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Keira Knightley's Hair Stylist On How To Resurrect Your Hair

Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.
If you've been unkind to your hair – bleach, heat, sink-side trims– it's time to get acquainted with hairstylist to the stars, Wendy Iles. Wendy is what you'd call a legend within Hollywood's glam-squad circuits. Wendy is every red-carpet siren's secret weapon, armed with her 3-step system (one shampoo, one conditioner and one serum – for everyone), her USP is her ability to transform the most damaged of tresses into campaign-worthy hair, or as Wendy calls it "spun silk". Wendy's client roster reads like a list of who's who: J-Lo, Heidi Klum and Marion Cotillard are just the tip of the iceberg.

She's got more covers under her tool-belt than the Kardashians to boot, so we had to grab some time with her as she celebrates the launch of her first hair treatment collection. Here's how, from the woman herself, you can make your barnet look like you've been sat in Wendy's chair for a few hours...

How did you get into hair styling?
I was offered two apprenticeships when I was still in my last years of high school. Everyone in our village new that Wendy was to be the hairdresser!

Why do you love it?
I’m just passionate about hair and have been ever since I can remember. Possibly as far back as being a 5 year old playing with my dolls hair. My "Wendy House" in garden was always a mini hair salon.

What's the worst hairstyle you've ever had?
Worn by myself? Possibly a fluoro pink bob in the '80s. The cut was great but colour was off…

But I don’t think I’ve had a bad hair moment with a client as such… Oh yes actually there is! On one of my hair campaigns for P&G who don’t allow any extensions, the colourist over bleached the model’s hair and it was breaking off in my hands, just falling out everywhere – it was a horrendous moment for all involved. This was before I had my formulas, otherwise that would have rescued her hair though.

What's the worst thing we can do to our hair?
I really don’t like hairspray or any products that interfere with the hair's memory. Stiff, sticky and crunchy hair is out! Who wants that when you can have soft supple luscious hair.

Our simple recipe for healthy looking, spun silk texture hair #IlesFormula #Instant #Repair #Haircare @sephora

A photo posted by ILES FORMULA Hair Care (@ilesformula_hair) on

The best tip/trick you would pass onto someone on how to better your hair?
Use all 3 formulas from ILES FORMULA. There’s nothing on earth better for hair and that’s a fact! Just 1 shampoo, 1 conditioner and 1 finishing serum that instantly transforms all hair types into my signature “spun silk” finish.

Can you tell us about your celebrity clients? What's it like working with Marion Cotillard, Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson and Keira Knightley?

Celebrities have very little time, so one needs to work with a plan, know where you are heading in style and work fast. Sometimes celebrities' minds are very occupied with what they are about to do so it’s important to feel these moments and give them silence. Other times they want diversion, so it’s up to you in a way to assess that and take that in hand too. We, as stylists are often the last person to touch them before they are on show to the public. Our presence and reassurance is important to them.
Do they want very different things?
Sometimes. I just worked with Jennifer Lopez and that was multiple, big hair changes in very short time frames. One really needs to be prepared to do full circle if needs be especially when the client is a new one, as was the case with Jennifer for me. With a regular you get to know them and can already anticipate their wants before they even ask. They also have enough confidence in you to follow your suggestions which is great.

How can you save really over-processed hair?
ILES FORMULA. I know I keep coming back to it but it really is the very best hair rescue. Plus no one should be using elastic band hair ties. Elastic bands are a no no. I saw a child a few days ago with tight small pure rubber elastics on her pigtails! I was so alarmed as they cause such unnecessary damage to the hair.

Can you tell us about your spun silk technique?
That’s the ILES FORMULA signature. My conditioner shuts down the hair shaft on instant contact, delivering the most sumptuous spun silk texture. No conditioner on earth works as well or as fast as this one does. The shampoo is sulphate, silicon and paraben free but I still have lather! Possibly the only sulfate-free shampoo with lather. I wanted that as I personally cannot get my head around cleansing without bubbles. I love the indulgence factor. My lather is created from a plant extract. And finally, the finishing serum is your hairs best protector, against UV, colour fade, heated tools and humidity. This serum can be applied daily and it will never weigh the hair down, hair just gets silkier.

Who's hair do you love?
I really love Heidi’s [Klum]. I very much like Queen Elizabeth’s hair too in terms of style. Quite iconic. She has not altered it much since beginning her reign in the '50s, just the colour has matured. If she was in my chair tomorrow I wouldn’t change a thing.
Who always gets it right and why?
Queen Elizabeth. She’s just an icon.

How do you suggest someone gets out of a hair-rut?
Speak with a good professional. Sometimes just a change of colour hue can make a world of difference.

What hair style suits everyone?
Honestly I love long hair with a good haircut inside. Growing up, my daughter had long hair but looked best when her hair was right off her face. Now she is older she looks best with an abundance of hair, so what I’m trying to say is that long hair just gives versatility. You can be whatever person you want to be with it. If we are speaking about cuts then I guess the classic french bob, but long enough to tie back in a chic tail if we want.

What's your favourite editorial you've ever worked on?
One that pops straight to mind was not an editorial but a Chanel film with Hollywood film director Martin Scorsese. It was special because we don’t often get those opportunities to work with one of Hollywood’s greatest directors. As far as editorials go there are many, in fact, probably my favourites have been when we work with Haute Couture.

Who are your favourite retro hair icons?
Mary Quant, Cher, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy.

Iles Formula is available at Urban Retreat, Harrods and