The royal cut

James Pryce, former hairdresser to Kate Middleton, on how to enhance your hair quotient

January 30, 2017 04:54 pm | Updated 04:54 pm IST

Hairdresser James Pryce, who styled Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s hair on her wedding day in 2011, still seems to live in the afterglow of the event. Many still recognise him as the one who did the demi-chignon hairdo for Middleton. Pryce agrees that working with the royal family was a turning point in his life.

Born into a family of hairdressers in Camden, London, he started off with just washing clients’ hair, like everyone else. “Who would have thought that 20 years later, I would be in Buckingham Palace and travel around with the royal family. I never thought I would achieve that. Those were proud moments for me. And being associated with the wedding has been the highlight of my career. It’s amazing to be part of history,” he says.

During the days leading to the wedding, Pryce recalls having long conversations with the duchess to understand what kind of look she wanted. “I do that for every client. Talk to them, understand their requirements, and emotions. And in the end, when they are happy, I am happy. For me, it’s good karma,” he says.

The master hairstylist, who has over two decades of experience in the industry, working with popular salons such as Daniel Galvin, Trevor Sorbie, Richard Ward, and now Josh Wood, was in the city to launch the new LimeLite salon in Anna Nagar. His week-long schedule included training a few key staff on techniques of hair cutting and dressing, and bringing in some Western influence.

During his stay, he observed that most Indian women preferred long hair to short, and suggested that, given the humid weather here, a high bun would be the best bet. “It’s easy and fashionable, and is big even in London. But the hottest trend today is the collarbone wavy bobs; I think that it suits a lot of people. You can still do a variation of it using fringes to suit your face. If you have a long face, you can have the bob, and introduce a fringe,” he says.

“But try not to overuse hair tools much. If you have wavy hair, do something that complements your natural wave. A lot of women with curly hair blow-dry their hair straight every day, and those with straight hair try and make their hair curly. Try and work with what God gave you. But it’s also important to spend money on a good haircut. It’s more like your crown, or like a hat you can never take off, so you are better off feeling amazing about it,” he adds, and mentions a rising consciousness among people globally about what they are using on their hair and body, and about natural ingredients making a comeback.

Pryce, who reached on the day of the Jallikattu protests at the Marina Beach, “headed off straight to the beach, and was there the whole day. While I am used to seeing a lot of crowd in London, especially during the Notting Hill Carnival, being the only white man among a sea of people was funny,” he says.

His schedule, besides training staff in the salon, included visiting temples, tasting vegetarian food in local restaurants, and trying to find a green spot away from all the traffic. But more importantly, to add to the already-gleaming profile, Pryce now wants to work his magic on a Bollywood star, and plans to check out Bollywood films on his flight back to London.

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