Interview with Celebrity Hair Stylist

Beverly Hills stylist Billy Lowe.

Celebrities always have fabulous hair - from flowing long locks to perky bobs, their tresses are tamed to perfection. Beverly Hills stylist Billy Lowe chatted with LoveToKnow Hair about what makes celebrity hair styles so fabulous, and offered some insider tips for individuals interested in creating their own celebrity looks.

The Interview

How did you learn hair styling?

A lot of my advanced training came from wonderful academies such as Graham Webb in London, and I've done a lot of continuing education with Paul Mitchell cutting and coloring academies.

How did you start working with celebrities?

I got my start by donating my time and services to charity events, styling and touching up celebrities who were appearing at those events. It opened the door to other things and led me to different opportunities. It's been an amazing journey, but it all started with donating my work.

Which celebrities have you personally worked with?

I've been the personal stylist for Ellen DeGeneres, worked with the cast of Desperate Housewives and Queer as Folk, and even worked with Elvira - she's a great lady.

What is the difference between styling hair for television and movies versus everyday wear?

Time. It takes hours upon hours upon hours to do hair for the camera. Whenever you're preparing hair to be camera-ready, every scene has a consistency check to make sure everything is accurate. It takes a lot of time and preparation, and I use polaroids to check the look. The hair has to be consistent for all camera angles, and even a simple magazine shoot can take 1-2 hours of preparation. You're also there all day touching up between scenes.

How frequently do celebrities use hair extensions?

It depends on their hair type. People such as Tori Amos, Marcia Cross, and Ashlee Simpson with a fine hair type tend to use extensions more, but it really depends on the look they're going for.

What is the biggest challenge when styling celebrities' hair?

It's important to be ever-present with celebrities, letting them know you're there just for them. However, one of the biggest challenges is recognizing that they are a celebrity, yet being comfortable enough in yourself not to over-do it. Everyone has a different personality (celeb or not) and knowing how to cater to that is important. Another big challenge is the on-the-set work and keeping styles consistent between scenes. You're not just dealing with the actor. You're dealing with the director, lighting, camera crew, and countless other production members. You have to be there really quickly to help reestablish shots in different scenes and from different angles.

What are the trendiest styles in Hollywood today?

California is such a different bird than the rest of the country - it's really laid back, with care-free looks. While the rest of the country seems to enjoy shorter styles, California is a place where people really "let their hair down." Especially going into fall and winter, it's a great time for women to sport their tresses. Just about every male client I have says they love long hair. It's been a trend for awhile now, and I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon. There have been some textured bobs recently, but they still have that tousled look.

How can someone emulate a celebrity style?

Lowe working with Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross.

It depends on the look you're going for. For example, to get Eva Longoria's tousled, wind-blown look, you want to use shampoo and conditioner that will add volume. I always spray in lightweight, leave-in conditioner that won't weigh hair down, then comb through with a paddle brush. Add a little root boost and use a mousse through to the ends, then blow dry loosely to remove 70-80 percent of the moisture before styling. Use a round brush for the curls, add some spray, and shake it loose. Regardless of what celebrity look you want, the key is to really pay attention to what your stylist does when they imitate the style.

What is your #1 hair care tip?

The most important thing to do is to really trust your salon professional. Clients should be leaving the salon with the same professional products and tools that their stylist uses. The best way to get salon results at home is to use the same products instead of trying to throw something together. Also, when you ask your stylist to create a certain look, you need to be specific. Instead of just saying 'I like that look' you need to use specific words like 'sophisticated' or 'frisky' to help them understand the feeling you get from that hair style.

Thank You, Billy Lowe!

LoveToKnow Hair would like to thank Billy Lowe for sharing his experiences and insights into celebrity hair styles. For more information about Billy Lowe, visit his official website at www.billylowe.com.

Interview with Celebrity Hair Stylist