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Hair visionaries: Neil Moodie


With 30 years’ experience, Neil Moodie is one of the most powerful men in the industry and also one of the most trusted, with a natural ability to put people at ease. On the latest Burberry campaign, he used his invisible cutting technique on supermodels Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell and Jourdan Dunn to create the much-coveted, luxe-looking, tousled hair. Stylist catches up with him at his London salon, Windle & Moodie…

“The Burberry catwalk hair has turned into a huge phenomenon. It’s the cut everyone wants. It looks like it’s just long hair but there’s a lot of trickery involved. I cut invisible layers into the models’ hair for the campaign shots which give it movement and texture. The front is a little shorter – ‘fallen graduation’ in hair-cutting terms. It creates layers around the face which lift the features making them more alive. It’s so desirable because of the simplicity – unassuming yet so sexy.”

“Some things to think about when considering a cut; imagine your hair as an extension of the face. If your face is round, a chin-level bob would extend its width making it appear rounder. Instead, a shoulder-length bob will elongate the face. Also think about whether you like to be low- maintenance or if you will bother styling it every morning. It’s useful to have some knowledge about your hair type too; razor cutting curly hair makes it frizzy.”

“Don’t be scared of the bob. It dominated the catwalks for the autumn/winter 2012 shows at Antonio Berardi, Peter Jensen and Jeremy Scott. It’s a universally flattering cut yet it’s massively underrated. When Arizona Muse cut her hair into a choppy bob, her career took off. There are so many different versions; whether it’s the little box bob or the A-line bob, the chin length, the elongated or the graduated – there’s the right one for you.”

“Take your haircut seriously. It’s a cliché but more often than not people come in for a cut after a bad breakup or losing a job. They want to sweep away a piece of their history, but they can regret it afterwards. Of course, sometimes it’s exactly what they need to give themselves a fresh start. Hairdressers are like therapists but without the training; appointments often turn into healing sessions but I wouldn’t change that relationship at all. It’s special.”

“A signature style isn’t necessarily boring but don’t be afraid to try something new. I love Anna Wintour’s bob; she wouldn’t be the same without it. It’s like the story of Samson, that bob holds her power. However, Jennifer Aniston’s haircut is just bland, she never does anything exciting. The ‘Rachel’ cut was popular but it was terribly unflattering. Victoria Beckham is open to change, I persuaded her to try a faux fringe on a shoot last year and it looked great. She considered a real one, momentarily.”

“Don’t adhere to stereotypes. Society pressurises women to play it safe as they get older. There’s a lot of peer pressure to ‘look your age’. Personally I don’t adhere to that. Just because you’ve hit 30 doesn’t mean you have to conform. It’s my job to encourage you to experiment and while I don’t think long, grey hair looks great, that’s more because it loses its shine. Nothing makes me happier than a 50-year-old with mad hair who doesn’t care what anyone thinks.”



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