Hair Dos & Don’ts, According To Tress Wizard Sam McKnight
Sam McKnight is to hair what Zoella is to YouTube: inextricable. The former is a British hair god, and he’s been wowing us with his nimble fingers for over five decades. McKnight’s had his hands in Princess Diana’s locks and worked with the world’s most esteemed fashion creatives – from photographers Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight and Mario Testino, to stylists Lucinda Chambers and Liz Tilberis.
McKnight’s client list is similarly impressive: Chanel, Fendi, Tom Ford, Burberry and Balmain are all frequent employers of his tress wizardry. This November the famous hair stylist’s life’s work went on display at London’s Somerset House. To accompany the exhibit his first book, Hair by Sam McKnight, is a takeaway guide of his most iconic looks and valuable hair tips and tricks.
We’ve gleaned his debut tome to give you Sam McKnight’s hair dos and don’ts. No thanks necessary.
1. Do achieve this season’s ‘new luxury’ look – a pseudonym for simple, undone and unfussy hair – ensure hair is freshly washed, air dried, and finished with a light combing of smoothing serum.
2. Do get great volume by starting with volumising hair care. Volumising shampoos, root-boosting products and thickening lotions will enhance the extra teasing or volumising techniques you use.
3. Do experiment with cut. If you’re craving a new style but are afraid to do the big chop, ask your hairdresser to give you layers. This will instantly change the shape of your hair and can enhance your facial features if done well.
4. Do tease hair at the crown. This will give you added height, help to slim your face, and enhance the illusion of a full-bodied barnet.
5. Do have a healthy diet and keep up with your vitamins are the best ways for improving strength and sheen in the long term.
1. Don’t get a fringe if you have thin hair. Instead, opt for invisible layers, which will provide an extra boost of thickness.
2. Don’t forget your paddle brush. McKnight swears by the brush’s short, widely spread plastic teeth to make fast work of detangling and smoothing hair.
3. Don’t overcomplicate your styling. Sometimes all that’s required is a quick spritz of sea salt spray to produce a cool beachy ’do akin to Kate Moss and Giselle Bündchen.
4. Don’t tong from the end-up when curling hair. Start from the root, says McKnight, advising to curl the tong (rather than twisting the hair around the tong), so hair naturally follows and winds around the tong barrel. This avoids ringlets. If curls are too tight, soften by running your fingers through them, then finishing with a light hairspray.
5. Don’t ever forget your dry shampoo. ‘Nuff said.