Even if you think you haven’t heard of Luke Hersheson, it’s likely you’ve seen his handiwork. He’s the man responsible for some of the world’s most famous hair, including Sienna Miller, Victoria Beckham, and Keira Knightley. His blow-dry bars kick-started the trend in London over a decade ago and now, he’s just opened a brand-new salon space in Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.
Given his endless expertise, he was well poised to dispel any myths around haircuts, which is why I asked him exactly what to do in the case of a bad one, and whether or not a fringe is ever a good idea. If you were thinking of chopping off your hair any time soon, don’t do anything until you’ve read this.
How often do you need to get your hair cut?
"If you’ve got a proper, proper haircut — and by that I mean something that’s more graphic or a bob, for example — then the eight week rule probably applies a bit more. Sometimes, you find that you get a really great haircut and then as it grows out, it goes through different iterations, so sometimes you can get 12 weeks out of it.
"Don’t think you need to go to the hairdresser every eight weeks, though. It’s a bit of an old-fashioned myth. It was more relevant in the 70s and 80s when people had very specific shapes and then they would collapse as they grew out, but it’s not as clear-cut as that any more."
Is it important to take a picture with you?
"Yes. I think people in general find it hard to talk about what you want so any visual references are great — hairdressers are quite visual people, so anything you can use to help communicate what you like or don’t like is good."
Should you wash your hair before you go to the hairdresser's?
"No. Some people treat it like going to the dentist and do this very rigorous clean before they go but you don’t need to do that."
What should you do if you get a bad haircut?
"I think if something really bad happens, it’s normally a result of bad communication. I would say any hairdresser that won’t give you a consultation before, and sit with you for at least 10 minutes and discuss every option under the sun just isn’t worth booking an appointment with. I know, from being a hairdresser, that a lot of hairdressers will start a client’s hair and not know exactly what it’s going to look like.
One of the things we really drum into people when we train them is that you don’t pick up your scissors until you know exactly what it’s going to look like, and that the client is really comfortable with that. So, you should be talking loads — sometimes, I’ll do a consultation that takes longer than the haircut. Because if you know what you’re going to do, often haircuts don’t actually take very long.
To be honest, it’s more about investing the time to ensure you avoid the situation of having a bad cut altogether. But if it’s bad, the manager of the salon should probably do anything to keep you happy. If you hate it, you hate it. Depends how bad it is. I think it’s more about trying to avoid those situations. With a really good consultation, it shouldn’t really happen."
What’s the best advice you could give someone looking to change their hair?
"Don’t go and cut your hair off when you’ve just come out of a relationship. And especially don’t color it."
What’s the thing you’re asked for most?
"I just think people don’t want to look ‘done’ anymore, they don’t want to look like they’ve spent time in the salon. People want to feel effortless, so I think that’s the key to all of it, whatever style you do. It all has to feel believable."
Is there a particular hair trend at the moment, would you say?
"I always say that recently, in the past few years, we’ve been in this era of the haircut. Before that, we were in the era of styling. Now, I think we’re starting to come out of one specific era. I think mid-lengths are looking interesting again and I think we’ll see a lot more curly hair — the perm is definitely back. I think people are finally bored of beachy waves. We started doing them in 2005 and it was a bit different then but now I go on Instagram and every hair dresser under the sun is doing a bloody beachy wave. I think girls now can do that themselves, so something like the perm is a different curl pattern and it’s about not looking like everyone else."
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in what people ask for in the last few years?
"Well, we started blow dry bars about 12 years ago and as I said, we were then in the era of styling — straight, big, smooth, up. I think the blow dry thing has become more like maintenance. It doesn’t begin and end with someone’s personal style. It’s more pinned on a hair-cut, which is then dried or tonged or whatever as part of the treatment. It’s not a style statement from the outset, if that makes sense."
Are bangs ever a good idea?
"I think a full fringe is quite hard to wear, whereas something like a side-swept fringe or a curtain fringe (think Georgia Jagger) is more versatile and they suit more people. A full-on fringe is quite a punchy thing and it takes an age to grow out. Just remember that."
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia.