How To Get LA's Coolest Hairstyles — According To The Man Who Created Them

Photo via @chrisappleton1.
If you've been compelled to switch up your hairstyle, be it a blunt bob, a sweeping fringe or beachy waves, it's pretty likely that Chris Appleton – hair artist and Color Wow ambassador – is the mastermind behind your inspiration.
He moved 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 colours, from the 'dream bob' to 'frosted brown', and he can achieve them fast.
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Ahead, Chris breaks down how to whip up LA's coolest hairstyles in next to no time.

The '90s bob

The reference for this look was Christy Turlington in the '90s, explained Chris. "The bob has evolved," he says. "It started with glass hair: a really sharp, glossy look," – but now 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 Chris 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 Color Wow's Carb Cocktail, £22, for styling ease and extra volume once dry. Then, blow-drying it in. His two pro tools of choice are the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer, £299.99, and a Mason Pearson Bristle Brush, £93. Also try Remington Keratin Protect Hairdryer, £36.66, and Denman D81M Medium Finishing Brush, £11.95.
Once blown out, Chris suggests separating your hair. Leave the front sections down, take away the top section of hair and braid it really close to the back of the head. "Two or three braids will do," says Chris. "You really don’t need to be a professional braider and it doesn’t have to be particularly neat. Then, pin these at the nape of the neck to get rid of the bulk of hair." Use the weft's combs and clips and attach this to your hair for thickness. Chris then recommends using root powder to help the extensions and unbraided natural hair at the front blend in seamlessly. Finish the look with texturising spray, like Style On Steroids, £21.
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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," says Chris. "This kind of snatched ponytail is an iconic look and the way it changes the shape of the face is quite dramatic."
While it's simple to create, this look requires a lot of product. "Saturate the roots in hairspray like Cult Favorite, £21, to give you lots of control over the shape," says Chris. 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."
Use bungee cord (hooked hair tie, available at Amazon) 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, Chris suggests tying a second elastic band in the ponytail, one inch from the base of the bungee. Then, pull the ponytail tight and it'll give you an extra boost.
"To make the ponytail look seamless, take some hair from the pony and wrap it around the base," continues Chris, who doesn't like to use any pins to keep it in place, as there's lots of tension on the hair already. "I like to rely on product to help me," he said. Douse the wrapped section in hairspray and blow-dry on a high heat – this will hold the ponytail upright.
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If you have baby hairs, Chris suggests making a feature of them rather than getting rid by brushing them out with a little hairspray. To finish, he uses Root Cover Up, £28.50, to hide any patches in the scalp. "It’ll make your hairline look much fuller."

The wet-look hair trend

Chris suggests beginning on damp hair using Color Wow's Pop & Lock Gloss Treatment, £18.50. "This is like shellac for hair and lends lengths a glasslike shine. Really load this up on damp hair," he said. "It should never feel greasy or crispy." To avoid the finished result looking too controlled, Chris then wraps the hair in a figure of eight around a two-tonged waver to fashion beachy waves. Try BaByliss' Pro Black Porcelain Triple Barrel Waver, £34.99. "You could use any size curling iron, though," adds Chris.
Once done, Chris rakes a styling cream through the lengths. "Don’t be afraid to touch the hair," he says. "Spritz hairspray, such as Cult Favorite, £10, around the hairline to keep it looking wet." To prevent hair from appearing flat, Chris 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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