Friday, 3 February 2012

Guest Blog: Celebrity Hairstylist Charley McEwen

When it comes to famous client books, they don't get more impressive than hairstylist to the stars Charley McEwen.

As personal stylist to X Factor judge Kelly Rowland, Charley has also teased the locks of her Destiny's Child bandmate Michelle Williams, Sienna Miller, Adele and many more. You name it, he's made them look fabulous.

Celebrity Hairstylist Charley McEwen

I met Charley at Channel Five and trust me..two minutes in his hands turns you into a new woman.

So it's with great excitement I introduce Charley to with the brief of making you ooze glamour on your wedding day.

Thanks for sending all your questions. Over to you Charley.

Meet in the middle - a half-up-half-down

Q. How does the style of my dress affect what I should do with my hair? (Jemma, Bath)

A. If it's a high necked dress or with lots of detail across the chest you should consider having your hair up 
so as not to cover it up. 

Strapless dresses can work well with long hair falling over your shoulders. If you want to put your hair up but are worried there's too much flesh showing, you could break up the look with jewellery - perhaps a necklace of pearls.

Break up flesh with a necklace

Q. Is my wedding day the time to try something different? I'd like to surprise my guests (Amy, Chester)

A. No. The groom expects to see the woman he knows. It's not the time to shock him and you want to feel like you too. Go for a hair rehearsal and bring your mum or friends along for advice. A second opinion is really valuable but ultimately you have to be happy. They might be able to have a rehearsal too.

Don't go changing too much on your big day

Q. What would you recommend for a timeless style I can look back on in thirty years and not feel it looks dated? (Ali, Edinburgh)

A. Remember to K.I.S. - Keep it simple. Be natural too for a timeless look. All down and tumbling can look effortless and will never date.

A timeless look for Kate Middleton last year

Jennifer Aniston let it all hang loose for her 2000 wedding to Brad Pitt

Q. I have short hair. What can I do to make it look a bit different on the day? (Penny, Jedburgh)

A. You can colour short hair to make it look really shiny and healthy. Do your homework and find somewhere with a good reputation. Salons like in Mayfair, London where I sometimes see clients specialises in colour.

Posh went for a short Beck and sides back in 1999
Q. I have short hair and my big day is nine months away. Should I let it grow? I fancy looking romantic and feminine on the day you see. (Jasmine, Glasgow) 

A. You could grow your hair. Alternatively, you could add a hair piece like a side bun with flowers around it. Remember to have a trial beforehand though so you're sure you like the look and it's not too different for you.

Add glamour with a side bun like Adele

Q. I've just spotted a few grey hairs but don't want to die my hair for the day. Should I just pull them out? (Claire in Clapham, London)

A. Don't pull them out - the old saying goes that three grown in their place. Instead, if you don't want to use colour, you can cover individual strands if there are not too many with a mascara wand.

Grey: sexy on George Clooney. Not the bride 

Q. My hair's very thin. Is my only option to make it thicker using extensions? If so, how can I make the extensions look natural? (Michelle, Virginia, USA)

A. You can go into a specialist shop and buy a hair weft. You can style these to suit you by using a razor to cut them. Or you could think about wearing a wig that looks like your own hair but is thicker.

I have worked a lot with wigs and know it's important to style it. You don't just buy it and wear it - you have to get it cut well to suit your face and style.

Otherwise you can use colour cleverly to make your hair look thicker. A few highlights or create depth by going darker.

Turn to the weft

Q. If Kelly Rowland was getting married, what would you recommend for her big day? (Alison, Bromley in Kent)
I'd suggest nice big, flowing waves. Kelly loves styles with her hair to one side so we might do that too. She likes and suits Hollywood glam.

To get the look with heavy waves there are plenty of products on the market you can buy to help. Try a Cloud 9 curling wand which gives beautiful results or Babyliss rollers.

Charley styles Kelly Rowland with glamour in mind

Q. I'm exercising to get rid of my tummy but is there anything I can do to my hair to get it into shape for the big day which is three months away? (Shona, Manchester)

Absolutely. You could treat yourself to a weekly mask until your wedding or visit a salon for a rich treatment. Make sure you have a trim to take dead ends off and condition well.

Charley 'Sheen'

Q. Any other tips?

  • Look out for styles you love and cut a picture out of a magazine or even take a photo of the television - so you can show the hairdresser exactly what you want.

  • Many stylists will do a one-off fee for you and your bridesmaids, maybe the mother of the bride too so you make a bit of a saving. I think around £30 a head is reasonable.

  • Don't turn up looking like a different person.

Show off your hair

  • Think about an alternative style in case it rains - so rather than have your hair all down and looking like a drowned rat if it's soaked, you could pin it up loosely.

  • If you've got lovely hair, don't hide it - show it off.

Thanks Charley!

You can follow Charley on Twitter at @charleymcewen and take a look at his work at and check out the Four London salon here

Products Charley recommends: Cloud Nine, Bumble and Bumble, Babyliss and 


  1. I can't believe how popular this blog is - the most traffic in any one hour so far. Do let me know your thoughts and what style you're thinking of for your day. M x

  2. After much angst I chopped off all my hair BTBD, suited my dress perfectly. V risky choice I'll admit.

  3. Wow, well done on the bravery. Do you have any pictures? I bet you dazzled and surprised everyone x

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