The “Pam” Is the Easy Undone Hairstyle Celebrities Are Loving This Summer
Photo: Getty Images

The “Pam” Is the Easy, Undone Hairstyle Celebrities Are Loving This Summer

The Pamela Anderson mania brought about by her Netflix documentary this year has blessed us with many things. Not only did we get Pamela’s personal perspective on her endlessly documented rise to fame, we also got some excellent hairstyle inspiration as a bonus. The ’90s Pammy updo—think hair piled haphazardly onto the head, with two face-framing pieces left loose at the front—has been everywhere ever since. Some of our favorite celebrities are also loving the style.

Take Rihanna, who recently elevated an enviable all-red maternity look with a Pam-inspired hairstyle while out on a date with A$AP Rocky in New York. Having played Anderson in Hulu’s Pam + Tommy, Lily James really leaned into her character’s aesthetic on the press tour, with a knotted hairstyle created by hairstylist Halley Brisker. And always quick to get on board with a ’90s trend, Nicola Peltz Beckham has also been wearing the look, alongside Anya Taylor-Joy, Katie Holmes and Kim Kardashian. Anderson herself is also still wearing her signature style, 30 years on.

Pamela Anderson in 1994.

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Brisker works with a number of celebrity clients—including James, Simone Ashley, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley—on their red-carpet looks, and says he has been channelling Anderson’s ’90s hair a lot lately. “I was a kid of the ’90s and have since become totally obsessed with images from that time,” he tells me over the phone. “With Pam, it was all about piling hair on top of the head. The key to that whole ’90s thing was the tumbling pieces of hair, and what was left out of the style, rather than kept in.”

Ideal for both casual and more formal events, the Pam looks effortless and is flattering on most face shapes and hair textures. All it really requires is some stealth pinning of the hair into some kind of shape at the crown of the head. “It’s all about creating a silhouette,” says Brisker. “That’s all that really matters with this one—how you get there doesn’t matter. No one is going to tell you you haven’t done it right. The main thing is feeling confident in the way it looks.”

He does have some tips, however: “For anyone who wants to try this kind of hairstyle, first of all my advice is to use imagery—that’s what us hairstylists do, and we’re professionals,” he says. “Get on Google and have a look at pictures or styles that you love and commit the shape to memory.” He is also emphatic that it doesn’t matter if things go wrong, hairstyles like the Pam are all about letting hair do its own thing (to a degree), so get playful with it, rather than aiming for perfection.

How to Create the Pam at Home

1. Separate Into Three

“The more hair you have to work with, the easier you’ll find creating this style. Start by separating your hair into three sections: split the head horizontally from ear to ear, so you have a back and a front. Then, split the front section down the middle, so you have two parts on either side of your head.”

2. Create Ponytails

“Pull both front sections into separate little ponytails on the crown of your head, and then pull the back of the hair up somewhere in the middle of the two you’ve just created.”

3. Fold and Twist

“Once you’ve got these three ponytails, all you need to do is figure out a way to fold and twist them into a fun shape, making sure you leave some tendrils of hair out at the front to frame the face.”

4. Secure the Silhouette

“An easy way to create the shape is to secure the back ponytail down, then pull each front ponytail side by side and fold them over each other, securing with an elastic. You can loop them through one another and allow them to fall down on top of each other, a bit like shoelaces. Push one loop through the hole of the other loop, so they fall onto opposite sides.”

The Best Celebrity “Pam” Updos to Inspire You Now

Kim Kardashian
Photo: Getty Images
Lily James

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Katie Holmes
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Pamela Anderson
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Yara Shahidi
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Anya Taylor-Joy
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