IMAGE Beauty Festival headliner hairstylist Adam Reed on his life in beauty

Adam Reed, L’Oréal Professionnel UK Editorial Ambassador, hairstylist extraordinaire and IMAGE Beauty Festival headliner talks Holly O'Neill through his life in beauty ... and the products he loves


Five products I always have in my kit are...

I am absolutely obsessed with L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Pli, it’s my number kit bag product, I use it for everything! L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium is my go-to hairspray for a good hold that still allows movement to the hair and the Percy & Reed Texturising Spray when finishing. My new current favourite is L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Ring Light Shine Spray for a beautiful, natural-looking gloss to the hair and L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Transformer.

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 L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Pli, €17

The best hair advice I ever received was...

Know when to finish, don’t try and over fix it. I love hair that looks like hair, it’s great to see movement and a few flyaways here and there.

Related: Book your IMAGE Beauty Festival tickets

Related: IMAGE Beauty Festival - what it's all about

I've always wanted to...

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I would love to be able to do hair outside, like a salon on the beach. You would have the luxury of the salon but beautiful outdoor surroundings.

The beauty appointment I never miss is...

My Annee De Mamiel seasonal acupuncture facial. I have it twice a year and will never miss it!

The first beauty product I ever bought was...

Christian Dior Talcum Powder. The fragrance was called Jules and I still have the bottle. It’s so nostalgic for me and can totally transport me back to a moment in time.

The worst beauty mistake I ever made was...

I got my eyebrows waxed really bad one time, I looked ridiculous!

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My signature scent is...

This is such a hard question for me as I love fragrance so much but I would have to say Diptyque 34. I wear it more than anything.

Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germaine, €120 

I never travel without...

This Works Sleep Spray Plus, €34. 

My weird hair hack is...

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Rinsing hair with freezing cold water as a final step when washing hair. It’s really invigorating for the scalp and hair and it's super refreshing too.

What’s the last beauty item you bought?

The probiotic Gallinée Foaming Facial Cleanser, €19.90 and the Soaper Duper Body Wash, €10.

I would really like to try...

I try to lead a healthy lifestyle, so I am thinking of trying wet cupping (give it a Google) and a colonic at the Hay Clinic.

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Why did you decide to set up Percy & Reed?

Paul (the other half of Percy & Reed) and I got on really well, we wanted a really understated, fun brand and at the time, 12 years ago now, salons were taking themselves very seriously and we wanted to break that mould.

What are some of the must-haves you pack in your kit for fashion week?

Backstage I always make sure I have plenty of elastic, hair nets, crepe paper and playing cards to hold the hair off the face, L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Pli, hand towels and lavender hand sanitiser. You never know what you’ll need backstage!

What was your first big break?

I would say when I moved to London, I was working with Charles Worthington and the incredible Isabella Blow. What a moment!

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How did you begin working with so many big names?

I really grew my portfolio very organically. I started well before the age of social media and a little bit of luck with being in the right place at the right time and working hard whilst nurturing my relationships. When you do someone’s hair and they like your work, they will spread the word. I also think that being kind to everyone helps  - everything was word of mouth and your relationship with your client is as important as the work itself.

Looking back through your body of work, which collaborations or show styles stick out in your mind? What’s your favourite look you’ve created?

Working with Diane Kruger to create her hair on the international Inglorious Bastards tour was a real moment. This was pre-social and the press that the show received in every city was incredible! I loved everything about this tour; the people, the cities, the hair…

If you could style one person's hair, who would it be?

Miley Cyrus or Kris Jenner.

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Who has the most amazing hair you've ever worked with?

Sophie Dahl and Noel Gallagher.

Which hair trends are you excited about this season?

Hair health - hair that looks expensive, rich, luxurious, nourished & healthy - hair the way it should be!

What’s the proudest moment of your career?

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Definitely opening Percy & Reed salons.

Who is your celebrity hair icon?

Brigitte Bardot.

If you weren't a hairstylist, what would you be doing?

Fragrance is such a passion for me – if I wasn’t working in hair I’d like to think I’d be a perfumer. I love how smell can have the power to transport you back to a moment or memory.

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What advice would you give to a hairstylist starting out

Train, train and train – education is key. Be kind and don’t ever think you are the best thing, lots of likes on social media doesn’t make you a great hairdresser. It takes a lot of hard work to be an overall great hairdresser.

My three current obsessions are... 

This season Loewe Men’s Wear, Dior Men’s Satchel bag and booking my holiday for next year.


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Hear Adam Reed in person at the IMAGE Beauty Festival

Don't miss Adam Reed's advice on how to create the best red carpet looks at the IMAGE Beauty Festival, May 25 & 26. He'll be joined by festival headliner and celebrity make-up artist Patrick Ta and one of Ireland's most in-demand session stylists, David Cashman.

The talented trio will present From Red Carpet to Reality on the Samsung Beauty Stage, Saturday, May 25.

Day passes are €45 and include complimentary beauty treatments, hairstyling and make-overs and a €100 goodie bag.

Places are limited for this special session, so book your place now!

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