How To Get L.A.'s Coolest Hairstyles — According To The Man Who Created Them

If recent celebrity trends have compelled you to switch up your hairstyle — be it with a blunt bob, a sweeping fringe, or beachy waves — it's pretty likely that hair artist and Color Wow ambassador Chris Appleton is the mastermind behind your inspiration.

Appleton relocated from the UK to Hollywood not long ago, and now the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, and Ariana Grande all pinpoint him as their go-to stylist. And for good reason: He's an innovator with the ability to magic up new styles and colors, from the "dream bob" to "frosted brown," and he can achieve them fast.


We asked Appleton to break down how to whip up L.A.'s coolest hairstyles in next to no time. His tips, ahead...

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The '90s Bob

Appleton explains that he looked to '90s-era Christy Turlington as the reference for this look. "The bob has evolved," he says. "It started with glass hair: a really sharp, glossy look." But now, he says, it's all about the undone finish, and it's a little longer than before.

This collarbone-grazing look is all about volume, which is why Appleton prefers to use easy clip-in hair pieces, such as a solid 3/4 weft, which spans the whole head. First, he suggests drenching your natural hair in a strengthening product like Color Wow's Carb-Infused Dream Cocktail for styling ease and extra volume, then blow-drying it in.

Once blown out, Appleton says to separate your hair. Leave the front sections down, take away the top section of hair, and braid it as closely as possible to the back of the head. "Two or three braids will do," Appleton says. "You really don’t need to be a professional braider and it doesn’t have to be particularly neat. Then, pin the braids at the nape of the neck to get rid of the bulk of hair." Use the weft's combs and clips, and attach it to your hair for thickness. Appleton then recommends using root powder to help the extensions and unbraided natural hair at the front blend in seamlessly. Finish the look with a texturizing spray, like Style On Steroids.
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The Sky-High Ponytail

"A low ponytail always looks quite serious, a middle ponytail is flirty and cute, but the magic really happens the higher you go," Appleton says. "This kind of snatched ponytail is an iconic look, and the way it changes the shape of the face is dramatic."

While it's technically simple to create, this look requires a lot of product. "Saturate the roots in hairspray like Cult Favorite Firm & Flexible Hairspray to give you lots of control over the shape," Appleton says. If you want a flawless finish, tip your head upside down and spend some time blow-drying the hair in the direction of the ponytail. "It’s all about coaxing the hair in the right way and creating a nice head shape," he adds.

Use a bungee-cord hooked hair tie to tie your hair into a ponytail, then tie an elastic on top to stop the pony from slipping down. To give the ponytail a bit more height, Appleton suggests tying a second elastic band in the ponytail, one inch from the base of the bungee. Then, pull the ponytail tight for an extra boost.

"To make the ponytail look seamless, take some hair from the pony and wrap it around the base," Appleton says, as opposed to using pins to keep it in place, as there's so much tension on the hair already. "I like to rely on product to help me." Douse the wrapped section in hairspray and blow-dry on a high heat — this will hold the ponytail upright.

If you have baby hairs, Appleton suggests making a feature of them rather than trying to hide by brushing them out with a little hairspray. To finish, he uses Root Cover Up to hide any patches in the scalp. "It’ll make your hairline look much fuller," he explains.
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Wet-Look Hair

To recreate the wet-look hair trend, Appleton says to start by drenching still-wet hair in Color Wow's Pop & Lock Gloss Treatment. "This is like shellac for hair and lends lengths a glasslike shine," he says. "You can really load up on it — it should never feel greasy or crispy." To avoid the finished result looking too controlled, Appleton then wraps the hair in a figure eight around a two-tonged waver to add in beachy waves. "You could use any size curling iron, though," he says.

Once done, Appleton rakes a styling cream through the lengths. "Don’t be afraid to touch the hair," he says. "Spritz hairspray, such as Cult Favorite Firm & Flexible Hairspray, around the hairline to keep it looking wet." To prevent hair from appearing flat, Appleton recommends twisting the hair and using flat clips to hold it up for a few minutes. This ensures the hair dries with a boost at the root.
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