Ask a Stylist: Jessica Langridge
Hi Jessica. It’s lovely to meet you. Thanks for speaking with us today. When did you start your career in hairdressing?
I started hair at 16. I left school and went straight into local salons before moving on to a role in the spa at John Lewis and then onto Nicky Clarke. I joined this salon about two years ago. I’m a stylist, which means I specialise in cutting more than colouring, but I’m interested in both sides, and I like to work with clients on both.
Have you always wanted to be a stylist?
Definitely. I’ve always, always wanted to do hair. I’ve just always had a passion for it. I used to love to do my own hair when I was younger. I hoped one day to go into the business and give people a really good experience. I thought it should feel like a luxury because that’s what it is really.
I started my first qualifications when I was still at school and from there went on to do an apprenticeship, working through my levels and gaining experience. I love helping people to feel transformed and giving them confidence – it’s a really nice thing to do.
What’s it like to work at Nicky Clarke?
Brilliant. We’re actually like a little family. The atmospheres great – there is such a buzz about it for both stylists and clients. I love it and I love our team. It’s also brilliant for the opportunities it brings, like the last two years we have done the NTAs (National Television Awards), it’s such good fun.
Are there any types of style that you love to work on?
That’s a tough question! I do love doing hair-ups, so any type of creative work like bridal and stuff – especially natural and bohemian styles. But I also really like the versatility of my job. I like that everyone who comes in is completely different. I enjoy working with everyone on their individual style. If I had to choose though, I like the one-length bob – I think you can’t beat that really for classic style. I also like what we call the ‘1-2-3’ which is a natural layered look which is gorgeous on longer hair.
What about colour? Are there any stand-out trends you’re seeing in the salon?
We’re definitely seeing more creative colours in the summer, all the pastels, peaches, and pinks for holidays and things like that. I also think that balayage is still a massive trend and has been for the past few years. People want a more sun-kissed, natural look and subtle highlights are more popular than very bold colours right now.
What are some of the most common questions that clients ask you?
A big one is what’s on-trend at the moment. But I think people create their own trends and make their own statements. Your face shape, your hair texture, your style, these are the most important things when it comes to your hair. Another big one is how often people should visit the salon. That depends on your hair cut and a few other things, but I think people are surprised when I say it’s quality over quantity. For a low-maintenance cut, if you come in every three months, but have a really good cut and colour, then it will last.
What are some haircare tips and tricks that people can practice at home?
For looking after your hair at home, I think the key is to keep it simple. Choosing a good quality shampoo and conditioner, and regularly using a treatment or aftercare product will make a big difference. Curling hair is a big one that I’m asked about and when it comes to curling it’s all about direction. If you want a beach look you should direct the curl downwards and leave the ends straight. For a more blow-out, glam look, curl smaller sections to get more volume. For updos, a great hack is a standard ponytail with a section of hair wrapped around the tie at the back. It immediately makes an everyday look more special. You can’t beat good pony!
What’s the key to creating a salon-worthy blow-dry at home?
A lot of people struggle to blow-dry their hair at home because it feels like it takes forever, and you end up standing there with your arms hurting. The best tip, I’d probably say, is to blast it to 80% dry before you start to style. It will save your arms and give you a better result.
How do you create a great experience for your clients?
I always want to make sure that their experience from walking in to walking out is ten out of ten. We start with a really good, clear consultation with each client, whether their brand-new or have been coming in for ten years, we want to make sure we get it right for them. Then it’s about making them feel really comfortable. I think sometimes in the salon people feel under pressure to talk to you, but if they just want to sit there and relax or even close their eyes, that’s fine too. It’s all about adapting to how they want the experience to go.
Thank you so much for talking with us, Jessica! It’s been a pleasure.