Pop quiz: What do Kim K.'s chic wig, Shay Mitchell's fake-out lob, and Hollywood's fastest growing piercing trend have in common? The answer is British hairstylist Christopher Appleton, a recent L.A. transplant and one of the hottest stylists to take the red carpet by storm this year. Since he arrived from London this past winter, his out-of-the-box techniques and anything-goes aesthetic have secured him a growing client list that includes Christina Aguilera, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and many more.
Lately, he's been making headlines by encouraging his clients to experiment with interesting hair adornments; craft-store accessories; and wigs, wigs, and more wigs (his obsession). Needless to say, we're huge fans — so we asked him to share his secrets with R29.
But first, a little background. Appleton’s hair story began like that of many in his field...just a little earlier. At about 5 years old, he started crafting looks on his mother; by 13, he was working in a London salon. "I started young, but it just felt so right," he says. "I remember my first day, thinking, This is what I’m gonna do. I remember watching the interaction with the client, how they would walk in and how they would leave — and the difference. That is one of the main things that attracted me to hair; you could transform someone."
His path to success was swift: Salon life led to working backstage during Fashion Weeks across Europe. In 2009, he got approached to be on what he calls "the America's Next Top Model of hair" in the U.K.: BBC's Young Hairdresser of the Year. He won — and editorial magazine work came calling, allowing him to work with the likes of Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, and Rita Ora. Then, he hopped across the pond — and brought his London-inspired edge to Southern California.
Ahead, Appleton walks us through some of his favorite looks, along with the products, tools, and tips he relies on to make hair magic.