Meet the Women Behind Kiernan Shipka, Lea Michele, and Olivia Palermo's Gorgeous Hair
What do Kiernan Shipka, Lea Michele, and Olivia Palermo have in common? Lustrous hair, fearless style—and a collaborative relationship with a master hairstylist. Here, the women behind these gorgeous red-carpet looks talk to their favorite muses.
From the February issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download Jan. 6.
InStyle: Do you ever work on your own hair?
Kiernan Shipka: Oh my gosh, no! It’s so bad. I don’t even know how to work a curling iron. I literally pull my hair up in a little mini-bun and leave it at that. I let my hair dry naturally and part it to the side. I’m happy that Ashley is so talented, because I could never do my hair myself.
IS: What’s your relationship like?
KS: It’s an older sister/younger sister vibe. I’ve always felt close to her. We love to laugh. We’re so silly—it’s like a sleepover every time she does my hair.
Ashley Streicher: We collaborate so well. Kiernan has amazing, chic taste, which really made me want to work with her. She has a unique style: classy with a modern edge.
IS: I’m told that you have the perfect spot to do your hair and makeup. What’s it like?
KS: There is a little “getting ready” room in my parents’ house that I always use. It used to be a dusty old attic, but we made it super-fun. Ashley brings me a coffee, and we listen to the Blood Orange Pandora station.
IS: What was your biggest hair risk?
KS: I love the crazy Mohawk vibe, and also extensions, like the ones I wore for the SAG Awards. Six months ago I went to a disco punk–themed birthday party, and we did the wildest, giant crimped hair for it. No one else dressed up, so it was slightly awkward, but the hair was great.
IS: In 2014 you dyed your hair brown. Do you like to play with color?
KS: That was for a role, and then I had to go platinum blond right after. There’s a lot of changing hair color in this industry, but I find it fun—as long as my hair doesn’t fall out! Since Mad Men, I’ve been blond—it just feels like me. Most people don’t know that I have naturally brown hair.
IS: What was your favorite look on Kiernan?
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AS: It was for the Laura Mercier dinner at the London [West Hollywood] last year. I worked with my sisters [makeup artist Jenn Streicher and brow artist Kristie Streicher] at our Striiike salon. Kiernan was wearing the cutest collared Valentino dress that inspired the French knot look. We even gave her a red lip, which she never wears.
KS: I told them, “Do your magic.” I took a risk, and it turned out great. For the Costume Designers Guild last year, I wore a lavender McQueen dress, and the hair was so simple and nice. That was the emblematic Ashley hairdo.
IS: What’s your look for 2017?
KS: I feel much more comfortable in my own skin now, and I want to show that off. Maybe dyeing my hair red, purple, and pink, just the full rainbow. Why not? Maybe do a bang. I want to be open-minded about trying something new and seeing if I like it. You get to know yourself more that way.
Go-To Products: Sachajuan Dry Powder Shampoo: It gives incredible volume and texture without leaving hair feeling dirty or dry. $35; david pirrotta.com. GHD Platinum Styler: Easy to use without causing creases or crimps, it creates “cool-girl waves” and doubles as a straightener, says Streicher. $249; ghdhair.com/us. Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Treatmen “Squeeze through damp ends and let air-dry for a natural texture,” she says. $42; gmreverie.com.
InStyle: What’s your favorite look that Sarah created for you?
Lea Michele: I went to Elton John’s Oscars party, and she did the most beautiful hair. I felt like a princess. I also did a television show called Who Do You Think You Are? and Sarah did my hair for the entire week—each day we had a different look. She also did my hair for the Tonys when Spring Awakening was nominated, and for the first upfront for Glee, before anybody even knew who I was.
Sarah Potempa: The Oscars look was gorgeous. I did a peekaboo braid down the middle, and it was so chic and stunning. It was blown out and flat-ironed, but it had this natural feel that went into a low pony. It felt very carefree but also very sophisticated.
IS: What is your collaboration process?
LM: We look at a lot of inspiration photos and decide what style we want. I trust whatever she does. Sarah always encourages me to try different looks, and working with her puts me in the best mood.
Sp: Lea gives me the opportunity to be creative. She was one of the first celebrities I did detailed braids on. I feel like I’ve had all these great moments with her over the years.
IS: Sarah created the Beachwaver product line five years ago. Were you the first to try it?
LM: Yeah, she definitely tried out the Beachwaver on me. It’s the most incredible tool. It’s a game changer. You can take two minutes and have a cool hairstyle.
