Nathan Dell (@nathanphoenixhair), hairdresser at Ralph & Rice on London’s Brick Lane, is the official wig stylist for party-drag diva troupe Sink The Pink. Here, he takes Creative HEAD Education backstage at the Most Wanted and The It List Awards 2017, where he transformed the guys into glamazons ready for one hell of an afterparty… (see more pics of those shenanigans here)
“The making of each look began with a meeting with the queen in question. We discussed influences, created mood boards, and I then planned step-by-step how I would execute the style.”
“JonBenet has a Paris Hilton/Barbie-esque look, with long, luxe platinum blonde curls. I was briefed by herself and the team to create a heightened, more editorial version of the styles JonBenet usually wears on stage.
“I decided to work with a human hair wig from Trendco, in platinum 10.12 blonde. I created volume, bounce, exaggerated curls, and an all over elegant look.”
“Ginger’s signature look is bright copper hair sculpted into a few different styles – one is 50s style victory rolls (in the fringe section and along both sides) and a second is a blunt cut, tightly curled wig with a strong fringe and a fluffy texture. Ginger and I discussed what she wanted to go for on the night, and decided that the brief would be a natural copper, Dolly Parton inspired set of stacked curls with a strong, quiffed fringe.
“I ordered four of Trendco’s human hair wigs – in the lightest blonde shades possible (10.12/10.23). l then coloured all four a strong natural copper (7.4/7.34/7.0), before stitching one of the wigs to the bottom section of another to create more hair to work with. I then used the other two wigs to create the volume needed for the top section of the look.”
“Asttina has a Diana Ross/Beyoncé-style disco diva look. We decided to create a heightened version of one of her current looks, pictured below. We want to make a curly, triangular afro, teased out to create a fluffy texture.
“I worked with a mix of human and synthetic wigs this time, attaching each synthetic wig to one made of human hair. I tonged the combined wig with a very small tong to create maximum volume and texture, and then packed it out further with human hair extensions in a lighter brown shade to create natural looking highlights.”
“Stoli alternates between rocking an undone 80s glam look and a strong glam mullet. I decided to make her a more luxe, fashion-forward and editorial version of what she currently wears on stage.
“I used a synthetic wig, as I wanted to razor cut the entire head of hair and non-natural fibres give shattered styles far more grit and texture. I opted for a bright blonde, heavily rooted wig and razor cut through the length to take out a lot of weight. I then moved through to the crown area to create height and texture, giving it that mullet feel. Finally, I cut the sideburns very short, leaving longer pieces here and there to add roughness to the shape.”
“Rodent has a gothic, witchy look. She is very androgynous, and has a very fierce, dark aura about her. She usually wears either a grey or black wig, cut very straggly and ratty, with a short blunt fringe.
“I decided to take her look to the extreme and made a very short cropped style, with lots of length and height framing the head at the back and sides. I used a synthetic wig and razor cut throughout to create lots of texture, before cropping all of the top section very short and tight. I chose to leave the crown slightly longer and styled this with product and backcombing. I then razor cut the length to break up the lines and used scattered synthetic extensions to make selected areas extra long and dramatic.”
“During the making of each look, myself and the team had regular fittings with each of the drag queens to make sure everyone was happy with the progress and to check that everything worked for them in terms of fit, comfort and appearance. I made sure each performer was very much a part of the process, and I feel this is particularly important when making a custom piece as hair is such a vital component of any look, on or off stage.
“Myself and the team worked on each wig in any spare time we had in between clients and jobs, and then continued after work at Ralph & Rice. Some looks took a lot longer than others, however once most of the prep for each wig (i.e. colouring, setting, cutting etc.) was executed, we could finish and dress each piece on location ahead of the performances.
“For the finishing touches on each wig, we used various ghd styling tools that were gifted to us for this project. JonBenet’s piece was finished off with the ghd medium tong to create dramatic, Hollywood style curls, and we then used Davines shimmer mist as a styling product to give a shiny finish.
“Ginger Johnson’s wig was finished off with the new ghd contour crimper, used in the bottom sections to give added texture. We then used the ghd large tong to create volume and lift throughout the top sections of the wig.
“Aston’s Diana Ross-style wig was finished and prepped with the ghd medium tong to create individual curls throughout. We then left the wig to set until just before showtime, and finished off the look by brushing the piece out to create fluffy texture.
“As both Rodent Decay and Stoli’s wigs were half synthetic and half human hair, both wigs needed to be razor cut to create the looks we wanted and minimal styling products/tools were used on each piece to retain the choppy, shattered texture.”
With thanks to the Most Wanted and The It List Awards 2017 – Sink The Pink hair team:
Hair/wig stylist and creator: Nathan Dell
Hair assistants: Anita Rice and Tommy Stayton
All materials were sourced and gifted to Nathan and his team by the following brands –
- Trendco (wigs)
- Salon Success (hair extensions)
- ghd (styling tools)
- Davines (colour and styling products)