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Gwen Stefani: Blonde Pop Star!


It's No Doubt that Gwendolyn Renee Stefani is on fire.  

Everything the famous California native touches turns to platinum, including her perpetually edgy tresses.

Gwen's platinum blonde hues, inspired by famous actress Jean Harlow, always instantly sets new hair trends. 

The award winning Libran (October 3, 1969) pop star appeared at the 2005 American Music Awards with her platinum blonde tresses coiffed in a sizzling new hairdo .

Designed around a high quiff which extended from forehead to crown, Gwen instantly reinvented her hairstyle and triggered a new hair trend.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with quiff and loose waves - 33rd Annual American Music Awards - 11-22-05 - - all rights reserved).

Harajuku Looks

Gwen transitioned from her recent Harajuku fashion into a more eclectic look which combined dressy jeans with a sultry black jacket. The platinum blonde queen added her unique touch with charm laden accessories.  She accessorized with gold dangling necklaces and matching bracelets.

Earlier in November Gwen performed at a sold-out Hollywood Bowl show.  Her show was followed by a late-night star-studded launch of her eagerly anticipated Harajuku Lovers fashion line.  The launch took place at the famed Hollywood Museum.

Hanging with Gwen were members of The Black Eye Peas, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, along with other Hollywood notables.

Gwen told the media: "Harajuku Lovers can be anything that inspires me -- T shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, hats, belts, wristbands, hair accessories".

After she received an award in recognition of "Hollaback Girl" being downloaded one million times, Gwen and her Harajuku girls hung out and partied into the wee hours.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with short loose waves - Harajuku Lovers - Apparel Line Preview - 2005)

Don't Try This At Home

Although she's played with outrageous hair hues such as vibrant pinks, white with black stripes and a few other color variations, for the most part Gwen hugs the platinum blonde curve.

Achieving Gwen's platinum tones isn't easy to achieve, especially on hair which is medium to dark brown.  For most hair, bleach is required to lift more then 2-3 levels.

Bleaching hair should be left to a professional, especially if several levels of color must be lifted to achieve the white blonde platinum hue Gwen has adopted.

The all American girl loves retro styles which range from an adaptation of Jean Harlow's Hollywood blonde bombshell look to 40's hair rolls.

Who better to play Harlow in the 2004 movie The Aviator then Gwen? Harlow fans reported the pop queen nailed Harlow's bleach blonde style.

When not channeling a famous sex siren like Harlow, Gwen will try anything if the mood strikes her regarding hair styles, fashion and makeup.

Over the past few years Gwen has become better known for her platinum blonde hues. 

Sometimes she morphs slightly to the right or left of platinum adopting buttery or lemony blondes with some stark white streaks.  For the most part she prefers the goddess white on white blonde hues.

(Image of Gwen Stefani (above) with Jean Harlow style finger waves - 18 Annual American Cinematheque Award - 11-14-03 - - all rights reserved).

Steal Gwen's Quiff Style

Her latest quiff-meets-pompadour look is a new deviation from some of her recent modified mohawk and rolled pompadour inspired hair styles.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with quiff and front hair roll - Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy Premiere - June 26, 2005 -

Definition Of A Hair Quiff

What the heck is a quiff (pronounced kwi-ff) hairstyle?

The hairstyle is a throwback to the badass hair looks of the 50s and the early 60s.

Originally true quiffs were worn by guys that often donned lots of chains and leather jackets and looked like they would kick your butt in a dark alley, given the chance.

A softer roller version of the quiff was also introduced in the 40s after World War II.

Step By Step Instructions

When I asked famed Hollywood hairdresser Robert Hallowell about Gwen's exotic new quiff hairstyle, he graciously provided detailed suggestions on how to recreate it.

Complete the following steps to copy Gwen's look:


Gwen's hair has been bleached, colored and highlighted for years.  Robert recommends a special conditioning program should be followed by anyone with bleach or colored hair to infuse tresses with a glossy look just like Gwen's strands.

Consider using either a pre-shampoo or post-shampoo conditioner.  Combine those with regular deep conditioning and leave-in conditioning products.

To protect bleached, highlighted or colored tresses, start by dousing hair completely with lukewarm water.  

Avoid hot temperatures which speed color fading.  It may also dry hair even further. 

Select a super hydrating cleansing formula to condition tresses. 

(Image of Gwen Stefani with quiff and loose waves - 33rd Annual American Music Awards - 11-22-05 - - all rights reserved).


Rinse well after one application of cleansing formula.  If shampoo is not completely rinsed out, a soap film may remain on strands resulting in dull, crunchy, dry or hard to manage.

When you've finished rinsing your strands, gently squeeze out excess water with your fingers. Apply your favorite rinse-out conditioning product. 

Match the rinse out conditioner to your hair type, texture and condition. Focus the conditioner on the driest parts of your hair.  Avoid the roots unless desired.

Allow rinse out conditioner to remain on hair for five minutes or as desired.

Rinse well.

Finish with a cool to cold water rinse.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with quiff and loose waves - 33rd Annual American Music Awards - 11-22-05 - - all rights reserved).


Blot strands with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to remove excess drippage.

Apply your favorite detangling and/or leave-in conditioning products based on your type, texture and current condition of your strands.

If you have fine or thin strands, use very light products.  For medium to thicker strands, use heavier products.


To recreate Gwen's quiff,  apply a straightening balm or similar product.

Robert noted "not everyone can wear a quiff like Gwen."

