Award-winning hair stylist Lee Stafford on revolutionising the industry
Lee Stafford shares his red carpet style tips and Hair Academy ambitions
Award-winning hair stylist Lee Stafford is used to creating photo-ready looks for celebrities and top editorial shoots, but he was more than happy to let guests at the BRIT Awards Official After Party get a taste of his show-stopping style with his pop-up Pamper Parlour on Wednesday. There, he and his Lee Stafford Hair Academy team were on hand to perfect the party look throughout the night, which was held in partnership with Tempus.
"I brought the whole gang down and we're knocking out cool hair for the night," Stafford told Tempus. "The bigger the hair, the harder they stare, right? That's what they say. The BRITs are a very glamorous event. My head's turning all the time – there's a lot of people watching to do."
While during the show, heads were turning thanks to the elaborate dresses worn by performers Rita Ora and Dua Lipa – who scooped two awards on the night – there were plenty of glamorous beauty looks for fashion-lovers to emulate. But for Stafford, less was more when it came to powerful locks.
"These days it's all about individuality, it really is. You've got to wear it, own it, do your own thing," said the stylist, whose extensive haircare range has been a dressing room staple since he first launched a range including a best-selling volumising dry shampoo in 2000. "For me, it's all about simple, undone hair. Especially on a night like tonight - it's got to be quick, easy and not contrived." >>
Dua Lipa certainly seemed to follow this advice with her simple, straight locks, while Hailey Baldwin, Perrie Edwards, Ellie Goulding all opted for bouncy, beachy waves. Even our favourite up-dos held an air of ease. Jorja Smith, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Millie Bobby Brown all boasted neat, slicked-back buns.
But it's not all glitz and glamour. A huge part of Stafford's business model is his eponymous Hair Academy. Already a respected course for budding hairdressers, Stafford is now rolling out an even more ambitious part of this passion project - revolutionising college-level education.
"What we found is that there has never been a standardised curriculum for hairdressing. Every academy or college teaches the basics in a very different way, which makes it very hard for hairdressing students to immediately find work in salons. They will always have to relearn the trade," Stafford explained.
"We've set up nine Lee Stafford Academies across the country and we're basically trying to revolutionise the way hair is taught in colleges. We're trying to revolutionise the system to give young people the opportunity to get into this wonderful world of hair."