Written by Morgan Fargo
Stylist recently sat down with celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, here are the invaluable tips he shared.
Megan Fox, Lori Harvey, Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Britney Spears and Joan Smalls are but a few of hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons’ celebrity clientele. And, chances are, whether you could pinpoint it or not, you’ve spotted (or screenshotted) one of his creations before.
Astoundingly versatile and often playing in the space between classic glamour and edgy modern tropes, Fitzsimons’ attitude to hair is wonderfully refreshing: use the right products, don’t be afraid of experimentation, lay the foundation and then have fun.
When I sit down with Fitzsimons on Zoom, it’s pitch black in London, the day curtailed at 4pm. For him, another sun-laden LA morning has dawned, and with it, he’s set to share his wealth of hair wisdom with Stylist.
Here are the five things I learned from our conversation, including a fresh way to think of a weekly hair routine.
1. Treat your hair like you treat your skin
“I’ve been saying this for years but you have to treat your hair like you treat your skin. Remember how fragile it is, just like you do your skin,” says Fitzsimons, outlining the most common issues he helps clients to troubleshoot.
Where, perhaps, we would make a double cleanse a priority in the evening, are we thinking about our hair in the same detail or, as I suspect, going to bed and praying it cooperates in the morning? For me, it’s the latter, something Fitzsimons says is rectifiable with a little forward thinking.
“You have to plan out your hairstyles,” he impresses upon me. “No one knows your hair cycle better than you do. So to be able to say, I’m going to start out on Monday with a big blow dry and then think about what events you have and what looks you’re going to serve and plot it out that way.”
It sounds more time intensive than it is. Much like you would think about the day ahead (or use a piece of technology to help, such as the app Whering), spend five minutes thinking about what you have on and what you might need your hair to do as it, most likely, gets dirtier and harder to style quickly.
“Really planning your hair like you plan your outfits and having those happen simultaneously. For example, you might need to have your hair up on Friday because it’s likely to be at its dirtiest, so you’d pair it with a high-neck dress. It’s about planning accordingly.”
2. Shine is your friend
There’s a natural hesitancy at loading hair with styling products, especially if your hair is fine or thin with a tendency to become heavy or limp. But shine, Fitzsimons says, is the easiest way to elevate any hairstyle. It just requires the right products.
“Shine is like putting highlighter on at the end of your make-up to make everything better,” he tells Stylist. “For a very sleek hairstyle, it’s the amount of shine and uniformity you can get into it that makes it look luxurious.”
Whether you choose to spray a natural bristle brush with a shine spray (Fitzsimons’ preferred method) or follow up with a soft mist of sheen, modern shine sprays are lightweight and touchable without tacky or sticky residue left behind. Fitzsimons’ own shine spray, the Andrew Fitzsimons Prism Shine Hair Spray and Smoothing Mist, £11, is non-sticky, with a super-fine mist to add gloss without grease.
3. Believe the hype about heatless styling tools
They’ve been the subject of many viral TikTok videos for a while now, but heatless styling tools are not a new phenomenon, no matter what social media may have you believe. From tying hair with rags to velcro rollers, flexi-rods and other heat-free tools, the benefits of eschewing heat are notable, something Fitzsimons expects more people to take advantage of.
“Heatless styling is a great way to protect the hair and also set it simultaneously,” he tells me. “I think more and more people are going to learn how to style their hair without heat because the benefits are better and your hair really has time to set, giving it a sort of muscle memory. Have you ever noticed if you plait your hair that those ridges are so difficult to get rid of because your hair has learned to stay in that shape?”
Whether you use the cushioned rods that are so popular online (and they really do work) or choose another method, reducing the frequency you apply heat to your hair will only benefit it, especially if you’re trying to heal heat, mechanical or chemical damage.
4. Using the right brush will make a world of difference
You wouldn’t use a blush brush to pop a lip stain on, so don’t make the same mistake with your hair, Fitzsimons cautions me and he’s right.
“Generally speaking, [great hair] comes down to products and the types of tools that you use. People often have their hair brush but, as with make-up, you need specific brushes and tools for specific hairstyles,” he advises.
That doesn’t mean you need to go and stock up like a professional hairstylist, but there are some key tools Fitzsimons recommends to keep on hand. They don’t need to be rebought often so don’t think you’ll be laying out a considerable chunk of your budget on brushes but, for the sake of your hair health and styles, each is worth its place in your washbag.
“I prefer to use a natural bristle brush or a brush that corresponds with hair length. I don’t like to use metal brushes – if the hair dryer is hot enough you don’t need a piece of hot metal as well.” This goes triple if your hair is coloured or highlighted he says.
“Besides that, choose a detangling brush, one with longer plastic spikes to polish the hair but also gently detangle it at the same time, or, if you’re a curly girl (with hair texture from 3a upwards), a bendable detangling brush.”
“The last one [to have in your at-home hair arsenal], would be a smaller size brush to detail. You want it to be smaller because you want to be able to pull down baby hairs or load it with gel or wax to snatch the hair up into the brush, pulling it up and smoothing down.”
5. Experiment, experiment, experiment
On the other side of fear is great hair, at least that’s what I tell myself whenever I make a drastic change to my appearance. However, it’s an attitude I feel Fitzsimons agrees with, underlining the myriad ways he works with clients to change up their signature or go-to styles.
“Using hair extensions instead of cutting your hair is also a great option – it’s what hairstylists do with celebrities all the time,” he tells me. “The fake fringes you can buy come in every single colour and can match your hair colour. I use them on clients all the time and nobody ever knows. They generally come with longer layers that you can cut up and blend in with your own hair, too.
Or, if additional hair feels like a bridge too far, consider switching your part or dipping a toe into more dramatic or distinct layers.
“Everyone knows a bun and it could go straight back but what about putting a part in your hair? What about putting a really, really deep side part because you’re wearing specific earrings?” he asks. “It’s about playing around with those concepts and working backwards, fine-tuning all of those details.”
Andrew Fitzsimons / £9
Après Sexe Texture Spray
Andrew Fitzsimons / £9
Body Volume Dry Hold Spray for Fine Hair
Andrew Fitzsimons / £9
Hard Strong Hold Hairspray
Andrew Fitzsimons / £11
Prism Shine Hair Spray Smoothing Mist
Main image: Getty
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