Thursday, 24 October 2013

Interview: Jamie Stevens

Jamie Stevens is one sought-after stylist. He is the go-to hair guru for numerous A-Listers and he is forever lending his wisdom to high profile magazines across the world. Last year his talents were recognised when he was nominated for British Hairdresser of the Year. If that isn't enough to get you going, Jamie is the X Factor Hair Stylist in residence!

Luckily for me, Jamie took some time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to talk all things hair and beauty...

Jamie Stevens X Factor

What inspired you to work in the hairdressing industry? And how did your career journey begin?

I grew up in a family of hairdressers. My Mum, Nan and Great Granddad were all hairdressers. I initially started out as a professional footballer in my teens, following in my father’s footsteps. However a serious injury cut short my dream of Premiership glory and so I naturally fell into hairdressing and loved it!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the industry?

Simply put, you have to be prepared to put in the hours! People only see the glamorous or fluffy side of what I do, but what they don’t see is the long days and nights working to get there. It’s about making yourself available for everything and everyone in the early days to gain as much experience as possible. Also, if you want to be the best you've got to work with the best, so surround yourself with talented people.

What is your career highlight?

It’s hard to pin it down to one as I've had so many fantastic experience. I've worked with some of the best names in hairdressing, launched my own salons and won numerous awards. I've also worked with celebrities and have been involved in many TV shows, such as The X Factor.

I have to say that being nominated for HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year Award for the first time last year - as the joint youngest nominee in the award's 28 year history - has been a huge pinnacle in my career. The British Hairdressing Awards are like the Oscars of the hairdressing world! I’m nominated again this year and to see my name up there with the greats is a huge honour.

Jamie in action!

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

I always think about beauty icons in two categories – icons that have stood the test of time and ones that are current and fresh right now. For me, the women that represent timeless beauty are Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. They all represent old school glamour and each had their own distinctive style when it came to their hair - which we often see re-emerge in today’s hair trends.

Right now, I have to say Rihanna is one of my ultimate beauty icons. She is like a chameleon and she is always brave and adventurous in her hair styles. On the opposite end of the spectrum, yet equally as iconic, is Alexa Chung. She represents the epitome of effortless, undone chic.

What are your hair and beauty essentials?

A good pair of straightening irons are invaluable as you can use them in so many ways, from straightening to curling or creating texture. With using any heated tools, a heat protection spray is an absolute must before drying and styling, otherwise hair will become dull, dry and brittle. Try the TRESemme Pro Shine Heat Protect Style Primer as it protects hair from temperatures as high as 230 degrees. A set of non-snag bands and pins grips are an essential part of any hairdresser’s kit, whether it’s to scrape hair out of the way whilst at work or to take hair from coffee to cocktails in a quick 10 minute up-do.
TRESemme Pro Shine Heat Protect Style Primer
What is the biggest hair crime a person can commit?

Getting stuck in a style rut. You wouldn't wear the same shoes or coat year in, year out, so why would you wear the same hairstyle for years? I have a three-strike rule whereby, every third time I cut someone’s hair, I encourage them to change it - even if it’s the subtlest tweak to keep the hair looking fresh and current. 

Another hair crime is using the wrong products for your hair type and in the wrong way. For example, if you have fine hair and overload it with volumising products, it will do the opposite of what the product is designed to do. Instead it will weigh the hair down, making it limp. Make sure you seek advice from your hair stylist about which products to use and, more importantly, how to use them on your  hair.

What is your top hair tip?

When it comes to getting your hair to sit how you want it to, the key is to blow-dry it in the opposite direction. For example, if you want instantaneous volume with minutes to spare, tip your head upside down and blast it with a hairdryer in the opposite direction you want it to sit, working in a volumising product to give it some guts. Tip your head back and you’ll have head-turning body and bounce. Similarly, to achieve an obedient fringe, blow-dry it in the opposite direction you want it to sit and leave to cool, before brushing over to the correct side – this will ensure it sits in place throughout the day.
TRESemmé X Factor Pro Shine range

TRESemmé X Factor Pro Shine range is available exclusively in Tesco stores nationwide.

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