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Style worth talking about: how to get Speech Debelle's trendsetting look

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London rapper Speech Debelle changed her hairstyle three times during the Mercury Music Prize awards, each working from the trendsetting Mohican made famous by Rhianna
 

10 SEPTEMBER 2009

She may have been making a name for herself as a talented rap artist on her way to major success, winning her the Mercury Music Prize.

But one of Speech Debelle’s dreams was to have her hair done by Errol Douglas, Knightsbridge salon owner, Afro hair specialist and nominee for British Hairdresser of the Year.

And she got her wish this week as Errol created three looks for Speech for her appearance at the awards.

Speech popped into Errol’s salon on Saturday for a consultation during which Errol devised three looks for the awards.

He worked on a trend popularised by singer-songwriter VV Brown, The Noisettes’ Shingai Shiniwa and even Rhianna where hair is kept tight – or even shaved – at the sides and styled high on top in a Mohican strip down to the nape. It’s a hybrid of Forties roller setting and Seventies punk.

“I coloured her hair especially for the day, focusing on the Mohican section, giving her highlights of light blonde and burnt shades,” Errol tells us.

“The sides of her hair were then corn-rowed in a criss-cross pattern, leaving out the Mohican section of the hair, which was changed throughout the evening for the three different looks.”

“For the red carpet, I used big-barrelled tongs all over the Mohican section of the hair, with hairspray to hold and an oil sheen to keep the hair looking glossy,” Errol says.

“The stage look was a little more dramatic, with roots backcombed for lift and movement, and hair teased up really high throughout the Mohican section and sprayed for extra hold.

"For Speech’s acceptance, I blow-dried out the previous look using a medium-size, round Kent brush. I then rolled small sausage sections all over the head, pulling hair backwards, tucking under and pinning into place before spraying with hairspray.”

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