Limit the height of the style if your face shape is super long, thin or angular. This style can add needed height to round faces.  It can also work well for oval shapes too.  Use your own judgment when creating this style.

Distribute a dime-sized dollop of balm into the palms of your hands. Mix well. Use fingers to rake the product completely through your tresses.

Apply a heat protection product before using any type of hot tools.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with front quiff that flowed into a more traditional French Twist updo - 2004 Golden Globes - - all rights reserved).


Separate hair into 2" sections. Blow dry straight with a large paddle or flat brush starting near the back of the head.  Work around to the front on either side.

Use a large paddle style brush to blow dry and straighten large amounts of hair at the same time. 

Blow-dry hair in half-inch pieces using a large round brush to create more volume and movement.


Use a flat iron to create a super straight finish.   Touch up any sections of hair which require a smoother texture by quickly passing the iron through it. 


Brush hair to completely detangle. Use fingers and a brush to direct all hair towards the back of the head, off the forehead area.


Working with a tail comb make a clean diagonal part which extends from ear to ear along the top of the head.  Separate hair into two major sections. The sections will be separated by the diagonal part.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with front quiff that flowed into a more traditional French Twist updo - 2004 Golden Globes - - all rights reserved).


Create a nape level ponytail out of the bottom section of the hair using an elastic or bungee style band in the same color of your hair.   Clip all the top hair to one side to keep it out of the way.


Begin at the front of the hairline.  Separate out a small section of hair which is approximately 1-2 inches in thickness. Use your hands in conjunction with a boar bristle brush to lift a target section of hair,  Begin to back brush.

Experiment with the thickness of each section that is backcombed to determine the amount of teasing required to achieve desired fullness and height.


Hold the ends of the top section straight out from the scalp with one hand.

Backcomb hair towards the base with sharp sweeping strokes.  Combine the brush and wrist in a fluid motion against the underside of the hair.  Utilize a hand motion similar to scooping ice cream away from your body to achieve the best fullness.

Employ a brush instead of a comb to minimize hair damage.  Back brushing makes it easier to achieve really big hair than a comb.


Continue to back brush the first top section of hair until you achieve the desired height and fullness. When the volume you desire has been achieve, spray the entire section with a firm hold hairspray.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with slight front quiff - 2005 MTV Video Music Awards - 8-28-05 - - all rights reserved).


Pick up the next section of hair underneath and repeat the same steps. Continue to back brush and spray with hair spray until all of the back hair that is not in the ponytail section is completely backcombed.


Pick up the next section of hair underneath and repeat the same steps. Continue to back brush and spray with hair spray until all of the back hair that is not in the ponytail section is completely backcombed.


Using your hands and a regular comb which is position to lay flatly against the backcombed strands, gently smooth and mold the teased hair section on either side of the head allowing the middle section to remain untouched.


Using interlocking bobby pins in the same color as your hair form a complete line of pins extending from the base of the head to the top of the crown to hold back each newly smoothed side. The center section of teased hair should be left untouched at this point.


Using your hands and a brush, carefully smooth the center section of hair and push the section up as you smooth to form the high quiff look.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with small front quiff and add-on pony extension hair - 2005 MTV Video Music Awards - 8-28-05 - - all rights reserved).


Direct the center section down to the back of the crown and then merge with the hair that is overflowing the bobby pins on either side.


Use hands to gently push the new ponytail up until the desired top quiff height is desired.  Create a loose ponytail at the middle of the head that is above the bottom hair. Use an elastic or bungee style cord in the same color of the hair to capture the top and side hair sections.  Position the "tail" of the pony so it can flow freely.


Release the bottom ponytail and merge the "tail" of the top pony into the loose bottom hair.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with front quiff and ponytail - Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy Premiere - June 26, 2005 -


Use a medium barrel curling iron to form medium sized curls. Release each newly formed curl and pin to the back of the head to cool.  Curl all loose hair.  Work from side to side.


Right before leaving the house spray new curls completely with a strong hold hair spray.

Remove the pins and use fingers to gently tousle the new waves and curls.


Apply a drop or two of a shine serum drops to the palms of your hands. Rub the serum into the palms to mix.

Glide the serum infused palms over the top of the style to add instant shimmer and shine.

Try a lighter shine spray product if you wish.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with modified front quiff held in place with hairnets at CD Release Party for Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" - 11-14-2004 - - all rights reserved).


Spray well with hairspray to create an extra glossy look to the style.


Add a small hair comb or other barrettes or jeweled bobby pins to cover up the bobby pin seams on either side of the style. Or use a small piece of hair and position over the bobby pins to cover.

Attach hair accessories only after adding all styling products.

Optional Hairstyle

The beauty of Gwen's basic hair style is that it can transition into a variety of styles.

For a different look, smooth all the back and side hair into a soft chignon or classic French Twist.  If you prefer less structure, pull loose hair into a pony.

Create ripples of soft waves throughout the crown.  Use your fingers to lightly rake through the hair creating the desired texture.

(Image of Gwen Stefani with finger waved quiff and soft chignon - at 2004 MTV Video Awards - August 29, 2004 - - all rights reserved).


Gwen Stefani is a true hair trendsetter.

As a result, her version of the quiff/pompadour hairstyle most likely will show up on celebrities in Hollywood during the upcoming award seasons.

It's a classic hairstyle which will never really go out of style.  As a result, it will continue to cycle back into hair popularity over time.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.


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