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Strong and structured yet feminine is how Adir Abergel, the celebrity hairstylist who gave Elizabeth Banks a modern updo for Monday night’s Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 L.A. premiere, would describe the actress’ look.
The seasoned stylist (Anne Hathaway and Gwyneth Paltrow are also clients) says he was inspired by the gorgeous lines and structured bodice of Banks’ burgundy paisley Leonard gown when creating the look. “Initially, it was going to be even more structured,” says Abergel about his initial vision, “but then I softened the front, adding more femininity and movement.”
To build the upswept look, Abergel began with a strong foundation. “For me, when you’re creating any structural hair it’s all about the foundation,” he says. “I think about it like architecture; if you don’t have a strong foundation, it’s not going to work.”
A vanity full of Vidal Sassoon styling products were employed to make sure the actress’ hair had a strong base. Abergel says he relied on the Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Boost & Lift Air Mousse to give the hair height and hold. He applied a tennis-ball-size amount of the product to her damp hair and then sectioned it off, starting with a triangular section at the very front of the head, creating a blueprint for the updo.
Next, using a boar bristle round brush, he blow-dried small sections of the remaining bottom half of hair upward, to achieve maximum volume. Once the hair was dry, Abergel sprayed Vidal Sassoon Pro Series ColorFinity Finishing Hairspray on ½ inch vertical sections of the bottom half of the hair and then brushed back each section to create a strong base for the twist. He gathered all of the hair (except the triangle section in the front) toward the top of the crown and began to twist, while securing the style with hairpins to hold the knot in place.
Last, he removed the pins holding the triangular section on the top of the head, and wrapped that hair around a ¼ inch curling iron to create soft waves and texture. The result was what Abergel envisioned, combined with what felt like a slightly futuristic and high drama feel — perhaps a subliminal nod to her overtly coiffed character in the film, Effie Trinket.
“It is a nod to the futuristic feel of the film,” says Abergel. “But I think this is a much more wearable version of her character.”
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