Meghan Markle’s hairstylist shared his top tips for keeping your mane under control while being stuck at home on lockdown.
George Northwood, 41, from London, worked with the Duchess of Sussex, 38, for the past two years and was responsible for her chic “messy bun” wedding reception in May 2018, as well as her styles throughout her Australasian and Harry tour.
Talk to The temperature, George – whose clients also include Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Alexa Chung – offered her expert advice on how to get a DIY haircut while hair salons across the country are closed due of Covid-19.
He advised keeping your overall style and shape, rather than trying out a drastic new look, as well as investing in decent tools.
George recommended investing in a good pair of proper hairdressing scissors (move away from those in the kitchen drawer) as well as a long, narrow comb before you begin.
Hairdresser George Northwood, 41, of London, has worked with the Duchess of Sussex, 38, for the past two years and styled her wedding reception into a ‘messy bun’
EVERYTHING IS IN THE PREPARATION
As at the hairdresser, George advised to cut your hair in front of a large, well-lit mirror.
He also suggested washing and drying it in your usual style before you jump into it with the scissors, so you can assess whether it’s your bangs, split ends, or layers that need the most attention.
âNever work with wet hair because you will probably end up cutting more than you should,â he told the publication.
USE YOUR COMB TO CUT YOUR FRINGE
If you have bangs, George recommends isolating it from the longer sections of your hair and tying up the rest so that it doesn’t get in the way.
Then comb your bangs from below a few times before using the comb to lift the bangs outward.
George advised to cut his hair in front of a large, well-lit mirror
âTrim the ends of the hair,â he said. âMake sure you cut the bangs – it’s called tip cutting (you point the scissors like a clock hand pointing at seven o’clock). Don’t just cut in a straight line.
Resist the urge to pull your bangs forward with your fingers before cutting them, as you may end up cutting more than you’d like.
âResting the hair on the comb to cut it doesn’t create abnormal tension and you get a softer finish,â he added.
GO EASY ON SHORT HAIR
If you’re wearing a crop or bob, George advised minimal cut, sticking to areas that you think need a quick tidy.
He said: “Always follow the line created by your hairstylist,” adding that just a few millimeters can make a short style feel fresh.
AVOID CUTTING LONG HAIR IN A STRAIGHT LINE
After styling your hair in your usual parting, George recommends tilting your head forward and making very small cuts in the ends of the hair.
It is a good way to remove split ends and achieve a smoother and more natural result.
Cutting your mane in a straight line will cause, he warned, an “awkward end of stroke.”
KEEP YOUR REAR LAYERS AWAY
George recommends cutting only the layers in the front of your hair, unless your locks are long enough to brush forward.
Using your scissors, he recommended cutting sections to suit your style as much as possible.
As for cutting bangs, he said the point cut technique is the best way to do it to ensure a natural, graduated finish.
London hairdresser Michael Van Clarke’s advice for a home brushing
1. The right equipment
The first step in creating the perfect blow-dry is finding the right outfit 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 straighten wavy or frizzy hair well, a quality round bristle brush is best.
2. Do not use the nozzle
Discard the nozzle unless you have thick, wavy hair that requires a quick, smooth blow-dry.
They concentrate the heat too much and cause more damage to the hair than anything else.
3. Wash and comb
After washing, comb thoroughly to remove tangles, then free the roots by combing up and down at 45 degrees from the hairline.
4. Prepare well
Preparation is the most important step in bringing hair closer to the end result before brushing.
Use a diffuser to prep the hair by removing 85 percent of the excess water. Lift the roots into shape, prepare the 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 most prominent, followed by the tips of the hair, then the top layer.
The least important is the lower part of the back. So if you are short on time, don’t waste it on pieces that 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. Tilt the sections down around the hairline.
7. Lift the sections of hair at a tangent
Lift the tall sections at a tangent to the scalp so you have good root control. This will eliminate snagging and give tension control without painful pulling.
8. Maintain a safe distance between the hair and the nozzle.
Keep a one inch gap between the hair and the nozzle.
9. Keep it online
Keep the hair dryer nozzle aligned with the hair and pointed toward the tips.
10. Do not over-dry
Do not over-dry the section. If not, moisten it and start again. All the damage is done by continuing to dry already dry hair.
It goes beyond removing excess water and removes innate moisture from the hair, making it thinner and brittle which ends up splitting and breaking. Dry 98 percent and let air dry the rest of the way.
11. For curly hair
If you blow dry curly hair straight, keep the section tight, closed, and in position when removing the brush.
This will limit the absorption of the surrounding moisture by the hair as you move on to the next section.
12. Finishing explosion
Give a good explosion at the end on medium heat to dry completely, give a more natural feel and mix the sections.