“Most guys are doing it all wrong,” says Kristan Serafino, celebrity groomer to stars like Shawn Mendes, Daniel Craig, and oh yeah, Ryan Reynolds.
The industry veteran had just wrapped up her world tour with him for Deadpool 2, which had her traveling to cities like Seoul, Tokyo, Paris, London for weeks on end. It was a Wednesday night and, far from lethargic, the energized New Yorker is standing in front of dozens of grooming/beauty editors teaching them how to actually do their own hair.
“There’s so much misinformation out there and guys have habits that they do over and over again,” she tells them.
These editors –from Esquire, Men’s Journal, Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, among others – have come far and wide to attend our first-ever Boy Beauty Hair Masterclass in collaboration with Rudy’s Barbershop. The retail/grooming business, which is now in its 25th year, just launched its Clay Spray (which, as you know, we love), a pomade/sea salt spray/dry shampoo hybrid.
“It’s all about versatility and showing how every type of hair can use the product no matter the texture,” explains Rudy’s own CEO, Brendon Lynch. The brand’s DNA has always been about inclusivity, and it seems only apropos that its 25th year is celebrated with a product that hits that message over the head. “We’ve always been about bringing all types of men and women into our shops for a perfect cut.” A reason why the Seattle-based establishment has never gendered hair cuts, rather referred to them as long or short hair cuts (“We cut heads” is their tagline).
Kristan herself started cutting women’s heads and moved onto men’s, starting with her first A-list client, Matthew McConaughey. “I was cutting his girlfriend’s hair and he asked me to cut his, too,” she says about her chance encounter with the actor. The celebrity groomer started in the industry at 30, leaving a high paying corporate finance job to start from the bottom where she had a $12,000 a year salary. That obviously didn’t last long. In a couple of years, she’d go from Matthew to other men like Ryan Reynolds and to up-and-comers like a then green and bushy-tailed 15-year old Shawn Mendes.
That’s where she honed her skills in all aspects of the job, from hair to makeup, and making it specific for every which occasion. Is it an Oscars red carpet? A television experience shot in 4K HD? The experiences have obviously left her with all of the necessary skills to tackle any and every grooming conundrum. Below, we gathered the five best tips we learned from her and how you, too, can get movie star-worthy hair.
1 A little goes a long way
Whether it’s clay, pomade, gel, or a hybrid of all of those, chances are you’re using way too much product. Which is understandable, especially if you have unruly hair that doesn’t seem to stay in place. But still, “less is more,” Kristan tells us. “You only need a pea-size to a dime-sized amount.” The groomer tells us that product can weigh down your hair and only adds to your hair troubles. Using a small amount allows your hair’s natural fibers and oils to work magic on its own.
2 Use your fingers, not palms
It’s pure intuition to want to take product and rub it in between your palms before placing it in your hair. The thought process is that it’ll warm the product up and activate it. Instead, the product soaks into your palms and doesn’t necessarily transfer into your hair. “I can’t tell you the number of guys who do this and find that no product is actually going in,” she says. “There’s no product going to your head.” Instead, rub product in between your fingers and massage it in from the root upwards. Again, a little bit of product goes a long way when you’re coating your hair fibers from the root to tip. The fingers act as combs and allows the pomade to do its job.
3 Always apply product from back to front
Instinctively, guys want to put product in their hair from the front to back. But that’s wrong – all wrong. Instead, put product from the back to front. “Most of your hair is in the back of your head so by putting products front to back means you’re weighing it down,” Kristan says. Put that together with sweat, natural oils and the elements and you’ll end up with floppy, droopy hair. “For thinning hair, this accentuates how thin it is.” Another reason to start back to front is to distribute the product evenly throughout your head. Starting from the back to front with coat your hair fibers evenly.
4 You don’t always have to spray product into your hair
With the Clay Spray or other products that come in spray form, you can certainly spritz your hair directly. But a better way is to spray your finger tips, activate the liquid and then directly apply to your hair roots. “To add volume all you have to do is put the product on the ends,” Kristan says. “You apply just a little and you’ll be surprised how much texture and volume you’ll create.” (Side note, indeed on our curly-haired blonde model, just a little went a LONG WAY.)
5 Go against the grain
For the best volume? Style you hair against the way it’s naturally growing out. If it grows to the left, lift the hair, add product and style it to the right. “Lift the hair with your pinky, separate the sections, spray it with a product, and style in the opposite direction,” she says. Use a blowdryer if you want to achieve more drama. The result: the volume of your dreams.