Beauty And The Beat: “Shower, Mask, Spray, Leave.” Haim’s On-Tour Hair Secrets, Revealed
If you’ve ever wondered what Fleetwood Mac would sound like minus the hirsute members and souped up with modern R&B licks, percussive breakdowns, and vocal harmonies (and we have), then Haim would probably be the resulting musical lovechild. The three San Fernando Valley sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim, learned their way around their instruments and microphones playing in Rockinhaim for ten years, another band fronted by their parents. But since 2008, they’ve been making music away from mom and dad, and their solo stuff has had a bit more staying power. So far, 2012 has proved a big year for the trio: Since releasing their debut EP, the sunny “Forever,” they’ve toured to rapturous acclaim. Ahead of a major junket in the U.K. with Florence and the Machine, and the release of their new EP, “Don’t Save Me,” Style.com caught up with Este to talk poor senior-year-haircut judgment, how the sister act keeps their signature beach-y waves so shiny, and the benefits of sharing a closet with “the coolest bitches on the block.”—Eleanor Morgan
So. How’s touring going?
The tour has been insane. Like, last night we went to a restaurant and had a topless photo shoot, and we’ve been to places like Iceland—it was so beautiful; I never dreamed I’d ever go there. When we got to Brussels, we were headlining a show, and it was crazy: We thought there’d be, like, five people there. You can never believe you have fans across the world.
Well, you clearly do—Florence Welch has asked you to join her on tour in December, no small feat.
I know! It hasn’t even hit me yet. Every time I think about it I get excited. It’s such a huge, huge compliment that she asked us; we’re huge fans. She’s a magical performer—so magnetic, fun, and beautiful to watch. And her style is so sick. It will be the biggest crowd we’ve ever played for—it’s, like, 20,000 people at a time. The last show we played in London was the first time we heard our lyrics sang back to us. It was a pretty incredible feeling.
I saw you play in London, and your mom and dad came on for a cover of “Mustang Sally.” Presumably your parents won’t be around for this round of shows, but do you still plan on doing a bunch of covers?
We can’t do those songs without our parents! It just wouldn’t be right.
Fair enough. You and your sisters share a few similar sensibilities with Florence, particularly her oft-reported love for R&B. Do you anticipate any backstage collaborations?
I hope it’s a dance party every night. When we went to her after-show at the Hollywood Bowl [in Los Angeles], we just danced to Stevie Nicks and Prince till midnight. We danced so hard, like it was the last day of our lives.
That sounds perfect. Do you love being on tour?
We love being on tour more than anything. The only bummer is trying to find good vegan options—there’s only so many times you can eat Subway, you know? I think there’s gypsy blood in our family tree, so we like moving around a lot. I do miss my bed, though, and my Tempur-Pedic mattress. I love meeting new people everywhere we go, though, and hanging out with new friends.
I imagine maintaining any kind of regular beauty regimen can be pretty challenging on tour, too. Any secrets, especially for maintaining your collective L’Oreal advert-like hair?
Our hair is our obsession. Our mom refused to cut our hair growing up, so we looked like Little House on the Prairie girls—in every picture of us as kids, our hair is at our hips or below. It was down to our knees at some points! We were all in dance classes from when we were babies, too, so we looked like toddlers in tiaras but, you know, not creepy. Now, we use products by Oribe, especially the Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray. We use that to keep our beach-y, wavy vibe. We don’t fuck with our hair a lot, though—we put a bit of that in, and we’re out the door. If I’m going on a date I’ll maybe put a curl in, but if I’m on tour it’s: shower, mask, spray, leave.
What about makeup? Presumably you all have one communal treasure trove?
We do share everything. The more I meet new people, the more I realize how rare it is to get on with your siblings like we do. We even share food—it’s like a Lazy Susan, the plates just rotate clockwise. Skin-wise, though, we take that shit seriously. Our biggest beauty tip would be sunscreen—especially being in Cali and in the sun every day. It’s so important. Oh, and washing your face before bed; I never go to sleep without taking off makeup. We love Kiehl’s Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser and Lush products—stuff like their Coalface Soap seem to be great for our complexion, and run-of-the-mill moisturizers from Origins and Mario Badescu. When it comes to clothes, we joke that we have one huge closet that we all share from. The only real time we get into tiffs is when it’s, like, “I wanted to wear the Harley Davidson shirt today” and someone else says, “OK, let’s flip for it.” The only thing we don’t share is mascara, but everything else is up for grabs.
Have you guys ever had any questionable style phases?
In my senior year I had a mullet that was bleached blond—with bangs! I had the worst acne I’ve ever had then, too, and the mullet washed me out. It went down to the middle of my back, which I would often part and braid, and the bangs went straight across my forehead. Bear in mind this was 2004. I did it because Scarlett Johansson had a mullet. That’s the look I was going for anyway, but I went about it totally the wrong way. I got it done at a hairdressing school and the person doing it had never done one before. It looked horrendous but, personally, I thought I looked bangin’. Now I look at pictures and I’m like, I cannot believe my sisters let me leave the house. My hair is like that for my senior portrait; that is what everyone will remember me forever for.
Haha. Happens to the best of us. Aside form ScarJo, have there been any other style icons in your life, musicians, or otherwise?
Forever and always Jane Birkin. Apart from her, when I was a kid, I was really into the way TLC dressed. Now I love how Diana Ross dresses, and look to those Drew Barrymore Guess ads, and Suzi Quatro for inspiration. Oh, and Tina Weymouth. She’s great.
Photo: Courtesy of Big Hassle