Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin on the best way to take care of your hair during lockdown
Jen Atkin is outrageously funny, an assessment I rely entirely on social media (a terrible measure of anyone’s life or personality), the fact that she called her book Blow my way to the top, and a 30 minute zoom call where she charmed a small beauty media group and complimented my hair.
The self-described ‘founder / hairstylist / bitch mom’ is one of the most prominent beauty moguls in the world, having built a personal brand (literally; she has a successful beauty line called Yeh) and the social media that follow her. hair she perfects for famous clients and on her own head.
Sleek, “effortless” and very influential: the Jen Aitkin look has come to define a specific aesthetic of the moment and very LA. She works regularly with Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid, has business meetings with Kris Jenner, vacations with best friend Chrissy Teigen – and offers a glimpse, albeit curated, into her glamorous life at her 4,1. million followers on Instagram; adopted dogs, famous friends and new baby River (she and her partner Mike Rosenthal openly shared their surrogacy journey last year).
Today Jen is sitting in a boardroom in her LA office, her own locks are still perfectly smooth after styling them 12 hours earlier that morning. We’re here to talk about everything hair-related, in the context of her role as a global ambassador for Dyson and her line of hair tools – including a new accessory that focuses on straightening flyaways caused by environmental impacts, new growth or postpartum breakage.
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Jen describes it as essentially mimicking the technique the hairstylist uses to tidy up flyaways using a brush and hairdryer which anyone who has tried to replicate it at home will know can seem impossible.
The user-friendly accessory, with its unique curved shape, uses the Coandă effect to attract and lift strands – while also using the technology of the cult Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. “It’s an acoustic design, so it’s super quiet,” she says. “I used to joke that I could chat while I did my hair and people could still hear me. “
Her best hairstyle advice for those who are housebound or unable to visit a hairdresser? Moisturize, with the same passion we have for our skin – with hair masks, and switch to tools that protect the health of your hair when styling.
“Personally, I feel like my skin has never looked better than it did last year,” she laughs, reflecting on her own lockdown time. “I actually drink water and get more sleep and you know we’re not on the treadmill of life that we were on before.”
She also has a word of warning for those flirting with the idea of a radical change from the pandemic. “Think twice before cutting bangs. Because it’s not for everyone!
What’s the next step in hair trends
“Due to the lockdown, many of us haven’t been able to have our hair cut for a while – so I’ve noticed that my clients’ hair is growing longer than it ever allowed. Some don’t wear extensions like they used to be, and it’s really fun watching people go into another phase of their hair that they normally wouldn’t have tried.
“I think when we get to a place where the world is a little more open, we’re going to have this artistic resurgence, like the 1920s after the Great Depression. We’re all going to be ready to burn our sweats, stop putting our hair in a ponytail or clips, and really love having a style again.
“I think we’ll see the ‘lob’. Hope to see some really cool short hairstyles a little choppy and layered. I always want everyone to cut their hair – I’m still talking about Natalie Imbruglia; I love her hair in the 90s, it was like the reason I got into hairdressing. I really like the choppy hair which has a lot of texture and movement. I think people are going to be daring with hairstyles and hair color again.
Extend the life of your brushing
“We all know the magic of dry shampoo when your hair is oily. But if you have an oily scalp and dry ends, try using two different types of shampoos – something more cleansing at the roots and moisturizing from the midline to the ends; it helps to balance your hair.
“I also always suggest sleeping on a silk pillowcase. I use Slip and it really is a game changer because the cotton is just going to sit there and absorb the moisture that you really want to keep in your hair.
High temperature doesn’t necessarily save you time drying your hair
“We’re all trained to turn up the heat and airflow to maximum speed – it actually does you a disservice when you comb your hair and blow dry it. Lower the air flow, lower the temperature. You might be pleasantly surprised that your hair is a little more bouncy, it could have more shape.
Favorite products of the moment
“I have to say that our collaboration with Ouai and Byredo leave-in conditioners has gone off the shelves; it’s my favorite at the moment. I also really like our treatment mask.
“I think it’s important to take the time to hide your hair, the same way we will put on a face mask. It’s nice in those times when you can in a week, if you’re sitting by a pool or going to exercise, just put a mask in your hair for 20-30 minutes.