salon secrets

5 Stylists to the Stars

July 31st 2015

Gisele Bündchen’s cascading curls, Jennifer Aniston’s shade of honey blonde, or Kate Moss’ mischievous fringe: all of these celebrities entrust their signature looks to the trendiest of hair stylists. Here we focus on the artists who created these magnificent hair styles.

Harry Josh, the artist behind Gisele’s surfer girl look

Who has never dreamed of having Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen’s perfectly styled beach hair? If the disarming naturalness of her wavy locks is never done seducing us, it is the art of the exceptional hair stylist Harry Josh that we should thank.

The Canadian left for New York as soon as he was old enough, determined that there was a place for him in the celebrity hair dressing world. He found his first job as a casting director for Marc Jacobs and his innate talent with hair soon had him sculpting the models’ hair. With the power of word of mouth, he was soon styling hair for the catwalks, and the beauty director of Vogue called on Harry for his first editorials.

When he met Gisele, the fashion fireworks were immediate. Between her sunny blonde hair and the hairdresser’s scissors, a unique and knowing collaboration was born. Harry Josh cared his muse’s golden colour, creating a timeless fashion trend inspired by the surfers of Brazil. The secret behind her textured curls? A blow dry and meticulous working of the length.

Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hair artist

Boy cut, dyed a flamboyant red or with glamourous curls, Rihanna is a representation of creative hair. Behind each of the looks of this pop chameleon hides a hair stylist with truly inimitable talent.

Ursula Stephen grew up in the popular district of Brooklyn. Always unhappy with the cut that her hairdresser gave in her adolescence, she decided to experiment with reworking them. Her mum even set up a miniature hair salon in the basement of their house, and this was where Ursula learnt her art, reinventing the haircuts and styles of her friends.

After receiving her diploma from a hairdressing school, the young hairdresser went from New York party to New York party, collecting the addresses of it-girls and underground contacts. Little by little, she became the favourite hairdresser of RnB singers Keyshia Cole and Khadejia Bass. After Rihanna’s hairdresser pulled out of the styling for the video to Unfaithful in 2007, they called Ursula to fill her shoes, and the hair dresser left Brooklyn permanently to style the hair of the rising star.
Her fit in this new environment was breath-taking. Ursula confided to the New Yorker that doing Rihanna’s hair was “child’s play”. Sharing the same Caribbean origins, Ursula and Rihanna quickly became very close friends. The singer entrusted her hair to Ursula when she recommended a shift toward a more rock and roll style. The bob that Ursula gave her was, before long, a hit at salons worldwide. Since then, Ursula has helped the star transition to red, platinum and even a bad girl mohawk.

Ursula Stephen, The Salon
66 Avenue Lafayette,
Brooklyn, New York
(347) 457-5834


Jennifer Aniston’s best friend and hair stylist

From the iconic Rachel cut to her cheeky long bob, Rachel Aniston’s hair is one of the most carefully scrutinised since the ‘90s. At the origins of these styles is Chris McMillan, a hair stylist who is decidedly out of the ordinary.

In 1994, the young hairdresser got a call from the producer of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, inviting him to revive the heavy fringe of a rising television actor. Chris McMillan accepted the challenge and lifted Aniston’s long locks to create a unique signature look: the Rachel cut. A somewhat perfect relationship began between the actress and the stylist, she trusted him exclusively with her hair, which had become one of the emblems of the ‘90s. From preparations for the Oscar’s to coming to the young actress’ house, Chris was ready at all hours to help resolve any hair related problems of the woman who had become his muse.
In January 2015, their friendship was immortalised in the magazine Allure. Under the direction of Michael Thomas, the inseparable pair posed bare chested in a touching embrace. The era of F.R.I.E.N.D.S now over, the stylist works with care on Jennifer’s natural curls to delicately shape her face.

Despite this beauty professional being regularly demanded backstage for fashion shows for Marc Jacobs or Hermes, he tries to deliver his art in some way to all women. In his Los Angeles salon, he keeps a watchful eye over his team of gold handed colourists and hairdressers.

Chris McMillan, The Salon,
Los Angeles,
8944 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 285 0088


James Brown and Kate Moss, an oh-so-British duo

Kate Moss’ grungy blonde locks and mischievous fringe have become an unavoidable classic in salons. Her rock and roll allure even inspired Kim Kardashian (link to the Oribe article) in 2015, when she went for a mid-length unstructured cut. If the British celeb only visits a stylist occasionally for a twist to her wardrobe, she has a much closer relationship with her hair stylist who has become her intimate friend.

If James Brown can, from this point on, be known as one of the most visionary hairdressers on the other side of the Channel, he hoped as a child to become a jockey. It was only when playing with his sister’s china dolls’ hair that he discovered his aptitude for wielding the scissors perfectly. Inspired by the punk movement, he dreamed of cutting a generation of young girls’ hair in the style of Blondie front woman Debbie Harry.

In March 1993, Vogue called James for the first cover of a still unknown willowy model. His explosive encounter with Kate Moss marked a significant turning point in his career, which he describes fondly: “we were all very young and were quite simply doing what we loved.”, as he described it to Refinery29.

The British Dandy was still innovating in 2010, when he was followed the team of E4 for the opening of their London studio. The show James Brown’s Supermodel’s Salon unveiled the lesser-known techniques used by professional hairdressers, and gave up genius secrets such as the perfect dishevelled look.

Ken Paves and the art of glamour curls

Eva Longoria’s flowing curls are a definite point of reference when discussing sexy hair. With Longoria established in the glamourous look of Latina bombshell, Ken Paves, a highly confident hair stylist was at the centre of his profession.

Inspired by the hair curling techniques of his mother, the young hairdresser learnt to perfect his technique with the scissors under the direction of star hairdresser: Oribe. In 2002, TV presenter Oprah Winfrey called on him for the extreme makeovers on her talk show. Spotted by Hollywood, Ken then landed the job working for the desperate housewife. The hair stylist’s sculpting of Eva’s natural curls was an art without pair, which he put down to his understanding of the desires of women and his strong desire to bring them into being for the spotlight.

For Longoria’s lustful hair, Ken took inspiration from the legendary hairdressers of Hollywood’s golden age: a sexy twist on Veronica Lake’s sculptural curls, to which only he has the secret. Eva’s indispensable accomplice sang his muse’s praises, he wrote of her hair as “a dream white canvas that always challenges [my] creativity.” When he’s not working with celebrities, he applies himself in enhancing the natural beauty of all of the woman in his Beverly Hills salon, showing off their elegance and determination.

Ken Paves Salon,
409 North Robertson Boulevard,
Beverly Hills, CA, 90048

Photo credits ©Chris McMillan