Meghan Markle’s hair stylist has shared his top tips for keeping your mane in check while stuck at home in lockdown.
George Northwood, 41, from London, has worked with the Duchess of Sussex, 38, for the past two years and was responsible for her chic wedding reception ‘messy bun’ in May 2018, as well as her styles throughout her and Harry’s Australasia tour.
Speaking to The Times, George – whose clients also include Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alexa Chung – offered his expert advice on how to give yourself a DIY trim while hair salons across the country are shut due to Covid-19.
He advised aiming to maintain your general style and shape, rather than trying out a radical new look, as well as investing in some decent tools.
George recommended investing in a decent pair of proper hairdresser scissors (step away from those in the kitchen drawer) as well as a long narrow-gauge comb before you begin.
Hairdresser George Northwood, 41, from London, has worked with the Duchess of Sussex, 38, for the past two years and styled her wedding reception ‘messy bun’
IT’S ALL IN THE PREP
Just like being at the hairdressers, George advised cutting your hair in front of a large mirror with good lighting.
He also suggested washing and drying it into your usual style before you take to it with the scissors, so that you can assess whether it’s your fringe, split ends or layers which need the most attention.
‘Never work with wet hair because you’ll probably end up cutting more than you should,’ he told the publication.
USE YOUR COMB TO CUT YOUR FRINGE
If you have a fringe, George recommends isolating it from the longer sections of your hair and tying the rest back so it’s out of the way.
Next, comb your fringe from underneath several times before using the comb to lift the fringe outwards.
George advised cutting your hair in front of a large mirror with good lighting
‘Trim the very tips of the hair,’ he said. ‘Make sure you chip into the fringe – it’s called point-cutting (you point the scissors like a clock’s hand pointing to seven). Do not simply cut across in a straight line.’
Resist the urge to pull your fringe forward using your fingers before cutting it, as you’re likely to cut off more than you’d like.
‘Resting the hair on the comb to cut it doesn’t create unnatural tension and you achieve a softer finish,’ he added.
GO EASY ON SHORT HAIR
If you’re rocking a crop or a bob, George advised a minimal trim, sticking to areas you feel need a quick tidy up.
He said: ‘Always follow the line created by your hairdresser,’ adding that just a few millimetres can make a short style feel fresh.
AVOID CUTTING LONG HAIR IN A STRAIGHT LINE
After styling your hair into your usual parting, George recommends tipping your head forward and making very small cuts into the ends of the hair.
This is a good way to remove split ends and achieve a softer, more natural result.
Cutting your mane in a straight line will, he warned, result in an ‘awkward gappy finish’.
STEER CLEAR OF YOUR BACK LAYERS
George recommends only trimming the layers at the front of your hair unless your locks are long enough to brush forward.
Using your scissors, he recommended snipping sections following the shape of your style as closely as possible.
Like cutting a fringe, he said the point-cutting technique is the best way to do it to ensure a graduated, natural finish.
London hair stylist Michael Van Clarke’s tips for a home blow-dry
1. Right equipment
The first step to create the perfect blow-dry is to find the right equipment for your hair and the style you want.
Flat brushes and round brushes with short sparse bristles are easier to use but don’t give the same control. If you need to properly smooth wavy or frizzy hair a quality round bristle brush is best.
2. Don’t use the nozzle
Bin the nozzle unless you have thick wavy hair that needs blow drying smooth quickly.
They over concentrate the heat and cause more hair damage than anything else.
3. Wash and comb
After washing, comb through thoroughly to take out tangles and then release the roots by combing up and back at 45 degrees from the hairline.
4. Prepare well
Preparation is the most important step to take the hair closer to the finished result before brushwork.
Use a diffuser to prepare the hair taking out 85 percent of excess water. Lift roots into shape prepare mid-lengths and ends.
5. Don’t waste time
Use the time you have on the most important parts. The hairline sections around the face are the most important followed by the tips of the hair, then the top layer.
Least important is the underneath section of the back. So if you’re short of time don’t waste it on the bits no one sees.
6. Be clean
Work cleanly. Take neat sections no wider than the brush and keep the rest of the hair out of the way. Slant sections downwards around the hairline.
7. Lift sections of hair at a tangent
Lift sections high at a tangent to the scalp so you have proper control of the roots. This will eliminate snagging and give tension control without painful pulling.
8. Maintain a safe distance between the hair and nozzle
Keep a one inch gap between the hair and the nozzle.
9. Keep it in line
Keep the dryer nozzle in line with hair and pointing towards ends.
10. Don’t overdry
Do not over dry the section. If it isn’t right, damp it and start again. All the damage is done when continuing to blow dry hair that’s already dry.
This goes beyond taking out excess water and strips the hairs own innate moisture leading to thinner brittle hair that eventually splits and breaks. Dry to 98 percent and let it air dry the rest of the way.
11. For curly hair
If blow drying curly hair straight keep the section tight, closed and in position when you take the brush away.
This will limit the hair absorbing surrounding moisture whilst you move onto the next section.
12. Finishing blast
Give a good blast at the end on medium heat to fully dry, give a more natural feel and blend the sections.