If you’ve ever sat there stunned at a celebrity hair do, wondering just how they get their hair to stay in place in that chignon bun, then trust us you’re not alone.
Celebrities are renowned for their sexy, and highly enviable hairstyles, and talented hair stylist James Johnson is all too familiar with the glitz and glamour of it all.
James, who has curled the locks of the likes of Billie Faiers and the Love Island lot, and who has positioned perfect ponytails on heads including Jacqueline Jossa ‘s and Ferne McCann’s, is a hair stylist who is in extremely high demand in the celebrity world, and rightly so.
Here, he shares an insight into his busy schedule and discloses which celebrities choose which hairstyles.
Who are some of the best celebrities you’ve worked with?
“I’ve been so fortunate to work with some of the biggest faces on reality tv! The likes of reality royalty Gemma Collins , Spice Girl Mel B, Love Island winners such as the newly weds Cara and Nathan Delahoyde-Massey and even the new jungle queen Jacqueline Jossa. I’ve worked hard but I think it’s fair to say I’ve got around.”
Who’ve been some of your favourites to do hair styling for?
“Everyone I work with always brings me such a huge buzz! I always say I’m lucky to work with such a variety of personalities I really couldn’t pick a favourite! They each bring a different vibe which makes each day so much fun.”
Who are some of your returning clients?
“You can probably see on my social platforms the same faces return and become regulars! This is nice as you can create your own look book with each star. Once comfortable too, they trust you to plan new looks and try different styles… this is the best part of the job, forming that trust and adventuring out of comfort zones into unfamiliar hairstyles.”
How did you get into being a celebrity hair stylist?
“I get asked this all the time! I studied in a Grammar School and stereotypically statistics require you to go onto University. For me that just wasn’t an option. I’m creative, I like to work with my hands and get stuck in.
“I did hair for work experience by fluke as I ended up leaving it so late the only place that would take me was my local salon, however I had the best time.
“Once deciding uni was a big no during A Levels, I wanted to explore the hair world more. Being ambitious, I took myself on a train to London and worked for one of the best hairdressers in the country, spending nearly three hours a day commuting each morning to work and around 80 per cent of my apprentice wage on travel alone… but I knew deep down this would all pay off! Hopefully we can agree it has.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
“I’m always looking around me… I could be in the local supermarket, or even filling up my car. I see people’s hair and I’m constantly looking for ways to take inspiration and adapt it to my own work.
“Pop stars like Cher have changed the hair world. Stylists like Chris Appleton who work with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora are bringing out new trends all the time. It’s almost more fun for people like me to try and keep up and transfer these new ‘fashion hairstyles’ on to my own clients.”
We saw you recently worked on Dancing On Ice Christmas Special – how was that?
“To get to work on such a huge show was so exciting! To be there with the surprise guest too, who is soon to be revealed, was so much fun, she’s so loving and supportive – she’s a real fun lady to work with, we laughed all day! I can’t wait for everyone to see the show… and the surprise in store! I can promise big hair, Christmas campness and lots of festive cheer!
Which hairstyles have been popular over Christmas and which looks have you been creating most for your celebrity clients?
“Christmas is all about extraness… we want big hair, we want movement, we want shine! It’s the only time of year you can walk around with bells in your hair and no would judge.
“Recently I created a big bouncy blowdry on Ferne McCann, oozing with shine, lots of movement – really making it sexy and glamorous with lots of volume, perfect for the winter time.”
Do the celebs share their secrets with you whilst you style? Have you made any close celebrity pals as a result of your profession?
“Yes! I think with being a hairdresser it’s one of the only few jobs that within minutes of meeting someone you don’t know, you already get so close and personal with them physically… I can’t imagine any other job that you instantly get to touch and love a strangers look, quite funny really!
“Being around people a lot and being so close to them physically, I’ve quickly built up friends that I would consider for life. I’ve had many pinch-me moments which I’ll forever be grateful for. To think I used to watch TOWIE as a teen, or Listen to the Spice Girls growing up to then be working with the stars themselves? Mad!
“But overall I’m so lucky that with all my regulars, they are all so supportive and loving towards anything I achieve and go on to do… I’m really blessed!”
Is there a popular hairstyle that most of the stars request time and time again?
“Waves will never be out of fashion – the messier and un-done the better!
“Recently too the old fashioned blowdries are coming back, but overall ladies are always wanting the big bouncy hair or the sexy beach waves. They never don’t look good and it’s a real versatile hair style for any age on any person.”
You’ve worked with recent I’m A Celebrity winner Jacqueline Jossa – how was that?
“I gave JJ a half up half down look! She’s got stunning features so her hair off her face really suits her! I’m so pleased she won!”
Which celebrity do you work with the most?
“Cara Delahoyde-Massey lives near me and I almost feel part of the family. Her and Nathan have created a beautiful family and she always trusts me with whatever look I want to give her… she doesn’t even look anymore! I owe her so much, without her trust and support I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Which celebrity/ celebrities would you love to work with?
“If I had a choice of anyone… 100% Dolly Parton! Grandad used to play her tapes in the car during the summer holidays as a child, he’s sadly passed now but I had the chance too, I’d love to style her hair (pieces)!”
What are some of your hair top tips for those looking to don glamorous hair this Christmas? How can they create simple Christmas looks?
“Everyone wants their hair to last. Prep the hair and you’ll be the most glamorous queen at the ball! For them big curls, pin the hair and let the hair sit for as long as possible! Hair is like jelly so when it sets in a shape, it’ll last a lot longer meaning you’ll be curly and volume-filled all night.
“For an extra shine boost, I use the ColourWow Extra shine spray! It’s the only one I use on all my clients as it’s non greasy, lightweight and makes sure your style pops, perfect for any hair type and for any style.
“I also believe less can be more. A tight pony tail or an easy ‘chuck it up do’ is still a winner in my eyes! If you’re not confident with hair, don’t over think it and just relax. You’ll probably agree the bun you create for bed always looks better than the bun you try and create for work, so the less thought about it the better the outcome of look.”
Are there any hair-do’s we can expect to see becoming more popular in 2020?
“The use of wigs, clip ins and pieces are definitely on the rise! JLo, Katy Perry and more all use them and I’m not shy of them myself.
“Ladies are becoming more confident in clipping in these extra pieces for a versatile look. It’s now ‘the norm’ to switch it up for an event or a night out! It’s nice to change your image semi-permanently with the use of hair pieces… and it looks good on the gram too.”
Plans for the future?
“2020 is definitely going to be busy. I’m launching something very exciting and I’m sure you’ll be seeing my face a lot more very soon! I can’t say what on just yet… but what I can guarantee is bigger hair, more different styles and most importantly, more tips and tricks for everyone to copy themselves at home.”
You can check out James’ sensational celebrity hair styles over on his Instagram channel, @iamjamesjohnson
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