Stumbling upon an insiders-only beauty secret during the home stretch of December’s gifting marathon could be considered a holiday miracle—especially when this underground tip arrives from Paris, in the form of velvet-wrapped retro curlers promising to safeguard blowouts and buoyant party hair for years to come. “They last forever,” says French stylist Adel Chabbi of the colorful tools he discovered walking down Passage de l'Industrie while brainstorming a solution to lifeless looks on set in the ’90s. “I realized that blowouts alone would not hold volume all day, and hot irons made the hair too curly, so I went on a search and found these velvet rollers at my favorite beauty supplier, Delorme, and never stopped using them.”
Now a styling signature at his airy new Upper East Side salon, Adel Atelier—where industry icons like French film star Fanny Ardant, supermodel Coco Rocha, and the Clueless queen of hair-toss-worthy roller makeovers, Alicia Silverstone, frequent to have their lengths twirled around the plush curlers—Chabbi touts their ability to not only pump up but also protect strands. “You don’t have to use as much heat to create an incredible lift, plus they don’t pull and tear at hair like old-school Velcro rollers,” he says, adding that the shine and silky texture that result are unmatched.
And though it may have required a pro like Chabbi to initially acquire the velour wonders, which are now sold at his salon, it doesn’t take a master to approximate his gravity-defying results. “Right after blow-drying, wrap sections of hair around the velvet curlers (the red color is great for weightless body), hold in place with a straight pin, and allow 10 minutes for everything to set and cool,” Chabbi says as he breaks down the steps with an encouraging dose of you-can-do-it insouciance. “Then, remove them and finger comb—don’t brush!—your hair in multiple directions, and finish with a bit of texture spray or wax.” The result? The hyper-extended bounce of a fresh blowout in half the time, with half the effort. And for those unable to make the trip to Adel Atelier to snag a set and enjoy a cappuccino on the charming backyard patio before it’s time to trade gifts, a quick French-to-English translation of Delorme’s site is all it takes to delight every Francophile in town—or simply to hold the coveted title of Most Popular White Elephant Party Pro.