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If TikTok’s rise in popularity over the past two years has taught me anything, it’s that trends always come back around. From the re-emergence of thin ’90s brows to the repurposing of workwear in street style, people in younger generations are bringing back iconic looks and incorporating throwback beauty staples into their daily routines. One of the classic products that I’ve recently seen all over my TikTok feed is the Tigi Bed Head hair stick.
The tiny-yet-mighty stick — which looks oddly similar to deodorant — was introduced in 1996 and quickly became a ubiquitous beauty staple for salons nationwide. It contains a wax blend designed to add shape and texture to hairstyles and smooth down strands. Today, you can also see it used to tame flyaways and create perfect slicked down buns and ponytails, like in the TikTok below.
And according to Amazon reviews, it’s also successful at laying down edges and on coarser hair textures, as mentioned in Yvette James’ review: “I have a very short hair cut…and If I can’t get to the beauty parlor every week, I can slick this on my edges and they won’t stick out.” Reviewer Monique Sullivan wrote, “Works perfectly on my 4C hair as well as my lace frontal whether it’s synthetic or human hair!”
I was so curious about this seemingly magical product that I reached out to some professional hairstylists who use it in their TikTok videos.
Kat Aragon, a celebrity makeup artist and hair stylist based in Washington, D.C., who works with many on-camera clients, told me she’s used the stick for over a decade. At the beginning of her time in the beauty industry, she said the hair stick was one of the main products that helped with flyaways.
“The way Tigi advertised it was more for sculpting and texturizing hair, but later on I realized it completely helped with smoothing out any flyaways on camera,” she said. “It’s the only thing that works for me. I can use hairspray, but I don’t like the helmet look or the crunchiness. I like that this allows me to just affect a few hairs at a time versus using my fingers and trying to put a paste on.”
To use the stick, you have a couple options. You can either apply it directly to the hair you want to smooth down, or you can use a brush to spread the wax out, as does Anthony Kakos, a hair stylist at The Beauty Lounge in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Lately, he’s been getting a lot of requests from clients for sleek buns and low ponytails.
“I use a brush or I’ll even use a spoolie and I’ll scrape it into the stick and then I’ll brush it on a client’s head,” he said. “It doesn’t leave a greasy or oily residue from application, even if you’re using the actual tube and pressing it on a client’s head.”
It’s important to note that a little truly does go a long way, and Kakos said that the tube will last a long time. It can even be applied to dry or damp hair to get the sleekest results, he said.