TIFF 2015: We talk to the stylist behind Dakota, Rachel and Elizabeth’s hair all week long
Mark Townsend rarely works with more than one client per day. But for Hollywood A-listers Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams and Dakota Johnson, he was more than willing to break his rule during this year’s TIFF.
The three leading ladies may be different when it comes to film genres and red carpet style, but if there is one thing they have in common, it’s that they can easily pull off any hairstyle, from elegant to cool girl grunge. Case in point: their individual TIFF premieres. Inspired by each of their dresses, Townsend juxtaposed their ultra-feminine gowns by working textured hairstyles that complemented the outfits rather stole the spotlight.
“These are all clients I’ve worked with for a long time so we [wardrobe stylist, client and makeup artist] all know each other very well,” says Townsend. “Our cooperation works because we all want each other’s input.”
Looking to step up your hairstyle game this season? Then you’ve come to the right place. We chatted with Townsend to get his take on three of the most-talked-about hairstyles on the TIFF 2015 red carpet, as well as a play-by-play on how to re-create each look. And the best part is that none of them require more than five steps from start to finish. #win
Celebrity: Elizabeth Olsen
“For the I Saw The Light premiere, Elizabeth and I talked about doing an up-do; we wanted to keep it chic and not too overdone. The [Juan Carlos Obando] dress was beyond cool. It had great shape to it so I wanted the hair to reflect that, but keep it modern. So we went with something very classic like the bun, but with texture in it. That’s what makes it modern and kind of cool.” – Mark Townsend
Start by placing a few drops of Dove Pure Care Dry Oil on damp hair and comb it through.
“Lizzy knows I don’t like working with clean hair,” says Townsend. “So she’ll come to me with three-day-old hair. And it gets better and better.”
Add a dollop of your favourite mousse to hair and scrunch while blow-drying for texture.
“I know Lizzy’s hair really well because I met her when she was 13 when I was working with her sisters. And she likes a lot of texture.”
When the hair is dry, take a small amount of wax or paste (like Sally Hershberger 24K Texturizing Paste) in hands and rake it through the hair for cool texture, hold and to tame the flyaway hairs.
Then pull the hair back and twist it into a bun (you could easily pull hair into a ponytail and then wrap the ponytail around the base) and secure with bobby pins. When putting in bobby pins, always use an even number and apply them in “X” formation for added security.
“She has natural wavy and very thick hair. Doing up-dos on her can be tough because she just has so much hair.”
To keep the hair in place (throughout the premiere and after party), finish by liberally spraying strong hairspray all over.
“She’s probably got the greatest head of hair I’ve ever worked with. It’s different from Mary Kate and Ashley because they are wash-and-go kind-of girls, so there’s no fuss with their hair. But Lizzy, she likes polished.”
“For the premiere of Everything Will Be Fine, we talked about keeping Rachel’s natural texture. Rachel loves polished hair but it has to have an edge,” says Townsend. “A little something to make it cool, which is just like her. She’s refined, polished, but has a wicked sense of humor.”
Side note: “Her hair was actually pinned into a bob. That’s my little secret. She was saying how she wanted her hair shorter like the makeup artist but was not sure if she should do it. I said to her: “Don’t do it right before the red carpet! Here take your time to think about it, so in going to pin it and show it to you so you know what it looks like.” And when she caught sight of herself in the mirror after she got her hair and makeup done, she came back wearing the dress and she loved the hair and asked if she could leave it pinned.”
Start by applying a few pumps of the Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave-In Foam throughout the hair.
“I’m in love with this volumizer because it gives the hair such great volume while adding much needed moisture to the hair. I also parted her hair on the other side because I really into volume right now and I wanted her hair to have a good lift right in the front. She did feel uncomfortable at first because she’s so use to have her hair over her other eye. But a deep side part and the opposite side tucked behind the ear is a great way to open up the face. It’s styled on all sides.”
Blow dry hair using only fingers; twisting and scrunching large sections of hair until it’s dry.
“In all the years I’ve worked with her, I think that’s the very first time I didn’t blow out her hair. We kept her natural texture. I just used my fingers and would take random chunks of hair (1-inch one time and 4-inches another time) and constantly twisting it with my index finger while blowdrying it with my right hand. She kept saying, ”I’m so interested in what you’re doing!”
To add shine and the perfect amount of texture, while keeping all the fullness, take a few pumps of Dove Vitality Rejuvenated Silk Crème in hands. Rub together and rake hands through hair.
“It’s important to put a little polish at the end. You need a little bit of shine to reflect the lights from the cameras that are constantly flashing on the red carpet.”
Celebrity: Dakota Johnson
“For the premiere of Black Mass, Dakota Johnson inspired and encouraged me to do my favourite thing – a textured up-do! When I first saw the stunning Alexander McQueen dress she chose for the premiere, my mind was overloaded with inspiration,” says Townsend. “We made the decision to do messy knots in the back and a side part with her fringe. I loved the finished look and so did she!”
Start by applying a few drops of your go-to dry oil to damp hair from mid lengths to ends to seal the cuticle.
Spray Dove Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray on roots and blow-dry with a round brush. When the hair is dry, take random sections of hair varying from 1 inch to 4 inches and wrap the hair in a figure 8 using the R Session Pro Tools Tidal Waver to create bends throughout the hair.
Take Sally Hershberger 24K Texturizing Paste in hands and rake through hair to add texture and give some hold to the hair.
Take 2 to 4 inch sections of hair and twist back to create little knots at the nape of the neck, securing each one with 2 bobby pins in an “X” formation. Leave some whispy pieces around the face if you wish and blow-dry the fringe to the side with a flat brush.
“I left the back quite messy because we liked the juxtaposition with the smooth front.”
Finish by very liberally spraying some hairspray all over hair (to ensure the look lasts all night!)
“I’m so into her haircut right now. Love the length where it’s at where it’s hitting her shoulders. With shoulder length hair like Dakota’s I knew it would be difficult to pull it all back and up in one action.”