Backstage at a fashion show, you’ll see more curling irons on display than in the aisles at Ricky’s. You’ll see boxes of various stylers stashed in every last square inch of space available. And you’ll breathe in more hairspray than oxygen. But none of these products were being used in any great amount backstage at NYFW fall 2017. Hairstylists’ favorite styling product in New York this season was, if you can believe it, a humble bottle of shampoo.
“It’s funny, the Redken Diamond Oil shampoo has been my go-to product here in New York,” said hairstylist Guido (he’s the brand’s global creative director). “Everyone wants the models’ hair to look clean and freshly washed this season.” That includes Ralph Lauren’s fall 2017 collection, a show which Redken and Guido gave us an exclusive look at to see the hairstyles he created.
“We’re keeping each girls’ hair natural hair texture but just enhancing it a little bit,” Guido said of the hairstyles seen on the Ralph Lauren runway. “So we’re blow-drying some hairlines to make them look more finished, adding dry texturizing spray to play up the texture even more, or using shine spray if the hair looks a little dry or dull.” But regardless of what tiny bit of styler Guido added in, the key to the light and natural quality of the hair was the fact it was squeaky clean for the show, something we also saw at Coach, Tory Burch, and Victoria Beckham this past week.
Washing two dozen models’ hair right before a show sounds like—and is—a logistical nightmare. Which is why most of the time Guido asks the girls to do it themselves. “I give them all a bottle of the shampoo and, if it’s a morning show, I ask them to wash their hair at home before they get to there,” he explained. “But if the girl does come in with dirty hair, we will always find a way to wash it.” Often times they have to get creative. I’ve seen hairstylists washing models’ hair awkwardly in the bathroom sink using a liter-sized bottle of water to rinse out the shampoo, or hooking up portable sinks in backstage areas that were never meant to see a portable sink (like, an outdoor tent in Milan, or upstairs at the Grand Palais in Paris).
As you can see from these dreamy images, the models’ hair has an airy, delicate quality. It feels light and fresh and, most importantly, like the models’ natural hair, which is what Guido says is the definition of modern luxury these days. “There’s something about clean hair that feels very rich and polished,” he said. “It used to be that a smooth blow-dry was the starting point for most hairstyles. Now, there’s something about freshly-washed hair as the starting point that feels very modern.” And whatever you do afterwards—add a bit of texture or movement, put in a bit of product—it’s starting off with a clean, air-dried slate that’s key.
You read about hairstylists’ favorite styling product at NYFW, now check out what they use all year round:
See our March cover star, Alison Williams, reveal a blonde, bold new look: