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The Three Secrets of Glunge

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If you sip mocktails, are accused of having affluenza and your urban brunch includes a cronut, you’re ready for “glunge.” As you Cosmo readers know, glunge is a style that juxtaposes glam and grunge and now glunge is a top-of-mind hair trend for 2016. No matter what age you are, think back to your senior prom and remember the way your clean hair was curled into perfect spirals and locked in place with likely glittery pins. Now fast forward to right after that perfection worked its way out and ruminate on how the loose curls softly framed your face at 4:30 in the morning. That’s the look we’re going for this year and no, it’s not too late. It’s the sans-salt, sleek and clean 2016 version of the “beach look.”

Just like your hair doesn’t actually look like that right after your hair air dries when you leave the beach (as if!), you’re not going to pull off a stylish glunge style the day after anything anymore. There are three keys to achieving great glunge day-to-day.

Barrel Size

Go out and buy a bigger-barreled curling iron than you normally use for your curly style. Even a freshly-curled strand should have a soft shape and lose bounce to it as opposed to a springy, strict spiral shape. The new trend is the antithesis of the days of winding up a spiral curl and spraying the hairspray right onto the iron until it sizzles. Trust us, it smells better too.

Pro tip: If you’re going the curler route, keep hot rollers away and reach for what we call the “evolved soup can” or Velcro curlers.

Finger Styling

Ditch the teasing comb that makes hair too big which subliminally equates to trying too hard, stop brushing your way to static and simply flip your head over and back then separate strands that were curled together with your fingers so that chunks are visible, but the sections are smaller, smoother and less even than originally set. No symmetry should exist when you are done.


Yes, texture can and should be achieved through product. It varies greatly by hair type so for best results, seek an expert opinion. Spray-in hair wax is a go-to for most hair types when it comes to glunge. It makes the hair stick together in pieces but the spray makes it light enough to not look gloopy, sticky or heavy from product. However, the true way to achieve texture is in the cut. No razors allowed! Razor haircuts hiding behind texture will inevitably take a really long, painful time to grow out. (Similar to the long shag with short bangs you once believed would reinvent your style but you instantly regretted.) The right cut is the crux of texture. We’ll go with “cruxture.”

Good luck on the glunge, ladies. If it sounds difficult, just remember, this type of deliberate styling takes much less time and effort than glamming then dancing until dawn to add grunge. It looks better too.

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