9 November 2014

Backstage at the X Factor with TRESemmé and Jamie Stevens

Backstage at the X Factor with TRESemme and Andrea Faustini
Imagine a nail-bitingly buzzy, small room packed with some of the best names in hair business, hordes of hopefuls frantic with nerves and a screen displaying 1D’s rehearsals. That's what I found myself happily stood in the midst of last Sunday night, as I went backstage at the X Factor with the show’s choice hair brand, TRESemmé.

Here, the eminently talented, friendly resident hairdresser, Jamie Stevens, dished on all of the products and tricks that make the contestants’ hair so flawless. He and his team of five spend 20-40 minutes with each of the finalists, crafting the same styles we try to recreate come a big night out. 

Between coordinating quiffs, structured curls and bouncy dance moves, it’s hardly surprising that TRESemmé Superior Hold Hairspray is the contestants’ must-grab. Stevens admits that in the first week they went through fifteen of the bumper-sized bottles, but now he’s being “really strict” - especially with the boys. 

“Every 10 minutes they’d be coming in and nicking more hairspray, so I’m banning it now,” he explained. “Instead, we put minimal product on at first, then perfect it an hour before the show.”

With a four-year run on the show to his name, Stevens has proved his styling prowess, and creative director, Brian Friedman, meets with him weekly to discuss the hair. “We have a big creative meeting on a Tuesday for the following week, and this is when Brian tells us what the theme is going to be.” 

It’s these key meetings and Stevens’ knowledge that make the show’s hair so covetable, as every clip, braid and curl is considered to work with the makeup, outfit and stage. However, while Saturday requires a careful culmination of all of these matters, Sunday is the “more relaxed day” when they ask contestants what they would like. 

“I would never make someone have something that they didn’t feel comfortable with. Hair for me is hero and with makeup, if you don’t like it, you can take it off, but with hair, if you don’t like something, it’s much more difficult. So we always make suggestions, and then if they’re happy, we do it.”

And lastly, the bit we all want to know before we try the hair at home; what are the products that Stevens - and the contestants - can’t be without? “The TRESemmé oils, Texture Style Backcomb Dust and Salon Superior Hold Touchable Feel Hairspray are lifesavers.” Well, there you have it. 

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