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3 London Fashion Week-approved hair trends to try at home

Princess Diana's hairstylist and LFW regular Sam McKnight reveals his secrets…

sam mcknight hair trends
Orin Carlin
Orin CarlinContent Writer
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It's officially over and out for London Fashion Week, but you needn't look so glum. This season the runways were practically brimming with major beauty moments – it's safe to say that the industry's top skin, hair and makeup experts, yet again, brought their A-game.

MORE: The 5 biggest beauty moments from London Fashion Week AW23

Hairdressing legend and founder of his own eponymous haircare brand Sam McKnight was one of the key players who left his mark on London. The seasoned pro, who has over four decades of experience, has created the hair looks for countless magazine editorials and worked as Princess Diana's personal hairstylist for seven years until her death in 1997.

Sam even masterminded the princess' radically shorter crop that she debuted in 1990, and at the end of last year the announced that he was "delighted to accept" an appointment as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for "services to the Fashion and Beauty industries".

Suffice to say, Sam knows his craft inside out, and when Hello! Fashion caught up with him backstage at LFW, he was at the top of his game. From glossy, cool girl polish at 16Arlington to 1930s-inspired waved hairlines at Richard Quinn, here's how to recreate three of his runway-approved hair looks.

MORE: This is going to be the biggest SS23 hair trend according to Princess Diana's hairdresser

READ: 5 reasons your hair doesn't grow according to an expert

Beachy Ibiza waves


Annies Ibiza LFW Show Hair© Photo: Getty Images

Expert vintage curator Annie Doble made her in-house collection debut this season under her eponymously named label, Annie's Ibiza. Inspired by the soft, "sea-kissed" spirit of the iconic Balearic Island, Sam served up "beachy waves glammed up in London".

Get the look:

  • For fine hair, blow dry with Cool Girl Volume Blow Dry Foam (launches March) for fuller, thicker hair
  • Using 19mm and 25 mm curling tongs depending on the hair length, mist each section with Modern Hairspray Multi-tasking Styling Mist and wrap small sections down the tong - the key here is to not create curls but a soft beach wave
  • Alternate the direction of the wrap by wrapping in opposing directions each time
  • Apply Dressed to Kill Define and Defrizz Crème or Happy Endings Nourishing Balm depending on hair texture to nourish and define
  • Finish with Sundaze Sea Spray (launches May) for sea-kissed texture
modern hairspray

Hair by Sam McKnight Modern Hairspray, £22, Liberty London


MORE: Short hairstyles: 17 ideas for some serious 2023 inspiration

Cool girl polish


16Arlington LFW Show Hair© Photo: Getty Images

Hair at 16Arlington was elevated to capture the ultra-luxe mood, finished with a glossy lustre. Models were worked on individually in accordance with their natural hair textures – some had their lengths blow dried smooth whereas others had their curls nourished – but essentially the vibe was "polished, glossed-up cool girls", Sam told us.

Get the look for straight hair:

  • Mist Save the Do Blow Dry Style Starter though hair and blow dry smooth with a round brush
  • Turn the ends under for a polished finish
  • Once your section is dry, mist with Modern Hairspray Multi-tasking Styling Mist and blow dry that section again
  • Finish with Happy Endings Nourishing Balm or Dressed to Kill Define and Defrizz Crème

 Get the look for curly hair:

  • Apply Dressed to Kill Define and Defrizz Creme or Happy Endings Nourishing Balm depending on hair texture (the former is ideal on thick, coarse curls and the latter is designed to smooth all hair types)
  • Twist the curls around your finger to smooth, tame frizz and enhance the curl
  • Finish with a light mist of Modern Hairspray Multi-tasking Styling Mist
dresses to kill creme

Hair by Sam McKnight Dressed to Kill Defrizz Creme, £26, Space NK


Vintage-inspired waved hairline


Richard Quinn LFW Show Hair

Sam conjured up a "futuristic take on 1930s Hollywood romance" at Richard Quinn, juxtaposed against makeup artist Terry Barber's botanical-hued take on Tim Burton. The look involved "hard edges" and a distinctly "masculine silhouette" with a slick wave at the front and the rest of the hair pulled back into a chignon.

Get the look:

  • Begin with a sharp side parting and slightly damp hair
  • Apply Happy Endings Nourishing Balm to mid lengths and ends then brush through
  • Smooth Self Control Gel onto roots and brush down flat
  • With a comb, style the hairline into a wave
  • Tie hair into a low ponytail and twist into a chignon
  • Finish with Modern Hairspray Multi-tasking Styling Mist
happy endings balm

Hair by Sam McKnight Happy Endings Nourishing Balm, £36, Cult Beauty


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