You may have already come across fashion and celebrity stylist Sarah Stuart’s glorious red hair. Oh so shiny and always perfectly kempt, it’s a real head turner. In the hope that we too could possess such glossy locks, we asked the TV3 and Prime News head fashion stylist and Dress for Success and NZ Fashion Week ambassador (phew) to spill her haircare secrets. As a bona fide lovely person, she obliged.
Okay, straight to the point... how is your hair so great?!
With A LOT of help.
Is it high maintenance?
Yes - it didn't always look this healthy. Years ago I got a perm after watching Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, then all my hair fell out... It wasn't a great year for me, I’ll tell you that much for free. After that, I had a new appreciation for my hair and wanted to care for it.
What do you do to take care of it, and make it look so healthy and shiny and bouncy?
I use hair masks regularly. I also use heat protection products before using hot tools and I use anti-frizz /finishing oil for shine and controlling fly-aways.
Who ‘does’ it?
Over the years I have had my cuts done by either Shelley Strange, Tania Houghton or Amelia Dudley. My latest colour was dreamed up by Mana Dave, and Asha Martin does all my event styling and also colour.
What products do you use to take care of it?
I use Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate range - shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment. For intense conditioning and colour protection, they are great for thirsty long hair. My hair feels super soft and the smell is divine.
Redken Oil helps to speed up blow dry time, provides heat protection and adds shine.
The colour is divine. Is it natural? If not, why did you go for that shade?
Unfortunately it is not natural. I have been a redhead since 2010, I originally coloured it for a fashion week and then continued with it as I thought it worked with my warm and freckled complexion.
I have been every shade of red but my current colour was formulated by Mana Dave who went with a shade that was complementary to my skin tone and created more depth to frame my face. I use Redken’s Shades EQ Gloss, a no ammonia colour range (which means that it’s PH balanced for healthy and super shiny hair).
What do you tend to do with your hair for events, versus how you approach it day to day?
For everyday, I either straighten my hair or curl my hair with the GHD Curve Classic Curling Tongs. I like curls as my hair doesnt stay straight in Auckland weather. For all my events I book in with Asha Martin at Pony Professional for a gorgeous blow dry.
You work with a lot of high profile people who are on screen, and also attend events where they need to look good and polished. What hair lessons have you picked up from them?
I have learnt a lot from their hair stylists. Firstly, I was introduced to Olaplex (revolutionary). Secondly the importance of hair prep before applying heat.
I love Kevin Murphy's ‘Young Again’ that they use on the presenters’ hair. Also the delish finishing repair and shine is called ‘Shimmer shine’... it has glitter in it and leaves your hair looking polished.
How would you describe your natural hair?
Naturally blonde. Due to my Tahitian heritage there is a lot of it and it's THICK and curly.
How would you describe your relationship with your hair - today, and in the past?
Before the perm, my hair was very effortless and very healthy. I have learnt my lesson. Today, I am super grateful for my hair and I love treating my mane.
Who else do you think has great hair?
Cara Cotton who is designer Tanya Carlson's work wife. She has incredibly tight curls which are natural. Also, I love Kanoa Lloyd's hair, especially since her recent hair cut. I adore her natural curls.
Any other good hair tips?
My game changer was finding myself a great hairstylist who gives me good and honest hair advice. I think working in the industry has helped me alot but finding a good hairdresser is best.
A good tip is to organise a free consultation service, it is the perfect way to ‘interview’ a prospective new hairstylist to see if they’re the perfect fit for you. Then if you are vibing, book in for a blowdry service. It’s a “no regrets” option to see if you like their style of hairdressing.