Celebrity hairstylist Yianni Tsapatori breaks down the hottest hair trends of 2019
The award-winning hairstylist who has worked with everyone from Pharrell Williams to Kareena Kapoor was in Chennai recently
Yianni Tsapatori might sound like a tongue-twister. But the only thing he’s twisting are celebrity tresses. The New York-based hairstylist who has worked with Pharrell Williams, Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor is in Chennai this weekend for the launch of a new Vurve Signature Salon on ECR. Ahead of his visit, he chats with us about the hair trends of the year, why men should try a beard spa and what he’d do differently with Priyanka Chopra’s locks.
Take us back to the beginning of your career for a bit, and tell us how you got into this business.
I started about 20 years ago. I wanted to be an engineer, hairstyling was not an option for me back then... I spent a lot of time with my mom and sister at the salon (as they were hairstylists) and slowly, even I started playing with the customer’s hair and styling it. Around this time, I started travelling a lot, mostly in Europe; and that’s when I realised I wanted to take up hairstyling and move to my hometown — Greece. I was lucky enough to know the right people and I started working right away in the fashion industry, in TV and with celebrities.
From Pharrell Williams to Kareena Kapoor, you have handled the tresses of a host of celebrities. Are there any people on your bucket list that you would like to work with, and if so, what kind of cuts do you have in mind?
Priyanka Chopra. I wouldn’t change a lot. PC has some of the best hairstylists working with her. I’d give it a more Undone-Done, Not-So-Perfect look. I love the length and colour of her hair. Also, Madhuri Dixit. I would cut her hair shorter as her USP is her smile, so I’d like to highlight that. Among the international names, I’d like to work with Cate Blanchett.
What brings you to Chennai?
I have been with Balmain for almost nine years and went on to become their global brand ambassador. And I’ve known Vurve as one of the top salons in South India. While discussing possible collaborations, we decided that we’d launch Balmain products on the occasion of their new salon launch at ECR. It’s a great collaboration and I am very excited to be a part of it.
Chat with us a bit about men’s hair care. What are some products to keep in mind to style, moisturise and groom in general?
What I have noticed is that even though men have entered the grooming game late, they have entered the game strong. The men’s grooming industry is getting bigger by the day and is, in fact, one of the biggest industries. I have also noticed a lot of guys in India take really good care of their hair, especially the big cities, given the resources available. They are also more aware of the looks, given the Bollywood influence, as they like to look like their favourite Bollywood star. Just like women, they need to moisturise their hair as well. A hair spa treatment for men is equally important and essential, as a lot of them sport beards as well. A lot of the oils or masks that they are going to use for their hair can be used for the beards as well.
What are the hottest hair trends of 2019?
Short hair, not a lot of layers, a long and short bob, not a lot of layers! I recently styled Kareena Kapoor’s hair for her upcoming movie, Angrezi Medium — I gave her short hair, which Kareena is loving and receiving a lot of compliments for! I notice that women, all around the world, are open to experimenting. Women are liking a lot more free, undone hair.
Are there any tips and tricks that folks can do at home or that is an overlooked habit that contributes to healthy hair in the long term?
Hydrating your hair is as important as hydrating your body. It is very important to moisturise your hair every week to 10 days, especially if you have coloured your hair. Protect the hair from heat by applying sun and heat protection. Use shampoos only two to three times a week, any more than that will strip the hair of the oils and nutrients needed for healthy growth.
What’s the best diet for a healthy, glossy mane?
Water, water, water! And sufficient proteins.
Three hair myths you would like to bust.
• Don’t cut your hair if you want it to grow.
It is important to cut your hair if you want grow healthy and long.
• Eat whatever you want, it won’t affect your hair. Diet is very important as whatever you put in your body affects every aspect of your body including your hair.
• Fear of using moisturising cream. Moisturising for your hair will have the same effect as using a moisturising on your face and body. It will make your hair look healthy.
Two of your must-have tools for styling.
Tongs and a brush.
One style that would work for anybody.
Hair extensions have really changed the game for quick transformation in a matter of seconds. For newbies, where is a good place to start?
For starters, one can opt for clip-ons. Once you are a little more confident, you can opt for semi-permanent hair extensions that last for three to six weeks, given how you take care of them. I wouldn’t recommend permanent hair extensions as they are a big investment, and take up a lot of time as you need to care for them properly.
Hair loss is not fun for anybody. How does one keep this in check, do you have any practical hacks that you have discovered over the years?
Diet is very very important. What you put in your body will benefit you in many ways. Taking care of your mental health and health, in general, is equally important. Go to salons that are certified and know what they are doing — with hair extensions, for instance, if you don’t go to a certified technician, extensions can cause hair damage and hair loss.
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