World-renowned hairstylist Laini Reeves has amassed a long list of celebrity clientele and editorial partnerships since beginning her career in London salons at a very young age. She’s worked with everyone from Emily Blunt to Victoria Beckham and Elle to Vanity Fair. Her red carpet looks are always the most talked-about after any awards show and her editorial styling sets the forecast for trends to come.
Laini doesn’t solely credit her legendary hairstyling skills with achieving such feats, she also points out the importance of collaboration. In our exclusive interview with the Mane Master, Laini reveals why working with a team will take you farther than you thought possible in your career, the unlikely places she’s drawing red carpet style inspiration from, her favorite Emily Blunt red carpet look, and so much more. Read what she had to share below!
Mane Addicts: What do you love most about your career and the legacy you’ve built for yourself as a hairstylist?
Laini Reeves: I love having the creative freedom to execute my vision for my clients and for them to trust me to create something extra special whether it’s premieres, editorials, or red carpets. I also love seeing all the students that I taught at Toni and Guy’s flourish in the industry.
MA: How would you define your red carpet hairstyles?
LR: I like to take old Hollywood techniques and make them modern.
MA: How do you continue to evolve and push the boundaries as a hairstylist with each red carpet?
LR: I pay attention to what the clothing designer is doing. Meaning, I like to see how the entire look is presented by the designer at their runway show head to toe. From there, my brain starts filling with ideas.
MA: What do you love most about creating red carpet looks?
LR: I love collaborating with a team of people because it’s about the whole team, not just about me.
MA: What do you find most clients want now with red carpet looks? Is the focus still on being all glammed up?
LR: It depends on who you work with. Everyone is different. Some people love to get very glammed up and some like to keep it beautiful but understated.
MA: Where are you drawing hairstyle inspiration from these days?
LR: I pull from lots of different places. I have a beautiful library of books that I choose from. Anywhere from the 1800s- 1970s, including Wind, Sand, and Silence, Travels with Africa’s Last Nomads, and Playboy 1978.
MA: What’s your advice for stylists struggling to find their unique style?
LR: Work closely with a team! When you start out, you should always begin with a team: hair, makeup, stylist, photographer, and from there, you begin to develop your style.
MA: You’ve mentioned collaboration a lot, why is that such an important element of creating looks?
LR: I have to collaborate, it’s a team effort. No red carpet is without a team. It makes the end result stronger and well-executed.
MA: What has working with Emily Blunt taught you about yourself as a hairstylist?
LR: Emily loves really girly feminine hairstyles which I wouldn’t normally tend to do, so it’s taught me to be softer and more feminine. I’m normally the type of person that would love to do a slick back ponytail so tight, they would have to take painkillers.
MA: What is your all-time favorite red carpet hairstyle you’ve created for Emily?
LR: The 2019 Golden Globes! The whole look was absolutely beautiful. From the Alexander McQueen dress to her fishtail braided hair… just epic!
MA: Are there any hairstyles you’ve wanted to try on Emily that didn’t make the carpet?
LR: Lots and lots and lots!
MA: Do you have any red carpet hairstyle regrets?
LR: No. When you’re prepared and you know what you’re doing, then it’s a slam dunk.
MA: Are there any other celebrities you’d love to create red carpet looks for that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
LR: I love country girls: Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert. Country girls love to dress up.