Frenchman and celebrity hairstylist Frederic Fekkai set out to be a sculptor but somehow ended up sculpting women’s locks instead. In 1989, he opened his salon in New York City and quickly garnered a celebrity clientele, styling Salma Hayek and Elizabeth Taylor’s tresses. Fekkai’s hair empire now includes homecare products and these have just launched in Hong Kong at Joyce Beauty. Here, Time Out asks the 54-year-old for his top tips in hairstyling and juicy stories about Elizabeth Taylor…
There are so many hairstylists on the market. How do you distinguish yourself from the rest?
When people go into a salon they always have a photo of somebody else but that hairstyle isn’t necessarily good for them. So I make sure they understand that a style has to fit their bone structure and silhouette. The hair length and volume has to be right for their height. You know a lot of people fight their hair – some women straighten their hair because they have some curls but I’m here to enhance their own beauty.
As a rule of thumb, how should people with different shaped faces find the right style?
If you have a round face, you don’t want to get bangs because you accentuate the roundness. If you have a long face you cannot have all your hair one length, you need layers. You need to build volume for an oval face, then it becomes fuller and more elegant.
Enough about the hair! You’ve been styling celebrities for many years. People tend to pour their heart and soul to their stylists. Tell us some secrets?
Celebrities are not necessarily difficult. I do have some great anecdotes…
Juicy! Do tell, do tell!
One day, I was at the Cannes Film Festival and the agent of the late Elizabeth Taylor rang up and said, ‘Could you do her hair?’ She didn’t have a hairdresser, and she needed to go to a big gala and all that. I was doing the hair of Salma Hayek at the time and I said I couldn’t!
Who would turn down a chance to do Elizabeth Taylor’s hair?
I didn’t! The agent said to me: “Why don’t we send Elizabeth’s driver and car?” As I finished Salma Hayek’s hair, there was a Rolls Royce waiting plus the police! The police came to escort us in order to make the trip faster! They closed the streets all to the way to the top of the hill where Taylor lives. We made no stops. All this just to do her hair!
Our last question… what does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is all about being balanced. It really is about having a good lifestyle. Eating well, drinking a lot of water. You need to know your body to take care of yourself, and you need to feel proud of yourself. Your hair is the first thing that people see. And that’s why it’s important to have that hair that feels healthy – like you are.
Frederic Fekkai has a Luxury Hair Care Line, available at Joyce Beauty Stores. www.joyce.com/beauty. For more info, see www.fekkai.com.