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Five minutes with: Grant Bettjeman


Expert hair advice from Grant Bettjeman, hairstylist and owner of Bettjemans Hair Associates in Auckland, MiNDFOOD reports.

What do you think is the top hair trend for winter?

The strongest new look for winter is the shag – the crop’that we saw in summer is now letting the sides, front and back grow.  The layers are still short, but the perimeter is soft and loose and feminine.  

There is always a winter bob, but this year let it move – encourage waves and curls into it.

Colour has had an injection of winter warmth. Blondes are golden and caramel to look like the late winter sun. Brunettes are washed with an undertow of coppers and gold. I like to see a depth at the roots and warmth shining out from the mid-length and ends to give the feeling of a warm light shining from within. The only exception to the warm colour story is black. This winter it is blue-black like the darkest night.

What’s the best way to approach a total change with your hairdresser?

If you have a relationship of trust with your hairdresser, simply make an appointment and throw your cards on the table, saying: “I want a total new look – surprise me!” 

Most hairdresssers love this and their creative juices flow. They won’t let you down.

If you don’t trust your hairdresser, try another. Take some pictures in and once you have established a few boundaries, sit back and relax. My best work comes from a free reign.

If you don’t want to lose much length, your cut may stay similar. The total change could be with colour. With the new conditioning treatments available, almost any colour is possible. Personally I think most people look better lightened to some degree. Nature intended that, as in the wild, even dark Asian hair would be tawny on the ends.  Lightness brings the skin to life.

Now that hair has a softer look this winter, could I have a perm?

Firstly, let’s not call it a perm any more. Let’s refer to it as a wave. Waves have huge potential. Yes, they can be the perfect solution to flat, fine hair. One thing you must remember, you can’t mix bleach (even highlights) and waves softly. 

If your hair is natural, then a wave is the answer to limp hair. If it’s tinted/coloured, but not bleached, yes a wave could give you goddess hair. Talk to your hairdresser, and if they are over 35 like me, they will really know how to wave. We were there last time around.

How important are the products you use on your hair?

The most important and most overlooked aspect of your hair is your scalp. You know the expression “Good soil. Good garden” – same principal. So choose a shampoo that nourishes your scalp. 

Fine hair – keep away from moisture even if your hair feels dry. Look for the words strengthen or protein. Thick, naturally dry hair  – look for words like moisture and soften. I love the Kerastase shampoo and conditioners.

What are your miracle products at the moment?

Well, at the moment I think it’s all about turning a negative into a positive. Just launched is the new Nectar Thermique by Kerastase that makes your hairdryer and irons your friend. Just a teaspoon of this product dried into your hair not only protects but with the help of the heat of your dryer and irons, actually moisturises and nourishes your hair.

Another favourite is the Kerastase Noctogenist range – coming in a liquid spray-on form for fine hair, or a rich cream for coarse, dry hair. Just apply before you hop into bed and all night your hair is being treated.  It’s gone by morning, and you don’t even have to wash it if you don’t usually.

Last tip?

I wouldn’t consider having my hair coloured without a treatment applied at the end.  If you have lighteners in your hair, then one applied before as well will guarantee that your hair stays in great condition. Ask your hairdresser, and if they don’t offer these treatments, change hairdressers.


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