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Celebrity Hairstylist Jen Atkin Shares Her Hair Secrets

Hollywood's go-to hair guru on her must-have products, favourite tools—and how to style your hair like her famous clients.

If you've looked at any red carpet photos in recent years—which I'm assuming you have, as a reader of this website!—then there's a 99 percent chance you've admired Jen Atkin's work.

The Los Angeles-based hairstylist, who got her big break in 2006 on Madonna's Confessions tour, has styled an astounding array of celebrities. It's like I-don't-know-how-she-has-time-to-sleep astounding.

To name a few, her clients include Jessica Alba (recognize Lauren Andersen in this pic too?):

Christina Hendricks:

Katy Perry:

Emma Stone:


Nicole Richie:

And the whole Kardashian crew:

See? Astounding. Plus, there are many more—that was just from a quick creep on Jen's Instagram!

As I'm sure you can imagine, Jen has TONS of hair intel, and I was lucky enough to get some of it in our chat about products, tips and trends. Jen will also be in Toronto on July 31st for an exclusive hairstyling workshop—details at the end of the interview!

How did you become a celebrity hairstylist?

I started in Los Angeles as a receptionist at a salon and worked my way up. Working in top salons in Beverly Hills (such as Chris McMillan and Andy Lecompte Salon) was a key platform for advancing. Assisting at fashion shows and on set alongside Guido, Renato Campora and Bob Recine gave me the experience and momentum to create my own vision.

How would you describe your beauty and hair philosophy?

A balanced mix of glam and less is more.

What's the look you’re most known for with your clients?

The Bend! It’s an undone, faux natural wave. Perfect to dress up or dress down.

How can we do "The Bend" at home?

1. Blow-dry your hair with an Ibiza round brush for volume at the root.

2. Use a 1 1/4” Hot Tools Curling Iron to create a soft, bended curl.

3. Take a GHD flat iron to soften or relax random curls; smooth out the ends.

4. Spray Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for fullness and volume.

5. Use Osmo Clay Wax to piece out the ends.

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What's a celebrity hair secret we might not know about, but should?

Product is key. Many times people complain about their hair not working how they want it to. In this day and age, there’s a product for everything. It's a matter of finding out (and using) what works for you!

Which hair products and tools are always in your kit?

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray:

Kevin Murphy wax:

Sachajuan Ocean Mist:

Ibiza brushes:

GHD flat iron:

T3 blowdryer:

Hot Tools 1 1/4” Curling Iron:

Which other beauty products can you not live without?

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel:

Child perfume:

Leonor Greyl Éclat Naturel Styling Cream:

Are there any products or treatments that you think can help create great hair?

Phytophanère hair and nail vitamins for stronger, fuller hair.

Clear Intense Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner are great because they keep your hair moisturized and healthy.

Who are your celebrity beauty icons lately and why?

I love the classic beauties who have paved the way for styles of today. Stephanie Seymour, Veruschka, Cindy Crawford and the list goes on and on.

Which cut and colour trends are you most excited about for summer moving into fall?

Tones getting richer, and styles getting more precise. That switch from laid-back locks to on-point styling.

What’s the one thing you wish women would start or stop doing with their hair?

Start getting your hair cut regularly! And save up to go to someone good, and just get your cut less often. Women think they’ll have longer hair if they don’t get a haircut. The reality is, getting a regular trim means your hair doesn’t have time to split and cause breakage. So book those appointments on schedule for every three months!

Find more from Jen on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks Jen!

How do you feel about Jen's approach to hair?
Have you tried any of her favourite products?

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