If I could have one wish granted by an imaginary beauty genie, it would be to wake up every day with perfectly glossy, coiffured hair. As much as I love sitting down and experimenting with makeup for hours on end and spending a good hour every day on my skincare routine, when it comes to my hair, I want no part in styling it.
When I scroll through Instagram and see celebrities with beautifully glossy hair that falls perfectly and effortlessly, I feel enraged. As I grapple with tongs and straighteners in attempt to try and rectify whatever mess I woke up with, how is it fair that celebrities can make it look so easy? Especially considering the intense stress that their strands have to endure. Whereas the average person might get their hair coloured every few months and professionally styled once in a blue moon, celebrities have to expose their hair to damaging dyes, tools and products day in and day out—whether it be for the red carpet or a new film. And yet, their hair never seems to show any sign of real damage.
After some thought, I came to the conclusion that actually it makes sense, considering celebs have the best hairstylists in the business on hand every day to make sure each and every strand of hair is the healthiest it can be. We can, therefore, assume that celebrity hairstylists have some major tricks up their sleeves. And if they can work on our favourite celebs’ stressed-out hair, what’s to say they can’t help us everyday folk too?
So if your hair is looking a little dull and is in desperate need of some TLC, boy, have I got a treat for you. Below, celebrity hairstylist and official BAFTA partner Paul Edmonds and Tracey Patterson, creative colour director at Paul Edmonds London, help lift the lid on the tips and tricks they swear by when it comes to their celebrity clients. Having worked on films with the likes of Margot Robbie, Emilia Clarke, Gillian Anderson and Claire Foy (to name just a few), we have no doubt they know what they’re talking about.
If your hair is colour-treated or even just feeling overly dry and brittle, it’s likely that your hair needs a deep treatment to add some gloss and shine. “When you’re constantly changing your hair colour, there is usually a history of layers and damage underneath the colour you see,” reveals Patterson. “Often, for films, we have to take actresses from one colour to another and then back to another. You really have to build up the process with regular conditioning treatments to get the hair strong again,” she adds.
So what exactly should we be looking for when shopping around for a treatment? “We are really lucky that bonding treatments exist. Not only do they allow hair to hold onto colour better, but they also work to maintain the condition of the hair. When the hair is coarse and frizzy, a bonding treatment works to build up the hair structure to give you some body as well as smoothing it,” advises Edmonds.
As embracing natural curls and hair texture becomes ever more popular, at-home products have come on leaps and bounds. “In the salon, we soften hair with smoothing treatments to improve manageability. One of the things that I swear by is milk serums. They have a very different feel to other, dated treatments. Using a milk really holds the curl and delivers moisture without any hint of crispiness. It’s the way to give hair masses of body without making the root greasy,” says Edmonds.
If you have ever watched as your expensive colour job turned from a cool blonde to a murky green or your warm brunette transitioned to a pink-tinted mess, listen up. Before you freak out and leave your hairstylist some strongly worded voicemails, there are some simple expert-approved methods that help to correct any mishaps.
“Colour can go sometimes wrong, and not even celebrities are exempt from this. We have known for a long time that if you have unwanted tones that you need to lift, pure vitamin C powder can work wonders,” reveals Patterson. “Simply dilute it with some hot water, put it on wet or dry hair, leave it for 10 minutes and it will lift the colour naturally. It’s not harmful—it’s really gentle and we’re having real success with it,” she adds.
But be warned—although it really does help to strip the hair, it’s also crucial you don’t overdo it. “Use pure vitamin C and don’t slather your roots as it will cause the scalp to tingle. It lifts the colour, but this will usually leave you with a warm undertone so will likely need toning with pigment shampoo afterwards,” says Edmonds.
However, just because it comes with warnings doesn’t mean it’s something to totally avoid. “Always try it first before you try any of the things you buy in-store that risk compromising the condition of the hair.”
When it comes to styling your hair, it’s totally normal to experience some issues. It can be all too easy to look at celebrities on the red carpet and assume that you can also go out for hours on end without a hair falling out of place. However, the reality rarely meets the expectation. To help, some steps can be taken to make life a little easier for yourself. Edmonds explains, “One thing that people overlook is the importance of layering hair product. So many people just use one product and don’t get the result they want. You really need to use a few.”
Unlike layering skincare, you need to use different styling products on different areas of your hair. “You have different types of hair in different places. For example, the root is young, fresh hair that is usually flatter, and as you move down, you get a lot more texture. Mousse is great in the roots to mid-lengths for volume, but you want to keep the ends light and flowing, so use something more lightweight there,” says Edmonds.
The struggle of trying to keep on top of caring for coloured hair is all too real. Keeping blonde looking buttery, brunette looking warm, grey looking silver and red looking fiery can feel like an impossible task when you’re armed with little more than your daily shampoo and conditioner. But don’t go thinking that you’re alone, as it turns out celebrities know the struggle all too well.
Edmonds reveals, “Keeping continuity can be a real pain. Celebrity colour often has to be redone every three to four weeks to keep it looking as it did when it was first treated. Something I do for clients is make them up their pigment treatments. We mix bespoke pigment into specific treatments—from shampoos and conditioners to masks—to keep their colour going after they have left the salon.”
While the majority of us can’t afford the luxury of our hairstylists making up bespoke hair treatments, there are measures that can be taken to keep your colour fresh. From purple treatments to toning boosters to add to other products, at-home treatments can work wonders.