Sometimes I feel like I’m on the precipice of mastering the art of the selfie, then I take one humbling look at celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin’s Instagram and I know that I still have a long way to go. In comparison to hers, my iPhone-captured self portraits look like they could have been taken by an awkward Dad on holidays. Outside of her extensive knowledge and flawless execution when it comes to filters and angles, Jen is the most sought-after hairstylist in the world, with over 2million followers on Instagram and a client list that includes everyone from Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen.
Despite being responsible for the tresses of the most famous person in the world, Jen is as personable as she is genuine (very), as evidenced by her chill online persona and that one time she swung by Sydney to hang out with us, a bunch of other cuties and Slip Silk for a ~slumber party~ at the Four Seasons hotel. While she was in town, we quizzed her on everything from her favourite hair trend of all time to her secrets for taking the #flawless selfie. She also told us the cutest way to style a scrunchie, which formed the basis for this lil’ backyard scrunchie shoot. Get acquainted below!
On pulling yourself out of a hair rut:
“I would say really talk to your hairstylist. I think you need to be thorough with your consultation—you need to talk about realistically how much time you’re going to spend, what your natural hair texture is, what works best for your face shape… all of these things. So I think it’s really important to have a really thorough conversation about it. As a stylist and a women, I know what it feels like to have your hair cut off too much, so I am really a big communicator when it comes to those things.”
On the next ~cool girl~ cut:
“I’m pushing my clients to do the chop above the chin, even above the collar bone, or at the least above the shoulder. I would die if people started cutting their hair like Natalie Imbruglia in her ‘Torn’ video clip. Or I love Linda Evangelista or Christy Turlington short haircuts from the 90s—they’re so good!”
On giving the 90s scrunchie a modern update:
“I love how Bella Hadid wears hers—she does a really sleek half-up, half-down ‘do with the scrunchie. For a half-up, half-down, I always like to follow your eye line, and take it right to the top of your crown so that it lifts the face up. I love the idea of a top knot with a scrunchie as well, it’s so cute.
On the next big thing in colour:
“I think ombre is still going to be around, because it is so effortless—you don’t have to touch up constantly like complicated highlights. I think pastel colours are still a trend, I see it everywhere I go—Dubai, London, everywhere, everyone still really loves pastel. I do think sun kissed hair is going to be popular very soon!
On her favourite ever hair trend:
“Healthy hair. Definitely healthy hair. I’ve been talking a lot about when people have long hair that is unhealthy—because they are addicted to the length—they’re just not doing themselves any favours. You need to have a healthy hair cut, so that is something that I think is amiss.
On how long you should *really* go without washing your hair:
“A lot of my followers have been saying, “we don’t want to wash our hair”, so dry shampoo foam ‘till this date is our best selling product. We all just have busy lifestyles. And I feel like it’s just going to get busier and as you get older, and you take on more jobs (a wife, a mum, etc). I try to tell my clients to go three to four days if they can. I do think you need to wash it—you don’t want dirty pillows, and it also leads to pimples, so I think if you can go four days max. without washing it, that’s optimum.