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Sp: People always wanted me to re-create Lea’s hair from the red carpets, so I thought there needed to be a tool that women can use at home to re-create the looks themselves. When I launched the Beachwaver and the Wrap Up, Lea was literally the first one to try them and Instagram it.
IS: How do you maintain such healthy hair?
LM: When I’m not working, I give my hair and skin a
break. I don’t wear any makeup, and I do not touch my hair. No heat, no product. It’s important because my
hair and skin need time to breathe.
IS: What has been your biggest hair risk so far?
LM: When I cut my bangs! Sarah helps me take risks
with my hair. That was probably the best risk I’ve ever taken. I think I want bangs again!
IS: What’s next for you?
LM: Right now it’s a toss-up between doing that or going lighter again. When I finish Scream Queens, Sarah and I have an appointment the next day, so I’ll definitely have a new look for the new year.
Go-To Products: Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse: A shot of this lightweight mousse adds the slightest bit of grit to freshly washed hair. $38; oribe.com. R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray: This long-lasting spray leaves hair touchable and soft. Perfect for strands that have just been “beach-waved.” $29; randco.com. The Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver S1.25: For a beautiful, consistent wave every time, this tool, available in three sizes, rotates in both directions. $129/1.25" barrel; beachwaver.com.
InStyle: What do you love about experimenting with hair?
Olivia Palermo: I’ve always been into beauty and fashion. Hair and makeup really pull everything together. A braid, for example, gives the look a different feel that I love.
Lacy Redway: I have been braiding ever since I was a kid. I was the girl in school braiding everyone’s hair. It’s part of my foundation, so I love incorporating braids into my work with Olivia.
IS: Describe your relationship.
OP: She’s part of the family. It’s really important with creative people to let them do their own creative thing. Somehow, we are always on the same page. We tell our story through beauty.
LR: We don’t pull references. We like to innovate things like nontraditional braids and updos in a collaborative effort. Olivia is not normal: She can pick an outfit and have a look together in five seconds and blow everyone away. Sometimes with our biggest red-carpet events, I don’t know what I am going to do, but she trusts me and gives me the freedom to play. Some of our best looks have been on the fly and they organically come together.
IS: Tell us what inspired the FUNhawk look.
LR: A couple of days ago, it was raining, and she was going to the Footwear News Achievement Awards. I knew I wanted to put her hair up because of the weather, so I made up a FUNhawk. It’s a take on the faux-hawk, but I didn’t know how that was going to end up. Luckily, Olivia allows me to bring out the best in my work.
IS: What’s important to know about Olivia’s hair?
LR: It’s very soft. Olivia takes care of her hair very well. She uses good-quality products like Phyto clarifying shampoo and volumizer and never has split ends.
OP: I think it’s really important to maintain your hair even if it’s a little dusting of a haircut every three weeks so it’s healthy. I just keep my hair clean and wash it.
IS: What’s a favorite look of yours?
OP: Recently, Lacy and I did this quick topknot bun with a braid in the back, which was really cute, and then we saw it referenced a few days later. We always want to do something different. Your hair and texture are different each day, so you can’t make it the same. A slight change is important.
LR: I don’t particularly like copying other people’s work. I think that’s why Olivia and I have such good chemistry: She understands that too. It’s not that we set out to make trends or anything like that. We just create our own lane and path, and we have fun with it.
Go-To Products: Wella Professionals EIMI Ocean Spritz: “It’s like bottling the ocean,” says Redway. Spray from midshaft to end of curls and scrunch for beach hair. $19; wella.com. Phyto PhytoVolume Actif Volumizing Spray: Spritz the roots before blow-drying to help lift the hair and create volume and bounce. $30; phyto.com. L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray: “I use it on all hair types,” she says. It provides a strong hold yet can easily be brushed out. $15; lorealparisusa.com.
From the February issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download Jan. 6.
97: Emman Montalvan; hair: Ashley Streicher/Forward Artists; makeup: Jenn Streicher/Forward Artists p. 98: Emman Montalvan; courtesy Striiike; courtesy Reverie; courtesy GHD; courtesy Sachajuan p. 100: Emman Montalvan; hair: Sarah Potempa/The Wall Group; makeup: Kira Nasat/The Wall Group; courtesy The Beachwaver Co.; courtesy R+Co; courtesy Oribe p. 102: Mark Lim; location: courtesy Crosby Street Hotel; TIPS; courtesy Phyto; courtesy Wella