Want Beach Perfect Hair? Hair Stylist Kevin Murphy Is Here To Help

And spill some secrets about Australian supermodels along the way


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

If you're going to bust hair myths with a world-famous hair stylist, you can't really do better than finding a cheery Australian one who will not only answer all of our mundane questions, but spill lots of secrets about supermodels and that Aussie surfer girl look.

Kevin Murphy has worked with pretty much every hot model under the sun, as Hair Director of Melbourne Fashion Week for 8 years and as the hair stylist for Vogue Australia. Which is why The Debrief caught up with him to discuss hair extensions, summer hair routines and why women shouldn't be ashamed to suffer from hair loss.

Washing your hair every day does NOT make it greasy

'I know women who only have to wash their hair once a week and then I know women that have to wash their hair every day. If you scrub your hair every day like a maniac then you are increasing the sebum production. And if you dry your scalp out, then your body produces more oil – so that’s the only way that washing your hair every day makes it greasier. If you think about how you wash your face, you don’t scrub it like a madman - so don't do that with your hair. If you create an imbalance, then your body tries to balance you back again. Wash your hair gently, so as not to upset that balance and it will not make your hair any greasier.'

For great summer hair, switch up your hair routine

'You should change your shampoo and your styling routine, come summer. Stay away from moisturising products and use volumising powders and dry shampoos. Also, keep the hair off the back of the neck, because it gets all sweaty. Try a milkmaid braid, for example. Less is definitely more in the summer. If you blow dry your hair every day, it probably won't stay like that all day long and you just have to go with it.'

Everyone wants surfer girl hair

'‘Surfer girl’ or ‘mermaid’ hair is considered an Aussie thing because of Australia’s weather. It’s so humid, so everyone’s hair goes curly and messy. I like texture and movement and for hair to be a bit messy and mushed up around the crown. I get scared when I see really flat straightened hair. Don’t you remember that YouTube video where a girl was curling her hair with a straightening iron and it snapped off!? I’m still trapped in the 90s, to tell the truth. I like hair grungey and disheveled. But the 90s is back in fashion; so I am back in fashion too!'

Think carefully before you peroxide your hair

'Most people who go super blonde eventually have to chop their hair short. So think it through really carefully. I would suggest that you go two or three shades lighter, or two or three shades darker than your natural colour and no more. Anything above four shades - so if you peroxide it - can cause a lot of breakage and you will spend a lot of time in the hairdresser's chair! That said, Aussie supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw [a natural brunette] has my favourite hair - and it's peroxide. You cannot do anything wrong with her hair. You go like ‘that’ and it just falls into place. I call it 'easycare hair'.'


Get your hair cut regularly

'I don't understand people who don't cut their hair! It’s just basic hair maintenance to get regular trims. You’ve gotta make time to do it if you want your hair to stay in good condition.'

Women suffer hair loss too

'It’s stressful for women to lose their hair. Hair loss is considered ugly, especially for women; people don’t like to talk about it. I wanted to make some recyclable products for women that looked pretty and smelled really good, so I developed a new range of sulphate and paraben-free products. The KEVIN.MURPHY PLUMPING collection (from £20-27) uses eyelash thickening technology and a complex blend of ingredients, to plump and thicken fine lack-lustre hair and prevent hair loss. The technology doesn't make your hair grow more, but it lengthens the 'growing part' of the hair cycle and shortens the 'falling out' part. The products take around 4 months to work, but people like to see an effect or they give up, so the products are packed with polymers and rice proteins in there that make you feel like your hair is thickening, whilst the technology is actually working. So it works on both a therapeutic and an emotional level too.'


More people dye their hair red than any other colour

'I love redheads; I always cast them in my campaigns. Red hair has become really popular. It keeps popping up in magazines and on the catwalk – in this bright red brick colour that we haven’t seen much of before. I’m not a massive fan of the cherry red; I prefer a Titian red. You have to work out what kind of red tone you would suit, based on your skin tone; they are reds with yellow bases (auburn) and red with blue bases (like fire engine red).'

All the supermodels have hair extensions

'I would love to do Kate Middleton’s hair. I know this sounds corny, but I think she has really nice hair. I didn’t realise she had hair extensions, but every model I have ever worked with has ‘friends’ [in her hair.] All models at the top level will have bespoke extensions to clip in for shows. I don’t know how people have a full head of hair extensions in the whole time, though. They always pull on your hair. I will prepare the model’s extra hair before they are even on set; Dolly Parton’s famous quote when asked, ‘how do you get your hair like that?’ was, ‘I don’t know, I’m never there’! It’s all smoke and mirrors.'

Follow Pandora on Twitter @pinsykes

Picture: Rex

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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