Friday, 1 July 2011

Richard Ward Hair Couture Blow-dry Masterclass

I feel very fortunate to have been invited to my first event this week due to my blog. In fact rather embarrassingly I didn’t realise that was why I had the invitation for until 3 emails in!

The event was to a ‘blow dry masterclass’ hosted by Richard Ward at his beautiful Chealsea salon in London. Richard Ward has in the last 6 months launched a hair care range which has done extremely well on QVC, and the invitation was in conjunction with them and coincides with QVC Beauty Month starting today.

After a drinks reception we were led into one of the styling rooms and Richard gave a presentation of his product range. I have to be honest and admit I had not heard of his products before, even though I am subscribed to QVC emails.


The event was for the promotion of the couture range. What struck me was its simplicity, containing a total of 12 products which all had clear thought process of development based on an understanding of his clients wants and needs.

The two sets break every one down into one of two hair types, fine to normal or normal to course. To know what type you are, take a small strand of hair using your finger and thumb, run your finger down the hair. Hair which feels like silk thread is fine to normal and hair which feels like cotton thread is normal to course. There is then a shampoo, conditioner and styling products for each hair set. He explained by understanding what hair type you really are, you can make the best use of your products and in turn not waste money.

All products contain 5 key components or ‘ingredients’ which are the basis of having good hair and make the products multitasking. These are
1. AQUARICH. For targeting damaged hair, described like swiss cheese, AQUARICH fills in the ‘holes’ of damage
2. Moisturising
3. Volumising
4. Colour lock technology
5. Heat protection

Richard also introduced another range of products called ’Seasons’ which as the name suggests are designed with the weather in mind, moisturising in the winter, deep cleansing in the spring and protecting in the summer. I would definitely like to pick up the summer collection for my upcoming holiday. The concept is really unique and the sets contain everything you need, and of course can be used depending on your hairs needs rather than the actual time of year!

I really appreciated the honesty of Richard Ward throughout the evening. He made no apologies for his products being aimed and adults and therefore falling into the more high end price range. A starter/tester kit retails at around £21 on QVC which contains trial sizes of 4 products. In my opinion by making the products so multifunctional and eliminating the need for multiple products, this makes them better value for money.

Richard made some very good general points which I had not considered before when it comes to hair care. Such as, as with skin care you need to give products time to work and show the best results. He also said that shampoo is the foundation of your style (60%) with the other 40% being made up by styling products. Typically I have always spent more money and focused on the styling products for my hair type than the shampoo, buying whatever is on promotion so this was a completely new concept for me. 

Blow dry masterclass

Onto the blow dry masterclass, here Richard had the chance to really demonstrate the products in action as well as share his top tips for the perfect blow-dry.

The styling products memoriser and gravitiser, are what really impressed me here with the model used to demonstrate normal to course hair. Memoriser to generate those curls on one half of the head and gravitiser for the sleek style. By using small amounts of the products and the tips below, these styles were made easily and looked beautiful. I apologise that my pictures don’t do the hair justice at all!

Again the products don’t do all the work but combined with a bit of know-how and practice of the technique, without sounding too much like an advert, I believe anyone can achieve this look too!

Richard Ward’s top tips:
  • Use warm water when washing your hair (does not promote oil production) and rinse throughly (2 mins) to get rid of all residual products.
  • Less is more when it comes to products - if you want that swish factor this is key. His work at the recent royal wedding is a perfect example of this.
  • Blow-dry with your hair 70-80%, very important for curly girls like myself 
  • Invest in a good hair-drier and use on the most powerful setting, again particularly important for curly hair
  • Blow dry hair in small sections - between 1-2 inches thick, which fit in the width of the brush and that you can hold with your thumb to get your hair taunt
  • Use a nozzle and direct at the most taunt part of the hair. You need the tension and blow dry the hair before the brush, moving along at a steady pace.
  • For volume, apply the product near the root and dry it in with the drier, the heat acts to change the structure of the product and your hair. 
We all had the chance to put the tips into practice and try to blow-dry sections of hair of an unlucky partner, as well as have a go on ourselves. It is a technique which needs a lot of practice and even more patience in my case, but I am impressed at how smooth my hair came out with very little effort. My picture was actually taken a few hours later, after a tube journey home.

Finally we were kindly given a bag of customised products to try and I will review these in due course since I wanted to take Richards advice and give the products the time to work. I will also show you my attempt at blowdrying my own hair. I say this with caution as I know with the length and the fact it is curly this will take ages so I can’t guarantee that I won’t give up half way through!

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