Freelance hairstylist, Gregory Alan, has created a professional life that might cause many to be envious. He specializes in preparing celebrity clients for editorial, red carpet and personal appearances. Now based in New York City, the sought-after stylist travels around the world to meet his clients wherever they are preparing to appear.
Gregory’s passion for hair style innovation shows in every aspect of his life, especially in his work. A stylist for the past 15 years, Gregory credits his start to growing up in his mother’s salon in Bay City, Michigan. Eventually he decided to move westward and worked at some of the leading high-end salons in Beverly Hills.
An avid traveler, Gregory explores each new place he goes through connections with the people who live there. Whether going to South America, Europe or the Middle East, he leaves home with an open mind and returns with cutting-edge trends.
What is the best hairbrush to use for all hair types?
Well, first thing is that the size of your brush will determine the amount of time it takes to finish your hairstyling. My favorite is a ceramic two inch diameter hair brush. This brush is so great because when used with a blow dryer the ceramic plate actually heats up and helps to smooth the hair shaft leaving you with beautiful shiny hair. It’s almost as if you used a curling iron! A great tip when using this hair brush is after you finish each section, take your fingers and close them around each section. The natural oils from your hands will polish the hair and will give it a beautiful finish.
What is the best flatiron to use and why? (ceramic, titanium, tourmaline, etc.)
My all-time favorite hair tool to straighten hair and even create waves/curls is the Sarah Potempa Ceramic Curling Iron. The plates on this iron rotate and tilts, making sure you have even distribution of heat for your section of hair and avoiding “hot spots.” As the plates of the iron are made of ceramic, this tool heats up quickly, cutting down your styling time and guaranteeing you shine. You can achieve volume and also do amazing curls. Just rotate the hair shaft section by section around the heat plates of the ceramic iron, hold for a few seconds and release, leaving you with stunning hair. With this iron, you basically get two tools in one.
What is the best way to freshen hair between washes? Do dry shampoos really work?
I’ve tried many dry shampoos – Bumble and Bumble, Pssst, Fekkai – all the while leaving my client with powdery white residue on their scalp and even on their clothes. Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo does none of those things. You simply spray short bursts about 6-8 inches away from the hair and go section by section, let it sit for a minute and brush through. There is no powder, no residue and it smells good too. The Salon Grafix product will absorb oils from a busy day out and about and will leave you with refreshed hair!
What are the best ways to keep your hair moisturized and static free during the winter?
This starts with the shower. Use a moisturizing conditioner and comb it through the hair, rinsing with cool water to trap moisture. When out of the shower, do not take the towel and aggressively dry your hair. Take a towel and pat/squeeze your hair to remove moisture.
Take some hair gel, about the size of a quarter, and mix it in your hand with some conditioner, about the size of a dime. While positioning your head to the side, run your hands over the exterior of your hair, glazing/coating the hair shafts with this product cocktail. Either let your hair air dry for beautiful, soft controlled curls or if you are in a hurry, use a diffuser and apply from the ends and follow the curl up to the roots. Then, whichever your natural curl size is, use a ceramic curling iron and polish off your curls, focusing around the face. Whichever direction your natural curls want to go, style them in that direction for the most natural look and non-frizzy style. With the gel and conditioner combo, you get the strength of the gel, but with a conditioning effect, so hair remains soft and not crunchy. By keeping your hair moisturized, it will therefore stay static free and look amazing!
Traditional highlights vs. Ombre hair coloring?
Many starlets in Hollywood and fashionistas out on the streets love this current hair color trend. The new talk is Ombre. With this technique there is virtually no maintenance. You have your natural hair colored roots and the ends gradually become lighter. This looks very undone and sun kissed. As for highlights, we all know them and love them, but I’ll be the first to encourage you to try something new. With highlights, the “grow out” period is quite rapid so it often needs touchups. Ask your hair colorist what would look best on you. You will have all eyes on you with your new Ombre look. This is VERY fashion forward!
Do you have any tips on getting that “beachy curl” look?
Anytime you curl your hair make sure your curling iron is not too big and not too small. A 1 inch iron or a 1 ¼ inch diameter works the best. It just all depends on your hair length and if your hair will hold a curl.
If you have long and thick hair, use the 1 ¼ inch. If you have shorter to average length fine hair, use the 1 inch. The smaller the tool the more heat it will hold and your curls will be bouncier and tighter. But for the beach wave, the 1 ¼ inch is the best. You will have loose and natural tousled waves. Always go section by section and wrap the hair away from the face so it will open up nicely and make your neck seem longer. After you finish all your sections, take some Sea Salt Spray from Bumble and Bumble and mist it over the hair and you will have that “beachy” look you’ve been seeking!