How Keira Knightley’s Hair Guru Convinced Me To Get A Bob

I’ve had long hair since, well, ever. But between Alexa Chung‘s shoulder-length crop, Daria Werbowy‘s badass bob, and the debut of “The Karlie”, those extra inches were feeling heavier by the day. And while I’ve mulled over the idea of a big cut in the back of my mind, it’s never gotten any farther than that. Until last week, that is, when I interviewed Vidal Sassoon Pro Series ambassador Ben Skervin, the master hairstylist behind some of Hollywood’s best crops, including those of Keira Knightley and Emma Watson, and he convinced me (somewhat inadvertently, I think) to take the plunge.

Standing in the plushy room in the Eventi Hotel was a black-and-white photo of Keira’s enviable shaggy, collarbone-length style. Suffice it to say it was a bit of an “Aha” moment for me. Plus, as Skervin explained in his charming British accent, shorter lengths can work on anyone — it’s all a matter of getting the length and style right. And, let’s face it, I wasn’t exactly breaking out the hot rollers every day to style those extra eight inches.

Read on for what he had to say about springtime hair transformations, what Pro Series products to use to get the style you want, and why women (A-List clients included) keep insisting on cutting their own bangs:

Styleite: What are you most excited for this season, hair-wise?

“I always love spring because everybody’s been hiding under their hoods, and their hair isn’t really that much of a concern unless you’re actually going out, whereas I think springtime is when everyone starts thinking ‘Oooh, let’s get a new haircut because I’m going to be going out a lot more and I’m not wearing big hats and big collars and stuff like that,’ So it’s kind of like a reinvention time for hair.You know, as the new flowers come out you get inspired and everybody gets a new haircut or changes their hair color, so for me it’s always so inspirational and exciting to see what people want to do and what they’re up for doing.”

And one thing everyone seems to be doing this season is the bob.

“I’ve always been a big fan of the bob! Keira Knightley has been one of my clients for eight years now and every now and again she goes for the bob, and it’s just a haircut that really works. It can suit everybody depending on what length you decide to do it. You can go A-Line or you can go for a blunt one or you can put bangs in. It’s such a versatile haircut that everybody can make it their own. Whatever face shape, whatever hair color, whatever hair texture — you can definitely make some kind of bob work for you. That’s why I think it’s been such a revolutionary haircut for so many years. And especially being a brand ambassador for Vidal Sassoon Pro Series, it’s quite close to my heart. I trained with Sassoon and, you know, he created the five point cut, so I love the fact that everybody is going for the bob.”

More than long hair?

“For me I love women that have shorter hair, because a lot of the time you find that girls who have long hair don’t really do much with it. They like the feeling of having long hair because I think it makes them feel feminine but if you ask them how much they style their hair on a daily basis or if they use rollers or straighten it or curl it, they go, ‘Not really.’ So why is it hanging there then? Whereas if you’ve got a bob you’re kind of pushed into doing more with it.”

In terms of products, what are some of your favorites that you recommend to style it?

“For volume, Sassoon has a great Boost & Lift Foaming Air Mousse, and that’s just great because it’s very light, and that just helps to give a nice lift to your hair without having to do too much to it. And you can just put that in wet hair, throw your head upside down, rough dry it, and then flip it back up. That’s what I tend to say to most women who want a bit of extra volume and lift at the roots. And also a lot of people are using a lot of heat styling products these days so things like a Heat Protect & Shine Spray that we have is great, and there’s the Color Protect Spray as well for color treated hair, too, because a lot of people are experimenting a lot more with color these days. But it’s funny because I worked with Katy Perry for a few years while she was doing the pink and the blue and all that and I’ve seen that definitely trickle down into society, with women wanting to experiment with their hair and making people be like, ‘Ooh, maybe I should get some pink highlights!’ Or, ‘Maybe I should go silver!'”

Or, ‘Maybe I should cut my own bangs!’ I know that’s how I got mine…

“What Is it with girls that do that? I love it. I get a phone call from Keira, ‘Um, are you in London?’ And I say, ‘Well, no, I’m on a Eurostar to Paris actually.’ ‘Shit.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Uh, well, I thought I’d cut a fringe and it’s not quite gone how I wanted it to so I need you to come over.’ And then Cat Deeley, who’s also a very good friend of mine who I adore, another phone call: ‘Uh, where are you?’ And this time I was about to get on a plane back to New York, so I hear, ‘F*ck!’ So I was like, ‘What now?’ And she says, ‘Well, I just cut a fringe using Hello Kitty scissors in my bathroom.’ And I’m just like, ‘What’s wrong with you girls?!'”

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