Sometimes it’s the little things that count. The attention to detail; the finish on a fingernail, the fastening of a button, the way the hair is tucked behind the ear…

You might not even think that the latter is significant enough to be called a hairstyle, let alone a hair trend. But sometimes the biggest trends are defined by the smallest things, and this is one of those times.

Hair tucked behind the ear? No: hair half tucked behind the ear. That’s the important distinction to make as this 2013 hairstyle grows with us.

Half-tucked hair: the look

The idea couldn’t be more simple. Rather than tuck hair fully behind the ears, some strands of hair are left in front. It may be a deliberate curl of hair – which gives off a rather 1960s dolly bird vibe – as championed by Miu Miu back on their fall 2012 runway, or it could be a wispy, haphazard section of hair. Slicking the hair back and exposing the ears, while leaving a defined section untucked, also has an elfin magic that fully tucked back hair fails to create.

60s hair side curl
From Miu Miu’s retro inspired F/W ’12 collection

Ear jewellery and the half-tuck

A driving force: this is not a stand-alone trend. Ear jewellery has been gathering strength over time, becoming more and more popular in its multitude of forms. We’re not talking about the traditional earring, but rather ear cuffs that wind their way over the length of the ear, or connect with chains from the helix to the lobe. Hand in hand with this newfound love of ear decorations is the necessity for styles that showcase them; the half-tuck being one of the most simple and popular takes.

For more about ear cuffs / ear wraps – including top picks on where to buy them – follow that link.

half-tuck with ear cuff
Nadia Giramata in Elle Netherlands, November 2012

Half-tucked hair: variations

Elfin / slicked

On the runway at Sacai for spring 2013, models sported hair that was slicked back behind the ears but with a section slicked straight down in front. The look was elfin, and a little bit like a dark take on a school girl look.

half tucked slicked hair
Slicked half-tucked hair at Sacai, S/S ’12

Zero Maria Cornejo created a similarly elfin look by tying hair back behind the ears, but leaving set and defined strands in front. The key to the elfin look here was keeping the loose strands in sharp, gelled together shapes.

half tucked elfin hair
Elfin half-tucked hair at Zero Maria Cornejo, S/S ’12

Another variation is to give the whole style a wet look. At Amsterdam fashion week, Jan Boelo’s models looked otherworldly with damp waves tucked half back.

half tucked wet look hair
Wet look half-tucked hair at Jan Boelo, S/S ’12

Hair tied, not tucked

Hair doesn’t have to be worn out to make this look work. Another variation is not to tuck the hair back but tie it back – and then pull out a few strands at the front. While Zero Maria Cornejo’s version above had a slick, elfin feel, Claes Iversen’s soft strands were pretty and feminine.

half tucked up hair
Soft half tuck hair at Claes Iversen, S/S ’12

Nonchalant and messy

Last but not least, the half tuck hairstyle can be pulled off with utmost effortlessness. This can give you a tomboyish hairstyle that’s a little bit messy, and very nonchalant.

As seen at Thakoon Addition, this works best with hair flowing out and with a bit of tousle and texture.

half tucked messy hair
Messy half-tuck hair at Thakoon Addition, S/S ’12

And while long hair is certainly a natural partner for the trend, a crop or bob can work just as well. On the runway at BCBG Max Azria, models of all hair lengths had hair tucked back with messy strands floating free in front.

half tucked hair
Wispy strands at BCBG Max Azria, S/S ’12

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