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Forward

Giving a New Style a Whirl

May 28, 1999|BARBARA THOMAS

The Whirl-a-Bun is a study in how form follows function. Looking for a way to use the fabric scraps she had lying around her Minneapolis bedding and bath company, LJL Inc. founder Lois Sonstegard came up with an accessory to create a hair bun. Unfortunately, her innovation using fabric fell short. It pulled hair and gave testers a headache.

"We had to scrap our scrap idea," she said.

So Sonstegard turned to synthetic rubber instead. Used properly, her invention can hold hair in a bun without any pins or bands. Her first customers were women who had to wear their hair up for professional reasons--"military, nurses, police officers," Sonstegard said.

That was three years ago. Today those first customers remain loyal, but she has a huge following with young people who want knots all over their heads. Thanks to recent runway shows featuring that look and an obscure summer movie called "Episode I The Phantom Menace," multiple hair buns are expected to be the hottest hair look this summer.

We sent the accessory off to Christophe's Salon in Beverly Hills for a whirl. Hair specialist Sami Charbat gives the product a thumbs up.

"It's a pretty interesting piece that could be used in many ways," Charbat says. "It's great for people who have straight, flat hair."

Whirl-a-Bun can be found at accessory shops or on the Web at http://www.whirl-a-bun.com. It retails for $14 for three small accessories, or $9 for a large and small one.

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