A Peek Inside The Wild, Crazy World Of A High-Fashion Hairstylist

After a month of working back-to-back fashion shows, you’d think Guido Palau would be out celebrating. But the hairstylist, who created looks for 26 shows this fashion month, is actually a little bummed. “I’m always on a bit of a downer after. You’re used to being around tons of people for a month and suddenly, you’re by yourself and go, ‘Oh, this is real life now,’” he says.

And you can’t blame him. Palau's life — full of lavish presentations, even more lavish after-parties, and clouds and clouds of hairspray — is undeniably exciting. This year was especially notable for him, thanks to a massive attitude shift among designers. “I feel like the real push this season was about individuality,” he says. “We saw so many different kinds of beauties on the runway, and they were booked for who they are. Girls with beautiful, curly hair were left curly. Girls with straight hair kept their straight hair. It was an affirmation of all different kinds of beauty.”

To give you a taste of Palau's wild and crazy month, we asked him to keep a diary of his favorite moments throughout New York, Milan, and Paris. Click through to find out what his job is really like — and how he convinced 43 models to get one pretty dramatic cut.
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Photo Courtesy: Redken.
Marc Jacobs
“This is always one of my favorite shows, the highlight of New York. I wanted to think about how to make ‘40s hair look modern, so I chose to saturate it with Triple Take 32 hairspray to get that wet, sticky texture.”
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Photo Courtesy: Redken.
Christopher Kane
“Christopher is such a nice man...I arrived in London the morning of his show. I said to Chris, 'You really should work with somebody else — because of my schedule in New York, I can’t get there.' But he was very insistent on working together, as we’ve worked together for a while. He feels comfortable with me. I walked in the day of the show, which is very rare for a designer.”
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Photo Courtesy: Redken.
Dolce & Gabbana
“The girls at Dolce always look super beautiful. There’s a lightness to the show that is very compelling...We tied on scarves, we had crowns, barrettes, and all different kinds of hair accessories. It’s sexy, fun, colorful, and desirable."
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Photo Courtesy: Redken.
“This is always the show where the girls take loads and loads of pictures."
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Photo Courtesy: Redken.
“I love celebrating a woman’s natural beauty, but something I got into fashion for was the fantasy. A show like Prada is a head-to-toe look. We actually trimmed every girl's hair. We cut these side pieces around the ears and cut short bangs around the forehead. We plastered them down with hairspray. And Pat McGrath did the great gold mouth.

"It was very nice that the girls are...willing to do some kind of extreme form of styling. There aren’t many shows girls would do that for — or else they’d end up with no hair by the end.”
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Photo courtesy: Redken.
"We twisted the hair into a messy French twist and used the ends as fake bangs. It kind of gives you an Audrey Hepburn feeling. We sprayed some Wind Blown 05, a texturizing product, into the hair with hairspray and twisted it up. Those products give the hair friction and texture, and make it very easy to put up. That effortless hair is what women are attracted to at the moment.”
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Alexander McQueen
“I wanted to think of a way to make the hair romantic and hold the hair up without a braid. So I took a needle and thread and sewed the hair. You know when you sew something and pull it and it all snags together? I wondered, Could I do that with hair? It has a classic shape over the ears, a messy part, and pieces pulled out. I think the models thought it was great.”
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“I love the way the hair was incorporated into the ribbon and neck choker. It had a Victorian purity to it, but there’s a sensuality to that simplicity that is very appealing and attractive. I blowdried with Satinwear 02 heat styling products and an off-center parting, so it looks easy, with no hard lines. I covered the ears to give it a painting-like quality.”
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Photo courtesy: Redken.
“This hair reminds me of when I was first in London in the ‘80s. There’s a toughness to the woman. The braid is something we'd seen in different shows, and something most women can do. I blowdried it with Satin Wear to create some texture and lift, and used hairspray as I was braiding to make it super clean. [Here] I’m using Shape Factor 22, a little cream, around the lift on top to give some definition.”
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