Mane Events, in partnership with Haircare Group, welcomed Hollywood’s most in-demand hairdresser and a star in his own right, Chris Appleton, for a special all-day look and learn education session at Sydney’s Ivy Ballroom.
Chris is Color Wow’s Global Creative Director and a renowned name in the hair and beauty industry. With a client list that includes A-list stars like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande, he’s a sought-after artist known for his transformative hair creations. Chris is celebrated for his innovative approach to hair styling, often pushing boundaries with daring cuts, colours, and extensions. He’s known for the iconic glass hair’ trend and his contribution to the ‘super-long ponytail’ look. His work is marked by creativity, precision, and a signature touch that consistently turns heads on the red carpet and beyond, making him a significant influencer in the world of celebrity hairstyling.
His posts showcasing his work and hair transformations have garnered millions of followers, further solidifying his position as a trendsetter, and his work is frequently seen on the red carpets like the Met Gala, major award shows and events. In addition, he’s made several appearances on TV shows, including beauty and style segments, where he shares his expertise and tips with a wider audience. He most recently joined the Drew Barrymore Show as Lifestyle Contributor with appearances and everyday makeovers.
The day of learning kicked off with an introduction from David Mannah and Group Managing Director of Haircare Group, Garth Gauvin. The room was filled to the brim with the Australian hair community eager to learn his tips and tricks of the trade and to understand just how he gained clientele like the ultra-famous, a huge social following and a respected level of success within the industry and beyond.
“It’s an honour for us to partner with Color Wow to bring Chris Appleton, Global Creative Director for Color Wow, to Australia for his first tour,” Garth shared.
Chris began the session with his signature Snatched Pony’ look, which garnered a few chuckles from the crowd when he acknowledged it as Ariana Grande’s signature style.
“I remember I got the call to do Ariana’s hair and she was basically trialing people at the time because she wanted a new hairstylist,” he shared. “So, I went and assumed she had really long hair and a lovely long ponytail but she didn’t, so I thought back to when I was in the salon and what would make the client want to come back to me and why is she going to pick me. What’s going to be different about a ponytail? So, I thought how can I make it longer, how can I make it a little more interesting and make it stand out from the rest and now the evolution of the perfect pony has gone on and on.”
Saturating the roots in Color Wow Cult Favorite Firm + Flexible Hairspray, Chris is not afraid to go for gold when it comes to using product. He explained how he likes the look of a mid to high pony to really follow the eye line of the client and pull the face up for a ‘facelifted’ appearance. When it’s done wrong, he explained, it can be painful for the client, but when done right, it sits nice, high and tight. For general hold he uses a bungee cord to secure the hair once brushed back and adds in extensions for volume.
The second look was a nod to Kim Kardashian’s now infamous 2019 Met Gala wet hair look. He began creating the look by applying Color Wow’s Pop & Lock High Gloss Serum and layering it on the hair in sections, rubbing the product together in his hands to form a shellac then rubbing it through the hair. Once the product creates a nice texture, he begins to add hairspray to saturate the root area and starts to give control while working with the client’s face shape, saturating the hair from front to back. He then clips the hair into place around the face to set the look.
Anecdotally, while creating the second look Chris mentioned he hates getting the question, “What’s the next hair trend?”
“The trend now is change without compromising the hair too much, for example, clip-in bangs,” he shared. “When Hailey Bieber cuts her hair into a bob, people want it for like three days and after that, they want the next thing, it’s always changing.”
The final look was Jennifer Lopez’s Superbowl hair, which went viral on social media with Chris brushing through the bouncy blowout just before J.Lo’s Superbowl Halftime performance. He mentioned, that the NFL planned a pre-recorded performance of J.Lo’s Superbowl Halftime Show in case it rained, so they were prepared and filmed it as if it was the live show.
“So I went to the back and I would normally curl her hair with a two-inch curling iron and let it set but, for some reason, I decided to use a one-inch curling iron and I would never normally curl and pin it but for some reason again I did,” Chris said. This created super bouncy curls that Chris saw as a mistake, but once J.Lo stepped off the stage her manager raved about the hair and how bouncy it looked.
Chris’ “mistake” became a technique he uses often and he went on the perfect the look for the actual Halftime performance. To create the look, he curls the hair with the wand twice with the weight and size of a bigger barrel curl. He then brushes it out and builds texture to the hair with Color Wow Style On Steroids Texture Finishing Spray and continues to brush it out building a foundation to the hair that doesn’t drop and will stay for days. Chris emphasised again not to be gentle with the products, but to really utilise them.
The look and learn session wrapped up with a final Q&A, where Chris shared important insights. The audience was able to take away several behind-the-scenes celebrity stories that Chris shared and how he worked his way up from humble beginnings in Lester, England, to one of Hollywood’s most requested hairstylists. Remaining humble, Chris shared that he has goals yet to accomplish for the future and success is built over time through hard work, tumbles and climbing up again, but that believing in yourself is key.
For more information visit www.thehaircaregroup.com
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