When it comes to picture perfect hair, no one knows what will work on the red carpet as well as Mark Townsend. The international Dove celebrity hairstylist, who counts Penélope Cruz, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Reese Witherspoon among his clients, is responsible for some of the most dramatic celebrity hair transformations we’ve seen in recent years — his scissors are responsible for Jennifer Lawrence’s first big chop. In between stints of styling covers for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and prepping some of Hollywood’s hottest celebrity heads, Townsend sat down with us to talk hair trends, his biggest pet peeve and the one star he’s dying to style.
theFashionSpot: What’s the easiest at-home hairstyle that will add some glam to your holiday look?
Mark Townsend: Braids are a really easy way to dress up a super simple style. It doesn’t have to be something complicated like a French braid. The easiest thing to do is to braid a section of hair and wrap it around the base of a ponytail. It looks really polished and pretty. Or do the same thing with a ballerina bun. Braids can be hard to see on brunettes, so I always tell my clients to really overdo the texture. Use a one-inch curling iron and wrap it around a chunk of hair, going in different directions. This will create a beachy effect on your hair, so that when you braid it, it’ll be thick, dimensional and a little wispy. The best way to prep hair for this kind of treatment is to layer on dry shampoo and dry oil.
tFS: What’s the hottest trend in hair now?
MT: You want to create juxtaposition in your hair: Either pull your hair back tightly and create a messy bun, or loosely scrape it back and make the bun really tight. You want a contrast.
tFS: What are your must-have products?
MT: Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo, which is amazing for giving hair volume without weighing it down or drying it out. And Dove Pure Care Dry Oil. It’s such a great conditioner, and it absorbs so fast and gives hair a beautiful shine. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen love it because it makes their hair look natural, while still being able to achieve different effects. Mary-Kate loves just putting it in and leaving it to dry, while Ashley loves when I blow it out.
tFS: What’s your hairstylist pet peeve?
MT: It’s shocking to me how many women don’t use conditioner because they think it’ll weigh their hair down. And they complain that their hair looks damaged and dull! You can skip shampoo, but you can never, never skip conditioner.
tFS: What’s your favourite hairstyle right now?
MT: I’m obsessed with the wob, the wavy bob. Like Jennifer Lawrence’s hair now that it’s growing out a bit. She looked so great throughout her promotional tour for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. It’s so pretty and romantic, and it frames her face perfectly.
tFS: What would you say is your crowning celebrity transformation?
MT: When I cut Reese Witherspoon’s bangs. She’s experimented with her hair so much since I did that, going from short to long, but she always keeps that asymmetrical fringe. It looks so great on her heart-shaped face.
tFS: Who’s the one celebrity you’re dying to work with?
MT: Faith Hill. She has such amazing hair and she isn’t afraid to experiment.