The looming threat of rain on today’s Oscars red carpet doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to Hollywood’s top hairstylists and salon owners, who are armed and ready with the necessary tools and tricks to fight frizz.
Tinseltown hair titan José Eber sees his fair share of red carpet action, and has at least a dozen Oscar ceremonies to his name thus far. So when it comes to wet weather, Eber has a few tried-and-true secret weapons under his trademark cowboy hat. “The good news is, there are a lot of great styling products that will help fight it,” said Eber, whose namesake salon is located on Camden Drive. These include Phyto’s Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask for unruly hair, which he recommends using in the morning to provide protection throughout the day. Eber is also a fan of the brand’s potent Phytodefrisant Botanical Straightening Balm for styling needs, but ultimately emphasized the importance of a good flat iron for a sleek look, including his best-selling Wet or Dry flat iron, which boasts 1½ inch ceramic plates and adjustable heat settings for various hair textures.
Chris McMillan, who sees his fair share of A-listers at his eponymous Beverly Hills salon, also has a number of tricks up his sleeve, including an arsenal of Living Proof products -- the brand he co-founded with client Jennifer Aniston. These include an anti-humectant, No Frizz shampoo, which he used on Aniston prior to her blowout last night (“her hair can tend to get frizzy,” he said). He also suggests going light on the hairspray when it comes to updos. “Too much hairspray and moisture can create disgustingess,” he noted. For styles that pack a wet-weather punch, McMillan leans toward looser hairstyles, including a low bun at the neck, with smoother pieces framing the face that will look pretty if they start to curl up. McMillan also has a handful of practical suggestions for both those heading to the red carpet, and anyone else looking to protect their locks from humidity. “Run from your house to the car,” he says, “and don’t roll down your car window.”
“There are a couple of things I’ve done working in these conditions,” said Benjamin Mohapi of Salon Benjamin with Negin Zand. “The obvious one is to do something tight, flat and sleek such as a ballet bun which is really secure in its shape, so if it’s sloshed with water, it will still hold,” he said. For clients with genuinely curly hair, Mohapi suggests working with the natural texture of the hair. “Curls will want to come back in the humidity,” he explained. “So you don’t want to manipulate hair too much.”
Ultimately, any red-carpet hair malfunction is easily reversible. “Hollywood is prepared for any kind of weather,” said Eber. “The truth? There are hundreds of hairstylists backstage, ready to fix any disasters. That's what Hollywood is about."