Yahoo Shine sat down with Mark Townsend, the man responsible for some of the most famous, fabulous heads of hair on earth: Jennifer Lawrence, Lea Michele, the Olsen twins, Reese Witherspoon, and Penélope Cruz, to name a few. Here are his best tips, tricks, and rules for getting amazing hair both every day and throughout the party season.
Yahoo Shine: Why do celebrities have such better hair than ordinary people?
Mark Townsend: Celebrities are real people, and we often forget that. Ninety-five percent of the styles you see on runways and red carpets have been enhanced with hair extensions. But it’s an easy thing for anyone to do, really. They are such fun and add length and volume without commitment.
The best last-minute party do’s?
The top knot. It's easy. Anyone can do it. Pull your hair into a ponytail right on top of the crown of the head and secure it with a strong elastic (I use Blax elastics). Then, braid or twist the ponytail, wrap it around the base, and secure it with bobby pins. If you can, dress it up with a festive hair accessory like a jewel-encrusted bobby pin. I also love the braid trend and am so happy it is sticking around (thank you, Katniss!). What makes something like a classic French braid party-worthy is creating texture by curling hair with a small curling iron before you do a clean, classic French braid. That little touch really elevates the look — it’s chic and simple from the front, and modern and on-trend from the back.
Can loose hair look updo-fancy?
I spend just as long making red carpet loose hair as I do red carpet updos, because I style the hair completely. I blow-dry with a round brush, use a 1.25-inch curling iron to create waves throughout the whole head, root to tip, and then pin it all up into a bun at the top of the head or the nape of the neck. After an hour or so, I take the bun out and just shake it with my fingers to loosen it up. The result is sexy and glamorous.
How do you style (and not style) a short haircut for a party?
The trick is to keep it soft and touchable by not overdosing on styling products. Use too many firm-hold or “wet look” products and it looks like your hair is glued onto your head.
How can you dress up hair if you don't have time to style it?
Nothing adds holiday glamour to a simple style like a hair accessory, especially for the holidays. A jeweled bobby pin slid in somewhere is all it takes.
What's your desert-island hair product?
My favorite product of all time is Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo. It’s like having a whole arsenal of products in one bottle. It uses starch instead of powder, so it absorbs oil without getting powdery. It’s perfect for touchups throughout the day, or faking clean hair if you’re greasy. And it also creates great volume.
The secret to getting shiny hair?
Make sure you are using the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. My go-to is a moisture shampoo and conditioner, and once a week I advise to let the conditioner stay in for 10 to 15 minutes while taking a bath or shower — the heat will help get that moisture deep into the hair shaft.
Please explain the right (and wrong) way to flat-iron hair.
To get hair that looks professionally done, turn down the heat and focus on small sections of hair. Take a few extra minutes and separate the hair into 3-inch sections, and then slowly run an iron set to 225 degrees.
For an exclusive DIY holiday style, check out the Mark Townsend video below:
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