A Hair Expert Shares Her Top Tips & Products

Celebrity hairstylist Sophie Sugarman – @TheManeStyle on Instagram – has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and is known for creating laidback, effortless looks. She also shares plenty of insider tips online, including the products that make her job that much easier. Here, we asked her to tell us more about her own routine and the golden rules she never breaks.
By Rebecca Hull

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“I always go to a haberdashery store to find hair accessories. My favourites are Fan New Trimmings, MacCulloch & Wallis and Hobbycraft. If you want cool materials, patterned fabrics and beautiful ribbons, these are the places to go. I love to use different accessories on ponytails, topknots and half-up styles. If I’m after something a little more niche – like wigs, clips and extensions – then I love Paks. It’s a great place to explore.” 


“It has to be Oribe’s Gold Lust Repair Restore Shampoo. It gently cleanses the hair, restores moisture and strengthens the cuticle from the inside out. If you want clean, healthy, shiny hair, this is the product to try.” 


“My kit always includes a pair of ghd Platinum Plus Stylers. I use them to straighten hair and create curls and waves, too. They are so versatile and never snag or pull. I also like to use them to create different bends and movements throughout the hair.” 


“Everyone is so quick to want what they can’t have, so my biggest piece of advice is to embrace your natural hair texture and show it off. Don’t overthink what you are trying to create. Take a step back, look at the whole picture and go from there.” 


“I love seeing people rock their natural texture and enhance their curls. If you’re looking to do this yourself, I recommend prepping the hair with a hydrating cream and a lightweight styler gel. This will enhance your curls and hold them in place, but also keep them soft and hydrated. My favourite hair balms are Happy Endings by Sam McKnight and IGK Hair Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm. Both are lightweight and buildable, so start small and work them through gradually – only add more if you really need it.” 


“Prep is key when it comes to creating volume and bounce. Try using either Color Wow’s Raise The Root Spray or its Xtra Large Bombshell Volumiser. They both have lightweight textures that lock your style in place and create extra lift at the root. You can’t beat a good set of rollers either – they still reign supreme for enhancing volume. You don’t need a super snazzy set either – good, old-fashioned Velcro ones still do the trick. To use them, I recommend blow-drying your hair in sections, then take those sections, roll them up and secure with a kirby grip or clip for 10-20 minutes. You can blast them with a hairdryer for extra hold and, when you remove the roller, you’ll have bouncy, supermodel hair.” 


“There are so many good products out there, but five really stand out to me. If you struggle with flyaways or want to tame baby hairs, try Tancho Tique’s Natural Pomade Stick. It’s so good at smoothing hair and keeping it glossy. Everyone should own a bottle of Oribe’s Dry Texturising Spray – I couldn’t do my ‘cool girl waves’ without it. Heat protection is no joke either. There are endless products but the best for preventing damage is Ouai’s Heat Protection Spray – it’s never sticky or greasy. For hairspray, try Sam McKnight’s Modern Multi-Tasking Styling Mist as it does a bit of everything. Finally, I’m loving Raise The Root by Color Wow. It lifts and thickens the hair, giving it body and volume that lasts.” 


“My own routine consists of two steps every week. First, I always use a scalp exfoliator. It’s so important to take care of your scalp as it’s an extended version of your skin. I use Vegamore’s GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum as it works so well at breaking down any dirt and excess product build-up, but without stripping the scalp of moisture. My second weekly ritual is to use a good mask. I colour my hair and use a lot of heat on it, so it’s essential I keep moisture levels high. I am obsessed with Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer Hair Treatment. Not only does it hydrate, it strengthens strands and keeps them looking bouncy.” 


“My career began at a salon in north London. Once I qualified as a hairstylist, I built up a solid list of clients. I worked there for six years before moving to New York. It was the first time I had ever been away from home, and it was certainly the making of me. I learnt so many skills assisting on endless fashion shows. I moved back to London and launched The Mane Style as a blog, sharing my tips and tricks from the hairdressing world. I slowly built up my portfolio and connected with brands through social media. I knew I wanted to go down the red-carpet route so I used Instagram to message celebrities and see if they needed styling ahead of the red carpet. Looking back, I can’t believe I did it, but it worked and the following week I styled Laura Whitmore for the Brits. It’s so important to take risks and push yourself – the worst thing someone can say is no. It’s also key to visualise the type of hairdresser you want to be, the people you want to style and the brands you want to work for.” 


“There have been so many career highs – from red carpets to film premieres, fashion week and working on top magazine covers. Of course, working with incredibly talented creatives, models and actresses all add to the experience. For me, my proudest achievement was signing with an agent. It has taken me years of hard work, putting myself out there and not giving up. It’s so important to keep going. My advice to others is always work hard, believe in yourself and trust the process.” 


“One of my most-asked questions is how to create a ‘slicked back’ look. Whether you’re doing a bun or just tucking the hair behind your ears and need a little grip, you should buy June Milnrow’s Black Castor Oil Control Hair Gel. It holds hair in place and gives it a polished look with tons of shine. Another tip if you’re slicking back your hair is to always tilt your head back while brushing your hair into place. It stops any sagging or bumps in the back.” 


“I am known for creating effortless, cool-girl waves and I believe everyone can look good with that bedhead texture – no matter your hair type. It’s about layering the product lightly and scrunching it in with your fingers. When I’m not doing a beach wave, I love a more snatched, slicked-back bun or ponytail. You can get so creative with shapes and it’s really easy to do. Plus, these looks allow you to have more fun with your make-up.” 

For more hair tips & tutorials follow @TheManeStyle & visit TheManeStyle.com

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