Aug 072010

Wendy Iles

In an earlier post I was able to interview celebrity hairstylist Wendy Isle and ask her professional opinion on hair care. Well now the Tasmanian born hairstylist would like to share some styling tips for when you’re short on time. Here are her tips:


1) It’s the end of the day and you need to give “pick up” to your added volume mousse or styling aid. Squirt a little mist of water and use your fingers (not a brush) to gently work the moisture into the hairstyle. Turn hair upside-down and give a blast of warm air with a blow-dryer, kneading the hair with fingers while doing so. Throw hair back into position and comb into place with a large tooth comb. So quick and easy — no more than 3 to 4 minutes.

2) How to get that “Kate Moss relaxed hair look” on the first day after shampooing. Often after a fresh blow-dry, tongs, hot rollers or whatever else we do, our hair can look too set and bouffy. A great trick to get it looking more modern is to pull long hair back as if placing in a ponytail. Twist the hair in a long sausage shape right to the very ends and turn it around in a small chignon attach with a pin. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then release it and shake. The result is brilliant. Roots still have their bounce but the ends are decontracted which is the key to this appealing” Kate” look.

3) Improve second day hair bangs. Wet the roots and dry by pulling down with fingers, aiming the blow-dryer straight down on the roots. If you have a cowlick blow the hair against the grain to help iron out the uplifted area that creates a wonky fringe line. This can be done in 2 to 3 minutes.

4) Give hair more volume and bounce. Blow-dry hair upside down haphazardly. Spray a small mist of light hair spray or setting lotion. A blow dryer with strong wind jet will give better root lift. Then throw the hair into position. With a large tooth comb take 5 or 6 large sections and roll hair as if winding around a large roller. Clip it well so as the section sits high on top of it base. Allow the hair to cool about 5 to 10 minutes then release the clips and comb into place with large tooth comb or fingers.

5) Tame down the fluffys or plump up the flatness on freshly washed and blow-dryed hair. When long hair is first washed and blow-dryed it is often a bit round and fluffy or lank and straight. A good trick is to wash and dry in the morning, pull hair back into a ponytail then on the second turn don’t pull all the hair through, but only half way then twist the rest of the ends around the elastic band holding ponytail in place. It appears like a chignon. Attach with one pin. Wear this chignon to work. After about 2 or 3 hours drop the hair and it will settle perfectly into place with a soft wave effect. Comb with large tooth comb or fingers. A good trick is to wear hair like this to the office during the day and then drop down for a gorgeous evening do later on.

6) Add some “stomach” to fine limp hair. Nothing beats dry shampoo. The best ones are the spray-on types. Blast the roots lightly with dry shampoo. Massage through the roots with fingers working it through to ends of hair. Then brush or comb into desired style. Dry shampoo is also excellent support for hairdos requiring back combing/teasing. The dry texture it gives also makes the hair very modern. Klorane dry shampoo in spray form is my favorite.

7) Getting that modern “out of bed “or “beach” hair texture. Next time you’re at the beach, remember to bottle up some sea water in a spray bottle. Spray the sea water on dry hair and allow it to dry naturally. This gives a great modern natural texture to the hair. Don’t brush the hair, always use fingers. If you can not get to the ocean, bottle it up at home by boiling 1 cup of water with 8 tablespoons of rough sea salt. Allow to cool then pour into a spray bottle and apply.

8) Take the frizz out of curly hair. Oh that dreaded frizz! We curly hair wearers are harassed with frizz in the summer from the heat and frizz in the winter through damp humidity. The best solution I found is to shampoo and condition comb the curls through, then add a small amount of hair mask (the type of mask that has the consistency of whipped cream), place about 2 dimes worth and rub between the hands and smooth over the outer and inner surfaces of the hair. Don’t touch it again; allow it to dry in naturally. It’s a great controller for frizz. Doesn’t go crunchy or greasy, it just gives great controlled curl. Products that work best include Khiels Argan Hair Pak Mask, L’Oreal Kerastace (although very expensive), and Wella System Professional Power Mask (although for very fine curly hair this mask may be too heavy — replace with lighter texture conditioners. The best I’ve found for fine curly hair are Khiels Aragan Conditioner in a tube and Ojon Ultra Hydrating Conditioner in a bottle that will work better on fine hair as they are less heavy. Apply the same way as we do the mask).

9) Turn your beach day into a hair care day. Place a good conditioning hair mask all over wet hair. Comb through into a high slick ponytail. Be sure to place plenty of mask all over, especially the ends of the hair. Turn the ends around tail creating a chignon tucking ends well underneath away from sun and secure in place. The mask will activate well with the heat of the sun and keep the hair in place all day from harsh wind and harmful sunlight. For short hair do the same, brushing all hair away from the face, as if wearing a wet look. The mask will keep the hair in place and protect at the same time.

10) Tired of that hot-tonged curl look? Here’s how to get a more natural looking wave.

For a more natural wave, try curling hair with a straightening iron. I like to use the GHD iron. It has a very small 2-inch ceramic plate that is ideal for creating a soft natural wave. Place sections of hair in the iron then run the iron through the section turning the wrist as you do so to create an “S” spiral movement. The result is a lovely, soft wave. It may take a little practice to get the “S” rhythm going but a few errors are also okay, as natural wavy hair is never perfectly uniform. It’s the little accidents in the curl that creates the realness. The effect is wonderful.


Wendy Iles is in demand all over the world, where she styles hair for ad campaigns for Dior, Cacharel, Hermes, and major hair brands like L’Oreal,Wella, Schwarzkopft and more. Additionally she has contributed to editorial spreads for fashion magazines including Vogue, Bazaar, Elle, Glamour and many others. Wendy has styled hair for top celebrities and stylemakers including Penelope Cruz, Chloe Sevigny, Marion Cotillard, Eva Longoria, Frieda Pinto and others. Born in Australia and based in Paris, Wendy now spends much of her time in New York. She recently published ARCHIVE: A Book About Hair, a fine art book dedicated to the details of her styles and of her success with European works of fashion images, famous couturiers, photographers and models (for a preview of the book and to find out more about Wendy please visit

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