Behind The Scenes At A Hair Show: Richard Mannah Tells All

Model showing beautiful blonde hair in long pony tail
Women with long braided hair
Women with hair in large bun and bangs

The concept…
“To me, editorial styling for a show means creating looks that could be seen on a professional model, celebrity, in a fashion magazine, on a runway, or red carpet. It’s an aesthetic that leans more towards fashion, and not just hairdressing.”

How it all starts…
“I’m always looking for inspiration. When I come up with new looks, I work at home on mannequin heads — and on my wife who, thankfully, is a model! — to create styles that can stand both on their own, and as a collection.”

Practice makes perfect…
“I’ll practice over and over until I’m happy with each look, and know exactly how to do it. The process constantly changes — sometimes after spending a few hours on one look, I’ll walk away and come back with fresh energy and new eyes. It’s simply trial and error.”

Hair stylist Richard Mannah styling models hair at hair show
Hair stylist Richard Mannah styling models hair at hair show

The timeline…
“I start three or four weeks in advance of the show. Casting is essential to the process – having the right models with the right walk, hair length, density, and color is key. You want to make sure the hair will work with the styling and makeup. I also rehearse with the models over and over, and make sure the choreography is tight.”

When the big day arrives…
“I keep the backstage energy positive, which helps maintain a good vibe for everyone involved. I’ll prepare in my mind what I’m going to talk about on stage, but I don’t over-rehearse. It’s better when I let it be spontaneous and from the heart.”

Women with intricate braid and pony tail

Troubleshooting moments…
“I do a lot of advance work to avoid issues: like planning a very early call-time to make sure all the looks are ready for the show. It’s better to be ready earlier, rather than run late and have added pressure. It’s also important to have a great team to help you execute each look to perfection. I try and prepare my team as much as possible by showing them the exact technique so they know precisely how I would like it done. Sure, things sometimes pop up that you didn’t expect, or might not work due to certain hair types or techniques. But I just adjust and move on. That’s when experience and practice kicks in!”

Women with beautiful long blonde hair in pony tail