Spending many a day with a hairdryer in my hand and a brush in the other has a downside – my hands and nails get very dry.
Just as hair needs protecting from heat and air blasts, so do hands and nails. This has made me search for the creams and nail oils that will hydrate my skin, but without coating my hands with a film that’s likely to then transfer to hair and make my blow-drys drop (I generally call this “blow-out sabotage”!).
Massaging nail oil into your cuticles and nails is really relaxing – yes I do get a few odd looks as I get out my nail oil and carefully paint on each finger on the no38 bus!
Massaging your nails and cuticles stimulates growth and makes them so much stronger by promoting the blood supply to this area. I use CND Solar Oil – it contains vitamin E oil and jojoba and it smells of almonds. It wins many a beauty award, it sinks straight in and keeps my cuticles really hydrated. I use it a few times throughout the day.
I also use This Works Perfect Hands Intense Moisture as it hydrates quickly and is non-greasy. I’ve tried endless products and these are truly blow-dry friendly! I also always wipe my palms with a cleansing wipe before I blow-dry to remove any excess product to keep the blow-drys that I do fresh.
I love the simple undone hair that was seen at S/S14 shows, such as Alexander Wang, Versace (pictured left) and Calvin Klein. It’s hair that is softly waved and sits closer to the head than the beachy/surfy undone hair of past seasons. It’s such an easily achievable update for so many clients. It gives a youthfulness to hair that works really well for the 35+ client as well as younger ones.
I love this undone hair worn with tailored pieces – it gives the look much more of a sangfroid attitude.
These styles need hair cuts with edges that are soft and layers that are what I call seamless, and undone blow-drys with softer styling. I was interviewed by Grazia on this style and thought I would share a mini how-to here.
I tend to cut the edges wet, using a razor or point cutting. Then blast the hair and cut the layers in when the hair is dry. I take a diamond section from the crown and softly cut the layers in on a 90 degree angle. I then backcomb the hair and cut another soft layer in using the insides of my scissors’ blade, like backcombing with the blade. I took the technique from a 1960s tapering method (I found it in a beauty book from 1962!). The layers keep the hair light and with enough softness.
Above L-R: Burberry Prorsum and Diane von Furstenberg
It’s so important to keep the products light. I switch to a summer shampoo, which is more volume based. I use masques, but just on the mid-lengths and ends. I keep the application light and distribute with a Tangle Teezer. This means that you really need little moisturising when it comes to the styling, which keeps the hair light and let’s it move in that “freshly washed” way.
I use a leave-in conditioner that’s super light and ghd style root lift spray on the roots and mid lengths. Sometimes, if the ends are really dry, I use a light serum when the hair is wet.
I twist dry this by taking sections and twisting the hair as I follow sections through with the airflow from the dryer. Then I use the ghd eclipse and twist sections through in the ” grunge wave” method, keeping the eclipse vertical when placing at the mid lengths, and turning 180 degree then gliding out and reversing. But you can also achieve the undone waves by experimenting with curving the ends.
It also works to braid a few large sections and leave to dry naturally. Many of my clients braid before they sleep to keep the look in for the next day.
Above: Both Calvin Klein
Last week I cut several clients’ hair very short; Tilda Swinton undercut short. Yet it was not from the locks of a fashion or beauty editor that I took these vast inches of hair from, or any other of my clients that work in fashion.
The first was a client that is a barrister and mother of two who lives in Highgate. Wishing to break out from the long blonde highlights mum brigade, she turned to Tilda mixed with a little Michelle Williams for her hair reference.
Two nights later I was cutting 10 inches off a client who has worn the same soft hairstyle for the past few years – there’s something in the air. Dior is running double-page adverts of Jennifer Lawrence with a short, undone haircut in the magazines that my clients are buying.
This has made the haircut feel more accessible. There are four shots; two have an undeniably androgynous feel but the other two shots ooze femininity. What stands out most is that her short hair is styled to have a wind-blown look, and she has minimal make-up and straight-faced sincerity. Michelle Williams in the Louis Vuitton adverts with a softly undercut style that ran in magazines this winter were also a big pull.
And when I flicked through April’s Vogue, I became certain that this season we will be cutting off more inches of hair than for many years.
It started with a tweet from Josh Wood: “Set your intention.” He had just returned from a trip and was talking about the jivamukti yoga he practises. There it was, set your intention. I decided to scribble this on paper, photograph it and and set it as my desktop background.
It made me decide to have a clear out and erase all of my pictures on my iPad and phone that I’ve collected for the past few years. It was actually traumatising; it felt like Julie Christie was gazing right up at me and daring me to press delete. I felt naked, exposed by my now lack of preparation, but ready to start all over again.
I had a meeting with Harriet Evans (ghd’s PR) and Jo Robertson (head of UK education for ghd) and we discussed all the plans for ghd for the year; the courses that I am teaching and exciting launches that ghd has planned. The more they revealed plans, the more ideas started to form on what could be taught so I decided to bring in new research and methods for the year.
I had, like many hairdressers, booked a get-away week in January. So after the madly busy Christmas and New Year, last week I flew off to India for a yoga and meditation week.
In-between classes and hours of focusing on my breath, I began to collect new images with the rule that I could not use any that I had used before. It was really difficult as I had so many wonderful ones, but I was determined to do it properly. I began to rewrite my courses and search for new books – which was as enlightening as a sunrise meditation!
Using new material takes you out of your comfort zone, it means more practice as you trip up on new words and quotations. But starting afresh brings new focus. I decided to take a new path on the fashion references that I teach in my courses and slowly, as the weeks go by and my headstand preparations wobble less, so do the new words that I am saying in my head. New year, new you!
Aldo Coppola, a hairstylist who has heavily influenced my career, sadly passed away last week.
I first became aware of his work after attending a session styling course with Keith Harris, who had worked with Aldo in Italy. Keith taught us his tonging technique and spoke of his beautiful styles, and after that I started to follow Aldo’s work. I fell in love with his simple natural hairstyling, which was so different from anything else that I’d seen before.
Working with designers such as Valentino and Armani, Aldo became known for changing the way hairstylists were perceived. In 1966 he banished the beehive and developed a dry cutting technique that celebrated a more natural texture that was far removed from the lacquered and teased styles of the time.
In the ’90s, he began development on new colouring techniques without the use of chemicals and developed care products using olive oils and yoghurt. More recently, he introduced his most famous colouring technique ‘shatush’, which was a true step ahead of the highlight/lowlight option around at the time. It created a three shade combination of colour on each section that gave the gently lighter effect towards the ends of hair. Thanks to Aldo’s revolutionary haircolouring techniques, this has now become one of the most popular methods of lightening hair.
Here are some of my favourite styles by Aldo: