Backstage at Fashion Week, the going is always insane. In the hair and makeup tents, stylists are working overtime to tame models’ frazzled manes, creating cool hairstyles in minutes. So, to make the magic happen, all those magicians need to have some fabulous tricks up their sleeves. Right? I thought so too and set out to investigate. Here is the result of an entire season’s worth of question-asking, observing and note-taking. Read on to discover the best tips, tricks and shortcuts to amazing hair.
The head prep
- When a model’s mane is looking more greasy than gorgeous and there is no time to shampoo, the stylists often bring out a translucent powder compact. Sweep a fluffy powder brush over its surface and apply to the hair roots. The powder sucks up the grease and has a mattifying effect, making tresses look instantly clean and sexy.
- To keep hair healthy and shield against the drying effects of product overload or heat styling, many a model has learnt to only rinse conditioner out 70% of the way and then let strands air dry.
- Backstage pro Laurent Philippon mixes Bumble & Bumble’s Thickening Spray with a few drops of essential oil and sprays it on towel-dried hair from roots to tips. This keeps tresses healthy and shiny.
- To prevent the bumps left behind by metal clips, backstage hairstylists keeps playing cards handy – the thick paper and smooth surface make them ideal for the job.
- I always began my blow-out from the back of the head, till the backstage hair pros taught me to start at the front. The reason? That’s the area everyone sees first, so work on it while it’s still wet and you have more control. Once you’ve gotten the top party completely dry, pop in 2 Velcro rollers to add body.
- We’ve been using the flip-head/comb-hair-forward/mist-with-hairspray/stand-up trick since before memory but it turns out we had the technique wrong: hair spray takes approximately 30 seconds to dry and set. Let it take hold of the root before you stand upright.
- Need to create instant waves? Loosely braid hair into 6-8 equal braids, then used a flat iron to gently press the braids section by section. After each section cools, undo the braids, finger comb the hair and spritz on the hairspray.
- This is the season for bouffants. Hairstylist Jimmy Paul’s trick for getting intense volume is to first prep the hair with salt spray – it makes the texture of the hair denser and allows for easier backcombing.
- Want to get cool, bedhead texture? Rub conditioner into dry hair, pinching and rubbing the strands together to create hair that looks rough and matted, yet is actually soft.
- This one is a favourite of celeb hairstylist Mike Vogel: after styling your hair, pinch small sections of ends between your thumb and pointer finger and gently rub together in a back and forth motion. This breaks up clumps and separates ends for a fuller look.
- If you are plagued by little bits of frizzy hair along your hairline, mist a toothbrush with hairspray and use it to sweep those pesky hairs into place. This works even in the most humid environments.
- Updos are notoriously difficult to keep in place. Bumble & Bumble stylist Amy Farid has the solution: “Spray hair with texturizing spray first. This will give hair great grip for bobby pins, which is what you need when creating an updo.”
The colour story
- To increase the life of highlights, pick up a deep conditioning mask meant for coloured hair within 48 hours of the highlighting treatment. Apply to dry hair, leave for 10 minutes and then rinse well; your highlights will retain their tone for a longer time.
- Christophe Robin, creative colorist at L’Oréal Paris, has this tip for longlasting hair color: scan the ingredients lists on shampoo bottles and watch out for formulations that contain colour-leaching sulfates.
- Camouflage roots by zigzagging your part rather than making it straight.
- Eye shadow can be used as a quick-fix to hide roots, especially for dark hair with light or gray roots. Simply match your hair colour to a shade of shadow and brush it on.
What’s the best tip you’ve ever learnt from your hairstylist?