DIY Chelsea blow-dry: Can you get Kate's tumbling curls without professional help
MARIANNE POWER gave it a whirl…
09:03 GMT, 12 July 2012
Oh dear, I’m in a mess. A small round brush has wound its way into my tangled hair and it won’t come out. I’m tugging and tugging, but no joy — and the more I pull, the worse it seems to get. It is well and truly stuck.
After a few minutes of yanking, my arm starts to burn with tiredness, so I leave the brush to dangle around my left ear.
I wonder if I might have to leave it there for ever. Would anyone notice Could I pass it off as a style statement
Get the look: Marianne wants bouncy curls like the Duchess of Cambridge, right, and sister Pippa had at Wimbledon
Mind you, it’s no worse a style statement than the rest of my hair. Looking in the mirror, I see the locks of a woman who has spent her morning in a wind tunnel. I look deranged.This is not the idea.
For the last hour-and-a-half I have been trying to carry out my very own ‘Chelsea blow-dry’ — the big, bouncy, glossy hairstyle brought into fashion by the Duchess of Cambridge.
I took up the challenge after spending most of the Wimbledon final looking not at Andy Murray’s backhand, but the glossy manes of Kate, her sister Pippa and Andy Murray’s girlfriend, Kim Sears.
Step one: Make sure your hair is squeaky clean and comb with a wide-tooth comb before rough drying
until it is 70 per cent dry. Dry the roots first, pulling the hair upwards to get volume
Step two: Divide hair into sections and apply volume spray to the roots and serum to the ends to give shine. If your hair is very fine, use mousse
Their perfectly coiffed locks were
bouncier than the tennis balls and so shiny, it’s a wonder Murray and
Federer weren’t blinded. Oh, to have hair like them . . . life would,
indeed, be perfect.
is naturally dense, wiry, frizzy and very, very thick. The only time it
looks good is when a hairdresser with a strong arm and paddle brush
beats it into submission. But unlike the Glossy Posse, I visit a
hairdresser once a month, not once a day, which means on most days I
sport a ginger halo of frizz.
But can that change Is it possible, I wonder, to give myself a Chelsea blow-dry at home
decide to find out. First stop is to blow-dry supremo, Joel Silverman,
at Jo Hansford salon in London to see how a professional does it. Joel,
who looks after Liz Hurley, model Erin O’Connor and Leona Lewis, says
women clients are queuing up for the Chelsea blow-dry. ‘They say they
want expensive looking hair,’ he says. ‘Lots of shine, lots of volume.’
Joel’s prices start at 41 for a blow-dry. I am hoping I will pay once, but learn to do it myself for nothing.
‘You’ll never get the same result as you’d get in a a salon, especially if you have lots of hair like yours,’ he says. ‘But with a bit of practice you can make a good attempt at this look at home.’
First, Joel gives me a demonstration, talking me through how to achieve the hairdo step by step. He says the most important thing to do is make sure your hair is squeaky clean to begin with. In particular, all the conditioner must be rinsed out after washing, otherwise ‘it doesn’t matter what you do to it, it will look limp’, he warns.
Steps three, left, and four: Take a section at a time and twist around a medium round brush. Then blast the roots. Pull the brush away and down the hair, with the dryer following your movement
Once the hair is suitably rinsed, he
combs it before rough-drying it. Joel’s top tip is to start drying it
with the hairdryer near the roots and to pull your hair upwards (rather
than yanking it down, as I would do) as you are blasting it, to give
So far, so good. Then he starts to use words such as ‘sectioning’ and I am lost. Sectioning means doing your hair tiny amounts at a time (the phrase ‘Life’s too short’ springs to mind).
Starting at the bottom, he takes one section of hair at a time, whipping it around a round brush and applies what he calls ‘tension’ — hairdresser speak for pulling really hard — as the hairdryer follows the brush. With his deft movements and strong arms, it takes Joel just over half an hour to whip my hair into perfectly glossy waves. He says he can do up to 15 blow-dries a day — and admits that yes, his arms are very strong.
But it’s not over yet. In order for the curl to really bounce and last, you have to put in Velcro curlers and leave them for ten minutes, blasting them with a hairdryer and then with hair spray.
Steps five, left and six: Divide it again and wrap each section around a roller, securing with a clip. Start at the back. Then apply the hairdryer to each roller to help the curl set. Leave to cool for ten minutes
When he pulls the rollers out, my hair
is bouncier than a labrador and more expensive-looking than the royal
diamond collection. Ooh, I look very Chelsea! Get my car, driver, I’m
off to Harvey Nicks!
Well, not yet. Now it’s up to me to do it again, solo. And, oh dear God, what a mess I get myself into.
My perfect hair is washed out
(heartbreaking) and I start over. The rough-drying is fine — rough is my
middle name — but combining me, a round brush and a hair dryer is a
disaster. I start by trying to section off bits of my hair with clips
and, as instructed, start at the back.
But I can’t reach and after ten minutes of straining, I give up, figuring that what I can’t see doesn’t count.
But even working on the hair I can see is not easy. An inbuilt lack of co-ordination means I cannot master the combination of using a brush and a hairdryer at the same time. The nozzle of the hairdryer keeps blowing my hair into a fly-away mess. I don’t do ‘curl’ with the brush — I do ‘knot’.
The result: Pull out the rollers and voila! Brushing will take the curls out, so only use your fingers
Twenty minutes of pulling, twisting
and drying later and I have dried only about a fifth of my hair. My arms
are just about ready to give up. I have done gym sessions that were
less tiring than this.
/07/11/article-2172270-1403CDAF000005DC-702_634x827.jpg” width=”634″ height=”827″ alt=”How the expert does it: Professional Joel Silverman gave Mariannes curls the perfect Chelsea blow-dry” class=”blkBorder” />
How the expert does it: Professional Joel Silverman gave Marianne’s curls the perfect Chelsea blow-dry
Jo Hansford, 48 South Audley Street, London W1K 2QB, johansford.com; 020 7495 7774.