Waves

Carrie Bradshaw hair - flowing waves

(Image credit: James Devaney / Contributor)

Cascading flowing waves are a go-to Carrie Bradshaw hair look. Appearing in both Sex and The City films as well as And Just Like That, the glamourous style is often seen paired with blonde highlights in hair. To recreate the look, you’ll need to learn how to blow-dry hair as well as invest in some staple styling products. 

"The key to creating Carrie's undone waves is to stop regularly whilst styling and take a second to see how the hair is behaving," says Hayes. "You need to know when enough is enough, it’s too easy to get lost in the process and over style."

  • Step 1: Prep the hair. “Use a styling product that ensures heat styling will hold in the hair,” says Reed. As well as using the best hair dryer for your hair type, we recommend ghd’s Curly Ever After Curl Hold Spray boasting heat protection and great hold.
  • Step 2: Start waving. “Begin to blow-dry the hair with a big round brush,” says Reed, as this will create volume and shape. “Then use a tong to achieve those big waves.” For long hairstyles that look better with big waves, try a larger barrel. 
  • Step 3: Cool your waves. “Leave the curls to cool down before applying an anti-frizz finishing spray. Finish by shaking out the curls to achieve a beautiful, relaxed wavy hairstyle.”

Our beauty editor recommends…

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ghd Curly Ever After Curl Hold Spray | RRP: $22 /£18

This A-lister-approved product protects your strands from heat damage while also extending the life of your waves. Double win!

L'Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Fix Anti Frizz | RRP: £11.50
This lightweight spray can be spritzed all over strands to give your style lasting hold without the crunchiness of traditional hair sprays. Expect smooth, shiny strands without flyaways.  (opens in new tab)

L'Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Fix Anti Frizz | RRP: £11.50

This lightweight spray can be spritzed all over strands to give your style lasting hold without the crunchiness of traditional hair sprays. Expect smooth, shiny strands without flyaways. 

4. Straight & Sleek

Carrie Bradshaw hair straight

(Image credit: Getty)

It’s not often we see Carrie without her curls, but in Sex And The City's earlier seasons she was spotted wearing her hair in a sleek long hairstyle as well as in straight and wavy long bob hairstyles. Her most recent appearance in And Just Like That also features a straight style. “Carrie’s sleek and straight look has beautiful fluidity and volume, rather than being poker straight,” says Reed. 

  • Step 1: Prep the hair. “Start by rubbing L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Blow-dry Fluidifier between hands and running through the hair," says Reed. This prep product creates a beautifully smooth base that holds heat styling in place, as well as offering essential heat protection.
  • Step 2: Blow-dry. “Next, take each section and blow-dry from the root through to the ends using a big round bristle brush." Rather than aiming for root lift as you would in a bouncy blow dry, Reed recommends creating tension for sleek Carrie Bradshaw hair. "Keep the nozzle close to the hair all the way down, curving the ends into the brush to get that natural next-day hair look.” 

If you find that your finished look isn’t as sleek as you’d like, go over the hair with one of the best hair straighteners, working quickly so as to not over straighten strands. "I like to gently press the hair rather than holding the straighter tightly and dragging—this way you don’t loose any of the shine," says Hayes who's go-to tool is the cordless Babyliss 9000 hair straightener.

Our beauty editor recommends…

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Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer | RRP: $399.99/£299.99

For a salon-worthy blow dry in the comfort of your home, treat your strands to this next-level Dyson hair dryer (opens in new tab). The styling concentrator attachment creates a high-velocity blade of air that's perfect for sleek looks. 

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L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Blow-Dry Fluidifier | RRP: $20/£17

This multi-tasking hair hero boasts heat protection, anti-frizz properties as well as strand smoothing benefits. Simply work it into towel-dried hair, from lengths to ends, then blow-dry.

BaByliss Cordless Straightener | RRP: £200
"A complete game changer to the backstage world, the cordless tech will give you the freedom to create amazing sleek styles wherever you are," says Hayes.  (opens in new tab)

BaByliss Cordless Straightener | RRP: £200

"A complete game changer to the backstage world, the cordless tech will give you the freedom to create amazing sleek styles wherever you are," says Hayes. 


woman&home thanks Adam Reed and Syd Hayes for their time and expertise. 

Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.