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'Fashion Star' Hairstylist Tells You About The Pressure Backstage & His Fave Spring Trend

Being the lead hairstylist for an army of models and buyers on a fast-paced television show is NOT an easy job, but this seriously talented stylist takes the task in stride.

Theodore Leaf, Suave Professionals Lead Stylist for Fashion Star, tells about working on the show, his styling essentials and why YOU need to try the braiding trend.

What is it like working on Fashion Star?“The Suave Professionals team is in charge of doing all the models and the buyers as well. We never kick off models, so the show just grows and grows. My team is responsible for no less than 50 looks per episode. It’s a very intense pressure cooker back there.”

How do you come up with the ideas for each show’s look?“I would see pictures of the clothes or I’d see the clothes myself and the makeup artist, Jules, and I would collaborate. I’d say ‘Oh I really love that shoulder detail, I want to do a top knot’ and she would say ‘I want to do a strong eye.’ And then the designers would come in and we would collaborate. The thing is, one designer is completely different from the next. My job was not to compromise their look to make it easy on me. It’s my job to round out their brand. At the end of the day, this is a presentation in front of real buyers so we needed to present their models as the brand.”

What are a few of your styling essentials (tools or products)?

  • “I always use a 1 1/2 inch curling iron.”
  • “Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo.”
  • “Bobby pins. I make sure i have different colors and sizes.”

What do you recommend someone do if they wake up having a bad hair day, but have no time to shower?“My new favorite thing right now is called dry cleaning your hair.You dry shampoo your roots…and dry condition your mid shaft and ends. It makes you feel like your hair is freshly washed. You can come to me with a two day old blowout and I can make it look fresh.”

What is your favorite hair trend for spring?“Braiding. I know we’ve heard it before, but there’s so many different kinds of braids to do. It’s an appropriate look for the gym or drinks with friends. Instead of just doing a topknot, just add a braid to it. It’s not just about the side braid anymore. Nicole Richie, on the show, featured a half updo with braids running through it. You can watch a tutorial video and kind of get the hang of it. The most important thing for braiding is having those clear hair bands to finish the ends off.”

Eden Univer

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